Welcome to our PAWS for #CoffeeHour @ Chicklit Power with Jennifer and friends…four-legged friends. I love Thursdays…. There is so much to be thankful for and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had such contentment sitting on the couch with our four-legged babies right beside us. There’s just something about the love from a dog…and, oh, the lessons they unknowingly teach us! Grab your coffee and come in for a few minutes, away from all the holiday festivities as Jennifer shares another spiritual analogy and insight gained from her dogs.
I live in house full of men. I have a husband, three boys and two male dogs. The only other female in the house is my cat, and that doesn’t really count! (LOL). Some days I feel like everyone in my house suffers from selective hearing! There are many days where I feel like I am talking to the wall. Even my puppies act like that, though Corey at least wags his tail…as if to say, “I hear you but I don’t know what you are saying.” Logan actively ignores me. He darts his eyes away to tell me…yea, yeah; I can hear you but I’m not listening.
We are all capable of listening effectively in different situations and to different people. Listening effectively is, however, an active process – something that we have to do consciously and something that takes practice. Communication is the same way. I think what happens is that we get stuck in our way of communicating and those around us “listen” on auto-pilot. We forget that God created our words to carry weight and purpose. After all, God spoke the world into existence, Genesis 1. We are created in his image and our words can build up or tear down!
Often we think that our words evaporate or carry no weight. This isn’t true. I still recall hurtful remarks from my childhood, and remarks which carry their sting of verbal abuse from my ex-husband, and yet, I am able to find joy in the exhortation of a friend. Sometimes things “slip out”….”Oh, I didn’t mean to say that.” God’s word tells us that words flow out of what is inside of us. “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart” Luke 6:45.
As I ponder why I feel no one is listening, I have to reflect on what am I really saying. Is my go-to response words of peace, joy, harmony…or something else?
‘Tis the season….we can choose to “be Merry and Bright” or The Grinch. My prayer is that my heart will grow in size this season and that the people around me will hear words of life, affirmation and love…instead of…well, the opposite! J. One thing I do know for sure is that my dogs respond much better to “Good boy” than “Bad Boy.”
If you feel like someone’s not listening, maybe it’s time to check what you are saying…or better yet, how are you saying it?