Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Help. — Invent Your Own Helping Verb Job.

on November 2, 2013

Everywhere I look, I see them.

Verbs. Action words.

Eight years ago, when I was busy nesting and being all creative and artsy, (read before I had any kiddos!) designing a theme for my daughter’s nursery, I had no idea that I was beginning a theme that would define my purpose.

Verbs. Action words.

I decorated her room with canvas kites, painted by me, in different colors, each with a different verb. (See, before I had kids!)

Learn. Sing. Dance. Play. Read. Believe. Imagine. Dream.

Action words. Wishes for her. Challenges for her life.

Since her room is now all pink and full of horses and … other stuff… These now decorate the rest of my house. Play hangs above the toy box in the living room. Read holds the books in place on the bookshelves. Dream lives above my desk where I say I do my work. Sing and Dance hang out with my record collection.

Sometimes I don’t see these words. These literal calls to action. Sometimes they are just a part of the background.

Other times, they are screaming directions at me, telling me, reminding me what I should be doing.

When I forget.

And they remind me of all of my little mantras that I like to toss around casually and often:

“Eat well. Play more. Choose happy.” Or,

“Whoever does the most work, learns the most.” As an educator, I try to apply that concept daily, helping everyone actively engage in the work of learning. More of them, less of me. Or,

“A little less conversation, a little more action.” Ok, I stole this one from Elvis obviously and then turned it into my own:

“Either do it, or stop talking about it.”

I recently read the book by Bob Goff, Love Does.  I even wrote about it here.  I’ve been trying to use this phrase around my house when my kiddos ask me things like, “Why do I have to pick up these toys or carry these dishes to the sink?” Instead of saying the good ol’ standard of “Because I said so”, I’ve been trying to replace it with “Because that is what love does. Love picks up the toys and helps a Momma out!”

And since I like to play it fast and loose with punctuation and words,  I changed the verbs and turned it into all of the actions that Love looks like, sounds like, feels like, moves like.  What love actually does. Love reaches. Love helps. Love lifts. Love carries. Love holds. Love shows. Love goes on and on.

But we need to remember, that “Does” is really its own verb. It is one of those cool little helping verbs. Helping us do the work of (fill in the blank with your favorite verb.)

Family does. Church does. School does. Community does. Work does. Mission does.

Momma does. Felix does. X does. Y does.

Last night, I watched a bunch of people show up on a Friday night, after a long week full of verbs. They showed up at the local food pantry to help others. Others who are in need. I showed up, too, and tried to do my little part of helping. But I also did some watching and observing; some soaking up of all of the action around me. And I watched Y.

The girl-child so desperately wanted to help that she invented her own job. She went behind a table and helped. Helped people reach things they couldn’t reach. Helped people know just how many veggies and fruits they could take. Helped people know what was available. And when her little brother wanted in on the action, she did her best to help show him the way, too.

Grocery bags were filled by many hands who acted, who listened to the call, who purchased cans and boxes, who stacked and sorted and counted, who organized and ‘spread-sheeted’ and color-coded, who greeted and welcomed and shared with some folks who needed a little help.

While Mr. Sauter, my 11th grade English teacher would tell me that sentence is grammatically incorrect due to the overabundance of commas, I can only see the overabundance of action words.

Action. Verbs. Helping verbs.

Go. Do that. Go. Love. Go. Help. Just Go Do.

Take your talents. Your gifts. Your tools. And act.
What do you love to do? Do it. Invent a new helping verb job.
Help others as you can. Show up. Be kind. Help someone.
Do something.
With love. With intention.
Make it happen.
Go. Do what love does.
Be awesome and Act like a helping verb.
Let’s all, Go. Do that. More often.
helping verb
Today’s Action Challenge: List 40. Yes, 40 ways that you can help others. You can do it. No help is too small. From a phone call, to an errand. From a hug, to a note. From a gift, to a smile. How can you help someone else?
How do you show that you are desperate to help?
Are you willing to invent your own job to be able to help others?
Let’s all, Go. Do that.

5 responses to “Help. — Invent Your Own Helping Verb Job.

  1. geanieroake says:

    Service is going to be my theme for Christmas this year. We are a little low on funds right now, and since all my children are adults and don’t really need presents, I’m going to do things a little different. I’ve asked each of them to do some service for another person in the next couple of months, then we’ll share experiences on Christmas Eve. Love your blog.

  2. Oh I just love this post! You’re so right that we need to open up and DO. We get so caught up in daily life and forget to do something kind, to take some sort of action in our lives to make our lives, and others’ lives, better.

    BTW I failed the comment action word challenge. . . 😛

    Thanks for posting this on my Spread the Love Linky Party! I hope to see you post weekly!!!

  3. Bob Goff was one of the speakers at the Global Leadership Summit this year – what an amazing and contagiously joyful person. He loved to joke and laugh out loud while at the same teaching in such a powerful way that it was hard to sit still in the pew and not run from the building with a heightened desire to be and do, and generally change the world! 🙂 His book is on my (very long) to-read list!

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