Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Need to Listen Exposed

Oh how quickly I was put to the test after I committed to make a change. Have you ever been humbled and embarrassed just on the other side of a conversation shining a good light on you? Well, I have; the most recent happened just yesterday. Let me start at the beginning.

I have given up making New Year's resolutions. I do like to look over the previous year and pray about areas in my life needing fine-tuning and to make lists. But last year I latched onto the one word idea. For those of you new to the one word concept, you choose one word, the word that depicts an area of your life you need or want to grow. I wasn't sure about choosing a word this year, but while reading through Job I realized God wanted to improve my listening skills. As a counselor I do a lot of listening, but when it comes to God, I need some work. I find it easy to talk to Him about stuff, but then I rush into the day and forget to stop and listen to what He has to say. Yes, this is leading to the humbling part of my story.

Yesterday I was reading the writing of another blogger and she had posted about her one word. She requested others to respond with their one word. The inspiration for responding was the opportunity to receive a free gift. So while I was in the midst of an eloquent response, stew bubbling on the stove, my husband comes into the kitchen and asks if I wanted him to turn the heat down under the stew. If you know anything about me, when I am processing in any way, it is as if I dropped down deep into a rabbit hole. When I hear a voice from above, it takes awhile before I really pay attention to what is being said, and even longer to surface from my personal space of contemplation to respond. Or, as I did in this case, I snapped, “I am trying to write.”

I eventually surfaced and turned down the heat, all the while my husband stood by watching and commenting, “That is too high.” I snapped again, “I know how to cook.” He was just trying to help and if I had listened in the first place, I could have answered, “Yes,” and returned to my writing. Writing completed and fully aware of my surroundings I was suddenly hit with this thought: while writing about my one word and the passage in Job I believe God had given to me, elaborating how I even hoped to learn to listen better to my husband – right in the middle of all my spiritual babble I am tested. And I failed. Ouch! How quickly it was confirmed: I desperately need to learn to listen better to God and to my husband.

I chuckled at the irony, but was grieved about hurting my husband's feelings. I made a confession and an apology was given to my husband. And I had to give him time to get over the sting of my disrespectful words. What a way to start out the new year. The one word commitment is more like a mirror reflecting my great need to submit my listening skills into the Father's hands for adjustment.

I would love to hear how you seam together the past year with the new year. Do you set goals, make resolutions or make lists of new things to be accomplished? What are you looking forward to in 2015?
Happy new year, friends!

P.S. Watch for my next post to hear more about the photo.

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