by Jan Silvious
My dad always called me "Boose"-a shortened form of baby talk for "Beautiful Baby." I loved to hear it because it was wrapped in all the love and admiration a father can give his child.
You may not have had a nickname as a child, but there are undoubtedly other words packed with meaning for you—words that elicit feelings of warmth or security or happiness.
A newspaper columnist recently invited seventy-five fourth- and fifth-graders to submit the words they most like to hear their mothers say. Here are the five big winners:
1. "I love you."
3. "Time to eat."
4. "You can go."
5. "You can stay up late."
The following were some other favorites:
"I'll help you."
"Your friend can spend the night. You can go out and play."
"You can sleep in. How was your day? You were good tonight. I'm glad I have you."
"I've got a surprise for you."
"Let's go for a walk."
"You're the best kid in the world."
"Do you want to visit Grandma?"
What a very special collection of words! We can be sure they will be remembered long after "Brush your teeth!" "Clean your room!" and "It's your turn to load the dishwasher!"
When I meditate on the Lord, the words I most love to hear are words of love and consolation that encourage me to be all I can be for Him:
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isa. 26:3).
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which heath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us" (1 John 5:14).
Listening to the kind words of the Lord today will affect our own speech and teach us how to bless others with our mouth.
From The 5-Minute Devotional, 1991, Zondervan.
*Delores Curran, Traits of a Happy Family, Winston Press, 1983.