Hearing with My Heart

********** Winner announced at the end of this post ***************


The word “listen” is mentioned in the Bible over 400 times! I guess that means it’s important to God. Listening is not one of my natural strengths but it’s something I’ve really worked on because it’s important to me, too.

Listening is about more than hearing someone’s words. Listening is about hearing someone’s heart by listening with mine.

I think I’m a little A.D.D.. My thoughts go a million miles an hour in a thousand directions, and I can get easily distracted. It’s not so much that I can’t focus, but that my brain tends to focus on more than one thing at a time. My husband can’t understand how I can be on the phone talking to a friend and also hear every word he just said to one of our kids, and repeat both conversations.

When I am listening with my heart, it’s different. I am fully engaged. I am leaning in, and I am giving someone my full attention. Here are a few things I have learned about listening that have helped me become a better listener.

Minimize distractions: Turning off cell phones, computers and televisions helps us give our full attention, or talking in a place where distractions are less likely is even better.

Use encouraging body language: Nodding your head tells someone you hear what they are saying and encourages them to continue. Using postures, positions and movements similar to the person talking helps them relax and open up.

Put yourself in their shoes: Active listening is not about inward thinking. We can avoid thinking about how what they are saying impacts us personally by looking at problems from the other person’s perspective, actively trying to see his or her point of view.

Avoid Interrupting: One of the biggest challenges to listening is impulse thoughts that become impulse interruptions. Write down thoughts and wait for the other person to talk at their own pace. Although sharing a common experience can be helpful, it also takes the focus off of them. Only share personal experiences briefly to empathize but then turn the focus back to them.

Repeat and encourage: Repeat some things they say and encourage them with positive feedback. For example, you might say: “You didn’t feel like that was fair, and I can see why.” Make eye contact from time to time. It’s not good to stare, but it is good to show warmth and interest in what they are saying.

Summarize: During an in-depth conversation, it’s good to summarize what someone is saying and say it back in your own words. This assures them you have truly been listening. It also gives them a chance to correct miscommunications or wrong assumptions.

Ask Questions: Meaningful questions help a person reach their own conclusions. Towards the end of the conversation it’s good to transition to guiding questions. For example: “I understand why you didn’t feel like it was fair, but help me understand why you felt like you couldn’t say anything about it to me/them sooner.” Wording questions this way also helps someone move from an emotional response to a more constructive response.

One of the most important aspects of any relationship is communication, and listening is key. By listening with your heart, you will strengthen and build your most important relationships.

In my devotion “The Gift of Listening” featured on the P31 website and Crosswalk today, I encouraged readers to make a list of people they want to really listen to today. Who would be on your list? Here are some very practical things I do to give the gift of listening to my family each day:

  • Turn off my cell phone in the evenings
  • Limit email checking when they are home
  • Delay answering the phone during dinner and family time
  • Turn away from my desk at work when someone comes to talk with me

How does it make you feel when someone really listens to you? Did you know that when you listen to someone, you are telling them how important they are to you? Just ask them and you’ll see. That is what helped me make this a high priority in my life.

How does it make you feel to know that God is always listening and giving you His full attention because you are important to Him and the words you speak go straight to His heart?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Just click on the word “comments” below and let’s talk. I’ll be giving away a copy of my 2-part DVD teaching entitled Living and Leaving a Legacy from a drawing of those who participate in today’s blog conversation, so be sure to leave your email or check back on Thursday.

PS. If you are on Facebook, I’d love to be friends! I blog a couple of times each week, but I share daily encouragement through scriptures and everyday life lessons on FB. Simply click here or on my Facebook profile in my sidebar.

And the winner is… “Anonymous” who posted at 8:50am sharing how she could relate, statingmy 6 year old, is often saying ‘Mom – you are always on the computer'”. Random Integer.com, with the help of the Holy Spirit, decided you would win my 2-part DVD teaching entitled Living and Leaving a Legacy. If that’s you, please email your name and mailing address to renee@proverbs31.org by Monday. ~Thanks and congrats!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Thanks for your devotion today and the listening tips. So many times we get way too "busy' to stop and listen.Your devotion was a good reminder. i've been told I'm a good listner & most times I am better at that than talking. Your tips are very helpful. Your DVD giveaway would really be nice.Thanks for the chance to win them.
    Blessings,
    LindaLou

  2. Ouch! That hit home with me! Even when my 3 yr old seems to talk endlessly about anything and everything I need to show him that I care and he matters.

