Life can teach you powerful lessons, if you listen…
The last couple of days life has revealed how important talking and listening is to our relationships. Here are the dots I’ve been given to connect.
- Taking my youngest daughter to grandma’s house in the morning.
- An assignment in class
- Focus on the Family program
For the last two days I have driven my youngest daughter to grandma’s house because her preschool doesn’t start until next week. Grandma’s house is 35 minutes away. For the last two days I have answered questions like:
“Why does the moon move?”
“What is your favorite place to go?”
“What is your favorite stuffed animal?”
It has been a joy talking with my daughter. When she liked an answer, she would say, “Oooooh, I like that, too!”
With six children, we have a busy schedule. It is not often that we get specific time to just talk with a single child. We do have family time at dinner, or traveling to an event, that allows us to talk. But the specific one-on-one time is rare. Answering questions on the way to grandma’s house has reinforced the importance of finding time for each of my kids.
To start the year I have a small unit for the seniors that focuses on being successful next year at college. They write an email to a professor, they create a resume, stuff like that. The first assignment is to answer some questions about their college and life next year. Questions like:
Where is the Registrar’s office? Who is a contact person?
Who do you contact for safety issues?
Where is your favorite restaurant from campus?
This lead to a lot of conversations, as a class and with a single student as we tried to navigate a college’s website. Through the class period we would also talk about break and Christmas gifts. One moment in class got me thinking about the importance of talking… one student asked me about my New Year’s resolutions. Then another student asked about what Christmas gifts I got. This was the only class that that type of conversation happened, but it made me feel like someone else cared enough to know something about me. Isn’t that the heart of our life? To know that someone else in this great big world, which at times is so harsh, cares enough to listen to us.
After dropping my daughter off this morning, I listened to Focus on the Family. Jim Daly interviewed Ron and Deb DeArmond about their book, I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last. One of the focal points was about communication in marriage. During an answer Deb said that you hear with your ears, but listen with your heart. True communication is not just talking, but listening, processing, and showing you care.
It is a simple picture when you connect the dots: real conversations matter. Real conversations are an act of love.
I think the world needs more talking and listening…