Keeping in Touch When You Have Littles - Some Practical Tips

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Let's just get this part out of the way, shall we? Yes, having sex is very important to your spouse who speaks "Physical Touch". But more so than just having sex, is that you, their spouse, occasionally initiate, and willingly reciprocate. Nobody will respond well to a spouse who speaks their love language with resentment.

There. We got that big elephant out of the way.

The needs of someone who speaks Physical Touch often get dismissed just as having sex, and yes, that is very important (as it is in any marriage) but that's doing this Love Language a great disservice. I really feel like I lucked out with Gabe, my husband. Having Physical Touch as his Primary Love Language makes my job so much easier and uncomplicated. Obviously, we don't spend all our time in the bedroom-- there's a lot of time where we simply can't. That's just fine! There are so many ways for me to keep Gabe's love tank full.

Currently, we have a baby and a toddler. There are days when I forget to brush my teeth, and when dinner is mac'n'cheese with tuna'n'peas (its better than it sounds, trust me) because I forgot that supper time is a daily thing. I don't know that I would ever remember to pick out or make little gifts, or if I would have the patience to sit still for ten minutes of quality time on the regular. So it's quite lucky for him at this time in our lives that he speaks Physical Touch.

The tiniest things in very small amounts of time can make a huge impact. Lovingly touching his back when he's in my way in the kitchen to say "excuse me", a quick kiss when he gets home, holding hands in the car, these take minimal effort and have immediate results.

For more purposeful pick me ups, massage is where it's at, folks. I'll never forget one finals week while we were still engaged. I turned on Bob Ross videos and gave him a back rub. His roommates kept passing by the common room and giving us odd looks, but it was so worth it. Its still my go-to when he's really stressed or upset, or when I'm just feeling particularly loving.

The one big pitfall of this Love Language now though, is what happens when the kiddos eat up my capacity for physical touch during the day. Moms, you've been there. The kids are grabbing on you for this, pulling you to that, if you have a nursling then that's another person attached to you for hours a day... and of course we wouldn't trade that for anything, but it does wear on you. After a long day of kids constantly on top of you, it's almost inevitable to get annoyed when a loving husband asks for something as simple as a snuggle on the couch while you watch a TV show to unwind.

To anyone in a similar situation, I highly recommend just being honest with your husband. "Honey, I'm touched out and I'm sorry," then make a big effort to speak his Secondary Love Language in any way possible. Hopefully, give it a few hours or a few evenings in a row where you don't have anyone making constant physical demands and you'll be back ready to speak Physical Touch. In my experience, it's way better to take a mini break and recuperate rather than muscle through and become resentful.

Yeah, I'm clearly biased, but having a spouse who speaks Physical Touch is the best. Now if you'll excuse me, I think my husband needs a hug.

Hilary Thompson is a young wife and mother of two boys in southeast Michigan. She has been an organist since she was twelve. When she grows up, she wants to be a 97-year-old church cleaning lady. You can find more of her work about marriage, mothering, and Catholic trivia at Messy Buns & Latin Chant.

And that's all folks! Hope you enjoyed reading along with this series. We return to our regular topics-I-write-about-becuase-they're-in-my-head-right-now posting next week!

Make sure to check out the prior installments in the series. Congratulations to reader Richard who won the Mrs. Meyer's kitchen set giveaway. Giveaways for both Quality Time and Touch are still open, so make sure to enter!

Touch - It's Not Just About Sex

Monday, February 12, 2018

When you hear that “physical touch” is a love language, it’s easy to assume that that must be a love language that only guys have. People joke that all men probably think their love language is physical touch – so it’s easy to immediately think about sex when you hear “physical touch”.

Physical touch as a love language is so much more than just sex (although I’ll be honest, sex is wonderful too!). But making love isn’t going to fill up my love tank when it comes to physical touch. I need to be shown that I’m loved and loveable in ways outside the bedroom, too.

