If you know me but at all, you'll know I'm not one for waxing philosphical up front. You are much more likely to find me in the back, making self-deprecating comments or gently (ish) mocking ones. I generally like to couch my stories in hyperbole and my advice in humor. However, today I was hit with an idea that is not very funny, nor is it very snarky. It's just a bit honest and corny. But I can admit that.
I have been trying to change the way we eat for a while now, moving towards eliminating artificial dyes and processed foods as much as possible without going crazy. It can get to be a bit like going down the rabbit hole, where you look up and realize that you are drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper while trying to decide if you should grind your own organic wheat, and maybe you should start fermenting things for probiotic benefit, too. While I was doing all the googling, though, I read this from Heavenly Homemakers and it struck me.
"Nourishment. I needed nourishment. My family needed nourishment."
There are many choices I make for my family, from what to feed them to what to read to them, what I teach them about God and about life. Every one of those choices has the potential to nourish my family. If I ask myself before each action I take (or let's be honest, if I just ask it when I remember to) "Will this nourish them?" I will be changing so much about how I view my role as Wife, Mother, and Friend. Will the dinner I make tonight nourish their body? Not "Will it harm them?", but "Will it nourish them?" Will the book I read to them before bed nourish their mind? Will the story reach out and grab them and make them think more of their own thoughts, deeper and deeper? I can teach them about God in terms that make them fearful or judgemental, or I can nourish them with the Word that tells my children that the Almighty loves them and expects great things from them. I can plant the seeds of love for the outdoors and watch as God's nature nourishes and quiets their souls. I can speak words of nourishment to my husband and not words that question his decisions or his plans. I can encourage friends and speak words of nourishment to them, not words that tear them or their choices down.
Funny enough, I can do these things while still being myself and making jokes in the back of the room. I can do these things and know that asking myself constantly "Is this nourishing?" is the height of mawkish sentimentality, but do it anyway because it makes life better.
It's a change, though, viewing my role in positive terms.
I think as parents, spouses and friends we often view ourselves and wonder if we are screwing it up. If we are screwing "them" up, whoever they may be. We wonder if the food we serve is going to give them cancer later, if the books we read will make them smart enough, if the tv we let them watch will make them have ADD, if our words will echo in their minds as they go about their day - and not in a good way. Imagine if we stopped doing that, though. If we viewed our actions and our words as nourishment and we tried to make them that as often as possible, we could do so much more than worry. Walking around our homes and jobs trying to nourish, instead of trying to Not Screw Up.
I think I'll give that a go. I'll tell you you are doing a good job, I'll read books to my kids that are engaging and that make them think. I'll make food that makes them feel better and I'll speak words that aren't meant to hurt hearts. I will endeavor to build up strong and not worry that the building will fall if I make a misstep.
I will nourish.
Recognize, though, if you walk up to me and ask me if I'm being "Nourishing" I will hit you. And then nourish you with a band-aid and neosporin :)