Monday, March 24, 2014

What I’ve Learned from Pandora, Moriah Peters, and the Kiddos: Truly Care for Others

We listen to Pandora radio with our must-have stations being:

Jamie Grace Radio
Lindsey Stirling Radio
Mozart Lullaby Radio (I listen to this one to calm the twins down for bed time.  Everyone else HATES it because the music is slow.  Sam will actually just sit in the floor and cry when they play “You are My Sunshine.”  I have highly sensitive peeps in my house.)
The Woods Brothers Radio
Elvis Presley Radio

All that to say this:  I point out songs I like to the kids on a regular basis.  As Pandora provides the soundtrack to our lives, I will offhandedly mention my favorites and sing, or screech, along.  The kids are running or crawling 90 miles an hour, and I usually feel I’m just telling myself which songs I like.

I was proven wrong a few months ago.  When Moriah Peters song  “Well Done” started playing, both Wren and Sam said, “Mommy, it’s your song!”  “Well Done” is indeed one of my favorites, a fact I had only mentioned once or twice.  My kids picked up on it though.  I felt loved, validated, like people were listening to me, all over someone remembering a song I like. 

God used this experience to point something out to me:  I don’t do this for others near enough.  I have vague ideas of what most people in my life are interested in, but it is not often I remember the details.  Sure, I can tell you almost anything about the five people I see daily, but outside of that, I have partial memories, fragments of everyone else’s interests.  For a while I blamed it on mommy brain, but a more accurate truth started to surface:  maybe I just didn’t care or listen enough. 

That’s not to say I don’t care about other people; I do.  But maybe I don’t show that well by listening, by asking, by delving into what others enjoy simply because it pleases them and offers opportunities to discuss.  Maybe when I get off the phone or finish a conversation with someone I need to make the effort to remember the details instead of rushing to the next thing.  Perhaps making sure events are centered around what someone else enjoys instead of what I enjoy, or what I assume they enjoy, would be a good idea. 

It’s simply living out the Christian principle of dying to myself, daily.  Living for Christ, living for others, and dying to self.  It’s a much more satisfying way to live, but it takes turning it over to the Lord every single day, sometimes more than once, and being content with the idea that every person should come before me.  Running my to-do list in my head while listening to someone on the phone is not dying to self, or even polite.  Nodding my head as I dash from one place to the next when the kids are asking me questions does not offer the best example of focused listening and attentiveness, an issue I get on to THEM about.

Here they were all the time, listening much better than I was.  And caring enough to remember.  They draw me red tulips because red is my favorite color and tulips are my favorite flower.  Wren tells me I look “posh” when I wear pretty much anything but sleepwear, probably because she notices I wear sleep wear a ton and it is an event when I don’t.  Sammy says he loves my hair because, “it’s brown like doo-doo.”  I don’t really know what to make of the last one, but he seems sincere, and he knows what color my hair is.

Perhaps some of the intense focus of childhood that manifests itself in Sammy only reading Fly Guy books and Wren only watching The Incredibles for a week also flows into other parts of my kids’ lives, like their intense focus on those they love.  They are completely, insanely, focused on what they care about, and they made me want to be the same.

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