Up Me, Mommy! / Seven Words of Praise

If you’ve been around little kids at all, you know their neediness can be both heartwarming and overwhelming. But even in the trying moments when you just want to continue the task at hand, it’s hard to refuse the sweet face looking up at you with arms stretched high.

This week Charlie has increased his requests to be held. He charges at me and reaches toward my waist, half appealing and half demanding, “Up me, Mom-my.” If by chance it takes me a moment to respond, he barrels impatiently into my shins with a little whine and grabs behind my legs. “Up me, Mom-my!” I scoop him up for a squeeze and a kiss {my lips are grafted with magnets attracted to every inch of his toddler skin}. The boy thinks he needs me, certainly wants me, and it brings me back to what’s important – my distracted heart is refreshed.

up me arms

Did you know there are seven words the Bible uses which all translate to our one English word “praise”? That’s right, SEVEN. Can you imagine if there were only one Spanish word to translate breakfast, lunch, dinner, meal, dessert, kitchen, and restaurant? Yikes! So when King David wrote that “They who seek the Lord will halel [rave, boast and celebrate] him” (Psalm 22:26), and when he expressed he would “Barak [bless by kneeling or bowing] the Lord” with all his inmost being (Psalm 103:1), I was oblivious to the stark contrast between them – my book says “PRAISE” in both verses. I’m thankful for this message from itown church, “Fresh Air – Get Worship,” that explains how God’s love language (or what we can do that makes him feel loved) is expressed in more than one form.

All of these words are translated to “Praise” in most English versions of the Holy Bible:

  • Halel… to rave, boast, celebrate in a clamorously foolish fashion.
  • Yadah… to acknowledge in public, give a raised hand.
  • Barak… to bless by kneeling or bowing, presenting ourselves to God, perhaps expecting a blessing.
  • Zamar… making music to God with strings, loudly.
  • Shabach… to address in a loud tone, to shout.
  • Towdah… to lift hands in adoration, raise hands to receive.
  • Tehilah… exuberant singing.

As my pastor walked us through these seven words, my heart flip flopped when I heard something that resonated deeply, and I can’t get it off my mind.

Towdah. Not only does this word of praise indicate the raising of hands, but it alludes to a little child approaching a parent with raised arms, expecting.

Oh, my baby boy… How I adore him. How my heart explodes when he reaches for me and physically displays his yearning to be near me. How I cannot resist bending over to embrace him, to satisfy his desire, to comfort him or to share his joy. To lift him into my world and nestle into the wonder of what was made from my very self. I cannot fully express the simultaneous emotion and peace this encounter brings me. I am honored when my son offers me towdah.

And God is honored when we offer this to him. He is enraptured when we surrender ourselves to him. When we reach out for him if our spirit is broken or if it’s soaring high, it shows him that we trust him. When we display that we need him, we desire him, we want to be as close as possible, and show him that we believe he has the power to protect us, and to make everything better. “Oh, my little one, made from my very self, I just can’t get enough of your love.” He is proud, he is captivated, he is inundated by our love for him.

Don’t you know you can’t overwhelm God with your mess? He has time for you, no matter what other miracles he is working on. Lift your eyes and your hands, and reach for him like a little child. “Up me, Daddy.” And he will. Because it’s not just you needing him. It’s you praising him. Honoring him. And his arms are strong to lift you into his world with laughter, comfort, and adoring love.


How do you love on God? What word for praise resonated in your spirit?


About Carolyn Nelson

Just trying to spread a little grace. I am in love with 4 boys (married to one, mother to three), and I think you're stinkin' awesome.
This entry was posted in Charming Charlie, Just Sayin', Our Life, Things We Have Learned and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Up Me, Mommy! / Seven Words of Praise

  1. Pingback: The Parent Screw Up | ELEVATE / perspectives to lift you up

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