Are you listening?

My wonderful husband, Caleb, shot me out of the house tonight like a bullet out of a gun. I mean, seriously. He came home and took about 30 minutes to himself and then grabbed the girls and let me go start my T25 workout for the first time since having Hazel. Then as soon as I was showered and dressed in my most comfortable sweats he literally shot me out of the house. Do you know how wonderful that is?? I haven’t had alone time for at least 3 weeks and even though Hazel was crying because her tummy hurt and Charlie was crying because I didn’t help tuck her in for bed, he sent me out to do whatever my heart desired.

So here I am… at our coffeehouse. Okay, I know what you are thinking, I go out to be alone and I head to our coffeehouse (Cold Smoke) to blog and drink coffee with all of the college students. But there is something about being here. Something life giving and peaceful. Something that makes me feel like I can wrap my head around everything that has been going on in our busy lives. I think it is that God has been in every inch of this place. I get that God is everywhere but in every thought about and every reason we opened this shop God has been leading us, holding our hands, calling us further and further into this life. And that is why, when I come here, I feel God speak in a more full and tangible way than I do in most places. Not to mention there are no little people (whom I dearly love and love to get a break from) fighting for my attention at a moments notice.

So I am sitting here drinking my favorite coffee (Intelligentsia) and savoring this divine ganache brownie while I get to come and talk with you. My dear friends and my faithful prayer warriors. It’s rather cathartic and just what I needed.

Lately I have been exhausted. I mean, who isn’t nowadays?? And in that exhaustion I have been begging to have time to just sit and listen and worship our God. I have literally been feeling my heart, soul and bones aching to hear His voice. I really can feel the life being sucked out of me every day that I don’t hear from Him. My mom used to tell me that she could feel when she wasn’t wrapped up in Him and I never understood that. I always had time before kids to sit and rest and kneel before Him – so much time that I took every second of it for granted. Now I ache – I long for any moment I can take. This has brought me to question, how do I hear from God? 

More than that: How does God speak to me?? 

I kept asking that and then it rose like a whisper inside of my heart… I speak to you constantly.

What did that mean? He speaks to me constantly?! Whatever God, I haven’t heard you speak in weeks maybe even months! But then the whisper grew in my heart to the point of my feeling like God was sitting in the seat next to me as my 2 year old was yelling at me from the back seat: I speak to you constantly, you just don’t listen. I was indignant. Seriously, I was so insulted by that statement that snapped back (out loud) “Yes I do!” Imagine my 2 year old’s surprise when I turned to her and told her I wasn’t talking to her (mommy obviously needs a trip to the loony bin or the nearest spa). 

I thought about that for the next day or two until I realized that there might actually be something to what God was telling me. Maybe I didn’t listen. Maybe He does speak to me constantly and I just don’t take the time to hear Him. But how could I? I mean as a mom – as an adult – there are so many things that pull at me. I live willingly by my kids’ and husband’s schedules. The house beckons on a regular basis – the laundry needs to be done, the bathrooms cleaned and the dishes scrubbed. The dogs beg for extra love and attention whenever they get a chance. Financial, family and work burdens tug at my pant legs nearly everyday. So there was the realization of not listening and I decided to do something about it.

That next day I turned off the Frozen soundtrack (thank goodness) and I put on worship music in the car and in the house. I told Charlie we needed to listen to and worship God more. And every chance I had that Charlie and Hazel were either content or preoccupied I sat with my ears open and my mouth closed.

And I heard Him. He was right, He speaks to me constantly and I just need to listen.

He spoke to me through the songs that were playing on my pandora worship stations. He spoke through the mountains, rainy days, summer breeze and sunsets. He whispered His love notes across the hay fields and in the smell of freshly cut grass. And I listened. He loved me. He loves me! And as I listened more fervently, I heard Him more clearly. 

