My kids aren’t listening, and I’m worn out.
Lately our habits (theirs and mine) have gotten pretty ugly. They don’t listen. I yell. It doesn’t help. I get mad. I yell more. They finally hear and give me the “what is your problem, crazy lady?” stare. I lecture. They try not to roll their eyes. We all walk away grumpy.
I know. Mom of the Year.
Yesterday, I decided to try a little experiment.
I called the troops in close, their three little bodies right up next to mine. In a hushed voice, I told them the plan: “Today, I will only be whispering, so you may have to try a little harder to listen. Got it? Ok, Go play!” And off they went, the Boy-child on his scooter and the girls, straight to their friends waiting nearby, ready to play.
And that’s what I did. I whispered to my kids all day long.
Here’s what this little experiment taught me:
#1: It’s hard to be mad (and act like a crazy woman) when you’re whispering. With my volume in check, my tone changed too. So, even when I needed to correct or discipline, it was done gently.
#2: Whispering forced me to get more physically involved with my kids. This means I couldn’t yell at them from a reclining position on the couch or sitting at my desk by the computer. I had to be where they were, where they could see me, if I expected to be heard.
#3: I felt a lot less tired (and remarkably peaceful) at the end of the day.
What I learned gave me great parenting perspective, but that wasn’t my favorite part.
The best thing about whispering with my kids all day was that this experiment forced us to spend the day in sweet proximity. Face to face and uncomfortably close for most. A few times my youngest even pressed his sweet, chubby cheeks into my neck so he wouldn’t miss a word coming from my lips.
The experiment did all of us good.
MY HOLY REMINDER
Towards the end of the day, as I was reflecting on this little experiment, I felt a gentle nudge in my heart. Quietly, God reminded me that He likes to whisper too. Not in a great, powerful wind. Not in an earthquake or fire. But in a gentle whisper, He speaks (1 Kings 19:11–13).
The thought of it overwhelmed me.
All day long, I practiced and experienced with my three littles the intimate way that God so often chooses to speak to me. He whispers. And, He invites me to press in close, uncomfortably close at times, so that I don’t miss a single word He says.
This little parenting experiment reminded me that hearing comes through relationship.
“God-friendship is for God-worshipers; They are the ones he confides in.” Psalm 25:14 MSG
It is in God’s nature to speak. The question is: Are our lives quiet enough and are we close enough to hear Him?
Today’s challenge: Practice listening. Walk away from the noise of your day and spend some time investing in your relationship with Jesus. Open your Bible. God is always present and speaking through the Word. And, talk to Jesus like you would talk to your best friend. Become the type of God-worshiper that the Lord can confide in.