Category: Learning

Connection Through Love Languages

Welcome to Day 11 of 31 Days of Connection! Have you missed one of the posts? Stop by Day 1 to get the links to all 31 days. Have you been following along with the daily challenges? Don’t forget to grab your 2 free printables to help you get through the challenges!

connection Connection Through Love Languages

Have you heard of the Love Languages? Gary Chapman wrote a book in 1995 talking about the 5 ways that love is expressed in marriage. Since then, he expanded the idea for children, singles, the workplace, and more. He came up with these 5 love languages: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. I’m not saying that the 5 love languages should only be considered in marriage or that they are the only ways to express love. The love languages are a helpful tool to discover how you can be more effective when you are trying to improve the connection with family and friends. (If you don’t know what your primary love language is, you can click and take a test online.)

When you realize that there are different ways to express love and friendship, you can try figuring out what ways might best appeal to those around you. When you take the time to know people better and connect with them in a way that means more to them than maybe it does to you, you strengthen that relationship. And when you realize that the ways you perceive love and appreciation may be different than the ways your spouse, family member, friend, or even coworker are expressing that love and appreciation, you will benefit and have an improved connection.


I’ll use myself as an example. My primary love language is words of affirmation (followed very closely by acts of service – almost a tie). That doesn’t mean that I don’t fully appreciate physical touch, gifts, etc! It does mean that if you give me words of affirmation, I hold those very near and dear to my heart and they have a greater value to me. In fact, words of affirmation from family, friends, teachers, coworkers, and even strangers mean so much to me that I have saved those words over the years in my mind – almost in a virtual scrapbook. Words of affirmation create a special connection for me, even if I don’t talk to or see the person very often.

I won’t discuss each love language in detail, though I have already posted about connecting through touch and will be talking about acts of service tomorrow. If you are not familiar with the love languages, I do recommend checking out the website or reading one of the books, if for no other reason than to understand how people connect in different ways. And though you can’t go around asking everybody to tell you what their primary love language is, you can often figure it out. People tend to express love and appreciation for others in their own personal primary love language, so that might give you a clue. Using the love languages can help you find new ways to strengthen your connection with the people closest to you.

Day 11 Daily Connection Challenge:
Figure out what your primary love language is or what you think it might be. Pick 1 or 2 people – family or friends or coworkers – and try to figure out what their primary love language might be. Try to improve your connection with those people this week by doing something for them in their primary love language rather than your own, if different.


Thank you for joining me for Day 11 of 31 Days of Connection! Are you working on connecting better with your family and friends? How is it going? Let me know in the comments! I’ll see you right back here for Day 12, friends.

Connecting By Phone

Welcome to Day 10 of 31 Days of Connection! Find links to all the posts on Day 1. And remember to click here to get the posts delivered right to your inbox!


Connecting By Phone

How do we connect with others when we’re not meeting up in person? These days using the phone has become almost obsolete. It’s so much easier for most of us to email, text, or use social media to message or contact somebody. I’m guilty of it myself and tend to make very few phone calls as they take up more time and there’s less control over the message (I might forget to mention something on a phone call or say it as clearly as I could in an email.). So why mention connecting by phone when we have so many other methods available? Using the phone involves the voice and that matters.

The voice is an amazing thing – we speak; we sing; we laugh; we cry out. We cannot convey in written form what we can with the voice. Voice communicates more than words can. It includes pitch, tone, and emotion. We recognize voices and even when we don’t know a person’s voice, we assign a voice to their writing. I had always read the posts from one of my blogging friends with a certain voice assigned in my head, as we had never met or spoken other than online. I was so surprised when I finally spoke to her on the phone and she had a lovely Southern accent! It changed the way I read her words from then on and it was so nice to be able to better understand her words in her actual voice.


When we hear a voice over the phone, it’s familiar and makes us feel like that person is almost right there with us. That creates a stronger connection than just the written word. Sometimes talking on the phone is outside of our comfort zone and it keeps our world safe and happy by only texting or messaging. Some people feel more valued, loved, and comforted by hearing a friend or family member’s voice over the phone. It’s worth stepping out of our comfort zone once in a while to make somebody else feel important and to strengthen our connection.

Day 10 Daily Connection Challenge:
Call a friend or family member today instead of texting or messaging them! Within the next day or two, call somebody that you haven’t spoken to (other than in writing) in a long time and see how you feel after connecting by phone rather than by email or letter.

