Tell: What Do My Actions Tell?

Mom Son hands

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Tell. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our new hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

Tell:

Much fills my mind this week as I ponder our Five Minute Friday word: Tell. Thinking of the sudden death of Robin Williams, and all the conversations surrounding his passing.

What do I TELL others? I tell my kids the things they need to get done (wash the dishes, please, sort the laundry, homework before play…..)

I tell my husband about my day

I tell my friends my struggles.

I use my words to convey normal, every day messages.

But what about those words that I treasure in my heart? Those thoughts I have about others, about Jesus? Those truths that both break my heart (Iraq) and mend it (God’s love heals the wounds).

Wild flowers burgundy amid white

How do I tell my love to those who people my life? What do my actions tell my family?

I’m convicted when I think about how I allow the tyranny of the urgent to overpower my ability to show my love to my family.

To tell them my love without ever using a word. I need to guard my time, lest it be taken up with the urgent rather than the important.

I need to tell my family I love them through my words, yes. But also through my undivided attention. Through my willingness to set aside a task and listen—just listen—and be a seat for a boy who climbs onto my lap.

I tell others my love when I show my care for them.

Yes, there is a place for words—to tell friends what they mean to me. To put into words the admiration, the gratitude in my heart, the joy which they add to my days.

Words mean so much more when followed up with actions.

What do my actions tell others?

What about you? How do you tell others of your care for them? What actions speak love to you?

Kate Motaung Five Minute Friday: Tell

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16 thoughts on “Tell: What Do My Actions Tell?

  1. Hello from FMF!
    Thanks for sharing your heart! I always seem to struggle more with the spoken aspect of love than the active aspect. To me it’s much easier to wash the dishes or paint the bedroom than to verbally tell someone “I love you.” I think it’s really hard to find the happy balance between verbal and active expressions of love, no matter which end of the spectrum we most comfortably fall into.

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    • Sara, I love how your comment shows that people love differently. 🙂 It’s much easier for me to say, “I love you,” and to mean it with all my heart. But what tells my husband, “I love you,” is when I do things like make his lunch each day. We show our love differently. There is a balance, it’s true. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. You had me at the title! Yes, to go against the “do what I say, not what I do,” to let my story be defined not just by what I say, but also (or more importantly) what I do. Thank you for sharing!!

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    • Stacy, thanks for stopping by! You’re right. Our word and actions should match up, shouldn’t they? I want my story to be defined by authenticity rather than inconsistency. Have a great weekend!

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  3. “Actions speak louder than words”. Even children learn this lesson. Jesus spoke this lesson: obedience is better than sacrifice. Often it’s the little tells~ fetching for someone just because… helping set the table, an unexpected hug. You know, little things tell lotsa stories about who I am.

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    • Great points, Mom. We tell Jesus we love Him through our obedience. We tell others we love them through those “little tells” as you mentioned. And we reveal our story. So glad you stopped by!

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  4. Stopping by from FMF! 🙂 Many of us wrote about telling love with words, but I really appreciate that you took it a step further and encouraged us to tell with our actions as well. Love it!
    Jen

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  5. I am sorry to be arriving late to this conversation.

    Your mention of being a seat for a child who climbs into your lap touched me deeply, and brought this paraphrase of Scripture to mind –

    Be still and know that your are a lens that focuses God’s love.

    It sounds to me, Jeanne, as though you are.effective in this function.

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  6. I’m not good at interpersonal verbal communication, and have tried to be more proactive in terms of ‘action’ to show love and friendship.

    Unfortunately, differences in cultural background and life experience made this something of a disaster. Where I come from, friendship is something like a blood oath, but for most Americans, particularly most civilians, that comes across as manipulative and demanding of an unreasonable quid pro quo.

    It’s not that at all, but you’d have had to have “been there, done that, and got the T-shirt” to understand. Showing friendship by walking a year out of your way for a fellow team member is something you just DO. He’ll do the same, but that’s not the point. We’re responsible for our own actions – and for our own honor.

    Being Asian doesn’t help – there’s something like genetic conditioning to watch out for the group first. As Spock would say, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”.

    At this point, I’ve sort of given up. tell, or show, it doesn’t make a difference, but at least the dogs get it.

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    • It’s interesting how different people perceive actions as a form of showing love and friendship. It resonates with some, not with others. I love the way you described showing friendship by walking a year out of your way for a fellow team member. Friendships, love are not always convenient, but when they are genuine, we should be willing to be inconvenienced to help another out. To pour out more than “the norm” of ourselves to love on another.

      You know far better than I the necessity of watching out for the group. You’ve lived it in ways I never will. Your words and actions do speak. People may not always hear them, but they do speak, Andrew. For what it’s worth, words you’ve encouraged me with on some days soothed truths over some lies I’d been believing.

      Dogs are great at receiving and giving love. No question about it. Thank you so much for sharing here.

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