Review | The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

by Gary Chapman

Summary (from Goodreads)

Simple ideas, lasting love

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?

In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.

The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.

Review | 2 stars

The short of it: While I appreciate the 5 love languages quiz, I could have gone entirely without reading the book. It provides no additional insight beyond what’s provided in the quiz results.

Gary Chapman takes a haughty tone in recounting story after story of how his advice fixed marriages. I agree that sacrificial love has an important place in long-term, committed relationships and marriages; we cannot merely rely on the feeling of emotional love in every moment of our romantic partnerships. However, I do not care but for so many of the countless stories and recommendations. Many of the recommendations Chapman gives at the end of the chapters focused on the individual love languages are cold, calculating, and impersonal, leaving a sour taste at the conclusion of the book.

I would seriously recommend skipping the book and sticking with the 5 Love Languages quiz as a stand-alone.


Lifestyle | The Joy of a Giving Community

There’s nothing like seeing a community rally together to support others in need, whether those people are part of the immediate group or are part of another. Last night, I had the amazing opportunity to see one of my Bible study members pour out all kinds of encouragement and love to other members who are going through an especially hard time and are being faced with tough, life changing decisions. We have all fervently prayed for this situation together when we meet and when we are parted, but this particular gift – a basket of sunshine – sent my heart soaring.

I am so grateful that I’ve been able to partner with God to create a wonderful, caring community that goes deep. These incredible women go deep in relationship, and we all have made a safe space in which to do life together. May each of you seek out and find such relationships in life, and be encouraged as I have been.

So beautiful is genuine love given from one to another. Thank you, Jesus.


I once was told

It was okay

To cry sometimes.

So as I sit on this bench,

In full view of the sunrise,

I take in the crisp

Spring morning

And cry.

Cry not for

Someone or something

But for myself.

My lack of humanity.

My greed.

My ineptitude

For patience.


Love is patient and kind,

Shirking envy

And boasting

And pride

And self.

It honors all.

Love is red

With passion,

Not anger.

Love releases

Remembrance of wrongs.

Love protects.

Love trusts.

Love hopes.

Love perseveres.


This morning air chills me,

I am surrounded.

My ears begin to burn from the cold.

In my hand is a hot cuppa.


It is scalds my lips.

Isn’t this the Father’s love,

Too strong for me

To accept

In my weakness?

So close, so far

Because I daren’t touch my

Sensitive lips to the liquid –

The living water –

For fear I cannot handle this truth.


It is not

God’s inability

To reach

The least,

But it is

The least

Refusing the love

Expressed toward them.

The fullness

Of God’s love

Overwhelms me

In the most

Peaceful way.

I cannot fathom

This love.

14 Loves

Hello, loves!

Taking some inspiration from the lovely Lonestar Southern yet again, I’ve decided to commemorate Valentine’s Day 2k17 with a list of 14 random things I love (aside from the given: Jesus, my family, the C/church, & my dog).

Admittedly, this is my cop-out for not writing about my birthday, suddenly being twenty-six, being featured on The Daily Positive’s “Self-Love Letter Round-Up” (woot!), or what’s actually happening in my life. Sorry, y’all.

My 14 loves:

  1. Warm weather and sunshine generally, regardless of the temperature

There’s something about having a beautiful day at any time of the year. I love the warm weather best, though, even if it means suffering allergies and bug bites. I’m not one for the beach, but I’ll take that nice day and get some vitamin E. Warm weather is a battery charger for me. Winter, schminter.

  1. Bookstores, reading, perusing reading paraphernalia*, & talking about books

* Note, by perusing I mean not actually buying in most cases. Also, said paraphernalia includes, but is not limited to: candles, bookmarks, journals, character figurines, art, and décor.

  1. Mexican food, particularly white cheese dip and/or cilantro-heavy salsa with fresh tortilla chips

Yes, I’m lactose intolerant. Yes, I’ll feel the pain later. Queso is a way of life.

  1. The color yellow

I love bright colors, especially yellow. It’s so sunshiny and happy (see #1).