Thank you for joining me for Day 10 of 31 Days of Connection! Are you finding the daily challenges helpful? Let me know in the comments. See you back here for Day 11.

Connecting With Friends

Welcome to Day 9 of 31 Days of Connection! Stop by the first day of 31 Days of Connection to get links to the whole series as each post is published. Click here to sign up to receive the posts by email.


Connecting With Friends

We’ve talked about connecting with family, but connecting with friends is also very important. Friendship is a true blessing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced a season without friends or at least without nearby friends. It can be lonely and difficult. Having the kind of friends who are lifetime friends no matter how often you talk to each other is an amazing thing. But what takes somebody from acquaintance to friend and then from friend to lifetime friend? Connection and maintaining or growing that connection.


Helping an acquaintance grow into a friendship requires connecting on some level. It could be getting together for a playdate, or breakfast, or through doing an activity together. The connection might happen digitally, over the phone, or even through handwritten correspondence. There are so many ways that friendships are developed. The connection usually occurs because of things you have in common and talking about life and really listening to each other. We might have 1 friend or 100 friends, but we have connected with them all in some way.

We may have friends that we see regularly and do things with, and then other friends that are those forever friends that have your back no matter what – the ones you call when life gets too hard to handle. The reason those friends have become so close is because of a deeper connection that has usually developed because you have talked about the real hard stuff of life or you have gone through a difficult experience together or you have grown up together and have so much in common that you are practically family. These friendships are lasting and true. Growing a friendship into this lifetime friendship only happens with that deeper connection.


In order to keep friendships flourishing, we need to work on continuing to connect. A friendship can be like a flowering plant. The more attention and care you give it, the more it grows and flowers. If it’s neglected, the blooms die off and the growth is stunted, though the roots remain and stay strong. I am certainly guilty of neglecting friendships and allowing the growth to be stunted. Connecting with friends and growing our friendships means taking extra time and making the effort to get together and to talk, or sometimes just to listen. It’s a small sacrifice for a huge reward.

Day 9 Daily Connection Challenge:
If you have an acquaintance that you’d like to develop a friendship with, reach out today to connect through a Facebook friendship, a call, or an invite to an event or outing that you would enjoy together. If you have a friend that could turn into one of those special forever friends, take time today to write or call or schedule time to get together one-on-one to talk about life. And take a little time to nurture your existing friendships by connecting sometime in the next few days in a way that your friend(s) will appreciate.

Thank you for joining me on Day 9 of 31 Days of Connection! See you back here for Day 10. Have you had any light bulb moments from these connection posts? Have you stepped out of your comfort zone in any way to achieve a daily challenge? I would love to hear about it in the comments!


Connecting With Family

Welcome to Day 8 of 31 Days of Connection (we’re only a quarter of the way through)! Remember, stop by Day 1 to catch the links to all 31 days.


Connecting With Family

I know, you’re thinking, “Hello, Lisa – I’m around my family all day. Don’t you think I’m already connected enough?” Maybe. But maybe you could connect more, better, deeper. Of course you’re connected – you’re related and you love each other and there’s a connection between all of you that won’t ever go away. Have you been intentional about your connection with family members lately? I know that we tend to get comfortable and familiar and get to that point where we don’t really work at it anymore. But it takes constant effort if you want that deeper level of connection. And by developing that deeper connection at home, we’ll be better prepared to connect with those outside our family circle.


Connect With Your Spouse

Connecting with our spouse should include connection through intimacy and touch, but we should also be making time to “date” each other. It’s important to have one-on-one time away from the distractions of children so you can talk about your dreams and goals for your family or work through issues together. It doesn’t have to be an expensive night out with a babysitter at home, though I recommend saving up and doing that at least once in a while. It can be time together at home after putting the kids to bed early – that might mean you have to stay up really late, but it’s worth it for some time alone together.

Connect With Your Children

Connecting with children happens all day long, but this is about taking extra, intentional time to connect with them one-on-one. Make it a priority to fit in or schedule time with each child without the other children. Maybe that’s a parent/child “date” or maybe it’s just time together in the child’s room. It’s certainly easier to achieve this with younger children as they usually love to cuddle and read stories together. It gets tougher as they get older and requires you to figure out what ways they prefer to connect. Is it playing a video game together and talking about what’s happening at school? Is it shopping together and laughing about your day? When you have teens, it’s harder still.


