1. Communication and Listening
Did you hear that?
Communication. When we lose track of what everyone is doing, our family goes crazy. One missed appointment, birthday party, or late for a game. Everyone changes and there is tension in our family. Communication for us is the key to making it day by day.
Just not of daily events or assignments for school. But communicating with each other. I want my kids to know they can talk to me about anything and everything. Even if I don’t want to hear it, if they need to say it then say it. About two years ago, my then 16-year-old son came to me and sat down. There was a lot of other stuff happening and it was happening fast. He had to tell me something, that I really never wanted to hear.
And when he said it, I just paused.
I knew it was very important that this issue was communicated in a calm fashion. I was calm. I listened to everything that had happened. I had to make sure that my son knew that he could tell me anything, regardless of what I thought, and we would get through it. He knows that I believe in consequences of actions. But we as parents we are here to listen to him always.
And it is good to know that their extended family also listens to each other.
Just like with any of our kids listening is important. Now my conversation with Jeremy is greatly different from mine with Isaiah. Isaiah, I get things like “mom did you know that giraffes clean their ears with their tongues.” Yes I needed to know that, I think. But when he says “Mom I saw fire” well you better listen! Sometimes when my kids are whining, I tell them I am not listening till they can talk nicely to me. But I am listening. I know they are tired, or hungry, or mad. I am trying to teach them even though you are one of these things, you still need to learn how to talk to a person nicer, even if you feel like crap!
Communication and listening also plays an important part in marriage. Giving my husband my undivided attention is important. I am not always good at that these days. Kids pulling at me, iPhone jingling, Tv on, cleaning….some days I may listen half heartily. The key is stepping back, putting stuff up and listen. Sometimes, I hear him, but I pretend I don’t hear him. I may not want to acknowledge what I am hearing. But that can only last for so long! Through 13 years of marriage we have learned much about each other, and we are still learning more everyday. Yes, there are days that he and I have said something and the other has looked up and said “what was that?” Or other days when we asked questions at not the right time.
When Dan and I first started “getting to know each other” we did a LOT of communication through e-mail. For us that worked. (I printed all those out too!:)) But when we got over that “I really like you-ALOT” stage, we could talk about things better. We are not perfect and yes there are things I wish we could talk more about, but then that would be throwing in the “girl-boy” differences and that is a whole other blog post!
Listening. The bible is filled with “listen.” Listen to God, listen to instruction, listen to stories, listen to Jesus, listen for the devil, listen to hymns. Proverbs 18:13 tells us “To answer before listening-that is folly and shame.” (NIV)
Over 400 times is listened mentioned in the bible. I think God is trying to tell us something. He wants us to listen to him.
Coming back from vacation we drove two cars back. My two little kids were in the back seat going bonkers. I had had about enough. They were tired, cranky, fighting with each other, whining, throwing things. I was ready to drop them off. I tried many different songs, but this song stuck. It fits.