I can sometimes feel like the odd one out as a woman whose primary love language is physical touch. Not a lot of the married women that I know share my love language, and physical touch can be a daunting language to learn if it’s not your native ‘tongue’. So if your spouse’s love language is physical touch, here are a few ways to show them that you care:

1. Put words to your touch
We use our bodies to express what words fail to communicate – body language can be sacred (and sexy!). When Joseph puts his arm around me, I feel loved. But what makes me glow even more is when he puts words to his touch. When he holds my hand when we’re out together and says “I love people knowing we’re on the same team” you can sure bet that my love tank gets filled. This may sound weird if you’re trying it for the first time – but give it a try! What are you communicating when you put your arm around your spouse’s shoulder, or run your hands through their hair? That you’re fascinated by them? That you are so proud of the work they’ve done? Tell them so!

2. Remember to kiss each other
I remember when Joseph and I were dating (which wasn’t too long ago), and it would take us forever to say goodbye when we left each other’s places at the end of a date. We’d kiss at the door, on the way to the car, and once we got to our cars. Now that we’re married and we get to say ‘goodnight’ and not ‘goodbye’, it’s easy to forget to make out every once in a while. So if your spouse’s love language is physical touch, surprise them with a passionate fifteen second kiss. “15 seconds?!” you may exclaim – but once you’re kissing that 15 seconds will go by pretty quick. You may find yourself wanting to kiss your lover for even longer!

3. Remember physical touch isn’t just for the bedroom 
Our culture tells us that we should limit our sexuality to the bedroom. We tend to see almost all displays of physical affection outside of the bedroom as inappropriate. But our sexuality is so much more than making love. It’s what makes us feminine or masculine! So go ahead – hold your spouse’s hand as your walk into church. Give them a hug while you’re grocery shopping. Put your arm around their shoulders as you relax over at a friend’s house.

4. Don’t underestimate little touches throughout the day
I love when Joseph touches my arm when we’re cooking in the kitchen. The gesture is so small – it doesn’t take much time, and our kitchen is small enough that when we cook we’re close by each other anyway. But those little touches make my day. When you’re spending quality time with each other, don’t forget to be intentional with the smallest touches. Holding their hand during that meeting or touch the small of their back as you pass each other around the house will speak to their love language loud and clear.

Chloe Langr is a very short stay-at-home-wife, whose growth has probably been stunted by the inhumane amounts of coffee she regularly consumes. When she is not buried in a growing stack of book that she brings home from the book store she works at, she can be found spending time with her husband, geeking out over Theology of the Body, or podcasting. 
Connect with her blog, Old Fashioned Girl, her podcast, Letters to Women, or on Facebook.

To help get you started on better speaking the physical touch love language - Caitlyn Anderson, from Mrs. Andy, Anchored By Faith, is sponsoring a giveaway of Young Living massage and relaxation products!

She is a proud Navy wife and fur-mother to her dog Remington. When not blogging about her faith and life as a military spouse, she enjoys sharing her knowledge about Young Living Essential Oils, adventuring with her friends, and volunteering with her parish’s youth group.

This kit includes an 8 oz. bottle of Young Living Sensation Massage Oil with a pump dispenser and a 15 mL bottle of Young Living Lavender Essential Oil. The Sensation Massage Oil promotes feelings of passion, romance, and youthfulness with a blend of vegetable oils and essential oils that leaves skin feeling soft and smooth. The Lavender Essential Oil supports feelings of relaxation and calmness.

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Make sure to check out the previous installments in this series:

My Top 7 Lenten Misconceptions

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Lent starts this week! There are certain, perennial, discussions and questions that come up at this time every year. I thought it was high time that I addressed the top 7 that I heard this past week with This Ain't the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

1. You can’t have chicken/beef stock on a Lenten Friday

I get where the thought is coming from - if we can't eat red meat then we shouldn't eat a product of the carcass - but it's still wrong. Yes, you can eat bone broths on days of abstinence.

