Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shhhhh - listen...!

Hi all,
First, thank you to Candee, Priti, Deb, and others who sent notes and messages about our dear "Big Dog" - also known as Abby. After more than 2 months, I still look for her nearly every day. I know many of you can relate - my sister just lost her precious "Bud," the oldest of her 3 rescued kitties. It is so hard to go through and yet they bring us such joy while they're here.

Tomorrow I will be talking to some folks about listening. One of the things that I always think of when talking about listening is how fast our minds can "listen" compared to how fast humans talk; we talk at about 125 words a minute and most of us listen about 4 times faster than that. That means that if you are talking to me, about 75% (or more!) of my mind is wandering around wondering what to do with itself!! Most of the time it finds something, too! And that means I'm not listening as well as I could.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 46:10: "Be still and know that I am God." But isn't that true in other relationships, too? Shouldn't we "be still" when we are supposed to be listening to someone we care about?

I know that for me, when Guy is talking about guitars (which he has done pretty much non-stop since I've met him!), I have a tendency to tune out (OUCH! I hate to admit that!). Sometimes my mind starts planning workshop outlines or deciding what to wear tomorrow or what to fix for dinner. It happens with good friends, too, but probably not nearly as often as with my poor husband. I will tell you, though, that it happens a lot less than it did several years ago because I have become aware of it and determined to do better.

There are many reasons we don't listen well - we may be planning what we are going to say next, we may be thinking about a problem we have or something we're looking forward to, we may even be distracted by smells (think "popping popcorn"), movement, noises, or whatever.'ve heard it before. We have to be AWARE and guard against not listening. That sounds so simple, doesn't it? And it really is if we will just practice it.

Now tell me, have you been listening????


Thursday, July 1, 2010


Hi everyone,

Well, you can certainly tell by the dates on my posts that my life has been a bit hectic of late. Still dealing with the bum shoulder - now have 3 appointments a week trying to avoid surgery! Back still a bit achy and still have the issue with the inside of my mouth and tongue...ARGH!! Guy is still doing his "swallow therapy" with the speech pathologist, numerous other things have been pouncing on my calendar, we still both seem to be missing our dear Abby... and again, y'all know how it goes, I'm sure :-)

Here's what I've noticed though; apparently, others around me have sensed (maybe because of the whining that I have allowed to slip through - sorry!) that things have me a bit on edge right now. So some have taken to "lifting me up" with encouraging words, which is such a kind thing to do. My sister, who has her own daily irritants I'm sure, has been checking on my appointments. Two dear friends, Leslie and Cheryl, have been checking in on me and chewing me out when necessary when I'm too hard on myself(another form of encouragement,right?? LOL!). Guy has noticed that I'm not my normal cheery self (which, admittedly, sometimes drives him nuts!) and has been unusually "aware."

You get the picture - there are people who have taken time from their own troubles and full calendars to help me get my footing again - they have made it a point to encourage me.

So I'm taking a page from their playbooks - I'm going to try to get back on an even keel quickly so that I can once again be an encourager. I now know how it feels to be the recipient of those efforts - and it feels pretty darned good. Now it's time for me to get back on the other side and be the "giver." I can't wait!

How about you? Have you encouraged someone lately? Do it today and let me know how it goes!