    The chance to win the DVDs would be a huge blessing!

    Thanks for being transparent.

    Crissy

  3. Your devotion today was so true to heart. I am also a.d.d., But I'm both easily distracted and I have a hard time concentrating on just 1 thing. So this devotion today, is encouraging me to really concentrate on what someone is saying to me. I wrote the prayer down and I'm going to try and read it, whenever I can today. That way, I'll be in constant reminder, that listening means the world to people.

  4. Your devotion was a rebuke to me. Unfortunately I can only listen or focus on one thing at a time. Often, I just continue to "do my work" when my kids seek me out. I have to be honest. Often it feels like their concerns are less important than what I'm doing. But I now realize that I am telling them with my actions that they are not important. I'll be praying about this today! Thanks for your words this morning!

  5. i rationalise by calling it multitasking – talking on the phone while writing an email and "chatting on gtalk".

  6. Thanks for this reminder today. This also really hit home with me. Hope to win your DVD

  7. Wow – your devotion really hit home today – I felt the chills go through my body, as I have often heard from my 6 year old, "Mom – you are always on the computer" Thanks for reminding me of what is really important!!

  8. Read your devo. today. Thanks for a good reminder. I could definitely stand to be a better listener at times-even when it's my young boys repeating things:) Would enjoy the DVD's if I were to win them.

  9. I recognize myself very easily in today's devotion. So, I'm taking steps today to become a better listener! Thank you!

  10. I sometimes am a "bad listener" I have a mind that goes 1000 directions at once, and as a single Mom, I don't know whether that's good or bad! Thanks for sharing your tips, I can use all the help I can get!! God Bless!
    Dori Cox

  11. Thank you for blessing me this morning with this posting. I am working towards being a better listener to my mom, husband, children and coworkers.

    God Bless You!

    Sabrina P

  12. Renee,
    Thank you for the devotion today. I try to be a good listener and hope to win your dvd's (that would be awesome). I am really searching out ways to listen for my Saviour's voice speaking to me. Thanks for all you do for P31 it seems at times a lifeline for me. But I must tell you, I am not going to lick the word comments (ha ha).
    Love in Christ,
    Dana

    P.S. Please pray for my friend Donna. This past weekend she lost her mother and her home in a fire.
    Pray that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will wrap His loving arms of comfort and peace around her and her family.

  13. I need someone to talk to, and pray for someone that will really listen, and not judge me.

  14. It amazes me actually to think about what you wrote, that God is listening to me. That He would turn His attention to me, this seems to big to grasp but it is an amazing thought.

  15. Really good word…I am guilty of tuning out sometimes on my husband when he is talking to me, or someone at work….I know though how it feels when I don't feel that I am be listened to, not fun…this is really good advice I am going to work on this week…would love to win the DVDS. thanks,
    Kelly

  16. Thank you for your post today Renee. I had read a quote from the late missionary Jim Elliot who said, "Wherever you are, be all there." And back in January, I wrote a post about it. I have been trying to be very focused on listening ever since. (Some days are more successful than others! ha!)

    Your suggestions on how to be a better listener were very helpful. I also feel very humbled when I think of God giving me His undivided attention.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win your DVD.

  17. Wow.. Somehow I can't help but think that while the voice of God is sometimes still and small, He also uses others to communicate His message to me in a SHOUT. My husband and I had a disagreement just last night about my "listening skills" so this is particularly timely.. You talked about A.D.D. well, I really am an adult woman with it. For most of my life I thought there was something wrong with me – until my kids starting having all the same problems in school that I had. The same doctor who did extensive testing and diagnosis of them, was able to diagnose and treat me. It's not something you "grow out of"; it's not an excuse that somebody has made up; nor is it some nebulous concept that can be dismissed by the general publics' skepticism. It has very real and damaging effects on relationships! It is so very hard to concentrate at the end of a day and it feels like my "focus-energy" is all used up. While there are all kinds of supports for children, there is virtually nothing out there for adults.. In order to help me when I'm struggling to listen, I pray "Help me, Jesus!" as many times as it takes to force my focus onto the most important human in my life. My husband. My children are grown and I pray daily also for them as all three also have ADHD.

