Lately, I've spent a lot of time distracted. I have a (mental) list of tasks that I constantly reprioritize and reorganize in my head. You know- get all teeth brushed, make breakfast healthy, make lunch healthy, clean up poop, clean up more poop, are they dressed, are they dressed appropriately, answer that text, is the homework done, who do I need to email today, have I prayed for that person, did I check back with that person, what did I forget at the grocery store... it goes on and on and on. I think about 20 different things in the course of 20 minutes and I've realized that lately, all the distractions of life have gotten the best of me.
My son shouldn't have to ask me the same thing four times before he gets a response. In fact, that's something I should be modeling for him- good listening.
Of course, the Lord highlighted this for me in a couple of different ways and a couple of different angles in the past few days.
Jesus stopped for children and wanted them to come to Him. He He hears our cries. He is near to the brokenhearted. He truly listens.
I felt convicted about listening to my kids, but I also felt encouraged. To be present enough with other people to give them my full attention- even if just for a moment in the line at Target- blesses them, affirms them, and shows them love.
Sunday morning, after I had this heart to heart with the Lord, I spent some time trying to listen to my little people. Zeke and I took an early morning walk in our pajamas. Anna Grace and I read another chapter in our book.
The chapter ended with a sentence that drove home the point quite nicely:
"... a little 'appreciation' sometimes does quite as much good as all the conscientious 'bringing up' in the world." (L.M. Montgomery, of course)
To be like Jesus, to truly and consistently listen and in turn truly appreciate those around us, is an uphill battle for us all. But it's a battle worth engaging, especially when you have the Spirit of God ready and willing to fight for you.
Thank you, Lord, for simply hearing us. That, in and of itself, is profound love.
"The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them." Psalm 145:17-19