Canon law only considers meat to be the flesh of animals that live on land. Moral theologians have taught that we should abstain from all animal products that bear the taste of meat, but this is not required by canon law.
In short - use veggie stock if you want, but it does not break the abstinence observance if you use a bone broth.

2. Ash Wednesday is a Holy Day of Obligation

It's perhaps the best misconception, but it's still a misconception.
Attendance at mass is not obligatory for Ash Wednesday. But it's still GOOD if you go! It's awesome to see people come out of the woodwork to receive ashes. Do it anyway and bear your ashes as an outward sign, but it's not a sin if you don't make it to mass that day.

3. You have to give up something for Lent

"What are you giving up for Lent?" is the official Catholic party question right now, but there is no requirement to give up something. The only disciplines we are required to observe during Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

It's awesome to fast from something that is keeping you in a habit of sin, and that is what you are intended to be giving up. It's not supposed to be a way to crash diet or be a chance to let scrupulosity run wild. If your observance of the Lenten fast is a simple focus on your habitual sins, and breaking their cycle, you have fulfilled the discipline beautifully.

4. The great “can you have what you gave up for Lent on Sunday” debate

We all know Lent is 40 days long, yet there are 46 calendar days in the Lenten season. Because every Sunday is a solemnity, they are not included in the fast of Lent. We are not to fast on a feast day, however the question of allowing indulgence in what you are fasting from for the Lenten season on Sundays needs to be taken with prudence.

If you are fasting from something that is morally neutral, let's say alcohol when you're not an alcoholic, then I would argue (from my non-ordained lay person position mind you) that having a glass of wine at dinner with family on Sunday would be acceptable.

If you are fasting from a habitual sin, let's say masturbation, then the fact that it's a feast day does not negate your Lenten fast. You are not just giving this up because it is Lent, you are giving it up because you are trying to break the chains of habitual sin. That is better served by consistency.

If you want more guidance on this, I strongly encourage you to talk to your priest or spiritual adviser.

5. Giving to the church is my almsgiving

You drop something in the collection basket every week, so it's super easy to fulfill the almsgiving part of Lent, right? Yet tithing is not almsgiving.
Tithing is something we give because it is owed. We owe a portion of our resources to the church that sustains our communal life. It is a debt we are paying.
Almsgiving is material help we give to others out of charity. This is freely given, not paying a debt.

6. You have to eat fish on Fridays

While all Catholics, 14 and older, are required to abstain from meat on days of abstinence, no one says you have to do so by eating fish instead!
A simple vegetarian meal or meatless soup are perfectly fine.

In addition, while they incur no sin by eating meat on days of abstinence, it's awesome to practice giving up meat as children. I find it fantastically easier to observe the day as a family if I just make a big pot of soup and some bread.

7. Lent ends on Easter

It does not end on Easter!
Holy Thursday through Holy Saturday is a funky time in the liturgical year where those three calendar days are one liturgical day. The Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) is neither in Lent nor Easter - it is a separate liturgical period as clarified by Pope Pius XII in 1955.

Thus, technically speaking, Lent ends on Holy Thursday.
Do you continue to observe your Lenten discipline through the Triduum? Up to you to discern. Hopefully your Lenten discipline has become ingrained into you, and becomes a lifelong change if you gave up a habitual sin. If I gave up a moral neutral, then I personally prefer wait until after the Easter Vigil to partake. It seems to add to the joy, don't you think?

Did I miss anything? Was any of this surprising to you?

Updated to include My Sunday Best with Rosie at A Blog For My Mom.

She's very concerned to see Mommy holding that other baby in the picture.
We've reached that point in the winter when I'm done with seeing my summer dresses sit in my closet. Solution: add leggings and wool socks underneath, and a ballet warm up on top. Boom summer dress is winter wearable!

