My technical job description right now is ‘nanny’. Although more often I am referred to as babysitter, or sometimes on special days, “Kallie-Kallie-poo-poo”. I spend a good amount of my time taking care of three active, energetic elementary school siblings. (And when I say active, I mean hyper-active, and by energetic, I mean crazy.)
They consume a lot of my time, and so I think about them and talk about them a lot. My family and close friends hear stories about me breaking up fights like a referee at a wrestling match, or reigning in wild kids like a zookeeper. I love them, but they are teaching me so much about what I don’t want to do when/if I am a mother someday.
I tell my Mom all the time about the way the kids talk to each other. They say hurtful, ugly things all the time. When I was home for Christmas I was able to spend lots of time with my family, including my little brother. Like most siblings, we poke fun at each other and call each other names. My Mom kept saying, “Remember this next time you’re nannying!” Probably a valid suggestion. But anyone who really knows me is aware that my little (ehmm…sorry, younger) brother is one of, if not my very favorite person ever. So when I make fun of him or call him names, he knows (I hope!) that I love him and all that pestering comes from a place of deep fondness and appreciation.
The kids I nanny, however, are ones who say, “I hate you”, “You’re an idiot”, “I’m gonna hurt you!” and mean it wholeheartedly.
All this to say, one of the things I want for my future home is to speak words of love. Constantly, always, love.
I witnessed this sweet family at church a few weeks ago. There was a mom and her three children, two older girls and a young boy. The oldest sister at one point grabbed her little brother in a sweet embrace and kissed him on the forehead. Throughout the service the siblings hugged each other, held each other, cried in their Mama’s arms. The love they have for each other was beyond evident; the care for each other palpable and contagious.
I want a home like that. Actually, I want a life like that. I want the words I say and the way I live to make it evident to the people around me that I love them, deeply.
I’m reading the book Love Does by Bob Goff (I highly recommend it). He talks about how love is life, and life is love. In it he says, “…my phone autocorrects the words I type…What I’ve noticed, though, is that almost every time I type in the word love, it gets changed to the word live. It’s kind of a reminder to me of one of the things I learned about following Jesus. I learned that fully loving and fully living are not only synonymous but the kind of life that Jesus invited us to be part of.”
I think speaking love is one of the ways that living and loving become one and the same. Jesus says in Luke 6: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. That is what breaks my heart about how the kids I nanny talk to each other – that it is coming from a heart filled with hurt and hate. I want my life to be so filled and centered around the love of Christ that even when I am tired, stressed, annoyed, etc. nothing can come out of my heart – and mouth – except love. I know I am so far from that being a reality, but it is a good thing to work towards.
It isn’t a New Year’s resolution. As we know, those rarely last long. It is more a life desire, a constant, slow-coming transformation of the heart that leaves lasting impressions on the lives of all we come in contact with and glorifies the God we serve.
I wanna work on that. Oh, and I guess also limiting the amount of sarcastic jabs I make at my brother (;