Everybody wants to be heard, right? I mostly lost my voice this week. We have all been fighting the mega-virus these past two weeks. My first thought on Monday when it felt kind of scratchy was: "Moms should not ever lose their voices." It's not like I have a choice whether or not to speak. I have four children, and charades isn't just going to get it done. So, I managed to get through it with my hoarse, painful loud-whispering.
When they didn't listen or I had to repeat myself, I'll admit, my blood started to churn a bit. I just wanted them to hear me! The first time!
And I started thinking about that. My toddler throws tantrums occasionally (don't you love that subjective term?). He wishes more than anything that he could communicate to me exactly why he should get whatever it is he wants, so that is his way. My tween throws tantrums, too, fortunately not as often, and she shouts as she stomps to her room: Why don't you listen to me? What she really means is: Why don't I always get my way?
Yesterday was a great election day. I'm a nerd. I stayed up late, by myself, watching election returns, eating popcorn and Junior Mints. I was trolling the Facebook pages of some friends who were doing the same, and I felt like we were watching together. Voting is about our voice being heard. We want the government to listen to us, because the United States of America has a "government [that is supposed to be] of the people, for the people, [and] by the people." (Gettysburg Address) Right?
But, what about God? Does His blood (work with me on the comparison here) boil when He has to repeat Himself to us over and over again? Does He throw tantrums and yell: Why don't those humans always do it My Way? For He is "the Way, and the Truth and the Life." (John 14:6) And daily, over and over, we don't do it His way.
So, as I am forced to keep my mouth shut more than I would like, I can at least share with you the thoughts in my head. I think the only way to truly be heard is to listen more.
I need to listen to my toddler and anticipate his needs as best as I can, so he feels connected to me. That means ensuring he has the right amount of food, sleep, cuddles, and my focused attention. My tween daughter needs me to stop what I am doing and listen when she shares random musings. She needs me to pat her on the back and grab her for a quick hug more than I do.
God, I really need to make space in my day for the peace and silence needed to hear Him. Since I stopped nursing this summer, there aren't those silent, sitting moments that force me to pause and rest with the Lord. The other morning, I sat in my room and listened to the divine office podcast for Morning Prayer. Kids were in and out. The toddler was up in my lap and down again, running out to fetch a ball and coming back to play catch with me. But, my body was still and my voice was quiet (except for the time I whisper-yelled at the other boys to stop fighting), and I knew I was with God.
If you want to be heard, listen to the Word was God. Find Scripture. Find quiet. Listen. Because He hears our hearts before we even speak a word.
How can your listening skills improve?
Bless Your Heart!