Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Heart-Shaped Boxes

I once made my husband read the book, “The Five Love Languages”. I was sure he would be enlightened. I just knew there were ways he could better meet my needs. When we took the test together, I couldn’t wait for our results. Which love-language would we each be most fluent in?

I felt sorry for Paul when we discovered my answers created a three-way tie. Apparently, in the language of love, I'm trilingual. I had three languages I needed him to speak fluently.

I felt even worse when I realized one of my love-languages is “receiving gifts”. And "giving gifts" is not his strongest attribute.

It’s true. I enjoy it when the kids bring me home a small trinket from school made with paper clips, rubber bands, and Elmer’s glue. I love it when Paul brings me flowers or comes home from the grocery store with a pint of our favorite ice cream and a movie.

While visiting recently with a new widow, I realized gifts aren’t always tangible things we can unwrap and hold. Sometimes the ones that mean the most, if put in a gift box, would look empty to the human eye.

Sally lost her husband a few weeks ago. Bob was the love of her life. Both in their eighties, they worked around the house together, each one with their own jobs to do, living in each other’s presence, knowing the other was within walking distance every minute of every day.

I was in a hurry to head down the hill and begin picking up children from school, but I realized I had a little bit of time. Just enough time to run by the grocery store before picking up my high-schooler. But, another thought popped into my head. Maybe I should go over and visit with Sally.

Sally won out over grocery shopping and for forty-five minutes Sally shared about her Bob. Usually a very stoic woman, covering her face with her hands, she wept as she shared how they first met and how much he meant to her and her daughter Connie. I wept with her.

Later, when I left, walking down her steep driveway to my car, Sally leaned over her railing and yelled after me, “Joanne, thank you for giving me some of your time today.”

She had received something from me? I was the one who felt blessed to have been her captive audience to such beautiful stories.

It got me to thinking; time is a gift we can share. I can’t wrap it up with pretty paper, or tie a satin ribbon around it but there is no better way to tell someone they are special, then by spending some of my time on them.

There are beautiful heart-shaped boxes that can only be purchased with the currency of time. Have you bought and given any away lately? After all, we all share the same love-language of time.

Time is the most precious gift one can give. Each moment is unique because it will never happen again. The gift of your time spent with others is the ultimate display of unconditional love. Robert W. Merriweather


Lauren said...

this is such a beautiful post ... thank you for sharing!!!

Kel said...

Great post and great reminder of that wonderful book. My husband of I read that together about 10 years ago. It may be time to revisit it.

Erin said...

As usual..your blog speaks to my soul. Thank you for sharing this; it was beautiful!


Denise said...

Amen, much truth spoken here sis.

Mari said...

So true! I think of that gift of time regarding our parents. It's the best thing they can get from us, but can also be the hardest to give!

Shermanators said...

Such a beautiful post! Thank you for reminding me that the best gift is your time...that is so easily forgotten!

Mariel said...

oh this was beautiful and so spoke to me. there is a young widow (she's in her 30s) that lives near me. You have inspired me to call her to visit for coffee! thx

LisaShaw said...








Praying for Sally and thankful for you and the time you took to share this with us. I love you and thank you for the time you took to pray for me as I recover. I love you dearly.

Tina said...

What a beautiful post! Gary Chapmens book was very enlighting for our marriage. It sure helps to know your mates Love Language :)

Kathy S. said...

Well, the Lord spoke again...this relates to my life lately...I am typically good (love) to spend time with people, but have been challenged lately. Tested in reality: my time is His and not my own.

Sweet post!

Rebecca said...

Read the book and love it. Giving the language of love is so fun!
Great post~ beautiful! Am following

Hillbilly Duhn said...

New to your blog, and was weaving through a few of your posts, and this one made my heart thumpa little quicker and brought tears to my eyes.

A few months ago, I had heard from somewhere, even if your kids call out to you to come here to look at something silly or just to tell you something mundane, to go to them and listen, because the time we have goes by so quickly... The same with my hubs, I try to listen to him in all his fishing stories and hunting tales, and sometimes yes, I nod off or go through my shopping list in my head, but I do try.

This was an incrediable message...And I became incrediably wordy...goodness me...Sorry.


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