Learning to Listen

I know I’ve done this a hundred times…I’ve spent all day (sometimes all week!) immersed in conversations with my children. And these are good talks, ones that I cherish, but they are all one-sided. And that’s not to say that my kids don’t ask me about my day or ask me what I want to play next (even though that’s such a token offer!), but the actual information that I can share with my children is limited. There are so many things on my mind that I have to wait and share when I finally get to spend a few moments of quality time with my husband or a friend.

But here’s where I mess up…as soon as I get that opportunity to speak, I can’t stop. I just blab and blab and blab – “here’s what’s been bothering me, here’s what I’ve been dealing with, here’s what I’m thinking about right now” – and sometimes, I am embarrassed to admit, I forget to take a breath and ask my gracious listener “How are you?” Or maybe I do ask, but I’m really just smiling and nodding while they talk – waiting for it to be my turn to speak again.

Today, I am preaching to myself: be a good friend and listen to others. Let them share – and pay attention to what they are saying. I am confident they will return the favor – and you never know when your listening ear is just the thing someone needs to make it through the day.

And just a quick shout out to my amazing mom, wonderful sister, and super sweet friends (you know who you are!)…Thank you for always taking time to listen to me…I promise to do a better job of hearing you from now on 🙂

I miss you, Sis! Looking forward to when we can chat again…

4 ways to LOVE: friends

As we continue our celebration of LOVE this month, here are a few ideas for how to cherish your friendships:

Laugh together – finally get around to scheduling that girls’ night…eat at the restaurant you WANT to go to (not just the most kid-friendly place in town) and share stories of life and motherhood to encourage each other and relate to each other like only true friends can!

Open your heart – be on the lookout for a new family in your child’s class or a new mom in the neighborhood…keep your eyes open for a mom who might need a new friend or an occasional play date…and let her know that she is welcome!

Voice your appreciation – call or write a friend or two and let them know how much they mean to you! Share a few compliments and support them in their endeavors. Let your friends know you are proud of them and you are there for them!

Exchange party – gather together a few friends for a time to swap gently used items (i.e. clothes, shoes, purses, books) that you no longer need or want…it’s a wonderful chance to get some “new to you” items at the best price — free! Set a few ground rules (for example, have everyone bring 3-5 items and one snack) and have fun! You could also use the opportunity to donate some of the items to charity as well.

Friends are such a blessing — let’s let them know how much we LOVE them this month!

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Laugh — have fun — enjoy each other!

Note to self…

This is just a little reminder for myself that I felt like I needed today:

– Hug them close

– Really listen to them

– Smile (and laugh) as much as possible

– Say “I love you” often

– Appreciate your blessings

– Pray for others who are in need…

I am thankful for so much today…

…and my heart goes out to those whose world was shattered early this morning.

Let’s all embrace our families and loved ones today!

 

Makeover your old friendships!

A couple of weeks ago, I got to reconnect with a great friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. She has two small children about the same age as my own, and it was fun to watch our older boys interact with each other.

Once we started talking, I realized how much I had missed seeing her and how much we had in common at this particular point in our lives. It was a lot of fun sharing newborn baby stories and terrible toddler moments with her, and it made me feel like, wow, I’m not the only one who feels this way!

I really hope to see her more often, even though we live about an hour away from each other…the distanced traveled is well worth seeing an old friend.

Question for you: are there any old friendships in your life that could benefit from a little TLC this month?

Thanks for reading!

AlishaMy “oldest” friendships — with my mother and sister!

New Posts!

We’ll be posting several posts each week in the GROW section — to help inspire and inform you!