Taking the Time to Listen

Missional Mothering

My life is busy. I tend to always be in a hurry. And since I usually have all three kids in tow, I’m usually rushing them through my life as well. “Hurry and get your shoes on.” “Hurry up and run to the bathroom.” “Quickly get in the car.”

Making the most of our time isn’t wrong, but rushing relationships is. At least half of my daily frustration comes from trying to get my four year old to come to the point more quickly.  Or, because she talks non-stop all day long, I tend to assume that she doesn’t have a point or that I already know what’s being said; I stop listening altogether.

But relating doesn’t happen on a time clock. Relationships aren’t built on a kitchen timer. Sometimes, it takes a moment to get to the heart of a matter; it takes time to listen. As easy as it is for me to hush my children and send them out to play when I have important tasks to attend to, I rarely silence the rest of the world for a few moments with my children.

I think I take for granted that they’ll still be around when I hang up the phone or check off my to-do list. When the “important things” get done, then I’ll play and giggle and listen. Only the day ends without that opportunity, and the next day begins with more important stuff. So my little ones wait, or they tell their story to someone else.

Oh, how easily I’m deceived! To redeem the time, to intentionally look into those little eyes, to hang on every one of those awkwardly formed words, to push aside the world instead of the precious little ones,  to remember that in every moment there is one thing most needful—that’s where I am today, where I strive to be. I want to listen, to make the most of every moment, knowing that those seconds ticking by are not wasted but invested.