Tuesday, February 1, 2011

If Your Listening Muscles are Exhausted

I've been lulled so long I don't even realize I'm sleeping through her rambling until silence shatters my five-year old white noise.

My glazed over eyes slowly focus on her face, not amused, mouth flat-lined.

I regather. "What were you saying, sweetheart?".

She's been looking at me, really looking. Watching while I wash and wipe and work minutes away. My fully animated darling, now stilled in gray tones, thinking serious.

One silence piercing "nevermind."

She walks away and I look long, really watching, as she goes about her play. She is tall now. Almost to my chest that heart-muscle aches these years swiftly gone by.

And yes, I think of that well loved film with the girl of equal spunk and expressive vocabulary and yes, they are similar in that "she could talk the hind leg off a mule"... but... she is fiery and precious and wise and soul-healing funny.

Why am I missing all that?

For crumbs?

For thoughts I can think later when real rest comes after real learning, play, work? After listening.

Why do I chide her for not listening well, when I do not always do that myself?

I think of the alternative. I think of her talking to other willing ears, myself cut off from her stream of life-sorting thoughts because I wasn't really listening.

For these precious few years, I am her sounding board.

As I listen better and more and respond with real input and interest I notice she actually talks less. So much of her rambling was due to my absent minded "uh-huh..." and "okay..." so that she kept offering other thoughts to try to figure out this confusing life.

All the time this verse burning in my mind:

"He who answers before listening--that is his folly and his shame."
~Proverbs 18:13

What a privilege that I am allowed to be a part of helping her understanding this life.

What a privilege that I am allowed to have her helping me to understand this life.

I only hope to have taught her as much as she's taught me.

And I read it today, in the Proverb to start every month:

"For giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-let the wise listen and add to their learning"
~Proverbs 1:4-5

I cannot give what I do not have. So I go to Him who supplies all my needs, according to His glorious riches and mercy.

"Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live."
~Isaiah 55:2-3

Due to how sick I was, I did not have a chance to post my list of thankfulness yesterday, so I continue my counting today. All is grace, so I count.

#143 speckled morning light through storm shutters

#144 cobalt blue sky, cloudless and clear

#145 freeways that lead to small roads that lead to loved ones

#146 coconut oil that soothes baby's diaper rash

#147 watching the joy Baby has throwing every item over her shoulder from her sock/pj drawer, usually one at a time.

#148 dimpled knuckle indentions on baby's soft curled hand

#149 Husband's smiling words in wild moments

#150 deep shadowed crevasse on sun-lit bark

#151 amber eyed cats

#152 the un-rushed goodbye hug and his turning at the gate, sweet wave good-bye

#153 little girls with fists full of popcorn

#154 enough window light to not need man made ones

#155 Little Girl grinning wide, eating a grapefruit saying "I'm used to the tartness". Then it hits her, and pirate-eyed she still tries to smile, hands waving wild to somehow, magically, turn sour to sweet

#156 Little Girl's quiet time letter to God

#157 gap toothed grins

#158 clownfish playing hide and seek in ocean's starry grasses

#159 Electric green and bubble pink, soft waving arms of worship

#160 His love like a hurricane, roaring straight through on a clear day

#161 a few days of being free from my cell phone (Baby dropped it in Husband's fish tank-salt water works quick!)

#162 cluttered countertops and crumbed floors-evidence of a morning well spent

#163 lots of kisses to fever-flushed cheeks

#164 the way she says "yes please" and "thank you". She says "even though I'm sick I'm still trying to be sweet." You are, Selah.

#165 Selah's gratitude list that includes things like: "oxygen", "baby sisters", "smiley faces", "that God exists in our lives", "my little pony", "paper dolls", "Little House in the Big Woods", and "angels"


Rachel said...

Thank you so much for this Elise!

Anonymous said...

I needed to read this today. Thank you! I also really love your gratitude list =) It makes me more thankful every time I read it. I'm going to try to start one of my own... not in a blog (since I don't have one), but I'm going to remember Multitude Mondays. I made my first list yesterday!

Melissa said...

I love your writing. When I think I couldn't love my son anymore, I read your blog and all of a sudden my heart is bursting! And not just with love for him. God, Joel, you...life. That's a real gift!

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