Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak

Most Sundays, I find a little quiet time when my husband takes my oldest daughter to the grocery store to watch a live message from church. I love watching Andy Stanley, and I feel like he preaches about passages in a way that relates to everyone, even non-believers. I think that is what’s so great about his sermons, because he wants to reach everyone and teach them about Jesus, even if they have no knowledge of Him.

This Sunday, I had to catch up and watch the first message in the current series called Me and My Big Mouth, and the title of the message is Quick to Listen. If you have 40 minutes, you can listen to it HERE. The passage in the Bible that sparked this message is James 1:19-20.

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

That passage and message hit me really hard, and is something that I have struggled with and am going to work on. Ever since I watched it, I’ve been linking it to everything going on in politics right now and in friendships. The main message is this: In an argument or discussion, we need to be quick to listen and slow to speak. That means that we need to truly listen to the other person’s ideas/points and not be thinking about how we are going to reply. If we are thinking about our reply, we’re not truly understanding. Then we need to ask questions if we don’t understand where the other person is coming from, instead of assuming.

Even if we believe we are right in the argument, we need to understand that the other person also believes that THEY are also right. We need to understand that God does not want us to be right at one another, but right with one another. That really got to me. And when James says “anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” he is SO right! Everyone is concerned with rightness, and self righteousness, but that is NOT the righteousness that we need to be striving for.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

I keep reading this chapter in James and it gets me even more hyped. Verse 26 says “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” SO MANY people need to hear this. We(I’m just as guilty) as Christians need to be better about our actions and words and truly reflect how God wants us to be.

I know that this message could be helpful in my own marriage and in my own friendships. When someone tells me that I’ve hurt them, instead of claiming my own hurt or defending my actions, I will affirm their feelings and apologize. When I know I’m right, instead of stating my case with evidence or shutting down, I will be curious and patient while the other person explains their point of view. I wish more people would practice this too, and I feel like the world would be much more peaceful.

Try practicing this in your own relationships and let me know how it goes. You’ll make it, mama!

❀ Niki

Monday, Monday

** Monday, Monday… The Mama’s & the Papa’s  **

No truer words were ever sung about a Monday than in Monday, Monday by the Mama’s & the Papa’s. Today is no exception. This weekend was SO much fun with my mom and my grandmother in town that it made today especially difficult.

On Saturday, we took the girls to Chestatee Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in Dahlonega, GA. It is such a neat facility and Aubrey thoroughly enjoyed it! All of the animals are rescues and all of the workers are volunteers. There is a small admission fee but all funds go back into the park to feed and maintain the animals. We saw lions, zebras, elk, bears, emus, panthers, and wolves, to name a few. We bought a bucket of food as well to feed some of the animals(obviously not the lions or the bears). It wasn’t too hot and we had such a blast watching Aubrey getting excited over the animals.

On Sunday, we went to INK in Gainesville, GA which is an interactive neighborhood for kids. It is the cutest place for little ones. It is even fit for 2 year olds! It really is a small-scale town with a grocery store, dentist, vet, beauty salon, and more. Aubrey is super independent so she loved doing everything by herself and it was all her size. Small entry fee for that one as well but totally worth it!

Since we were so busy this weekend and went on several adventures, this morning and afternoon were very humdrum. Firstly, my mom and grandmother had to leave us, so I had my own pity party waving goodbye to adult conversation and help with the girls.  This morning, I had to go get groceries and take Emery to the doctor to get a vaccine; neither of which are exactly enjoyable. Then, this afternoon, I had to clean and get dinner ready, and then Emery had a huge blowout right in the middle of typing that first paragraph, actually.

It is kind of humorous how every Monday seems to be the same, even though I’m a SAHM and my routine doesn’t really change. It just feels like a Monday.  It smells like a Monday. Everything that happens just screams MONDAY! But in some ways, I love Mondays because we can start the week fresh with new goals. This week, we are signing up for a summer reading program with our local library and we are going to find and make some easy crafts.

As this Monday comes to a close, I can say with certainty, You’ll Make it, Mama!

❀ Niki