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Stuff I Wish You'd Quit Saying

31 Days of Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying: Day 27 “Will you buy some Nutella?”

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My children don’t understand. I know, it is creamy, delicious, nutty, chocolate-ness. I know. But they will go – To school, pre-school, college, and out with friends. And I will be here alone, with the Nutella.

I have been given a list of suggestions of things we shouldn’t say.

“Calm down!”

“Don’t be sad…”

“You’re oversensitive.”

But today I can’t calm down. I am very sad. And who determines the line by which sensitivity is drawn? Where does sensitivity stop and oversensitivity begin? And in a perfect world, Nutella would be fat and calorie free. In an imperfect world, I can’t have Nutella in the house.

And yes, I know that my help comes from the Lord. And yes, I know He will cover all. And He can calm me. He can nourish my sensitive spirit. He can bring joy from ashes.

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But Nutella is immediate satisfaction. And when I can’t calm down, and I am sad, and being oversensitive sometimes it is easier to indulge in Nutella. For a moment with a serving spoon and the creamy deliciousness, I can be calm, not so sad, and not so oversensitive.

And that brings up the aftermath and the suggested: “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” Yeah, right. I am hard on myself. I think most women are. And really? Saying, “Don’t be so hard on yourself,” cures nothing in me. It’s nice gesture, but it is hardly a magically therapeutic means of healing one from beating oneself up for eating a jar of Nutella.

Obviously words have an enormous impact on readers. They inspire and… infuriate. They do make me feel better, during composition… but I know that simply telling me don’t be so hard on myself doesn’t change my molecular structure making me magically less hard on myself.

Which reminds me when my words were the least effective for my oldest daughter Maggie. Maggie has an old soul. She is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen… She had found a stray cat and after checking under the hood, proudly named him Mr. Darcy.

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Mr. Darcy and Maggie were fast friends. She told him all her hopes and dreams, and she thoroughly enjoyed his company. We were living on the ranch and every so often he would wander away, but he always returned to Maggie’s window begging shelter and companionship. Days later he disappeared again. She was sad.

And I said:

“Calm down!”

“Don’t be sad…”

“You’re oversensitive.”

He is just a cat. And I didn’t mean to undermine her feelings. But I think we had bigger issues at the time. And he always showed up again. And he did…

A couple weeks later Maggie went into the pool house and found Mr. Darcy, and “his” newly delivered kittens. Maggie was in utter shock. She came into the house hyperventilating. And I said:

“Calm down!” and she said, “Mr. Darcy had kittens!”

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And then she got upset, having felt she had been betrayed or told her deepest darkest secrets to an imposter. And I said, “Don’t be sad….” But she was. And I know I said, “You’re oversensitive.”

Certainly a passel of kittens was good medicine for her 12-year-old soul. Then she felt guilty for having been upset, and I explained, “Don’t be so hard on yourself…”

And in the scope of bad feelings I look back on this and know my words were less than helpful. And I don’t want that for her as much I don’t want that for myself. So to make her happy and make up for bad days, bad words, and days when Mr. Darcy isn’t who you thought he was, I can simply assure her there is Jesus… and Nutella.

Blessed are the poor in spirit the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Matthew 5:3

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

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