What's Your Love Language?

There's this book called The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. It hasn't done that well (only about 5,000,000 copies sold), but it's one of my favorite books. I love learning how people think, and what motivates them. And like most people, if they're honest, I love to learn about myself. After reading that book, I learned that I can't resist a good compliment in words. Words of affirmation, as Chapman calls it.

My listening skills aren't perfect; okay, they're terrible. Rachel can ask me to get 3 things from the grocery store and I'll forget something by the time I leave the house. But when she compliments me, my mind becomes a steel trap. And I can access those compliments as fast as Rain Man can count toothpicks. I'm so far in the words of affirmation camp that I've even created a file for encouraging emails.

Is this weird?
Wait, you don't have an encouragement email file like this one? Oh, me neither. I just got that screen shot from some loser off of Flickr. 

If you haven't read The Five Love Languages, you need to make that happen.  It will help you understand the way you give and receive love, and it will make you a better spouse. But for now, take the love language test. 

If you have read it, what's your love language? 


4 Things To Think About When God Isn't Answering Your Prayer

A few weeks ago, I called twenty-seven law firms in one day - twenty-seven! I graduate from law school in less than two weeks, and I've spoken with only a handful of firms that are actually hiring. And those that are keep reminding me that I'm not licensed yet - a requirement for their associate position.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated. I've had many conversations with God that sound like a child in Walmart, screaming because he can't have a toy. I don't have a job yet, but here are 4 things I've learned about God's timing during my search:

1) God's timing is ruthless. 

You've thought it; I'm saying it. Who of us, at some point, has not looked up to heaven and pleaded for an answer, a sign - anything? Whether it's a parking place or a pregnancy, we've all had a prayer that, for some reason, God seems to hold on to. God's timing is ruthless because it's unstoppable. His resolve is like a train, and we would be foolish to try and stand in His way.

2) God's timing is the story.

People don't like stories without conflict. Think about it. The protagonist in every great book, movie or play experiences great conflict. The more conflict a story has, the more interesting the story. Why does this matter? Because God uses people's stories to bring him glory.  I don't know when I'll get a job, but I do know that God is using this time to embrace and teach me. And when the resolution comes - when his "plans to prosper" me come, I'll have a story that God will use to bring glory to his name.

3) God's timing is prosperous. 

I'm bad about believing God's "plans to prosper" me are in the future. If I can just get out of law school and get a job, then He's kept up his end of the deal. But what if I'm wrong? When I think about my life, and what I've been blessed with already, it's clear that his plans are happening now. I'm prosperous because I have a beautiful wife who loves and supports me. I'm prosperous because God gave us a son. I'm prosperous because I have money to eat. I'm not saying that you should stop dreaming, or stop desiring good things for your life. But it does help to count your blessings.

4) God's timing is perfect. 

This post would not be complete without me telling you that God's timing is perfect. But not in the stereotypical naive Christian - everything will be alright - kind of way. His timing is perfect because it actually is a part of his plan for your life, along with the promotion or your new baby. As Job said, should we accept blessings from God, but not adversity?

You may have a pending prayer - one that God has chosen not to answer right away. And although mine may not be the same as yours, we all have one. I hope this post has encouraged you to search for God's lessons in waiting.

What have you learned from God's timing in your life?