Connecting intentionally with a teen may mean perseverance on our end. Just because a teen seems outwardly not to care about connecting, don’t believe it. Teens want love and connection but won’t always give you the satisfaction of showing that they care. But if we give up, they will assume that we don’t care enough to keep trying. Don’t give up! Make a coffee date and talk about their day or hang out at the mall to people watch and share some of your wisdom at the same time. Keep things low key and no-pressure. Developing a deeper connection with your teen may take more effort now but it they will appreciate it as they get older.

Connect With Other Family Members

Connecting with other family members outside of your immediate family is important, too. Whether it’s grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, or in-laws, make time during each year to connect or reconnect with them. This probably won’t be able to happen as often but make that effort to rearrange your schedule once in a awhile to visit your other family members or attend a family function. Not only are we developing a better connection, we are also setting the example for your children on how to connect with family.

Make taking time to be intentional about connecting with family members a priority and you’ll see the benefits not only with your relationships with family, but with your own ability to connect with others. This will mean planning ahead. Being intentional means working to make it happen rather than waiting for the right moment to spontaneously occur.

Day 8 Daily Connection Challenge:
Schedule some intentional one-on-one time to connect with family members. Start today if possible. Plan ahead and schedule time with each one as well as commit to a family occasion or event coming up in the next month or so.

Thank you for joining me for Day 8 of 31 Days of Connection! Make life easy and click here to sign up to receive each post as it’s published – right to your inbox!

Connecting Through Touch

Welcome to Day 7 of 31 Days of Connection! If you miss any posts, stop by Day 1 for all the links to the 31 posts as they are published.


Connecting Through Touch

Touch is one of the ways that we communicate nonverbally and is another way that we connect with others. Think about the different ways that we touch people in our lives and how many different messages we send using touch. Holding hands with a loved one communicates closeness and trust. Shaking hands firmly with a coworker communicates confidence and assurance. Putting a hand on a friend’s back communicates helpfulness and togetherness.

Touch helps create a connection. If we go through the day and never touch anybody, we are missing out on another layer of connection with others. To work on improving that connection, try using touch throughout your day. Some of us naturally reach out and touch others all the time. But others will need to get past the uncomfortableness of touch. It takes practice and stepping out of your comfort zone. But in order to connect better, it’s worth stepping out. And there are so many ways to do that, depending on your relationship with the person: shaking hands, holding hands, a hand on a shoulder or the back, a hug, an arm around the waist, a fist bump, and more.


Day 7 Daily Connection Challenge:
Reach out and touch someone! It could be holding hands with a family member or touching the back of a friend or shaking the hand of a stranger. But make it something that you don’t normally do or with a person you don’t normally touch (unless you know it would make them feel uncomfortable).

Thank you for joining me for Day 7 of 31 Days of Connection! How are you doing with the challenges? Have you been able to keep up? Let me know in the comments! And make life easy for yourself – click here to sign up to receive the posts in your inbox as they’re published.


Connection Through Intimacy

Welcome to Day 6 of 31 Days of Connection. If you miss any daily posts, just stop by Day 1 where you’ll find all the links in one place.


Connection Through Intimacy

Intimacy is extremely important for connecting with those closest and dearest to you. There is intimacy in marriage, including sexual intimacy. And there is intimacy with other family members and friends. One of the meanings of intimacy is a close, familiar friendship or relationship. Intimacy with someone turns into a deeper connection with that person. Without that close connection with at least one family member or friend, it’s harder to understand connection and to reach out to connect with people around you.

I’m not here to go into any detail about sexual intimacy in marriage. All I’ll say is that it is extremely important, even when one or both spouses do not feel like being physically intimate. If a marriage is struggling, often connecting through physical intimacy can begin to help the struggle. There are a few blogs that actually do discuss sexual intimacy – we should not be embarrassed to talk about it! Here are a couple you can start with: To Love, Honor, and Vacuum and Intimacy in Marriage.


Intimacy in our closest relationships with family and friends takes some effort and takes being intentional. An intimate relationship with a family member or a friend might mean one-on-one time discussing fears and dreams, praying together, crying and laughing, and include holding hands or hugging. The more emotionally unlocked and vulnerable you are willing to be with a person, the more intimate the relationship and the deeper the connection. Intimate relationships and deep connections help us to be healthier and more fulfilled, which usually means that we will be better spouses, parents, and friends.

