How to Speak God’s Love Language

For Beginners

This week I hosted a live Facebook event, and the idea really scared me at first, but I’m trying to face my fears.

If you tuned in, thanks. I’m making these chats a weekly thing because I need community, and I know so many people in my life who need it too.

I’ve prayed for community. For years and I’ve been scared of letting myself be known. I think as women, we can intimidate each other and for years I battled an inferiority complex.

Growing up, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t insecure.

The devil wants to keep us insecure. He wants to keep us intimidated of each other, and He wants to keep us isolated.

The enemy has a target on your back. You’re so much easier to take down when you’re not encouraged and built up in community.

I want you to know that there’s a seat for you here. Each Friday we’ll gather at noon on Facebook Live.

God has answered my prayer for community in all of you! If you’re also looking for a place to connect, join me every Friday at noon for Faith Fridays to encourage and enrich one another.

We’ll talk about identity in Christ, faith, overcoming insecurity, joy. We’ll talk about grace and more grace and how to stop living a defeated life. You probably have topics you want to tackle, so bring them.

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Back to today’s topic. What is God’s love language? Is it quality time or words of affirmation?

We can be really good at spending time with Jesus and not be following Him. It’s possible to spend our days singing praise affirmations to God, but not obey Him.

You can know everything there is to know about the Bible, but not do what it says. I’ve been there. I’ve been caught in this knowing/doing gap.

Several years ago God asked me to start encouraging people on social media, but I totally shunned that call. Instead of taking step one, I wanted to skip to step ten. Have you ever wanted to skip the steps God has asked you to take?

When we obey God it makes Him so happy, and I’m convinced that obedience is God’s primary love language.

In John 14, Jesus tells His disciples that if they love Him, they’ll keep his commands. In other words, we prove our love to God by obeying Him.

What are ways you can speak God’s love language by this week? It might not be a big gesture, but know that every act of obedience is large to God.

To God, no act of obedience is ever small.

Your obedience sings a beautiful love song to God, a sweet melody of worship to your Father.

When you feed your kids and tackle the laundry, know you’re pleasing God. He sees you at your work. He sees you making dinner and doing those dishes.

Keep being faithful. Keep pouring out your worship to Him.

Next week on the blog and on my Facebook author page, we’re going to talk about celebrating! Have you thought about celebration as a spiritual discipline lately?

Are there ways you can incorporate more celebrating into your lives? How would this benefit you? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

***If you haven’t followed me on Facebook, would you do me a huge favor and like my page? ***

An Open Letter to My CC Mom Friends

 

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Photo by Ellie Taucher.

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Photo by Harald Groven, courtesy Flickr.

Dear Classical Conversations Mom,

You’ll probably see me dragging in on Tuesday mornings, propped up on coffee and trying not to yell at my kids. Invariably, someone has left their lunch or backpack at home. Please tell me this happens at your house too?

When you see me frazzled with that crease deepening between my brows, can you do me a favor? Speak life into me. I’m going to need you this year. I’m going to need you to tell me that I’m not crazy, and that I’m not alone.

Homeschooling has taught me to take off the supermom cape. Being with my kids 24/7, tends to expose all my flaws, insecurity, and pride. That’s why I need you.

Can we be friends this year? Real friends? If so, I need to tell you, I’m a mess. Motherhood is messy isn’t it? We need real friends to make it through. If I look like I have it all together, it’s a mask, spackled together with pride and insecurity.

We need community to anchor us, but we’ll never get there wearing our masks and supermom capes. I want us to be the type of community where it’s safe to lay down our capes and take off our masks.

I want to see the real you.

I want to see the mom that God has uniquely gifted and see the world as you see it. I want to hear your story and see your passions sparkle out. Because, mamma, you’re gorgeous—just the way you are.

Let’s view each other through God’s eyes—beautiful, restored, and wholly His daughter.

I’m going to do my best not to judge you or contribute to the crushing weight of mom guilt that I know you already feel. Turns out, today’s moms suffer mom guilt more than any other generation.

