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Embrace Surprise

I walked out my front door and there was a small package on the doorstep! It was a surprise gift from my fiancé. I felt loved and energized.

I texted my daughter to come over for a little surprise gift. She was elated as she saw it was her Christmas gift that had been on back order. She was expecting a gluten free muffin! Her smile and outward expression of joy washed over me and her sister observing.

Most people enjoy surprises and gifts. I especially do as I explored The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. His tool helped me to recognize and understand the five ways people receive love. Because of the insight, I have been able to embrace gifts and surprises with a new sense of purpose. I have also been keenly aware of how my children, friends, coworkers receive love. It makes a difference in the quality and growth of my relationships. Embracing the surprise element in life helps me grow and change and it adds a jolt of energy!

But sometimes the surprise is not a present, but a PRESENCE.

My beautiful mom turned 86 this week. (photo above) I surprised her with a visit to celebrate her birthday. The majority of the family were present and we celebrated her with letters, gifts, cake and the pure enjoyment of being a family. I noticed she was able to fully embrace every moment and freely express how happy she was. She has savored the experience and since I stayed with her for a few days, I got to bask in her contentment.

The power of the physical presence struck me. The level of love she felt was intensified by the physical presence of her family. It was a concentrated form of love.

I am constantly challenged by the pull of connecting through text, email, technology and bypassing the more concentrated form of connecting: being with a person. Of course, it takes more time, more effort and some sacrifice, but in the end, it produces exponentially more positive emotion and anchoring roots for walking our life journey. So, next time I am aware of a friend, family or even an acquaintance going through a hard time, reaching a milestone or asking for time, I will step out and surprise them with a visit.

My mom was beyond grateful for my presence and as I boarded the plane home, I was the one who was blessed beyond words, for HER presence!

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13

One step further: Explore the Five Love Languages with me in a coaching session and learn how to build and strengthen your relationships.

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