  18. Wow, boy am I convicted about listening to my children as well. I try to turn away form the computer, books, and phone and give them what they need. Starting today I will do better. I will not do computer work when they are home from school, and I try to avoid the phone when they are home as well.
    So true that they want to be heard just like I do. I wouldn't like it if my husband wasn't actively listening to me. I will treat the boys with the respect they deserve.(since they do learn by example) I want them to treat others respctfully too.
    By the way I am so glad you are blogging more, I have missed you.

  19. Thanks for the great, simple reminder. In today's fast-paced, technology-center world, we're definately loosing out ability to communicate face-to-face. Showing someone they're important is definately more than writing on their Facebook wall!

  20. Thank you for the reminder! I know I struggle most listening best to those I love most at home.

    May God bless you as you continue to bless all of us!
    Diane from PA

  21. Wow, did your devotion hit home today.I think we all need this reminder to be good listeners, especially in this high tech world.
    Thanks for putting me back on track.

  22. Very true! I know there have been often times when I could do a better job listening to people. Something I want to continue to work on.
    And boy does it make a big difference in the life of children.
    I helped raise my nieces and there where many times that they have just wanted to talk, sometimes at inconvenient times. But it showed them I loved and cared for them when I would stop and listen. It helped build the relationship we have today. Unfortunately, their dad used to tell them to be quiet alot and he wonders now why they don't tell him things – very sad.

  23. Great devo! Great reminder for me indeed! Sometimes we just need to be reminded on how to properly listen–sometimes we hear, but we don't really listen. Thanks!

    Would love to win a copy of your dvd!

    Prayers and blessings,
    Rebecca
    tiggerdaisy@gmail.com

  24. I loved your devo today. It went straight from my computer screen right into my heart!! I am working on a list of ways to be fully present with those I am with. I love your list! Cell phones, computers, emails and texts are huge takers-away of my attention!
    Thanks for the wonderful reminder that we are to be like God, who is never too distracted to really hear and know us.

  25. Thank you for this devotional and the chance to win the DVDs. If we would all listen intentionally, the world would be a much more loving place. I commit to listening actively to God, my co-workers, family and friends. Thank you for this reminder!!!

  26. Thanks for your devotion. I really needed to hear that listening is important. I like the tips and I am going to try very hard to really incorporate them everyday. I do get distracted easily and I need to improve in this area. Oh how God surely knows when to correct us. Thanks for including me in the draw.

  27. Renee,

    I too am working on listening intently to my husband, my children and the voice of my Savior. I often give my children the "just a minute" phrase and I am working on letting them know that what they say is priceless to me and important, just as my heavenly Father does for me.

  28. I know I'm guilty of not giving my daughter by full attention at times. I get so focused on whatever the task at hand is that I don't take the time to stop and listen to her needs or fill her need for attention. I've noticed this recently and have tried to correct it by doing things like finding something more simple to prepare for dinner or wait to clean the kitchen until after she is in bed… Doing this whole parenting on my own is a challenge much of the time but I want to give her all that I can so that she never questions my love.

  29. Great devotion today and suggestions here on your blog. Thank you for posting them.

    I agree with you that genuinely listening is one of the best ways to show others you truly care and love them, especially with family. I feel that sometimes we can get so used to being around our families that we forget to take the time to truly hear their words and take notice.

    I also like this question and point of yours:
    "How does it make you feel to know that God is always listening and giving you His full attention because you are important to Him and the words you speak go straight to His heart?"

    I feel it's also incredibly important to apply this gift of listening back to God and His Word. God listens to us, always. We also need to listen to Him and His Word – really listen and then act on it!

    Thank you again for this post.

    In Christ,
    Caroline

  30. Once again, God wants me to "hear" something loud and clear. I just blogged about my unwillingness/ability to be a good listener last night, and steps I can follow to become a better listener. I was pretty hard on myself, but I have some other unseemly behavior mixed in with my listening impediment.

