Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Are you listening?

"Mom, are you listening?"  I hear my six year old ask as I am trying to get the two year old to sit on the potty and wrestling my ten month old at the same time.  No, I am not listening.  Most of the time I have heard her, but I am not truly listening.  No one likes to talk to someone that isn't listening.
I teach my children what I have learned in school that active listening involves your eyes, ears, hands (still and not a distraction), and your heart.  But how often do I give them that?
My husband is a great listener.  I know when I talk, he is really paying attention to what I say.  It's one of the things I love most about him.  It frustrates me too, because he is not always a great responder in my eyes.  Many times I don't think he is listening because he doesn't respond the way I would, but I have learned over the years...most of the time, it's because he is still listening and digesting what I have said.  Then he puts a lot of thought into how he will respond.
How many times in our "listening" are we really just thinking about what we are going to say next?  That's not really listening.  I get very nervous in empty silence...but lots of times silence just means people are focused on others and not on themselves.
Proverbs 18:2 says "A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."  Later in Proverbs 18:13, "He who answers before listening-that is his folly and shame."

We read this in our Bible Study a few weeks ago...words of truth..."A wise parent talks when the kids are in the mood.  Every so often, they will ask a question, make a comment, reveal some little aspect of their heart. In those times, when their conscience is stirred, you need to talk.  This may require dropping everything else to seize a critical moment...You will miss precious opportunities when you only half-listen to your children." (Ted Tripp...Shepherding a Child's Heart)

Oh Lord, I am a fool lots of the time.  Teach me to be a better listener.  To my friends, to my husband, and to my children.  And to You.  Shut my mouth, and open my eyes, ears and heart to the needs and thoughts of those around me.   I don't want to be a half listener anymore...Help me to actively listen!  

Still counting those gifts...
190.  For a husband who really listens.
191.  Time with my sweet girl last night, time to really listen.
192.  For God who really listens and who cares about every detail of our lives.
193.  For the anticipation of seeing our family next week!
194.  For thankful, grateful children.
195.  Getting to visit Emma's school again yesterday and seeing an opera!
196.  For those who serve our country and protect our freedom
197.  And for their families.
198.  Going into a store yesterday with all three kids JUST to look at the Christmas display...
199.  And seeing their complete and utter delight.  Oh the simple joys!

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