 

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A room full of smart, beautiful CC tutors. Photo by Cetelia Bullard.

 

I’ll do my best not to pile any anxiety on you. Unchecked anxiety can be so contagious. Let me go a step further. I promise not to compare myself to you, and I’ll do my best not to compare our kids. Let’s avoid the comparison trap. Nothing sucks joy faster than comparison.

Please know I’m doing my best to live up to my own ridiculously high standards. I’m guilty of always thinking I can go further and faster than is humanly possible, especially with three kids in my wake. I’ll need you to remind me that seeing Jesus in my kids is my ultimate—not a national merit scholarship.

After three years of home education, I still misplace my focus and need Jesus to reset my expectations nearly every day. The grace of slowing down and depending on Jesus, I relearn every day.

Though we only just met, I know we’re going to be friends. You are my people—my inner circle and my social outlet (because homeschool moms need socialized, too!). My husband and I attend a large church and don’t know many people. When it comes to a spiritual community, you’re all I’ve got.

Something beautiful happens when we come together each week to laugh and swap stories (and teach the kids). Those issues I’ve been fretting over all week look incredibly small afterward.

Let’s help each other not sweat the small stuff. This school year, let’s give each other grace.

 

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Photo by Ellie Taucher.

I’ll do my best to love your children and speak only the words that will help. I won’t criticize you or condemn you because, I get your life. You and I are much the same.

Maybe not in culture, upbringing, or in race. Our churches may speak different vernaculars and sing different songs, but we stand united in Christ. If at first we struggle to talk about spiritual things, let’s keep trying. I’ll remind you of Jesus’ love, and I’m going to need you to remind me.

This year our children will grow and learn together. Let’s grow too. Chances are, I’m going to need your advice and your specific brand of wisdom.

On some days, I’ll need to borrow your courage, and I’ll lend you mine when you need it. I’ll probably need you to talk me down from a few cliffs, and I’m here for you any time you need to send me a message or call me at midnight.

When I lack fresh vision in parenting, I’ll be looking your way for inspiration and enthusiasm because you’ve got this! This job of motherhood is a high calling, and you’re already doing great.

In Grace,

Trisha Mugo

Effectiveness = Knowing I’m Loved

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I sprawled out on my bed, happy and a little weary from a productive day.

Why not channel some of the day’s momentum into prayer? I thought.

As I jotted down a list, I began to feel guilty for not praying for these people more. I had listed my friends, coworkers, and family members.

The need is huge and tends to overwhelm me. So I prayed, “Lord, I need you to teach me to pray better. I want to be effective.”

So many of my thoughts swirl around this idea of effectiveness. I want to make my life count. “Don’t waste your life,” reverberates through my my mind on a daily basis.

I listen to podcasts and can’t stop reading books about productivity. It’s become a little idol I regularly bow down to. I often dupe myself into believing spiritual effectiveness resembles the kind of effectiveness we all strive for in our careers.

See, I want to do so much for God. Maybe you’re the same way, and you sometimes worry that you’re not doing enough.

Not sharing the gospel enough…

Not praying for extended family enough…

Not loving your neighbors enough…

If you’re like me, you’re struggling to scrape in a few prayers breathed at the kitchen sink or exhaled as you fold laundry.

That day God answered my prayer for effectiveness, and I was so glad I was lying down. As I begged God to make me a more effective Christian, an ineffable voice whispered something like this:

“You’ll be effective when you know you’re loved.”

After a moment, Love piled on me like an avalanche. My breathing slowed and I felt the weight of God’s love. I laid there several minutes buried in that truth, tears squeezing through eyelids.

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I can’t love people the way I want to unless I’m living in His love. When His love is my reality, my countenance changes and a little bit of God’s effervescence shimmers through.

When I get into overwhelm mode, only love can rescue me.

Only love can snap us out of our striving. It’s the only thing that can snatch us off the hamster wheel of trying to please God in our own works.

Only God’s love has the capacity to truly change our hearts. This love sets us free, blessedly free to be who God created us to be.