Finding the Moment - Quality Time

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

If you surprise me with a back rub after a long day, I’m head over heels. And if I’m feeling stressed or worried, nothing makes my day better like holding hands with my husband or snuggling up with him on the couch. But that doesn’t do it for my husband, Joseph.
When I started to get to know Joseph, I knew right away that he mostly needs to be shown affection and love through quality time – and even though folding the laundry for both of us when he’s at work is great, he’d much rather us both fold the laundry together and catch up about our day.

Doctor Gary Chapman is the bestselling author of The Five Love Languages, which you’ve probably heard of at this point in the series. The five love languages (words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, acts of service and quality time) are different ways you can “speak” to your spouse and convince them that they are loved and loveable. The problem that I’ve run into though is that it is much easier to speak my love language to Joseph instead of going the extra mile and speaking his love language. I prefer to give love in the ways that I love to receive it.

As a recently married couple with jobs, a house to clean, and bills to pay, it can be easy to fill up our calendar with tasks and long to-do lists that never seem to get totally completed. But if I want Joseph to feel loved, I don’t let a crazy-busy schedule get in the way of loving him better today than I did yesterday. In the almost three years that I’ve known Joseph, I’ve discovered little tips and tricks for making a spouse whose love language is quality time feel loved (even when it feels like you have no time at all!)

1. Be present in the moment

When Joseph and I both get home from work, it would be easy to check out and catch up on social media. I blog for a living, so keeping up with comments, collaborations, and posts is incredibly important. So, even though it’s a challenge in today’s media-driven world, I try to remember to turn my phone on silent when Joseph gets home and log off of Facebook. There isn’t any other person I want to talk to more, and I want to make sure our time together is quality time.

2. Keep your schedule in check

It’s easy for me to stuff my schedule with commitments. I love catching up with the women over coffee or going to Bible studies and other groups during the week. But when I over-stuff my schedule and spread myself too thin, it’s usually Joseph and I’s relationship that takes the first hit. Without quality time, we seem to grow more and more distant, struggling to communicate as we see each other between running errands. So whether that means not going to a Bible study during the week or making sure we have time together in the evenings, I’ve learned to be more conscious of how I schedule my week.

3. Enjoy every moment

Joseph leaves for work in the morning pretty early – but that doesn’t stop us from having quality time together before we part ways for the work day. I get up and pack his lunch as he gets ready for the day. Then we sit down at the kitchen table together. I drink my first cup of coffee (one of many during the day), and Joseph eats breakfast. We read the morning news together, talk about what our day will look like, and fill each other in on things we forgot to mention the night before. Before Joseph gets on the road, we take time to pray together. We pray for passion and enthusiasm for our sacrament. It may only be 15 short minutes, but because we make a choice to spend that time together in a quality way, it fills up Joseph’s love tank before he starts his day at work.

4. Become interested in what they love

I would not say that I’m an expert when it comes to cars. In fact, you’re talking to the woman who drove around for about a year thinking that her back door of her car was broken – it turns out the child lock was on the whole time. But because Joseph loves taking care of our cars and talking about cars, I’ve learned to become interested in what he loves.

This means that when it comes time to change the oil in our cars (something I used to leave to the local auto mechanics), I go out into the garage and change the oil alongside Joseph. I never thought I’d be able to say that I know how (or why!) we change the oil in our car, but because I looked at time in the garage as an opportunity for quality time, I can proudly say I can (almost) change the oil myself!


For those of us with crazy busy schedules, quality time can seem like an impossible love language to speak. And even though cuddling at the end of the night or sending a quick e-mail during the day might be an easy thing to include in my schedule, making time in our calendar for quality time is a way that I can love Joseph in the best way possible.

Chloe Langr is a very short stay-at-home-wife, whose growth has probably been stunted by the inhumane amounts of coffee she regularly consumes. When she is not buried in a growing stack of book that she brings home from the book store she works at, she can be found spending time with her husband, geeking out over Theology of the Body, or podcasting. 
Connect with her blog, Old Fashioned Girl, her podcast, Letters to Women, or on Facebook.


