I found this quote and it stuck with me.
As a mom, my day is full of background chatter among my kids. I usually zone it out so I can get my work done. But then there is that moment when one of them says, "Mom, did you hear what I said?"
And usually, I didn't hear them. I didn't realize they were talking to me. I was so focused on something else.
I want my kids to come to me when they need to talk. But if they are always fighting for my attention eventually they will stop coming. I work from home, and my day is full of a lot of multi-tasking. Making sure I am available can really be a struggle at times. Creating a schedule has helped. Teaching them to respect my schedule is often a battle.
One day I observed some friends in a discussion. One friend was explaining a struggle she was having with one of her children. We were all listening to her explain a specific situation. I looked around the circle of friends as she spoke.
One was checking her phone, but nodding as if she were listening.
Another was deeply engrossed in the story, you could tell by her face.
And the last mom continued to interrupt with her own story that was made to sound much worse than the story being told.
Which mom was truly listening? The second one of course.
I have to admit, while my friend was pouring her heart out to us, I was thinking of ways to respond to her. But, when one of the moms continued to interrupt I realized that I wasn't listening to my friend anymore than she was. I text my friend later and said, "I'm so sorry you are struggling. I am praying for you."
I never want to be like that last mom who interrupts with my own stories or ideas. I can't learn how to encourage or serve others if I don't listen to them. I won't know how to pray for them if I don't listen to them.
But the truth is that I have been her on many occasions.
Lord, help me listen with my eyes, ears and heart so I can help comfort & encourage those you put in my path.
Are you listening?