Saturday, December 24, 2011

Of Fudge and Granddad....

Well, today I decided to have a little baking adventure so I set off to try making fudge. I've been craving good fudge for a while, and ever since we got some at the fair last year I wanted to try my hand at making it.
I grabbed a recipe that looked good and started making it with this great majestic idea in my mind. If you've ever made fudge or eaten much fudge you've probably tasted those fudges that are really creamy and smooth. Then there's the fudges that are grainy and are good....but just not quite there.
Well, by the time I was done, much to my chagrin, my fudge ended up turning out to be in the second category. But the reason I posted was not because I baked fudge, but rather something that happened during and after the process. As I told you in the last post, my Granddad is here.
Well, like he does every a couple times throughout the day, he came up to me and asked "what are ya up to Hosey?" [thats his nickname for me]. I told him what I was doing and with a huge smile on his face he said "ooooh that sounds good". I smiled, hoping it would turn out and got back down to work.
Towards the end when I was pouring the fudge out he came by and and helped me hold the pot while I was scraping it out. He got another huge smile and said "oh, you better make sure you don't scrape it ALL out". Haha, at first I was confused and then I figured it out and teased him back. When I was all done I gave him the pot and spoons and he cleaned them up after taking the remainder of the fudge out and eating it.
When it was all said and done and the fudge had cooled I took him a couple pieces then grabbed his coffee cup to go fill up. When I brought it back it said "why Hosey, I think you might just have to get me the recipe to this fudge so I can take it home and make it myself its so good" I smiled and he went on "I'll give it the approval its soo good!" He went said a couple more things about he fudge, but then I had to go. I must say though, I left the room with a huge smile on my face. I knew the fudge wasn't super amazing and it could have been better. But Granddad didn't care about that, he still made me feel special for making it and it was a huge encouragement.
Later on at the dinner table we pulled the plate of fudge I had made out plus a goody plate that some friends had brought over, to have some for desert. He passed the first plate on without taking anything and when the fudge I had made came by he leaned over and said "this is what I've been waiting for!" right as he grabbed a piece. Again it made me smile and my heart swelled with pride. A little bit later the plate with the other goody's came by and I pointed out that there was fudge on that plate too. But he said "no thankyou, your fudge is better" then went on to say "hey, do you think you could make a couple'a big batches on the 29th?" [which is the day before he leaves] and again he got the big smile on his face and started laughing a bit at the joke he had made and then explained "Then I can take it home with me..". Hahaha. The last one made me laugh the most but it really meant a lot to me.

Now you are probably thinking 'wow, she sure is weird if that meant that much to her' but truth is it really did! I think the reason why is because my love language is encouraging words. Haha, "What on earth??" you might be thinking "What's a love language?". Well, a love language is the way in which people make you feel loved or show that they care, a way in which people can express their love to you and show you that you are valued.

Apparently there are five of them:
Physical Touch (a hug, and arm around the shoulder, etc)
Words of encouragement (complement or just quite simply a word of encouragement) ;-)
Acts of Service (doing a specific act to serve you in a certain getting a coffee, or weeding your garden for you, etc)
Gifts (pretty self explanatory, someone giving you a gift)
Quality Time (someone specifically taking part of their time to spend with you one on one, like going out to coffee or going out and throwing Frisbee with the person)

It's a rather interesting concept, but rather true. Now, everyone shows love through every one of these, but there usually tends to be one that is the 'primary' language of each person. When if you speak to them through that language they would feel valued. For me the main one is Words of Encouragement (or words of affirmation), and then partially Quality Time.
In this instance, when my Granddad took the time to say those comments and compliment, meant the world. I love to try out different recipes for cooking and baking, and then figuring out what people like. Even though I wasn't completely satisfied with the way it turned out, Graddad's words lifted my spirit!

This is turning out to be a long post, but with the topic of love languages there have been a couple different points I've been thinking about related to this topic.

The first is actually a conversation I had with my dad, dealing specifically with 'words of encouragement'. We were talking about some people we know who complement everyone they know, no matter who or what they've done. In that area, how are they sincere? One of the things that made me really enjoy my Granddads compliments was the sincerity behind them. That's a key area. When complementing someone or encouraging them, how can you be sincere? Especially when sometimes it doesn't seem like there is anything you can say.
I came across a quote the other day that basically said something along the lines of "even your worst enemy or the lowliest man has a quality that is stronger and better then yours". It's true! I think the first key area in being sincere is to find an area in which they are truly greater then you and compliment that area, especially if its an area you admire. If you were to look for that you can probably compliment everyone in at least one area. The second aspect of being sincere is the attitude with which you do it. If you are trying to pay a compliment only to get a compliment back, or to get something out of the other person. Then it generally doesn't come across as sincere. But if you pay the compliment purely to uplift them and because you mean it, then I think the sincerity comes across much more.
This doesn't apply to only words of encouragement though. When trying to communicate love to those around you, sincerity is always key.

