I read a quote recently by Maya Angelou. "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."
How many times have you been in a conversation with someone and found yourself thinking about what you want to say next instead of truly listening to the person you're talking to? I have found myself doing this on more occasions than I would like to count.
My personality tends to bubble over and if not tempered, can get a little overwhelming. My Uncle Brian, someone I respect deeply, sent me the book How To Win Friends And Influence People after he noticed me begin my journey to adulthood without the people skills and communication skills I needed. I learned so much from this book and recommend it highly. Philip will be reading this book soon, and when Gracie is older, she will as well. Things I learned then still come to mind. I mess up a lot still, by talking too much or not listening enough, but I cannot imagine how much worse off I would be if I didn't have the building blocks I'd gotten then.
Something else we miss out on if we are constantly talking is the sound of God. He is here, talking to us constantly. Can we hear Him? Are we even listening?
I've been encouraged to keep my home purposefully quiet for a period of time each day so that God and my kids and my husband all have no competition for my attention. No radio, tv, nothing. I'm available to listen.
What would we learn about our children if we listened more? They're telling us what we need to know, with their actions and their words.
Oh, if we would really hear what God is saying to us. What our spouse is saying to us.
I want to improve my communication skills and fine tune them by listening when people talk, and when they don't. Often what people don't say says so much. By watching what people do. Actions really do speak so loudly!
I'd love to hear about your favorite book, or a book that changed your life! Please tell me about it below in the comments.