    God Bless!
    Future, Former Fat Girl
    http://phatgirlsguidetorunning.blogspot.com/

  31. You are a great listener, friend! THanks for the great reminders!

  32. Renee,
    Your devotional was so timely. I am entering a season of stepping back so that I can invest in my flock. I realize how quickly the time goes and with only 12 months before my oldest heads off to school I need to do a better job of connecting daily and meaningfully.

    Thanks for your encouragement.

    Rebecca
    towiwego07@yahoo.com

  33. Ahhh Renee, you just described me! My kids are forever getting exasperated with me because I'm on my computer and not listening to them. Thanks for the reminder. I'm going to print up your list of ways to pay better attention, and tape it right above my computer monitor.

    Thanks for sharing!

  34. WOW!! this was something I really needed to hear. Sometimes I get so caught up in my thoughts that I only "half-listen" when someone talks to me. It is so important to actually make time to listen and more so to listen with the heart. I will definitely be working on this!!

  35. I just came in from a walk and visit with a neighbor to this devo. Wow! I did catch myself interrupting and relating "me" stories. Shame on me! Thanks so much for your encouraging and honest words. Your tips are great and I am certainly going to put them into practice today with my husband and kids, who by the way are often put off with my being preoccupied. This really could be an issue of pride as we put ourselves before others, something God is teaching me now, thanks for the message! I could use your DVD!
    Blessings,
    Cindy J

  36. Thank you for this sweet reminder, I embrace challenges to make myself more Christ-like, in my relationships with others and with God.. I took this to heart when I think of the time I spend with God.. How often I (and others I would think could relate) spend more time talking to God, pouring out my heart to Him, and less time listening.. How many times I have missed the mark, missed out on great joys in my lifetime, and opportunities to be a blessing to others because I was too distracted by everything in my life to hear what God was trying to tell me all along. Wonderful message which I will challenge myself with each day! Become a better listener – both to God and those He places in my life! 🙂
    Blessings to you.

  37. Thanks for the reminder Renee to put it down and turn it off!

  38. Jesus has shown me time after time that, Heather you need to be listening, to your husband, children, but most of all me. Alot of times, I don't desire to hear what others are saying, sometimes that would include the Holy Spirit. There are times when God wants me to hear his plans for me. How is it that when I am not listening I expect God to hear me when I call? Why do I wonder why He is not hearing me? I need to learn to be still and listen alot more than not! I believe your set will help me focus on God instead of the world, and myself!

  39. Thanks for your devotion. Listening is something that I am striving to be better at, especially when it comes to communicating with my teenage daughter. I find that if I stop talking and just keep listening and nodding, with an occasional "oh", she keeps sharing, which is wonderful. As soon as I start giving her my input, especially if she doesn't agree with it, then she stops talking. So, I'm learning how to be a better listener because I want her to keep talking. Just read a great book "How to talk so your teens will listen and listen so your teens will talk." It's full of good tips, which include the ones you mentioned in your devotion. You are right on! A life skill that we can use all of our lives with everyone!

  40. Looks like I am in the same group as all the others! I am guilty! I even go so far as to ask a question then not listen to the answer and have to ask it again!! You really made me stop and think, "what if God treated me like that?" I would be crushed! Beginning today I am going to really try hard to become a better listener. Thanks Renee!!

  41. Thank you for the devotion and thoughts on listening today.

  42. Sharon Sandahl says:

    I only have a 16 yr old son at home now. My husband died about 4 yrs ago, and I've had the other kids come and go, but now I'm down to the youngest. It seems that I'd only have one to listen to. I have a son in the Army, he likes me to listen when he calls because he is lonely. I have a daughter that returned to college after 3 yrs, she likes to have me listen when she calls because she is kind of homesick. My mom lives by herself, 3 miles from me, and I try to call her every day. I have to listen to make sure she is feeling ok, and not in need of anything. She won't always tell me. I love Ps 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God" We also need to LISTEN to God. He speaks to us through His word, but sometimes we don't listen. We need to listen for the still, sometimes small, voice.
    Sharon

  43. I am really bad about being on my computer when my little girl is trying to talk to me and am working hard to break that habit. It always amazes me that God wants to listen to us and cares about the little things as well as the big things. Such a marvelous blessing that He gives us His time and His ear.

