Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why I love Targeted Acts of Kindness

I love gifts. Big ones. Little ones. My husband knows that you can buy me a pencil and I'll love you forever. I personally believe in the Five Love languages concept. Basically, everyone receives love better some ways and worse others. The five types are (ordered in my hierarchy):

Physical Touch
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
Time Together

Everybody gets something from all of these but if you ordered the list according to preference, you would probably have a different list than I do.

Being a great lover of gifts, when people send me something it's like having a piece of them with me. I never go to a doctor's appointment without wearing the socks Elizabeth and Holly sent me or the bracelet from Amber. Doing that makes me feel like I'm bringing an army of friends, prayers and good wishes into "battle" with me.

Over the last ninety days I've been going through a really rough time and I've received some incredible gifts. I'd like to thank a few people specifically:

Amber: Thank you for the jewelry. I wear it to all my appointments and it helps me feel less alone. Having a reminder right there on my wrist of the incredible people in my life is a great blessing.

Elizabeth and Holly: My amazingly soft striped socks have gone with me into every procedure and test I've had. I wiggle my toes when I'm scared or in terrible pain. It's nice when I'm wiggling to feel your love.

Cathy: You are such a dear, attentive friend. You not only knit me beautiful socks (they are so soft and the perfect weight for everything) but you also asked my husband my favorite color and included my very favorite ribbon and a stamp I wanted badly. I know how much time goes into knit presents and how expensive they are. I wear my socks every single day when my feet get cold and offer a little prayer of thanks for you.

Karen: I can't believe the shawl you knit for me. When you needed comfort and your life was crashing down, you set time aside to write me a beautiful letter that is in my treasure box forever and you sent me soft, warm, handmade love. I don't know if I'll ever be able to explain how much that meant.

Kathi: You know I just adore you, right? I have a special spot in my craft space for your gift and I take out the slide holders, grunge board and stampboard and spend a few blissful minutes to imagine craft projects I want to dive in to once I'm on the mend. Your attention to my likes and dislikes, what I've tried and what I haven't made me feel really cared for and utterly spoiled.

Kat: Wow. Wow. Wow. You really made our Christmas with your incredible gifts for the whole family. I'll never watch the Sound of Music again without feeling your care and generosity. The kids haven't seen the gifts yet but I can assure you they are going to freak. There will be much joy and celebrating :-) One of my few budget regrets this year was that I wasn't able to get Avery Werther's candy. When I saw them in the gift I had this intense feeling that everything would always be okay. That God and friends always lighten the load.

I've been touched by dozens of people in dozens of ways. Marilyn sends me a card nearly every week reminding me she's praying for me and wishing me a speedy recovery. The TSR girls have been sending cards. Amy and Heather keep dropping Gauche Alchemy lovelies in the mail to me with heart-filled messages of "don't worry" and "we're here for you." My friend Jason listens, at length to my fears and boring doctor news. He makes me laugh and provides a needed break from mom-ing. He and Estela even offer to feed my husband and kids when they need it.

Each of these gifts and cards I draw around me like one of the beautiful quilts my Mom makes. Or even more specifically, I hoard them like a crow with shiny things. When I'm too scared and all of this feels too big and too much; I take out these treasures, look through them and remember I am not alone.

I'm sure some of you thought my last post was Grinchy. It wasn't meant that way. All I wanted to convey was that meeting a specific need when you see it can mean a lot to a person (like me) and that is why Targeted Acts of Kindness are my very favorite.

Today I am seeing the surgeon at 10:00 AM. If I can ask for even more, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers today.

With a heart full of gratitude for all of you and all you do,

Merry Christmas!

With Love,


Kathi said...

Awww. You're welcome. I can't wait to see what you do with that stuff. I know that whatever it is will "wow" me.


Amy Wing said...

I just got to reading this (was a little busy and in another state when you wrote it), and I'm glad I did. My hubby's top love language is "time together," which means something different to him than it does to me. (My family considers "time together" to be anything in which you are in the presence of each other, which we find comforting - Brent considers it to actually be focused on each other, talking or doing something.) If I conscientiously make time to connect with him, even just for a few minutes, it makes a HUGE difference in how much of a bond we feel. On the other hand, he really doesn't give a crap about gifts. I mean, he likes gifts, but it doesn't necessarily communicate love to him.

He left me a screwdriver once with a little note that he thought I might like all the interchangeable tips. I kept that little note and to me, it is a love note. :) Gifts are not my top love language (I think it's "acts of service" if I recall from the last time I took the inventory), but they are up there. To me it indicates caring and forethought. It means that someone is thinking about me. I think my hubby once got laid for getting me a sun screen for my car without my having to ask him. That makes me want to absolutely cry, I am so touched (and hey, that's an act of service AND a gift). First, he noticed what I needed, then he followed through, and THEN he just put it in my car without saying a word to me, having no idea that my heart would swell with love and gratitude. Or how about when he took my car to get the oil changed!? OMG! HOT, HOT, HOT! :)

So what I'm saying is, I get you.