Day 6 Daily Connection Challenge:
Choose your spouse or a family member or close friend and take time today or schedule time now for sometime this week to work on intimacy with that person. That might be an unexpected date with your spouse, a private talk with a family member, or a quiet coffee date with a close friend. If you don’t already have a relationship like this in your life, reach out and take a step toward making it happen. 

Thank you for joining me for Day 6 of 31 Days of Connection! Leave a comment and let me know if you’re following along with the daily challenges. See you here again for Day 7! Don’t forget to sign up below to receive all the posts right in your inbox!

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Connecting With a Smile

Welcome to Day 5 of 31 Days of Connection! To find links to all the posts in the series, stop by the first post and get all caught up.


Connecting With a Smile

By now everybody knows that there is plenty of research to back up the importance of smiling. Even if you’re not using a smile to connect with somebody, you should be smiling for your own benefit. Smiling is linked to releasing endorphins which make you feel good, decreasing stress, longer life, increased confidence, and more. Even faking a smile has physical benefits, so if you’re not in a smiling mood right now, fake a big old smile while you read the rest of this post and you’ll actually be helping yourself out. You’re welcome.

Studies also show that smiling is considered contagious. The brain reacts when it sees a smile and gives you the urge to copy that facial expression. It’s very hard not to smile back at someone who smiles at you. And that’s why smiling is a fun way to connect with people. How does it make you feel when somebody smiles at you? It makes me feel like people are generally good, the world is not such a bad place, and gives me a little boost of self confidence all at the same time. But more than that, it’s a moment of connection. A smile shared between two people can be a passing moment of connection, but has the potential to turn into friendship, romance, new business, and new opportunities. One never knows where a smile may lead.


Let’s make that effort to start connecting with a smile – a simple task that doesn’t even require words. Try smiling at everybody and see what happens – your family, friends, coworkers, strangers at the store. If you’re not a naturally “smiley” person, it takes a little practice, but it’s worth it. You’re connecting and making somebody else feel good when they see you smile and they smile back. Plus you’re doing something good for yourself at the same time. Win, win!

Day 5 Daily Connection Challenge:
Smile at as many people as you can today, even when you don’t feel like it, and see what happens.

Thank you for joining me for Day 5 of 31 Days of Connection! Picture me smiling at you right now! Leave a comment and let me know the results of smiling at everybody. Come on back for Day 6!


Connection Begins With You

Welcome to Day 4 of 31 Days of Connection! If you have missed any of the posts, hop on over to Day 1 and you’ll find each post linked up there as they are published.


Connection With Yourself

What do I mean by that? Am I saying you should sign up for your own email list and follow your own Facebook page? You should do those things (hey – you should be your own biggest fan), but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about connecting with your inner self. The inner self that gets neglected and is probably part of the reason you’re drawn to a series on connection, actually. I’m suggesting to you that you should put some effort toward yourself first before making efforts to reach out and connect with others. If you neglect yourself, your efforts at connecting with others will still work, but may fall a little short or feel a little hollow.

Connecting with yourself is about taking a timeout from your busy day (I know, I know – easier said than done) and thinking, planning, dreaming. It’s asking yourself questions and actually listening to the answers. If you’re Christian, it involves even more – reading and listening to Scripture and praying – self can’t be trusted without some guidance from the Holy Spirit.

This timeout for yourself needs to have as little distraction as possible and as much quiet as possible in order for you to really be able to think. That may mean getting up earlier, going to bed later, locking yourself in the bathroom, stepping outside, sitting in your car, or an extra-long shower (not really recommended when we are in a drought situation). I’m not saying it needs to be an hour though that would be great. Try for just 15 minutes each day. If you’re in a season where even 15 minutes is almost impossible – then try for 10, or even 5. Make it a priority.


How to Connect

This is the time to ask yourself all sorts of questions, like: Why am I overreacting to certain things? Why do I keep struggling with this one issue? What about myself have I been neglecting? What help do I need and how can I ask for it? What would I most like to do if I had a full day of doing anything? What dreams have I been pushing out of my mind? Are there baby steps I could take toward making those dreams a reality someday? But it’s not just about trying to answer questions.

Questions help you get to the root of things you are struggling with or missing. But you should talk to yourself as well and remind yourself of a few things, like: I am precious. I can strive to do better than yesterday, but do not have to be perfect (perfection is impossible – only Jesus was perfect). It’s okay to admit that I need help and that I need connection with other people. I can set goals and make plans and take small steps to move forward. I can love myself and love others, in spite of any faults.


