Looking For God Anywhere I Can Find Him

Have you ever had one of those beautifully serendipitous moments, when the very thing you needed was right there, in your pocket? 

Like, it’s so funny you need nail clippers in the middle of this hike! I saw some in the living room and stuck them in my pocket but forgot to put them back in the bathroom – so here they are!

Or, I put an extra hair tie around my wrist this morning and I have no idea why! Yes, girlfriend with your hair blowing in the wind, this thing is all yours! 

I recently had one of those moments, but it took me a while to realize just how big the serendipity of it all really was. 

Back in 2015, we’d been homeschooling for a couple of years and decided to join a Classical Conversations community. I was drawn to the philosophy behind a Classical approach to education, to the focus on memorization that incorporated different types of learning, and to the Christ-cenetered heart of the program. One thing I found especially fascinating was the concept of “training the brain to retain” information – and how starting this at an early age can set a child up for a lifetime of success in learning. 

A huge component (and my favorite part) of our participation in Classical Conversations is the memory work – helping our children memorize a wide variety of facts, passages, and definitions across several disciplines like Math, Latin, English, Science, and History. 

Through songs and chants and practice and hard work, we’re building a strong foundation upon which to hang the pegs of higher education together later on.

So when we came home from the hospital with Blake, and the dust settled, and we began to take inventory of where we were, what we were doing, and what we needed to do, a few things became obvious:

  • Blake would need the special attention of an individualized tutor, especially in the early days, to help him overcome his visual field neglect.
  • Blake would need special attention to identify appropriate schoolwork that was tailored to his situation as a child recovering from a brain injury. Maybe he’d be able to do 3rd Grade Math again right away… or maybe not. Maybe he’d need extra time to ease back into schoolwork.
  • As he struggled with very significant short term memory loss in the early days of his recovery, Blake would need additional help to train his brain to retain information. He would need help to remember. 

I’m sure you’re immediately seeing what it took me weeks – maybe months – to rightly identify. We were bringing Blake home into the perfect situation for him to recover from his brain injury. I was already his personalized tutor. I was already very well acquainted with what he had been capable of before, what we could work towards again. I could take the time to assess Blake’s ability with each lesson, to tailor each lesson to his attention span and memory abilities. 

And four years before this brain injury took place, we’d begun a journey of training Blake’s brain to retain information.

From a severe and significant injury, to him thriving as we jump into a new school year, I marvel at it now, wondering: is part of the reason he’s doing so well the fact that we were training his brain before this ever happened? Was all this brain training part of the reason that when he miraculously woke up from that coma, just a few days into rehab he could remember these extended passages, recite countless facts and count in Spanish?

Now I simply marvel that it took me so long to see it. And I wonder: what else am I missing?

If God says, “You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart,” I think that’s an invitation to take Him at His word. 

I think we can see Him because there are nail clippers in our pocket or there’s a hair tie on our wrists. I also think we can see Him in red lights and flat tires, it usually just takes a little bit more seeking for us to recognize His hand in the circumstances we don’t like. 

This week I saw him in the eyes of a nine-year-old who came out of the hospital eleven months ago asking the same question on repeat every thirty seconds, who’s now memorizing the names and locations of the states and capitols with very little effort. 

One of the most beautiful things about finding God’s fingerprints in the details of your life is that it’ll give you a sense of peace that He knows and He’s there – but also? It’ll make you thirsty to keep right on looking for Him, and you’ll find Him even more.

So let’s seek Him in the small things today, friends. Perhaps it’ll train our brains to remember to look for Him, and find Him, in the big things, too. 

A few weeks ago I shared that following me on Instagram, liking/sharing on Facebook, subscribing to my emails and sharing them with friends are ways of supporting me as a writer who is WEEKS away from pitching a book proposal.

I’m excited to say that big day has come and I’ll be sending out a proposal this afternoon! Thank you so much for your encouragement and support! Publishers look at numbers and care about engaged audiences, so these small actions truly are a gift to me!  I continue to pray these words will find you at the right moment and bless your heart. xoxo, Caroline

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

How My Four Year Old is Teaching Me to Pray

When we all pile up onto a bed at bedtime, I usually feel like I know what to expect as each of my kiddos prays. 

The eldest is deep and thoughtful, remembers people who are hurting and asks God to be with them for months on end, chooses his words carefully, and is slow-paced and heartfelt.

The next is the character foil: usually praying the same series of things word-for-word verbatim, and often at a pace that reminds me of an auctioneer hoping for one more bidder before the gavel.

Number three falls somewhere in between – mostly bringing the same thoughts and requests and concerns to the surface, but always remembering to add, just after her amen, “andpleasewipethecoronavirusoffthefaceoftheearth!”

The youngest tends to pray wide-eyed, sometimes looking around the room, identifying objects and giving thanks for them one by one. “Thank you that we have this bunk bed which is comfortable. Thank you that we have these toys to play with, which are fun. Thank you that we have a clock to tell us the time…”

Lately I’ve been giving more thought to a few of her more surprising prayers.

Two weeks ago, we had to stifle a giggle at this one: “And thank you that I know my days of the week… like October… and December…”

And in an attempt to mimic her siblings’ prayers that the Lord would “wipe the coronavirus off the face of the Earth” she recently began to request that the Lord would “Wipe the face of the Earth.” And now, on repeat she mentions at the end of her soliloquy: “And please wipe the face of the Earth.”