God—who is Love—vanquishes our fear and supplies us with courage and endless grace. 

In God’s love, we wake up every morning with hope, and it’s the same love that tucks us in each night in peace. His love helps us endure.

In a culture so obsessed with productivity, only love can prevent us from building little idols to our own achievements, even the spiritual ones.

Love came down and bestowed so great a kindness on us that we don’t have to rest in our achievements or our productivity. We are loved just as we are.

God’s love redirects our focus away from our own effectiveness toward the accomplishments of His Son.

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You are loved as you scroll through this post. Yes, you know this. But do you really believe it?

Do you know how to consistently live in the light of His love? Only when we take time to let Jesus baptize us anew with His love can we ever hope for effectiveness.

Only when we know we’re loved, can we walk as He walked and live with the kind of connection to God that we long for.

Your are deeply loved, dear reader. Don’t forget it.

 

 

We Are All Masterpieces–Every Single One of Us

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On the heels of prayer I laid in bed anxious to sleep, but sleep didn’t come. Instead, God flooded my mind with an exquisite ceramic wall hanging, painted in different colors and shapes.

I had never seen it before, but I stared at it from different angles in my mind’s eye and appreciated all the detail and the careful eye of the one who created it.

I saw how the artist had lacquered the finished product, but what I remember most is an overwhelming feeling of pride on behalf of whoever had made it.

Somehow I saw this piece of art through the artist’s eye.

Each color was chosen with care, each brush stroke masterfully executed, and this molded piece of essentially clay and water was built into a masterpiece.

It lingered in my mind and I knew God wanted me to see how it beamed with the pride of workmanship.

This wasn’t made by some hack; it was purposed into existence by an Artist. Suddenly it dawned on me that this piece of art was me.

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This work of art was the product of the Artist’s love. Its only job was to point to the artist’s creativity and imagination. That lovely, multi-colored masterpiece only ever needed to show forth the glory of its creator.

It need not compare itself to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, saying “Why don’t I look like that.” Or, “Oh, look at those brush strokes.”

As I laid in bed, I realized just how ludicrous it is to compare our Creator’s work with the rest of His creation. We are each a masterpiece because we were created by a perfect Master artist.

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And if you create any type of art, this will be especially hard for you to understand. We artists are our own worst critics, aren’t we?

Every author I know can point out to me all the flaws of each novel.

But God doesn’t create the way we do. His process and outcome are perfectevery single time. His design for you is perfect, despite the fact you live in a sin-marred world.

Despite the fact that you are a work in progress.

As I write this, a symphony plays in the background. We are all symphonies to God, even when the music of our lives sounds commonplace and ordinarylike a TV jingle when we long for Beethoven.

This is where we go wrong, when we try to measure ourselves. Our perception is skewed. We fear the obscure and the small and prize grandeur, but that’s not how the Cosmic Artist of the sky sees it.

Not only are each of us fantastic displays of God’s creative genius, He’s creating a larger picture—weaving a tapestry—a multi-generational, diverse, and eternal picture. We are single threads, or just single instruments in His great orchestra.

As we love and connect with one another the whole picture emerges, one more brilliant than its individual components.

The Master Artist leaves no detail to chance, each brush stroke, each note of music exists by His design and purpose.

We are each His masterpieces—every single one of us. 

What would happen if we saw ourselves and each other in this way? If we stared deep into the face of our neighbor and coworker and saw the face of God, the imago dei?

What if we strained our eyes to see God’s signature in all of His creation? What if we looked for the Artist’s fingerprints in everyone we met?

 

When you Can’t Catch Your Breath, Plus Exciting News

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“To truly follow Jesus, I must follow my hands to my keyboard.”

I scrawled these words in my journal so big and bold, the only words in months.

Until very recently, that’s all I’ve written–little profound sentences that call to me. Little snatches of ideas that God breathes my way.

I know I don’t need to explain how we can get winded running this race. Maybe you know exactly what I’m talking about because life has kicked the wind right out of you.