Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Month of Thankfulness - Day 8 - He Gave Us The Ability to Listen

My ears stick out. They always have. Much like the sister "Amy" in "Little Women" who kept putting the clothes pin on her nose to make it turn up, I tried for years and years to get my ears to lay flat back. I thought it was because I constantly tucked my hair behind my ears, but it was genetics. I knew that when my first granddaughter was born, and HER ears stuck out. And she didn't have much hair! : / 

Lately, I've given my ears a break. I wear my hair short - NO - that's not it really; it's that I've spent a lot of time in quiet. 

Or TRIED to make it quiet, less the humming of the refrigerator, the sound of the dog, the ringing in my ears.

Life has been much noisier at times, and sometimes I equate noise to JOY - a house full of grands, chattering kids, toddling little ones, babies crying. Guys cheering on their teams while we ladies try to chit chat in the kitchen. A full house. 

It's one time that JOY doesn't equal REST. It's the hustle and bustle of getting things ready, and put out on the table, and make sure that things are "just so" so we can capture the memories of THAT day...because we never know what "that day" next year will look like (especially with kids in missions). 

SO, after a season of a FULL HOUSE daily, my heart longed for a silent retreat. But our house sold too quickly (that's an oxymoron), and my quiet retreat has turned into a daily ritual. Empty house. Minimal noise. No kids. 

Occasionally I get to hear the sound of the college kids that God's brought into our life, into our home. I hear their conversation, what God is teaching them this season, and giving thanks for the meal as they wave down the driveway. I'm grateful for them, and wonder why.... but I gladly accept it.

And as I sit now, in the southern exposure of my kitchen, sitting at the table that has become my favorite place, I think of my sad heart - missing the company of those college girls - missing those grands running around the house - missing my husband (away at work) - and the quiet is hollow and deafening. 

Until I listen. Intentionally. Over the tap tap tap of the keyboard and into the silence of my heart, being held in perfect balance. I hear His still, quiet voice remind me to not forget the brochures I've forgotten once this week already. 

I glance at the clock, and run out the door, realizing I'm going to barely be on time to make lunch with a new friend. I arrive (a few minutes early, but she's already here!), and we talk about our days. I'm grateful I wasn't late. Thankful that I have someone to meet with, to pray with and talk about life with. More than just a good excuse to get out of the house today, we are building a ministry, and investing in friendship together. She already knows my life is less than perfect, my past less than pristine. We can rejoice in all God has done in us, and is doing THROUGH us, in this season of life.

My ears, those same ones that stick out a little, like to listen in prayer. Try to tune into the Holy Spirit as He prompts me to "grab those brochures", or pray for this woman, or help this person out. I trust what He says. It's true. It's solid. It's never wrong. 

I'm thankful He gave us ears to hear, and when we take the time to hear His still, quiet voice, it does us a world of good, leading us, directing our paths. If I just take time to listen.

Proverbs 8:32 - 35 (NIV)
“Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord."

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