A mom listens and -- as a result -- gets super powered.

A mom listens and — as a result — gets super powered.

cutting-edge scissors

We’re more likely to fall short, make mistakes, and cause hurtful things to happen when life is stressful, or even just too busy. Relationships with our children, or anyone, can quickly sting at times like these.

There is something specific, however, that we can do which gives us an advantage, a cutting-edge, in creating positive relationships, with anyone, even when life’s taxing.

Lean into listening . . . that’s it . . . our cutting-edge, super power, advantage. . . listening between the words

  • Do you have some family and friends who talk incessantly, making it wearisome for listening?
  • In contrast, do you have other family and friends who barely breathe a word unless someone draws them out?                     

To nurture those relationships, and inspire a more balanced listening/talking environment, I found these adorable cream colored napkin ties printed with ideas to spark conversations. It’s ideal for family celebrations, reunions, neighborhood gatherings, small groups, or a quiet lunch with friends.

Here’s my “cutting-edge” story.

remembered . . . after I saw the table. . . but it was too late . . .  In my busyness I forgot one important detail.

My 14 year old son, Robert, and I traveled together to a convention where he was making available his audio drama, A Search for Truth.  As he began to set up the presentation pieces —  it hit me. I forgot to bring a drop cloth for the table. I even forgot to tell him we needed one.

Discouragement loomed heavy for him.

These homeschool conventions only happen once a year.

The stakes were high.

The table was splintery.

Undoubtedly, he was annoyed.

As I was rehearsing previous conversations with him, in my mind, I was thinking he probably felt like the many hours, and even years of work that brought him to this point, were crashing in front of him. Robert knew this rough edged table wasn’t holding much promise for him, or his CD’s. He was bummed.

I began listening intently to his words, non-words, body language, and demeanor as I began using the listening piece of the STYLE guide.

If I wasn’t listening to Robert intently, and between his words looking for his body language, I would have thought he didn’t care if we just used the material to cover the table, and then not use it at all for the other purpose which we originally planned. I thought that was a fine idea, but I could see he didn’t think it was good. He didn’t verbalize his feelings about it, but because I listened to understand what he truly wanted, and took that seriously, I had a relational advantage with him. I’m not saying we should act on our children’s whims and do whatever they want us to do. What I am saying is: listening closely to our children’s hearts gives both, us moms and our children, a cutting-edge advantage in establishing a positive relationship. It’s like a deposit in the bank.

We both felt desperate to solve this cloth shortage problem. The solution had to be creative. Our lack of resources limited us.

Suddenly, a flitting thought stole my attention. Cutting a long piece from the fabric we brought for draping over the sign should work. It was larger than necessary. The largest piece could cover the rugged table, and the smaller could still be draped where he originally intended.

Earlier in the day, I noticed Robert had scissors with him. Perfect. 

I told him my idea and asked him to hand me the scissors.

“Well,” he chimed, “I left them back at the house.” 

“Okay,” I countered, “I’ll find some scissors somewhere.”

With no real idea where I’d get them, I trotted down the hallway looking for an office to make an inquiry.

NOTHING

NOT.  A.  THING.

I approached my son again, and optimistically spouted, “We’ll find scissors somewhere.” While saying this, I simultaneously rested my hand in my back pocket.

I was completely startled . . .

scissors

S.C.I.S.S.O.R.S . . .

Woo hoo!

I could barely believe my own fingers and eyes.

Scissors, right there in my pocket.

They were round edged children’s scissors. My children long outgrew the need for blunt tips, and we don’t even own a single pair that look a bit like that. Hummm. Puzzling . . . For a split second it was seeming as though God plopped them into my back pocket, after having made them appear out of thin air. Of course, I don’t believe that’s true at all. But, I do believe God was smiling on Robert and his project, and was using the scissors mystery to encourage him, and me. To remind us, when we are doing what He calls us to do, He’s able to provide the resources, even in very unlikely ways. It’s been daunting for Robert to continue getting his audio drama out to an audience. But, over the last 2 years he’s been working hard at doing just that.

I’m so proud of Robert.

Listen to a sample of his award winning drama, A Search for Truth. and purchase a copy here.

Hastily, Robert snipped the fabric. Ahhh success.

While he was doing that, I scoured every corner of my brain thinking of how those silver cutters could have landed in my pocket. Musing over the last several day’s events I finally realized what happened.

It was a vague memory at first. Then it became clear. A few days prior, while helping at our church VBS program, I hastily pocketed them. While helping the pre-schoolers get all their fingers moving in the right directions to cut their art projects and not their fingers, all in a timely fashion so they could move along to the next class, I put them in the closest safe spot. My pocket. I figured the scissors could stay there until a less hectic time, and then I would properly put them back where they belonged.

Ta Daa. 

— Pocket mystery solved.

— Table cover solved.

— Listening with cutting-edge advantage = relational deposit

This cutting-edge advantage of strengthening a relationship through intensive listening, not only develops positive relationships with our kiddos, but also translates to any relationship we have.

  • Do you have some family and friends who talk incessantly, making it wearisome for listening?
  • In contrast, do you have other family and friends who barely breathe a word unless someone draws them out?                     

To nurture those relationships, and inspire a more balanced listening/talking environment, I found these adorable cream colored napkin ties printed with ideas to spark conversations. It’s ideal for family celebrations, reunions, neighborhood gatherings, small groups, or a quiet lunch with friends.

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