In listening mode
The blogging thoughts and words have been scarce lately. Summer is rolling along and we are enjoying time at the pool, mountains and looking forward to a whole family, long weekend at the beach. Re-entry after our China trip has been challenging. So much of my energy and thoughts were directed at those 21 days, and now several put off decisions and tasks are looming up ahead. Researching middle schools, figuring out best places for our daughters and other matters that flow from that aren’t as appealing or exciting as China travel plans, and at times can feel quite daunting. In truth, my own middle school years were quite miserable and as a parent, just leaping right over them would be an attractive yet totally fantastical idea.
In light of this, I am attempting to be more in a place of listening during this season of life. My husband and I recently spoke after he had spent time with two of our grown sons. As he recounted some of their interactions, something he said about their conversation truly resonated with me. The spirit of his words was that he realized that he needed to spend more time listening and less time defending and talking. Which of us hasn’t been in conversation with someone and been consumed with what we would say next rather than truly being present and deeply receiving the thoughts and heart of the other? I surely am guilty of this on many an occasion. Rather than entering into the space and goal of understanding, I am often just playing mental gymnastics and waiting for my turn to make my point, especially if it involves a topic of some passion or disagreement. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” as taught in the epistle of James needs to be emblazoned upon my mind.
A friend gave me a profound book entitled Listening Below the Noise, the transformative power of silence by Anne D. LeClaire. I am only one quarter through it, but I have already been challenged to turn down the volume of the noise in life and practice listening more fully. Making time and space for silence so that I can make sacred space to hear the voice of God. Intentionally putting aside the endless distractions of life so that I am truly available to more fully listen with grace to those that I love as well as my own heart and mind on important matters. More completely listening to my husband as we sort out various daily and life decisions. I am convinced that as I seek more quiet, contemplative times I will be drawn more fully to listen to God and others with ears and heart of grace. A very desired and sacred space in which to live.
My listening spot today….