Thursday, February 4

inside the cows?

My younger girls frequently *ice skate* on our kitchen's tile floor as there is an open area that leads to the rest of the house.  And they don't just *ice skate* as there is typically music playing that they *ice skate* to while they glide and spin and listen to their mother say things like....."You had better be careful or else you are going to fall and crack your head open."

The *ice skating* music tends to be of the classical type or something like Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra, but yesterday they were listening to an old Disney princess CD left behind by their oldest sister which was a bit livelier.  However, I had to stop and ask them what the words were that they were singing as the words didn't make sense to me from what I knew of the song.  Surprisingly, I was hearing correctly.

"It's what's inside the cows!"


And I couldn't help but burst out in laughter!

They replayed the part again and I guess it kind of did sound like that was what they were singing on the CD, but certainly wouldn't have made sense if you listened to all the words in the song.

The correct phrase that should have been sung from their mouths?

"It's what's inside that counts!" 

Communication.  How important it is to be a good precise listener!  And of all the arts that have gone by the wayside, the art of listening seems to be one that is disappearing.  Why?  Perhaps because it takes time.  It takes effort.  It takes concentration.  It takes complete focus on another person and away from self.  It's an art that can't be rushed.  And honestly, it's hard to do any or all of those tasks in the world of hurry and rush we live in.  But, ohhhh, what a treasured art listening is especially in relationship building!

It's critical as a parent when dealing with children, as a wife dealing with a husband, as a friend dealing with a distraught friend, as a business person listening to a customer's complaint.  Because if you aren't really listening, you can't truly discern what you are hearing and you may not catch something that specifically doesn't make sense with rest of what is being said.   Like with the girls song.

That perhaps comes in most importantly when listening to man's teaching about God's Word.  Listen carefully and do hold up what is being said to make certain it is consistent with what God's actual word says.  

That very thing came up last night as I was in the beginning pages of a free book that I just picked up.  I was humming along thinking that much of it made sense yet there was something that felt a bit like a "tickling of my ears" (Second Timothy 4:3-4).  As I read a bit further, the author mentioned the name of a pastor who had influenced her by his teaching and suddenly the tickling stopped and was replaced by alarm bells.  I knew of this person's teachings and do not agree with the majority of his interpretations.  So, I set the book aside.  Now to decide if I want to continue to read this book and take what is consistent with Scripture to apply in my life or not waste my time wading through it with discernment since I know there are bound to be major areas of disagreement.  

Yes, listening is more than something we do with our ears.  It is something that we do with our eyes through reading.  But we also listen with our eyes as we watch.   A perfect example of that comes from my birth doula work.  A mom can be saying "ouch" as she is in labor, but my eyes scan her body to look for signs of how serious that "ouch" may be.  Are her hands clenched or relaxed?  Is her face strained or calm?  Is she swaying or locked into a position?  This same type of watchfulness can be applied whenever we are are avidly listening to another person as their body language speaks to us.

Listen. Listen well.  Develop the art.  If you feel you aren't a good listener, pick one aspect at a time to work on in your life.  Maybe focus on stopping what you are doing when someone is talking to you (how often do moms stay on a task while their child or spouse approach them in conversation?).   Maybe focus on checking body language while listening - their eyes, their hands, their movements.  Maybe slow down your own thoughts to just listen and not focus on your response.  Maybe pray that the Lord places a love for others on your heart that sparks the desire to want to hear what another is saying.  And maybe others reading this have other thoughts on tips to help become a better listener.

Listen.  Listen well.  Develop the art.  Because what's inside does count!

Tammy ~@~



A Joyful Chaos said...

I find it interesting and amusing the many things children change the words for in songs. I really should start keeping a list!

Our four year old used to sing Praise Him praise Him naughty naughty children. Instead of "all ye little children." Gave us some chuckles.

mom said...

Yes, Suzanne, you really should start keeping a list!

So many people will say to me that I must have thousands of funny stories to tell about all my kids. And I 'm sure I do....just can never remember them :::sigh::

Tammy ~@~

Nezzy said...

More often than not people want someone to listen to them and not really try to solve their situation.

I loved the mixed up communication of your daughters lyrics.

You have a fabulously blessed day!!!

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