  1. Tea of both primary varieties, hot & sweet iced

Don’t ever try to give me unsweetened iced tea without offering a multitude of apologies.

  1. Waking up early & doing things before everyone else is alive

I love mornings, with whatever dewy fog rolls in. The sunshine resting on my face as day breaks in full. Starting the day slowly, with a cup of tea and a good book and my puppy nearby. The quiet serenity of a new, fresh beginning.

  1. Watching baseball at the ballfield or ballpark

It’s not just the game, but the atmosphere. I love going to Tides Park in Norfolk, getting a pretzel, and having light conversation while looking out for rogue projectiles from the field. Baseball also brings warmer weather (see #1, it’s clearly important).

  1. Organizing and/or cleaning things

Whether organizing my closet or stationery or paperwork or bookshelf, I love giving things their place in my space.

  1. Multi-color pen sets, & other stationery/office supplies

Bright colors. Happy feelings. Organization. Good vibes.

  1. Writing lists

The best lists start with “1. Write a list”.

  1. Waffles

In the true Leslie Knope fashion, I love waffles. They are pancakes with built-in syrup receptacles. Brilliant craftsmanship. Carbs forever.

  1. Chick-Fil-A

I am head-over-heels for Chick-Fil-A’s breakfast, but their salads are also delicious. I can go to CFA daily and get something that avoids the realm of the mundane. They have sweet tea (see #5).

  1. Fashion, clothing, & bargain hunting

Pinterest and blogs are the death (read: life) of me. I love looking at new hairdos, makeup (TARTE just smells so. good.), clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry, and all the trends that come with them. I love a great sale in store and online, and small boutiques featuring U.S.-made goods alongside free shipping. I refuse to pay top dollar, however. Good thing I love the hunt!

  1. Ampersands

They’re beautiful & elegant & sophisticated & dainty & one of my favorite stylistic choices I make in my writing.

And there you have it, 14 random things Heather appreciates and loves. Have a fun Valentine’s!

Self-Love Letter

See Self-Love Letter Challenge from the Daily Positive

Dear Self:

I love the way you give. You give your time, your energy, your willpower, your whole self in so many ways. You don’t do things halfheartedly. People tell you to not take things so personally, but that goes against who you are – someone who invests yourself in your activities, your relationships, your daily interactions with people, your work (volunteer or not). You hold these dear things close to your heart. You pour out your all, unabashedly. And this passion is contagious.

That being said, in doing all the things that occupy space in your agenda, your day, and your heart, you fail to give yourself the ‘thank you’ notes you so often pen to others. It’s time to change that and acknowledge the good you do.

Thank you for volunteering and spending time with the young people in the church. While you get to instruct and guide them, they also teach you.

Thank you for being a positive influence at work, putting a smile on others’ faces even on your worst days.

Thank you for constantly seeking more knowledge of this world, God’s wonderful creation.

Thank you for hearing others’ opinions, and truly considering them. You listen to understand others’ perspectives, instead of just waiting to respond and impose your own views. This is vital in today’s instant gratification world where it’s easy to lose yourself in (and to) the argument.

I know that it’s hard to see where progress is made in the pursuit of perfection. Nothing seems to measure up. Please remember that perfection is never achieved, but excellence results from the chase. Don’t be dissatisfied with excellence because it isn’t perfection, but don’t rest on your laurels or settle for good-enough, either.

You are diligent, intuitive, sensitive, and a visionary.

While these things are true, know that worth is not defined by works or personality. Worth is found in your identity as royalty – a queen – in God’s kingdom. You are a child of God. He loves you beyond measure. Embrace this love.

Be encouraged, Soul. Be refreshed, Spirit. Be loved, Self.


9:30 am

Friends are like doctors.

They demand check-ups,

And look inside you

Rather than accept what’s on the outside

As fact.

They say, “Work out,

Eat right,

Take care of yourself.

Stress doesn’t help you at all,


Friends listen to your hurts,

And help you get through them.

They know you,

Better than you know yourself

Because they examine you—

Your heart that makes you tick.