Little kids are excellent mimics. They walk around trying to find the right words and the right tone for each situation they encounter, and they look to the people they are around the most for this information. A friend of mine is embarrassed that the kid she nannies is always walking around saying “Oh Man!” because it’s obvious that he heard that from her. Ellie is at the age where she is repeating everything, and as a result has begun to say things we don’t teach her like; “Okay”, “See ya!”, “Tada!” and “Aha!”. She even repeated the word “rebel” when I was telling my mother-in-law about her recent toddler streak. 😉
Needless to say, Willy and I have been trying to filter the things we say extra carefully; imagining words like “crap” or “pissed”, though not curse words and harmless enough in our own vocabulary, suddenly bursting out of our almost 1 1/2 year old’s mouth has been enough to help us change to things more harmless like the aforementioned “Oh Man” or “golly-gee-willikers.” Okay fine, we don’t really SAY that last one. 😉
As I sat down to drink my coffee on this dark rainy morning a thought occurred to me: Little kids are mimics, and so are we. We talk, and act like, those we are around the most. I myself have noticed that encounters with people I admire, often leads to a changing vocabulary. For example; my dear friend Jess Kuddes always says “sweet”, especially when referring to time with Jesus or time in fellowship. I had never really heard the word used that way before I met her, and after a few months of knowing and loving her, I found myself using it too. I still do. That’s something I got from her, and every time I say it a little part of me thinks of the godly woman who first brought me into the fellowship of ladies that are now all my closest and dearest friends.
On a more hilarious note, I am saddened to say that now when I say words like “Packers” or “Wisconsin”, I don’t sound like so much of a foreigner as I did when I first got here and everybody commented on my Colorado “accent”. I would not be surprised if when I return, I find I have picked up a bit of WisCONsin during my time here. We become like the people we are around the most.
But do you know who I really want to be like? Jesus. And how do I become more like him? By spending time with him. By letting Jesus be the person I am around the MOST.
I want to have a Jesus accent. I want grace and love to touch the edges of all my words. I want to do my dishes and laundry as if Jesus was sitting right there in my kitchen with me; because He is! And He longs to be with me. He isn’t hampered by scheduling or by the fact that I defaulted to wearing sweatpants for the second day in a row and my face looks a little less than perfection.
And He is the one I want to mimic. The one I want to sound like and act like. And when people see my beautiful heart, I can dispense with false modesty and say instead, “Thank you. Jesus gave it to me.”
A note on God’s faithfulness: This is how my morning went; I got up at 6:30 as Willy was getting ready to leave for work. He tells me that Ellie has been awake talking so I go ahead and pour myself some coffee and sit down with my Bible if only for a few minutes before I get Ellie up. God inspired me to write this blog, I start scribbling on a stray envelope, then think better of it and pull out my computer. Ellie doesn’t make a peep and has apparently gone back to sleep. She is now sleeping in past her normal time, and I know she will be still sleeping when I get this thing edited and posted because that is how God shows His grace and faithfulness to me! This is how He romances me. He allows the child to sleep so I can do something that is important to Him. That helps me know that if He has asked me to do something, He will enable me with time, talent, energy etc to do it. Whether it’s a phone call with a hurting friend, a blog post, or a truly gnarly pile of dishes. And if you feel frustrated by your lack of ability to do things “for God”, maybe you are focusing on all the wrong things. Sometimes it’s a blog post; but more often than not its that gnarly pile of dishes. Do what He puts in front of you today, He will give you what you need. He is faithful!