Beb LinderThe Power of Listening

(Like you, I get hundred’s of emails each week.  However, I look forward to receiving the newsletter from Bev Linder.  We’ve never met but her newsletter speaks to my heart each time I receive it.  I believe it will bless you also.  You may want to request her newsletter.  The information is at the bottom. )

James 1:19 says, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak…” There is power in active intentional, and respectful listening.  It’s the best way to help our kids have an open heart to receive what we have to say about faith in God.

Imparting faith to children (ed. note: everyone) involves listening to them, for that is the beginning of giving them an understanding of their value before God. It is an un-special need to be valued in this tangible way.

Josh McDowell has said, “Part of good communication is listening with the eyes as well as with the ears.” Our culture moves so fast. As a special parent you are probably moving from therapy session to school meeting to doctor appointment, but nothing will touch the life of your precious child more than slowing down and listening to his words and to his heart. You might have a child who is nonverbal, but you can still “listen” by giving him or her your undivided attention in a quiet setting.

A while ago, Mike and I attended a memorial service that changed our lives. We didn’t even know this person. His name was Jan, a man in his 40’s who died of cancer. We only went because we knew his sister and wanted to be supportive of her. Little did we know how Jan’s life would touch our own!

The sharing time came at the service, and thus started the most amazing accounts of a person touching people’s lives, and it all revolved around Jan’s giftedness to listen! There were homeless people, neighbors, couples whose marriages were in trouble, there were old people and young people, and they all were moved by Jan’s listening heart. One friend of Jan’s felt compelled to go up to the stairs of the church and demonstrate how Jan would listen. “He would hunker down and get comfortable, like this. Then he would set his gaze on me, and say, “What’s going on with you, brother?”

It was the perfect picture of James 1:19 because Jan would be quick and deliberate in his “hearing” and then he would slowly share the truth of God’s Word, which found fertile soil in the hearts of these individuals who felt so valued.

Have you ever had someone listen to you? I mean really “hunker down” and set their gaze on you and communicate through body language that what is in your soul matters to them? When that happens, life suddenly doesn’t seem so bad. And you are much more open to whatever that person wants to share with you.  Kids are no different. Our kids with special needs are especially hungry to have someone care about what is inside of their soul for it’s something they likely don’t experience very often. Their young hearts will respond to respectful attentiveness and that will set the stage for you to tell them about the love of God.

 
Bev Linderbev@special-heart.com

www.special-heart.com

 

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We recently got a kitten, and my biggest fear was that he would not use his litter box, but have “accidents” all over the house (we’ve had kittens before so we know the dangers!) Happily, he took right to the box.

However, every morning while I’m engaging the unpleasant task of scooping out, Durango chooses just that moment to use the box, making the chore even harder!

So I say to him, “Durango, I’m glad you use your box, but you sure do have lousy timing!”

Lousy timing…that phrase coming out of my own mouth gave me pause, because I realize how often I have had lousy timing with my kids and with my husband.

For example, correcting kids is a good thing. It’s one good way that they learn. But often I chose to correct them during a heated moment: when they spilled their food all over the floor; when they embarrassed me in public; when they were upset over something that only their young hearts and minds understood.

A child’s ability to learn heart lessons about behavior during a time of conflict or high emotion is ZERO in my opinion.

 

Here’s something to remember: the louder and more emotive we talk, the less our kids hear!

Yet, in those times when I acted more wisely, and corrected and taught my kids after the incident and when everyone was calm, their hearts were open to my instruction, and they learned lessons that would help them be motivated from the inside, as opposed to merely externally and not from the heart.  It was a time when we could talk about the “whys” of behavior, and therefore when they could embrace convictions of their own.

It’s the same principle with a spouse or any other close relationship. Timing is everything when it comes to effective communication that leads to heart-felt changes.

 

I’m an impulsive person by nature, but that doesn’t excuse those times when I have a poor sense of timing.

Proverbs 15:28 says, ” The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer…”

The word “ponder” is defined in my dictionary as “to weigh in the mind; to reflect upon.” Pondering brings about words that are spoken at the right time.

Avoid “lousy timing.” Cats don’t know much about timing (save maybe in catching mice and bugs) but God has given us humans the ability to ponder and to use good timing to help our kids learn lesson of the heart that will stay with them for life.

copyright 2011

Bev Linder

 

Comments?  I’d love to hear from you!

contact me at: bev@special-heart.com

 

www.special-heart.com

This is an email I received from Bev Linder today.  I wanted to share this with you.  Brad had many physical disabilities and died a few years ago.

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Dear friends,
The following is one of the blogs on my website.  Many of you who receive this mailing may not be aware of my blog.  To view more blogs click here.
When I was home schooling Brad, I would sometimes go out of the house for a while and leave him doing his schoolwork.  He would invariably call me, and about 95% of the time, his first words were, “When will you be home, Mom?”  My answer varied–sometimes I had a bunch to do yet; sometimes, I had only one or two more errands; and some days I would say, “Guess what, Brad.  I’m driving into our driveway right now and should be walking through the door any minute!” Now Brad is in heaven…

 

…and while I was out today, I looked at my cell phone and I could almost hear him saying, “When will you be home, Mom?”  It struck me that Brad really is still waiting for me to come home, only now it is our eternal Home.  I believe with all my heart that our loved ones in heaven still love us and look forward to being with us just as much as we look forward to being with them.
The difference now is that I don’t know when I will be Home.  I may still have much to do on this earth; or maybe I only have a few things that God wants me to accomplish; or maybe I am just about to walk through that door!
And just like when I would leave Brad home when I did my errands, although he is looking forward to seeing me and others that he loves, he is not sitting around idly. When he was here, he was busy doing his school work.  Now, he is busy in heaven.  2 Corinthians 5:9 says, “Therefore we have as our ambition whether at home or absent (whether in heaven or still on earth) to be pleasing to Him.”  I have the same ambition as my son (and other loved ones in heaven)–to be pleasing to Christ in my service.
And I’ll be Home, soon Brad…not sure how soon, but soon!
Bev Linder
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