Learning How to Keep My Mouth Shut

I love a good discussion.

I am always up for a deep talk about some kind of challenging topic, and I’m ready to jump in at any time to share my opinion or add my thoughts to the conversation.

Usually too ready.

Lately I feel as though God is calling me to be quiet.

To learn how to listen, instead of always waiting for my turn to say something.

This is hard for me. I like talking. I will gladly do my part to ease the awkward silences.

And I guess I just like being heard.

One evening when Ben and I were talking about this, he shared his strategy with me. He said that whenever he’s in a group of people where everyone is talking or waiting for their turn to be able to say something, he sits back and thinks to himself:

I’m okay with my opinion being the one that’s not heard.

This has stuck with me. If you’re ever in a group discussion with me, chances are you’ll know what’s going through my head: “It’s okay. I don’t need to be heard. My opinion is still worth something, even if no one knows it but me.”

I think it’s human nature to like being heard. We feel valued when others hear what we have to say, and agree with us, or just understand us.

But what God has been reminding me of lately is that I am already heard. He always hears me.

I’ve been stuck on Psalm 116 for a month now. I keep going over and over these words of truth:

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

When I came across those verses a month ago, they hit so deep and rang so true, I had to stop and take note, because it was clear to me that I had a deep, aching longing to be heard.

The reminder that God is listening is helping me to learn how to stay quiet.

He values my thoughts and opinions.

He gives me everything I need to sit back, find my true value in Him, listen hard to others, and be the reminder to them that they are loved, as I am loved, because we are heard.

Learning

People often ask Anika what she’s learning in homeschool, and she doesn’t answer that question very well. I don’t know if it’s because she doesn’t like talking about school, or if it’s because she doesn’t remember anything she’s learned! With Kaylia around creating a small tornado, I sometimes wonder how good of a learning environment we’ve got going on. She gets into EVERYTHING. No, that’s not true – she has yet to climb the kitchen cupboards!

But she’s fun and cute, and I take pictures of the messes and keep the pages of her scribbles, because someday I’ll miss it!

So the things we’ve been learning? Here’s a list of my favorites, unrelated to school (You can ask Anika about school next time you see her, and see what she says!):

1) Sorting laundry! Dark, white, and pink. We have 3 baskets, and the girls think it’s a game to sort all the dirty clothes. Kaylia hands the clothes to Anika, and Anika throws them into the right basket:

2) Cooking Skills. We got out the play food today, and Anika was extremely creative in her creations. She announced that she was making “Roasted Monkey Biscuits.” I told her that no one would want to eat that, and she whispered, “Don’t tell anyone there’s monkey in them!” She informed me that “they help you get lots of protein!” She also said that they’re what everyone eats in Russia. When Ben told her that they don’t have monkeys in Russia, Anika said, “They get the monkeys from India.” And all of this is said with a straight face, and without missing a beat.

3) Sharing! We’re making progress! Some of you will remember this post. Well, things are looking up! The girls still fight over toys, but there are beautiful moments of sharing, as well! (Thank goodness.) Anika is actually letting Kaylia play with her dolls:

4) Talking! Kaylia is saying more words all the time, but her most recent thing is saying names. This weekend, she finally started saying “Anka”, and her own name has somehow become “Tay-ta”.

She’s also finally started saying “Mommy” in the last few weeks, but it works for a lot of things besides me – “jammies” are “mammies” and “yummy” is “mummy”. You have to listen carefully for the vowels…