How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk by Becky Harling (book review)

 At the start of 2020, I read Steve and Becky Harling's book Listen Well, Lead Better . It was a fair book, but not outstanding in my mind. I much preferred John C. Maxwell's Everyone Communicates, Few Connect when it comes to the realm of building your listening skills so you can lead well.   However, I wasn't looking for that specific of a takeaway when I started How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk by Becky Harling. I try to be very intentional on building my relationships with my children. I hear from other friends that their kids don't talk to them, and I don't think of myself as a good listener. I talk a lot and I think most of us talkers would say listening is not our strength. However, I want to continue to grow myself so that I can be a good listener, especially when it comes to my own children.   This was a terrific book, but I can't go over all of the specifics so I'm just going to choose a few things to touch on that were meaningful to me:   In

ask for help

Last week, one of my sons realized that he had turned in the wrong thing on two assignments, resulting in him having three assignments in one day. He had not even tried to turn in the correct thing, ignoring the directions. So I had the fun of re-learning statistics math for several hours on a very beautiful afternoon. It was good time with him; definitely our best time doing math together (and there have been many bad times prior lol), but I was astonished at how upset he was to ask for help. I asked why he just turned in whatever ("crap" was my word of choice just to keep it real) and asked why he didn't ask for help if he didn't understand the assignment. "I am supposed to be independent!" he cried. I explained to him that he will always need to ask for help - always. I told him I have to ask for help. We talked to his dad about how he has to ask for help at work. The thing is, I get it. I HATE to ask for help. Vehemently hate it. It's an inte


The most formidable sin any of us will find lurking inside is all of our false identities. God urged the Israelites to not have any other god before him. This was no joke. Foreign gods ran rampant all around them. Yet they had the living God, who rescued them from Egypt and parted the Red Sea, dwelling among them in a pillar of fire and a cloud filling their tabernacle!!! One would think that their identities were surely set in stone - people of God. via wallpapercreations That's not what we see in the Scriptures, is it? We see them continually turning away from their Lord (my son would remind us that this is cycle of apostasy), pursuing a human king, worshipping idols, persecuting the Lord's prophets because they cannot see the sin in their own lives. As a Christian, I can often judge the Israelites on their wandering hearts. Then when I look at my own heart, I can see it there, too. I set my identity in Christ...but is it in Him alone? We are called to forsake all


  The other day I was doing a Sydney Cummings workout video on YouTube, when she said something that really struck me. She said that "location doesn't dictate your goals." She was talking about fitness, but I believe it applies to spiritual goals, too.   My goals for my children and myself haven't changed from before COVID-19. I still pray the same things:   -for my children to surrender to and love the Lord   -for my children to love others (starting with their siblings)   -for my children to kill the idols and sin in their lives   -for them to trust and obey (their parents and the Lord)   -for them to have security   My goals for myself haven't changed. I still pray the same things for myself:   -to focus on Christ   -to choose the pleasure of humility   -to take my thoughts captive and renew my mind   -to practice stillness and silence (much more difficult but maybe more important right now)   -to keep my tongue from evil   -to rest in Him   Wh

bountiful eyes

via Flickr   The ESV version of the Bible translates Proverbs 22:9 like this: "Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor."   I thought of Christ when I read this. He had a bountiful eye. He saw his bounty in his relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He did not keep that to himself but saw us in our sin and came for us - to share his heirship with us (Romans 8:17).   What do we do with this knowledge, this privilege? Do we store up our bounty for ourselves? Yesterday, I shared the verse about not storing for ourselves treasures on earth. This is along the same lines. We cannot keep this to ourselves - this love, this amazing grace!   Are we hoarders? Do we hoard our time? Do we hoard our stuff? Do we hoard our talents? What does that look like, in this season of social distancing, to use those things for our neighbors?   A friend of mine shared a video on Facebook about how to motivate children. As many of us ar


  My grandma recently was admitted to a rehab/assisted living/nursing home. I was on the phone with her the other day and she was telling me how she would probably be there the rest of her life. She, of course, was upset by this but understands that it's safer for her to be in the nursing home. She told me of a sign in the entrance of the home that says to the workers arriving, "this is not just your workplace, this is their home." I love that sentiment to remind them to help the residents be at home.   Last weekend, one of our pastors gave a sermon about this world not being the home of Christians. Our home is in heaven. It got me to thinking about my own home here on earth. I want it to be a place that we love to be (hence why I painted the walls colors I love instead of maintaining neutral walls), that my family feels safe and secure.   Right now, our world doesn't feel safe or secure. It's changing every day with regulations and the availability of product

do not delay

  Last week, I was reading in Acts 24:22-27. Paul is under house arrest under the authority of Felix, the governor (I won't pretend to understand their government back then). If you read, Felix heard the truth from Paul's lips many times for TWO YEARS. He was "alarmed" after "reason[ing] about righteousness and self-control the coming judgment."   Did that alarm lead him to repent of his sin's or even reflect upon them? Nope. He told Paul, "Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you." THIS WAS AN OPPORTUNITY!   This was also not his only opportunity as Felix "sent for [Paul] often and conversed with him."   People, we cannot be blind to opportunity set right in front of us! Jesus is coming back - the Bible says "soon." And, granted that God's eternal "soon" is different than my own, it doesn't change the fact that none of us know the hour He will return. We cannot delay a l