I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. Proverbs 5:13
For the past few years, my family has been copying my friend, Jess Weller, by doing her Kids in Service Family Interview on New Year’s Day. It’s a short worksheet that helps us capture what’s impacted us during the previous year. At the same time, it inspires us to set our sights on what we hope to achieve in the upcoming year.
One line asks who our teachers are. I’m no longer in school, of course, but I do have a spiritual director and close friends who teach me new things all the time. I always put their names on this line.
Reflecting more on that question, I realized I’m limiting myself immensely.
Although it doesn’t seem related, I believe the success of my ministries comes from something called “Faith Sharing.” It’s basically giving each person time to share, uninterrupted, on either the chapter we read each month during our MOSAIC Moms Groups, or on the content I presented on in my retreats.
When we’re too busy forming responses to other people’s comments, or cutting them off to affirm them, we miss truly listening to what they have to say. Although it’s hard for me to adhere to (I LOVE to talk), I’ve learned how powerful Faith Sharing can be.
When we allow someone to share her thoughts, from start to finish, she feels heard, empowered, and inspired to solve her own problems. The effect it has on us listeners is just as miraculous: Suddenly, we possess the ears and heart to hear God speaking through her, learning so much in the process.
It occurred to me that the practice of Faith Sharing defines the teachers in our lives: They’re the people we truly listen to. In this light, why wouldn’t we listen well to those around us, instead of robbing ourselves of more teachers who can bless us?
Sadly, I’m realizing I don’t adhere to Faith Sharing with my own kids. I’ve been their teacher for so long, I presume the teaching only goes one way. Consequently, I cut them off constantly, or create my grocery list in my head while they ramble on. Shame on me!
If I can go against my natural tendencies with other moms, and extend Faith Sharing to them, how dare I not do the same with my own kids? I’m positive that if I did, I’d realize just how much they have to teach me.
There’s now one more item on my short list of New Year Resolutions: Become a good listener with my children, allowing them to become the three new teachers in my life.
Questions for Reflection:
* Do I realize how much I learn from others when I allow them to talk uninterrupted?
* Do I allow my children to talk uninterrupted?
* Do I view them as teachers in my life?
I have learned so much through the Faith Sharing process. It is so powerful and I am so grateful to you for introducing it to me. I too need to put “listening” to my kids on my resolution list…
We both have my spiritual director to thank for this. She’s the one who told/taught me about it. It is just one of many, many things she’s blessed me with. I’m so glad it’s blessed you too, Jess!
a SPEAKER ONCE SAID AT A MEETING THAT EVERYONE YOU MEET KNOWS SOMETHING YOU DON’T KNOW. JUST THINK ABOUT THAT.
That is SO true, Mary! I will most definitely think about that. Thanks so much for sharing!