Words. The power is overwhelming.
They can be twisted in combinations so poetic and authentic to express what resides in a heart that I find myself in awe as if I’m staring at a Van Gogh in the MoMA when they’ve been beautifully woven and placed upon a canvas.
And they can also pierce deeper than a machete when used in a way that reveals the other stuff that lives in the heart as well – the blackness, the emptiness, the hurt that spills out to the often detriment of those around the wounded.
The concept of loving well, really loving and not just in a “I love God, my family, my friends” kind of way, has been placed on my heart as of late.
Love well. WELL. Not just love – no, this isn’t enough anymore. Love well.
I love my children and husband with a wreckless abandon that often scares me to be quite honest. I check myself daily to be sure they are not becoming an idol, an unhealthy focus of my being, a place in which I rely upon for identity instead of on Him.
I know life-giving words are crucial and I consciously choose to speak them as often as I can. They are ways we can love well.
Notice I said “consciously.” Because it’s a choice I have to make.
Fatigue. Frustration in living the life I’ve always wanted and yet still wanting to “have it all” in a career. Fatigue. Feeling pulled in too many directions and spread too thin and for crying out loud, can’t someone else feed the dog?
I’ve spoken words over my family that are not life-giving and are in fact bullets through the hearts of those that are not even old enough yet to know they’ve been struck.
Not a night goes by that I don’t pray that the light of Jesus will cover over any wounds I may have inflicted during the day.
And I’m washed in His abundant grace though I am required to repent. And I do. And I ask and He gives and I bow my head in shame and He reminds.
And He gently leads. Oh, how He gently leads.
Someday my children will fly away from this nest, will pass through my life on the way to their own, and not need me as much. They’ll need to know how to read. How to write and add and multiply and probably a few history facts here and there and might need to know something about organic chemistry but I doubt it.
All of that will happen.
But more than anything, more than organic chemistry and multiplication, I want them to know that my love for them is not conditional.
There is nothing they can do to make me love them more. There is nothing they can do to make me love them less.
It’s just there. And it will remain there always, always.
Every night as I’m tucking each babe into bed, I repeat three phrases that are, in my mind, crucial for them to hear:
I love you always, always
You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God
There is nothing you could ever do to make me love you any more or any less. It’s just always there, my love for you.
And sometimes eyes roll and I hear a “Mom, I know…” in a sing-song giggle yet I see the smile, the pleased grin that says they need to hear it every single night.
So they do.
Because in speaking those words, those life-giving words, while teaching them also about His abundant grace, we model. We point. We lead. We herd.