  44. Thanks Renee, Your insight is very practical and good. I appreciate you sharing with us today on the p31 devotion. What a gentle reminder to all of us. Bless you, Hester Christensen,

  45. Thanks Renee for sharing so practically on the P31 devotion today. Such a good and gentle reminder to all of us. Bless you, Hester Christensen,

  46. Thank you for your devotion on Proverbs 31 Ministry. I am a mom of three and I homeschool. I have a husband that requires attention, a house to take care of, friendshipos to maintain, my own spiritual growth, exercise, etc, etc. I am often distracted with a phone conversation or the computer and before I know it my kids feel unimportant because I haven't been listening to what they are saying. The kids grow up so fast and before we know it, they will be out of the house. I want to be a good listener now so that when they are older they will still come to me. I also want God to listen to me….so I need to be a better listener to HIM as well. Thank you for the reminder. I would love a chance to win your DVD video. It would be a great lesson for the Ladies Bible Study I attend.

  47. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm trying to get things done before the kids get home from school so I can really listen to them and give them my undivided attention.

  48. I visited your blog in response to the Proverbs 31 devo, about listening. And, of course, God wanted to remind me about what He was teaching me. I had to smile when I read your very first blog was titled, "Hearing with My Heart." God is so amazing! LOL! Thanks for sharing, sister! I owe my 14 year old son an apology for not hearing him. He made a simular comment, about when I'm writing. But, I failed to "hear" what he was really saying. I praise the Lord for using others, through moments of weakness, to "clean out our ears and open our eyes" to what He wants to teach us. Thanks for being a light. My son is going to appreciate your faithfulness and would probably thank you, too. However, that is so not likely since he's a teenager. He'll probably just roll his eyes and grunt after I apologize. LOL! But, God sees your faithfulness, sister. And I appreciate you. : )May the Lord bless the ministry He has placed on your heart. http://www.xedixon.com

  49. This devotion hit me right between the eyes. Thank you for challenging me to focus on others (primarily my children) when they are trying to get my attention. I loved when you spoke at our Women's Retreat a few years ago in Virginia. May you be continually blessed for your faithfulness in ministry, Renee!

  50. Renee,
    My first visit to your blog, loved your pointers on listening! Thanks for sharing as listening is a real problem area for me (both attention & physically).
    Look forward to hearing more from you! God Bless.

  51. I think I'm a lot ADD. I actually have to study those steps and diligently apply them, that's how distracted I get when listening. It's not my strong suit!

  52. i understand feeling of not being heard. when i had my own children i didn't listen too well either. i have my two grandchildren now and make it a priority to listen to them and what a difference it makes with attitudes and behaviors. i really enjoyed reading this. i wish i could have read something like this when my children were small though.

  53. After reading the devotion this morning, I headed to work, not sure of who might need for me to listen. I work in a nursing home as a music therapist, and after my Alzheimer's group I had a resident start visiting with me, in spanish no less (not my first language). I sat there and gave her a listening ear, and she even teared up at one point. I think she just needed someone to be there, and I was able to do that for her! 🙂 What a gift!

  54. What a good devotional. I so need to work on this not only with my four children and my husband, but also in my quiet time where I just sit and really listen for God rather than tell him all my requests. I know how comforted I am by the fact that He listens to me no matter what. Now for me to give my full attention to those around me, rather than taking them for granted and multi-tasking. Thanks for this reminder. Please enter me in your drawing

  55. Renee thanks so much for your devotion today. It made me stop and think about how I listen and I realize that I'm not very good at it! My young adult children often say "but I told you ….." and I have no recollection of this! I realize now that I need to STOP and LISTEN to them. I need to SHOW them that I value them and what they have to say and I need to encourage my daughter to learn to LISTEN with me as I can see she is repeating this bad habit with my granddaughter. I guess you never stop learning something new! thanks again. x

  56. Ouch! Were you a fly on my wall this afternoon? I love when God speaks directly to my heart through your messages. Thank you for being His vessel. Listening is something I tend to take for granted but on days like this one I'm reminded often to purposely listen and fill my daughter's love tank. Thank you for such a timely message.
    Karla

  57. I realized when reading your devotional on Proverbs 31 that I am not a good listener. I tend to be more reactive to any feedback I receive and thus communication is not productive or encouraging to either of us. Thank you for the tips you gave on your blog. Your 2part DVD would be a good learning tool for me.