Congratulations to reader Julie who won the "I Love You Because..." chalkboard giveaway

The giveaways for Acts of Service and Quality Time love languages are still live! Check back on Monday for our final giveaway as we cover a complicated love language - touch.

Make sure to check out the previous installments in this series:

What are your practical tips for finding quality time in your marriage? 
Have you tried any of Chloe's tips?

Maintaining Connection in a Busy Life - Quality Time

Monday, February 5, 2018

If you are a parent—perhaps especially a mother who works outside the home—you’ve heard all about Quality Time.  When it comes to my kids, I’m more about quantity than quality.  But in my marriage, it’s a totally different thing.

Quality Time is one of the Five Love Languages.  For me, it’s in a tie for top spot with Acts of Service.  Luckily for our marriage, it’s high on my husband’s list as well, coming in just after Physical Touch.

We should have no trouble then, right?

Newsflash:  even couples with relatively compatible love languages can run into issues.
On the plus side, we both agree on the importance of spending reliable and regular chunks of time together.  Alone.

Most couples start out their relationships spending lots of time—quantity AND quality—together.  So this wasn’t a skill we had to learn.  Many couples, though, start to slip in this area with the demands of work and, especially, children.  But because Quality Time was so important to both of us, we have continued to make sure that it is a part of our marriage.

When we had three preschoolers, that was hard, but we made it happen.  We hired a succession of regular babysitters and planned each month the times we would go out alone together.   As the kids grew (and we added a couple more!), we were able to leave the older kids at home alone.  Nursing babies got to come out with us.  On the rare occasions when there was no nursing baby, we even made time for a more-or-less annual weekend away, even if “away” was just down the road in Gatlinburg.

Our “baby” turned 13 recently, so babysitters are no longer a factor.  We go out alone once a week and sometimes more often.

Spending time together is relatively easy for us these days.  So what is the downside?  We don’t always agree on what constitutes QUALITY time.

I think we would both agree that Quality Time is more than just time spent in one another’s presence.  We work at home and might spend hours sitting at our desks in the office, looking at our respective computers.  That’s time, and we have to spend it, and it’s nice we are working in the same place, but if your focus is on something other than each other it’s not really Quality Time, no matter how much of it there is.  We might actually get sick of working in the same room, but we never get tired of leaving the house together!

Going out to dinner is our mutual preferred activity, but I don’t consider it Quality Time if we don’t talk about meaningful things while we are there.  My husband is happy just to be with me sharing a meal away from the demands of the house, the office, and the kids.  That’s all he really needs to feel more connected to me.  With Acts of Service also high on my list, Quality Time for me might be spending an afternoon organizing the garage together, whereas my husband would prefer we spend that time sitting on the sofa while I run my fingers through his hair until I get a cramp in my arm!   My husband is always wanting me to go to the movies, but in my mind Quality Time MUST include conversation, the deeper the better! 

We both believe strongly in the importance of actively working to maintain and improve our marriage, and to that end we’ve been going through the My Hand in Yours, Our Hands in His Marriage Workbook.  We both agree that spending time together studying Scripture, praying, and learning how we can enhance our marriage by becoming more virtuous is the best kind of Quality Time.

Leslie Sholly describes herself on her blog, Life in Every Limb, as Catholic and Southern, Wife and Mother, which gives a quick but accurate snapshot of who she is and what is important to her.  She was born, and still lives, in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Graduated from Georgetown University, majoring in Honors English and minoring in Theology, and met her husband in the process!  They have been married for 28 years and have five children aged 13-27.  In addition to blogging, she works at home as her husband’s legal assistant, writes grants and does editing for a non-profit run by her mother, while homeschooling her youngest.  Her blog covers a lot of territory:  Faith, Politics, Education, Parenting, Graveyards, Gardening, Hiking, and the occasional recipe or product review! 

Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Tumblr.

Kimberly Cook, author of My Hand in Yours, Our Hands in His Marriage that Leslie and her husband are using in their marriage, has agreed give away a e-book copy of the workbook!

