I can't help it.... I have to arrange the plate of food just so... there, now it's perfect. I know it will be a mixed up mess in about two minutes, but that rarely stops me from attempting some kind of attractive presentation in my plating.
I bring it to the table and set it before her. Pancakes from scratch dripping with maple syrup with a side of homemade turkey sausage and fresh sliced organic apples and clementine oranges. A pink strawberry smoothie and a pink striped straw win a giggling toothy grin from my sweet Little Girl. I know what's coming.
She passionately exclaims(complete with excited hand motions) "you're the best mom ever!!!". This is one of the most common accolades she bestows on me. It is her beautiful word-gift that melts my mama heart.
Is she learning that from me? Is this a glimmer of something good being reflected in my Mini Mirror?
So many times I have brushed a curl away from her deep blue eyes and tucked it behind her ear. " Selah, what do I think about you?"
She rolls her eyes in a "shy" embarrassed kind of way. But she's smiling. I've spoken this over her even before she could understand what the words meant. She opens my word gift.
Her smile widens as she says the words "you think I'm beautiful."
"That's right! You are." I continue with my usual follow up question "And is beautiful on the outside?"
More eye rolling and smiling. Body language that says "of course I know the answer to this, give me a harder question, mom!"
She shouts(not intentionally-it is just spoken at Selah volume) "No! Beautiful is on the inside! God makes me beautiful."
I laugh. "You are right. God makes us beautiful on the inside. You can be pretty or attractive on the outside, but you can't be truly beautiful unless you have God on the inside, and unless you look like Him. And you are beautiful. "
We often have this conversation over a meal, so next she would shovel a way-too-big forkful of something in her mouth and still manage a fairly loud(though muffled) "I know, mom. "
The communication lines are open now. She wants to hear what she already knows "... And do you think I'm smart?"
"And that I'm a great artist?"
"Yes, I do."
"And that I'm a great big sister?"
This goes on and on and on. She loves to hear my praises of her. She beams. She is strengthened by my word love. Words are one of her most requested gifts. I write her Christmas and birthday letters, but she will still come up to her Daddy and I at random times, hold out a piece of paper and a pen and say "write all the things you like about me, okay?".
Word are powerful gift that we forget we have.
As she reminds me how precious they are, I try to be intentional about being generous with my word-gifts to others. I think of my husband, family and friends. I think of church family, store clerks, and strangers.
Then I am challenged to think of what my word gifts might mean to my sponsored child. You can view the video here.
I am humbled. Everyday, faithfully, He draws me to Himself, speaking His love over me.
To come, still, and listen to the Word that changed my world.
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."
"Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land."
"He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions."
"The tongue has the power of life and death"
Lord Jesus, Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, help me to spread Life!