You can’t fool them, you know.
Two pudgy hands cup left cheek and right, turn your face to demand your eyes laser lock onto hers, and she whisper-stomps “Mama, you’re not listening…!”
Technically, you’re right when you coo, “Yes I am, honey, I can just do two things at once,” because you did hear her; but she’s right because you weren’t listening.
Hearing only requires ears; listening demands ears, eyes, mind…and heart. The difference is ages apart.
Your children don’t just know the difference, they understand the difference:
Something else is more important than them in that moment.
O u c h!
I grow weary from all the admonitions to focus on Christ during the Christmas season, to resist holiday busyness. Please don’t get me wrong–I agree with that!–but then I see a believing people tangled and lifeless in sticky-webs of shopping, baking, parties and school or church programs….
And mamas are distracted…
And daddies are working extra hard to pay for everything…
And though our homes have never looked more lovely or smelled more cinnamony delicious…
Our actions are speaking loudly and they don’t always match up to our words.
Or maybe I’m the only one…. :/
* * * * *
God incarnated man becoming fully present with us to experience life as we know it. He felt the love of his mother’s touch, he learned craft at the hand of his father, he celebrated marriage, and he cried from personal loss. He looked his friends and followers directly in the eye and gave them his complete attention, regardless of the demands placed on him and distractions associated with circumstance.
Jesus was fully present with his family and followers. Jesus IS fully present with his family and followers.
And so, sweet lovies, might I suggest a Christmas gift you can give your family and friends this year? Something inexpensive but absolutely priceless?
Your undivided attention.
Active listening instead of passive hearing.
Being fully present when you’re with them.
Close your laptop when they walk into the room. If you’re a blogger, let go of any notion that you “owe” your readers daily postings at the expense of your marriage and family. Silence your cell phone. Be available to the people who need you. Be still with the people you love!
As a mom to a high school senior, I promise–learned from experience!–you don’t have much time….
You...your presence–sharing tea or dinner or reading aloud or over a game of Candyland–is the lovliest of all gifts to give and receive.
Please chime in! What are the holiday trappings that threaten to divide your attention? Have you unintentionally ignored your children or spouse while readying for Christmas? What are your suggestions for meaningfully engaging those you love?