  58. I have always struggled with listening,and so God has decided to work this out in me! Most recently, my ministry has taken on more consultation and counseling with people and therefore, I have had to learn to listen. It is challenging, but I am enjoying it. I am learning the importance of fully engaging. Now…if I can just put it into practice at home! Thanks for allowing the Spirit to nudge conviction and encouragement as well!

  59. God spoke to my heart today through you. Thanks for the practical advice about listening, as this is not something that comes naturally to me.

    Joy

  60. Oh, how I needed this today! My 12 year old…she will be in 2 days…just told me I never let her finish what she is saying. I don't think the "never" part is true, but I know that I am guilty of sometimes interrupting. Thank you so much for this post. I need to really work on my listening skills with her…and her soon-to-be 15 sister.

  61. Administrator says:

    I find that I tune out the kids unless I hear them acting up or getting at each other when I'm checking email or Facebook or talking on the phone. Thanks for the reminder to listen with my whole self. I can already imagine how it could change our day!
    Thanks for your encouragement!
    Paula

  62. My 8 year old told a friend of mine tonight that he watnted to break my phone. My friend asked why and his resonse was, my mom is ALWAYS on the phone. My heart just broke. I needed that reminder and your devotion to move in the right direction. I will try to not be on my phone when they are with me and focus on them!

    Thank you for everything you do! You are such an amazing women, mother, friend and child of God! You are a great example for all of us!

    Nicole
    nicole1975@comcast.net

  63. Wow! You hit the nail on the head for me today. There are many times I am preoccupied or trying to do something on the computer and I don't really listen to my kids. Thank you for the tips.
    Mary

  64. I read something one time where a woman's small son asked her, "Mommy, can you listen to me with your face?" How true that is that so often we don't listen with our faces. I need this as a constant reminder. Thank You!

  65. Thanks for your devotion. Even though my kids are adults now, it is still a very good lesson. To remember to listen to friends & those that may become friends. There may be something God wants us to hear. 🙂

  66. I have taken and taught classes in listening through a lay ministry called Stephen Ministry. It's a skill you need to learn, to put aside thinking about how you will respond to what people are saying, to letting them know you are listening and that you care. But people really just want someone to know how they are feeling. It's amazing how much support you can give someone just by listening to them.

    Thanks for the post. Great tips!

    Connie

  67. Thank you for the devotional. This really hit home to me. Although I don't have children, I find myself hearing others and not always listening to them when they speak to me. Its true we all hate to be interupted when we're working on something. I wonder if this is why perhaps some of my prayers have gone unanswered.
    DLS

  68. I remember when my youngest would grab my face and make me look at her when she wanted to talk to me…getting nose to nose with me. 🙂

    I definitely needed to do a better job of stopping what I am doing and giving my family my full attention. I love how you put it…listening with my heart. 🙂

    Great devotion and great post, friend.

  69. Thanks a bunch! Your post helped me today. My 10yo boy was sharing all about his creation he had made while I was at my desk. The Holy Spirit reminded me of your words, and I pushed back the chair and turned to listen, with my eyes, ears and heart!
    Thanks for the enoucouragement! I'd love to win and learn more.. blessings
    darci darci@vingster.com

  70. The one thing I find most important at home is to turn away from the computer when one of my family comes to talk to me. If I don't, it just signals to them that I'm not really listening.

    So to think that God turns away from His 'computer' – all the vastness of his work and busyness – is almost unimaginable. And yet He does… Awesome!

  71. I figured out years ago that my children needed me to listen to them more than I needed to multitask and accomplish so much. So I made it a point to make eye contact with them. That way they knew I was engaged in what they were saying. The only time I found this is not a good idea is when I was chopping vegetables. Definitely, put down the knife!!

    It means a lot to them for me to stop what I am doing and pay attention. I have tried to teach this to my husband to let him know I would like his attention when I talk to him. For the most part, it's worked!

    Your thoughts are a good reminder that in ministry and everywhere we need to be present in the situation in order to get the most out of the encounter and in order to give the best of ourselves. Thanks, Renee!

  72. i have a friend who always says wait just a sec, or let me call you back; because she wants to give me her full attention. i love that!

  73. Today, I went to the beach front with my children.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell
    to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab
    inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

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