You see, it isn’t just in the sweet, beautiful moments that I hear Him. I have started to hear him when Charlie won’t stop disobeying me. I can listen when all I want to do is cry because Hazel is still awake at 3am and crying louder from her GERD (acid reflux on crack, I tell you). And when I have snapped and yelled at Charlie for being so gosh darn stubborn and ignoring me yet again, I hear Him – I feel Him grab hold of my heart begging me to step back and apologize to my little girl. Ouch. 

So tonight when I was pushed out the door by Caleb, I jumped in the car eager to see… longing to hear… begging to feel His presence stronger than I have in my whole life. And I did. In fact just now, as I’m talking with you, I stopped to listen to a beautiful song that God spoke to me through… Here are some of the lyrics that are still ringing in my soul:

“From dawn to dusk, we’re waking up. Tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender. We come before You, lay our burdens down… We look to You as our hearts remember – You are the only God, You are our only God. Lord as we give You more, Your Spirit swells within because You are Holy – HOLY Lord! From dawn to dusk, we’re waking up. From dawn to dusk, we’re waking up!”  

– ‘Dawn to Dusk’, All Sons and Daughters

He wasn’t kidding huh?! He really is speaking to me all the time. After a long day of tantrums, crying kids, laundry, organizing and everything else I could still hear His voice. After all of my failures and mistakes He still calls my name gently and sweeps me off of my feet. And I am thankful so very thankful for His persistence in doing so even when I don’t listen because we all know that will be a habit that I fall back into repeatedly.

Here are some of the things God wrote in that love note for me this past week:

This was after a day full of an angry toddler and a sick baby. Charlie couldn't stop showing me how much I was failing as a mom. But then God brought this sweet moment in at the very end of the day. We snuggled for a good 20 minutes and I heard God whisper His mercy over me.

This was after a day full of an angry toddler and a sick baby. Charlie couldn’t stop showing me how much I was failing as a mom. But then God brought this sweet moment in at the very end of the day. We snuggled for a good 20 minutes and I heard God whisper His mercy over me.

Hazel's first smile captured by my phone... are you kidding me? How could I not hear God through this?!

Hazel’s first smile captured by my phone… are you kidding me? How could I not see His love shine through that face?!

This was the other day when it was cold and rainy but I couldn't help but see His beauty and love for me. Even when things aren't perfect by the world's standards.

This was the other day when it was cold and rainy but I couldn’t help but see His beauty and love for me. Even when things aren’t perfect by the world’s standards.

Do you see that rainbow?! That was from my drive to Cold Smoke tonight... He promised to never destroy the earth by flood again. It reminds me that He is faithful.

Do you see that rainbow?! That was from my drive to Cold Smoke tonight… He promised to never destroy the earth by flood again. It reminds me that He is faithful.

Okay. No words necessary. Again this is from tonight and God's glory was radiating from the mountains and the sunset all at once.

Okay. No words necessary. Again this is from tonight and God’s glory was radiating from the mountains and the sunset all at once.

A couple of days ago when God started placing this blog on my heart He asked me two questions:

1.) How does God speak to me?

2.) How does God speak to you?

One of these questions I am starting to answer but the other question you have to answer. In all of the ups and downs of life, how does God speak to you? I’m interested in hearing that from you. Would you tell me in the comments how He speaks to you, or even more importantly, are you even listening?

Thanks for meeting with me here tonight – my heart is full.

 

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3 thoughts on “Are you listening?

  1. Laura, Thank you for this!!! Though I am living in a season that is much quieter than yours – and I have A LOT of alone time… I still find myself looking for God — and desiring to hear Him. His Word says that His sheep recognize His voice. I need to tune my heart to it!! Thank you for the reminder – I am so thankful for His presence – His still small voice, and yes, His mercy! Much love~

    Julie

    • I think the more we listen to Him the more we desire to hear Him. And knowing that we continue to long to hear Him more makes me think that He keeps pulling us closer and closer to His heart. 🙂 I’m honored that God used this in your life as much as He used it in mine!

  2. Laura, thank you for the wonderful pictures of Charlie and Hazel. The emotions captured are priceless. Yes, He is constantly speaking to me through everything that keeps me alive and well. I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for all His love and peace around me, when there is so much hate and discord around the globe.

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