“Excuse me, Mommy. . .” These are usually the words that Hannah uses when I am not listening to her. It’s her way of (politely) saying, “Mama, LISTEN TO ME!!! Of course, she gets louder with her politeness if I don’t pay attention for the first (or second or third) time! She just wants to know that she has my undivided attention.
A few weeks ago, a lady in my church spoke to us women about the importance of listening to each other, and it has been weighing on my mind since then. I have been known to be a pretty good listener when it comes to my friends, but lately I have been noticing that I am not giving the same consideration to my children or my husband. It’s so hard to listen when there are several people talking to you at one time! And when you spend the entire day with little people whose conversations with you consist of the number of times they have gone to the potty that day or who needs a diaper change, it is very easy to stop listening to what those little voices are saying.
I’m not talking about not hearing them! I know when they are in trouble, unhappy, angry, joyful. And I always know where they are (we have a small house, you know)! But it’s hard to stop stirring the chili to bend down and look into Hannah’s eyes and actually listen to the story that she is telling me. It is hard to stop washing the dishes to pick Ephraim up from his ever-present post at my knee to listen to his baby babble. But even if what they are saying is silly or seems silly to me, it’s important to them, and it’s important that I take the time to listen. This moment may be fleeting in their lives, but the fact that their mother took the time to listen to them will stay with them forever and mold their own self-worth.
In some ways, I am just like my children. To God, I am just a child – someone He longs to hold, comfort, and love. I wonder how many times a day I come to God with something that is pretty silly in the whole scheme of things, but God takes the time to listen. He knows that whatever trial is overwhelming me at this point in time is fleeting and will never be thought of again in eternity, but He lets me cry and whine and tell Him all of my sorrows. In fact, He longs for me to come to Him with every aspect of my life! Sometimes I feel like I am crying out to Him, “LISTEN TO ME!” But He doesn’t need me to shout. He’s right there all the time – listening to every word I say and then wrapping His loving arms around me, calming me, soothing me, and whispering, “I love you.”