I was chatting with Tiffany this afternoon, and she mentioned that she nurtures others through knitting for them. I thought to myself, well how do I nurture? To gain clarity on just how broad the word nurture can be used, I went to the dictionary.
Then I went and looked up the word in the bible. I didn’t get much, so I looked at a thesaurus and pulled the word sustain or sustenance.
When I searched the bible for the word sustenance, this scripture verse jumped out at me:
Wisdom 16:21 For your sustenance manifested your sweetness toward your children; and the bread, ministering to the desire of the one who took it, was changed to suit everyone’s liking.
While I may be a novice in my reflection on this verse as it relates to what my question is, I immediately thought that “changing to suit” was how I nurture. Depending on who needs nurturing, is how I sustain that need.
For example, I know that Lexicon needs to be heard and know that he is loved. He has always been that way. I listen attentively to everything he says and ask for clarification on things so he can fully explain his thoughts.
Little Monk needs lots of physical contact, when he sees me he always wants to hold my hand or wrap his arms around my leg. I always make sure to offer it to him before he even gets near me.
My husband just wants to spend time with me. It doesn’t have to be that we go to dinner (although that is always nice) or spend a day out and about. Just this weekend we spent all day watching The Sopranos on demand. He just wants me to be near him. I don’t think of it as wasting a day watching TV, I feel its depositing love in my marriage bank – and I can never deposit enough.
For friends, I send links that I think they would like, articles, pins, books. I send random texts at all hours of the night when I wake up thinking of them. Specifically for S, I nurture her by being honest with her about myself and how I feel about everything. I think that’s how we’ve gotten so close in so short a time. She senses when I’m not right and probes just a little. That signals to me that I should stop hiding and share.
How do you sustain others? I think no matter what, we always begin with prayer and God’s grace.