The second point that I was thinking about deals with all the love languages, but more basically, with love in general. Because I know that my Graddad's love language is quality time, then I can go spend quality time with him and show him that I value and love him. Because I know my little brother's love language is physical touch I can go and give him a hug and show him I care. Because I know my sister's love language is partially encouraging words I can go right now and give her an encouraging word. In fact not only could I do it right now but I have the opportunity every single time I see each and every one of them to show them that I love them and that I care for them. Not only that but God told us that we ought to be an example in love, and to love those around us. Not just because He commanded it but because they are made in His image and are indeed loved and have value [or make that 'are invaluable'] in His eyes. Even if you wanted to put all that aside, the very fact that He showed His love in dying  on the cross for a wretched, unworthy sinner [ourselves], should be reason enough to show love to those around us! So why do we not??

I was actually having a conversation with a good friend about this and as we were conversing I was hashing it through in my mind. In today's culture everything has become about self gratification and making your self comfortable. We see this through a response that many of us give (myself included) just a little to often 'I'm to busy'. While at times there is legitimate reason to say no we often fall prey to using it as an excuse to not spend that time and effort on someone else.
We have the desire within us to make ourselves look good and feel worthy, look at celebrities. We build them up, paint their faces and obsess over them. Then later tear them down for making the same mistakes we do. We drive our culture to achieve perfection, and when we fail we usually try to make ourselves look better by tearing those around us and focusing on what others do wrong. Comparing ourselves to those around us to show ourselves that we are superior.
It's an attack that I'm sure Satan is behind and has cleverly put in Society. All throughout history we see it as well. Just consider why there are always bullies? Why some seek only to attain riches or get the most of something, why some do the most stupid things just to get their name on the news. They are in themselves evidence of the fact that people try to make themselves look better either by focusing on the bad in others or by trying to build themselves up through material possessions or physical deeds.
Alright, so with all that in mind. Knowing that each and every person is beyond value and a child of God loved and treasured and that Satan is trying to convince us and everyone else otherwise. We now have two options. We can go along with Satan's plan by refusing or not making an effort to show love to those around us, which is in essence helping him. Or we can fight! Fight against him, and fight for our lord! Fight to show those around us that they are loved and not just another insignificant human in this world but unique and invaluable!!! I think I'll choose to fight!
This doesn't mean I'll be perfect and completely loving to those around me all the time. Unfortunately I'm not perfect! But it will be something I'm trying to make more of an effort on and something I am praying for God's help in. Knowing full well that I can only do this if I try to use His eyes to view the people around me and His strength to battle the sin nature inside me that is trying to prevent me from doing taking this stand.

While I was thinking about this, it came to my mind that in taking up this war and fighting in each battle. Not only do we show love and value for those around us, but we can also recognize it in ourselves. Because in taking up this cause we are standing up and saying that we believe we can make a difference in that cause. I've sure you've heard the saying "It is more blessed to give, then to receive." It doesn't just apply to physical gifts, but to the gift of love we can give to everyone around us.

Now I've rambled for long enough, I want to end with just a couple questions or challenges you can think about. The first is a question, its simply this. Will you join us in this fight? Yeah, with God's help he and I can make a difference, but God, you and me together? We can make an even bigger difference. So I ask again, will you join me in this fight?
The second is a challenge, something I'm still working on. Think about your family members, your close figure out what their love language is! Often we try to reach out to those around us by speaking through our love language. Which isn't necessarily bad all the time, but something we need to be aware of. So try and figure out what their love language is. Then try telling them, through that love language, that they are loved. The results are both interesting and worth it!

Well, I have to sign off for now. I hope the entire post (haha, if you were able to read it all! I apologize for the length) made you think a little more and perhaps a little differently. I know it made me do both!

God Bless and have a very Merry Christmas!


1 comment:

  1. Like the thoughts about the love languages! It gives us a tangible way to carry out the second greatest commandment, doesn't it?