A little about her:

Kimberly Cook is the author of "My Hand In Yours Our Hands In His", "Mommy, Mommy, When You Pray", and co-author of "Once I Was Blind, But Now I See". She has a Master of Arts in Theology, and Bachelor of Science in Mental Health. Kimberly blogs about faith and parenthood at She lives in Virginia with her husband and four children.

This study will take you and your spouse on a 7-Week journey through the virtues; particularly as they apply to your married vocation. Supported with scripture and words of wisdom from the saints, you will be guided through an encounter together – helping you to grow with one another in virtue, and soar to new heights of holiness. Allow yourself this experience and tool in recognizing the virtues you already so valiantly possess, and in helping one another to establish a plan to grow in those areas in which you are struggling.

Both hardcopy and e-books can be purchased here:

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Make sure to check out the previous installments in this series:

The Cost of the Thought, Not of the Gift: Navigating a Receiving Gifts Love Language

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It was early on in our marriage, and my husband Aaron was having a bad day. I decided to make him feel better by giving him the Saturday afternoon to himself while I went grocery shopping, something we normally do together. While I was out, I kept thinking about how I could make him feel better, so I bought him some popcorn he’d been wanting, a pie, and four movies that I thought he’d like.

When I got home and showered him with the presents, however, I was crushed when it didn’t lift his spirits.

You see, my love language is receiving gifts, which means that I feel loved most deeply when I receive a gift that has a lot of meaning or thought behind it. I hadn’t yet learned that receiving gifts was not my husband’s love language, however.

Of course, my receiving gifts nature isn’t easy for my husband – not because he has to buy me things, but because I’ve also eliminated all of the go-to-gifts that husbands give their wives – I don’t like chocolate, wine, or coffee!

The common misconception about being a receiving gifts gal is that it means I am superficial or materialistic, but in reality, it’s not the gift – it’s the effort and thought that goes into it that’s important to me. 

For example, the best gift Aaron ever gave me while we were dating (well, besides an engagement ring!) was a jar with 365 notes in it, one for each day of the year after we began the long-distance side of dating. Each day of that year, he gave me a physical reminder of how much he loved me, which is exactly what I needed during that time. And it didn’t cost him a penny – but it sure did cost him a lot of time writing out all of those notes, which was what made it so special.

Another of my favorites was when he remembered how sad I’d been to find out that Anastasia wasn’t a Disney movie (which, I’m still kind of bummed about), and bought a copy for my birthday, put a Disney label over each reference to Fox, and wrote me an “official” letter from the company explaining how they’d made a mistake and that Anastasia was, in fact, a Disney movie. Again, this simple present didn’t cost much, but it meant the world to me that he remembered that passing remark from a few months prior and went to all that trouble to appease my silly desires.

I feel most loved as a receiving gifts gal when Aaron knows I’ve had a bad day, so he picks up a box of candy from the store for me on the way home. Or when he leaves me a note on the kitchen table before he leaves for work when I wasn’t awake to say goodbye. Or even when he rubs my shoulder at the end of the day after I’ve strained it with too much typing. In the end, it’s not about the candy or the note or the shoulder rub (though all of those are appreciated) – it’s that I can feel how much he cares about me through these thoughtful gifts.

In addition to the meaning behind it, receiving gifts is also just about having something tangible that reminds me how much I’m loved. As someone who has long struggled with anxiety, I would spend lots of time analyzing every aspect of our relationship when we were dating, especially during the two years we were long distance. Having something physical to hold in my hands and see with my eyes, like an old sweatshirt he let me keep for a while, aided me in the moments of doubt, and made me feel closer to him when we weren’t physically together. Love isn’t tangible, and I like feeling reassurance of that love with things that are.

If you know a receiving gifts person and are struggling to show your love for them (or are feeling like a selfish person for desiring presents), just remember that it’s not about the money spent, but the effort given. It’s easy to give a gift that costs a lot of money, but it means more to receive a gift that’s cost a lot of thought. 

