I made a discovery yesterday. I’ve been visiting with my two girlfriends this weekend, Karen, formerly in a high-powered corporate job, now in full-time ministry, and Mary, once in non-profit management, now a Christian speaker, author, and in talent acquisitions for a cruise and event company.

We were at church, where Karen is on staff, and a friend of hers walks up. She was an attorney, and she, meeting Mary and I for the first time, asked what we did.

For years I’ve answered that question with pride and confidence, “I’m blessed to stay home to raise my kids.” But my kids grew up and, even though I’m not raising them anymore, I am still at home.

I was surprised, as I stood there with those two women with impressive careers, how suddenly inept I felt. I stumbled over my answer and I’ve been pondering it since, considering what happened, and what I could’ve said to more confidently express what I do. I’ve hit on the discovery that it should be this:

I’m a professional lover.

Then, lest they think I’ve fallen into working at a house of ill repute, I would explain that I love my husband. I love him by supporting him at work, caring for our home, cooking him meals and managing our lives outside his workplace, so that he looks forward to coming home.

I love our kids by being a guide and a coach as they navigate adulthood. I love our grandchildren by talking and playing and giving them all my attention when I’m with them. I love them through passing down the important things in life, and giving them a “slower” picture of living.

I love my extended family, and friends, by being available to help when needed. I love the young women who come into my life through mentoring, the pregnancy center, or simply through divine appointment in a coffee shop.

While everyone should be a lover (and my friends certainly are), I’ve chosen it as a profession. I may not make a monetary living, but, as I cuddle my beautiful grandboy, I know it’s a perfect way for me, at least, to make a life.

“The second [command] is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:31 NIV