How you connect with yourself is up to you – questioning, talking, praying, reading, crying, dreaming, planning, writing, or some other way. There are so many ways and it will look different for each person. The point is to take that time and do it. Then you’ll be in a better position to work on connection with others and to improve your personal and professional relationships.

Day 4 Daily Connection Challenge:
Take 5-15 minutes as a timeout today to connect with yourself. If you’re Christian, you get an extra layer to the challenge – use your timeout to also read a Psalm (if you need a place to start, try Psalm 34) and pray.

Thank you for joining me for Day 4 of 31 Days of Connection! Are you signed up to receive these posts in your email inbox? Click the link today and git ‘r done! Come on back for Day 5 and a way to connect that anybody can easily do.

The Daily Connection Challenge Checklist

Welcome to Day 3 of 31 Days of Connection! Find all the posts in the series linked up to Day 1, as they are posted.


The Daily Connection Challenges

If you’ve been following along since Day 1, you know that I have a simple daily challenge to go along with each topic. So far, I’ve been easy on you. But as we go through discussing how to work on connection in our lives, the challenges will get a little tougher. Not tougher because they are very time-consuming tasks, but because they may take us out of our comfort zone and require a little extra effort in our day. The challenges that are already in your comfort zone will be easy to cross off your list, but I think you’ll find a few things that you will try and talk yourself out of doing. I want to encourage you to use these daily challenges as a way to hold yourself accountable to put forth that extra effort.

In order for me to make the effort to work to improve something, I find that accountability really helps me. Use the daily challenges and me as your accountability partners. Document the day’s challenge, what you did and how it went and then come back and comment on a post or on Facebook and let me know. I have a couple of printables to help you (because printables make it all better, right?!).

Day 3 Connection Challenge:
Download the Daily Challenge printables and start using them to keep up with the Connection challenges.

Daily Connection Challenge Printables

Printable #1: This PDF has all 31 days listed on one sheet with a spot to list that day’s challenge and a spot to list what you did to accomplish the challenge. Print out and keep track in writing or save on your computer and track it there. Just click on the image to take you to the download!


Printable #2: This PDF is to help you focus on just today’s task. Print out and trim it. Grab an old 5×7 frame or find one at the dollar store, get some dry erase markers and write your daily focus right on the glass. Click on the image to get the download!


Thank you for joining me for Day 3 and I hope you find the printables helpful! Let me know what you think in the comments. Now you’re all set up for success with the rest of the 31 Days of Connection. Come on back for Day 4! Let’s do this together!


Connect with Lisa Marie

Welcome to Day 2 of 31 Days of Connection! Stop by my Kickoff Post to get links to all 31 days as they are posted.


I’m glad you’re here! I’m looking forward to going through 31 days of finding new ways to connect and improving our efforts at connection. The first part is easy – connect with me!


Connect with Me

I would love to connect with you in the way that works best for you and your online life. Let’s go through these 31 days together and help each other get better at achieving Connection (hey, I’m writing this to help myself too, you know!). I want us to feel like we are working through this as a group of friends rather than as strangers stopping by to read another stranger’s posts. What way is easiest for you to keep up with the 31 Days of Connection Posts?

connectSign up for my email list. You’ll receive each day’s post right in your email inbox. Super easy! Or just use the inbox delivery to check out the title and come on over to the blog to read it.

connectFollow my Facebook Page. I’ll be sharing the links to each day’s post on my Facebook Page so you might see it in your timeline or can stop by the Page to get the latest link.

connectFollow me on Instagram. I’ll be posting each day’s graphic and title there. If you click the link in my Instagram profile, it will take you to the home page of my blog where you’ll find that day’s post.

connectFollow me on Twitter. A link to each day’s post will be showing up on Twitter as well. If that’s where you like to hang out, then I’ll see you there!

Or if you prefer the fun of blog-hopping, stop by each day and say hi! I’ll be right here waiting for you.

Day 2 Connection Challenge:
Pick a new way to connect with me if you haven’t already so we can journey through this series together.

Now wasn’t that simple? I’m going to ease you into the tougher stuff. And hey – I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell me where you spend most of your online time during the day.

Come on back tomorrow for Day 3 of 31 Days of Connection and a helpful printable just for you!