Emily Ricci is a twenty-something newlywed and the owner of Gloriam Marketing, a Catholic marketing, consulting, and event planning company that works with Catholic churches, schools, and businesses. She is in her last year of graduate school for her master’s in Theology, and is passionate about God, This is Us, and the Oxford comma, in that order. Connect on Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, and Pinterest.

Make sure to check out the previous installments in this series:

Is your love language receiving gifts? What has been the most meaningful gift you have received? Is giving gifts a weak point for you?

Noticing the Small Things - Acts of Service

Monday, January 29, 2018

It took my husband, Logan, awhile to understand that I’d much rather him wash the dishes or change a diaper instead of giving me a random hug or backrub. Heck, it took me awhile to realize I needed Acts of Service to feel loved over the other love languages.

My husband is really great and showing love with compliments and touch. Like, really great. I know many of my friends wish their husbands were the same! So I sometimes feel a little guilty for not seeming to appreciate it as much as others would.

But that’s why it was so helpful to learn about the love languages. Logan is great at compliments and touch because his love languages are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. Mine, on the other hand, are Acts of Service and Quality Time.

For the first several years of our marriage, Logan was pretty terrible at taking out the garbage. It just really bothered me. I did most of the housework and really only expected Logan to change air filters and take out the garbage on a regular basis. That’s it! Easy, right?

Well, it wasn’t. Logan just really doesn’t like taking out the garbage for some reason. He’s always been great at helping with the dishes or even occasionally vacuuming and mopping. When we just had one child, I worked once a week while Logan stayed home, and most days I would come home to an immaculate house. He cleaned the whole thing! Yet he still was terrible at taking out the garbage.

I know what’s your thinking...Really, Jen? All this fuss about the garbage?? I know.

Eventually, I realized that I could either continue to let something so silly as the garbage to cause strife in our marriage...or I could just take over the garbage myself. I chose the latter, and I did it because I loved him. My love language is Acts of Service, after all.

I wish I had realized sooner exactly why it bothered me so much that Logan always procrastinated or forgot about the garbage. Yes, I was annoyed that he wasn’t listening. It felt like everybody else’s husband is perfectly capable of taking out the garbage. But I think the more important factor is that I was not feeling very loved. Like I said, Acts of Service is my love language. If he loved me, he would just take out the dang garbage!

Sometimes it’s not so simple though. Logan probably goes above and beyond most husbands when it comes to other things around the house, so I realized I could cut him a little slack with the garbage. No, it didn’t mean he didn’t love me. It just meant that he chose to love me with different Acts of Service - doing the dishes, cleaning the floor, or going through the bedtime routine with our three young boys.

After a lot of effort on both of our parts, we’ve gotten in a good groove with each other’s love languages. If my former self knew just how often Logan now helped me out around the house, many times without me having to even ask, I’m not sure I would have believed it. When I come home from an errand and realize Logan completely cleaned the kitchen while I was gone, I feel so, so loved - even more than I would have had he bought me a nice gift or gave me a massage. He knows it now, too.

Because I very much appreciate the effort Logan puts into Acts of Service, I make sure to show my appreciation in ways that he likes, specifically his love languages. It gives him extra motivation to continue to do those Acts of Service that I love.

Jen is wife to her high school sweetheart, Logan, and mom to 4 boys, 1 in heaven and 3 here. She blogs at Into Your Will about faith, marriage, books, pregnancy loss, and a whole lot of randomness. Her little family loves random dance parties in their kitchen and friendly competition while playing board games. She is constantly striving to accept God’s will for her life, even in the small stuff and especially in the hard stuff.
To give you some incentive to show some acts of service (besides the incentive of showing your spouse they are loved, of course!) I am giving away a Mrs. Meyer's Kitchen Basics Set in your choice of scent. Because cleaning is a lot more fun when it smells nice.

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Make sure to check out the previous installments in this series:

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