I have to giggle at her childlike innocence. I absolutely love it and don’t want it to change.

And then as everyone gets tucked in and I head down the stairs, I wonder, “Lord, is that perhaps the way you feel when you hear my prayers?”

The girl who gives thanks for knowing the days of the week and then listing months? I think she and I probably have more in common than we realize. 

I remember the mother of two of Jesus’ disciples coming to ask him if her sons could sit at his left and right. He responded, “You don’t know what you are asking.”

And I wonder: Would He say the same to me? Perhaps quite often He would. 

I prayed to stay in South Africa longer, but the Lord led us home. I had 18 months with my Dad before he passed away.

I prayed Blake would be home from the hospital the day after he was admitted. I had no idea the glorious story God would write with those 48 days there.

When I think about childlike faith, I think about the littlest of the four – the one who isn’t afraid to say anything, isn’t afraid to ask for anything. The one who often “knows not what she asks” but in whom I’m so sure the Lord delights. She is His child and He loves her.

What can we learn from all this?

We can pray our hearts out, absolutely, wholeheartedly, with honesty and faith. 

We can also hold on loosely to our requests, praying with our palms up, knowing that perhaps more often than we’d like to admit, we know not what we ask. 

We can try to see ourselves more like that four year old than we want to admit – in comparison to the incredible, endless wisdom of our unending, omnipotent Creator – and let that humble us enough to know: our Father knows best, and we can trust Him.

I recently shared that following me on Instagram, liking/sharing on Facebook, subscribing to my emails and sharing them with friends are ways of supporting me as a writer who is WEEKS away from pitching a book proposal.

So many of you friends blew me away by sharing, liking, following and encouraging me again and again. Thank you so much. Publishers look at numbers and care about engaged audiences, so these small actions truly are a gift to me!  I continue to pray these words will find you at the right moment and bless your heart. xoxo, Caroline

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

Don’t Forget the Greek Fisherman

Sometimes two words can carry an encyclopedia of meaning between two people. Between the Hero Hubs and I, the words “Greek Fisherman” are a phrase that speaks volumes.

There’s a tale you may have heard, of an old Greek fisherman who lives in a little house near the sea. He wakes up early every morning, fishes for a few hours, brings home his catch and sells it at the market, has lunch and enjoys an afternoon siesta with his family, eats dinner and plays with his children and goes to bed beside his wife every night. The next day, the routine starts over again.

One day an American businessman visits his village, tastes his fish and is immediately inspired with a business plan for the Greek fisherman. “This fish is amazing!” he says. “You know what you need to do? You need to buy more boats, and hire some help. Then you can catch more fish, and sell more fish!”

“And then what?” asks the Greek fisherman.

“And then you can use that money to buy bigger boats until you have a fleet of boats fishing for you!”

“And then what?” asks the Greek fisherman.

“And then you can use that money to retire early!” 

“And then what?” asks the Greek fisherman.

“And then you can do whatever you like! Get up early in the morning, go fish for a few hours, come home and have lunch and siesta with your family, eat dinner and play with your children and go to bed with your wife.”

Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

What is all this putting a knife to your throat talk about? 

Well, there will always be people who have more than we do. Those folks with those clothes and those cars and those vacations and all. the. things.

And it will be hard for us not to want those things. And not to try to do what it takes so that we can also be like those people. And have all those things, too.

But this is the admonition: don’t be deceived into thinking that once you have all the things, life will be good. That’s a rough path with a dead end. Don’t work too hard trying to get rich. Show that you’ve got enough wisdom not to fall for that!

What’s the answer, then? What do we do instead?

Greek Fisherman, friends! Greek Fisherman.

If we’re not happy with what we have now, we probably won’t be happen, even when we have more. Because someone else will always have more. When will enough be enough?

Instead, like the Greek Fisherman, we can learn to be content. Give thanks for what we have. Instead of chasing riches we can learn to recognize and enjoy the riches we already have.

There is so much wisdom in trying to carefully make choices that will serve you and those you love well now, rather than working excessively in hopes of an early retirement or some other dream-come-true later on. 

Slow down enough to live this day and enjoy it. 

What will you do with the 86,400 seconds you have today? Are you living with what’s most important to you at the forefront? 

Let go of the American dream, if it’s stopping you from enjoying the Greek fish that are already on your table.

Last week I shared that following me on Instagram, liking/sharing on Facebook, subscribing to my emails and sharing them with friends are ways of supporting me as a writer who is WEEKS away from pitching a book proposal.

So many of you friends blew me away by sharing, liking, following and encouraging me again and again. Thank you so much. Publishers look at numbers and care about engaged audiences, so these small actions truly are a gift to me!  I continue to pray these words will find you at the right moment and bless your heart. xoxo, Caroline

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

Eight Words to Live by in 2020

You know what I need someone to tell me on pretty much a daily basis? 

I suppose a lot of things. Like thanks for breakfast, and thanks for lunch and thanks for dinner, Mom.

But also? I’ve been participating in a writer’s Mastermind group this year, and we were encouraged to choose a “mantra” for ourselves. 

Mine might sound familiar if you’ve been reading words around here for a while: 

Stay in Your Lane. Swim Your Own Race. 

And on these days where it feels like the world has gone plum mad?  

I just need someone to tell me those words, again, once more, please. Until I listen.

This week I wonder if you’re facing some of the same struggles.

Because your neighbor is _________ and you are not.

Or because you are _________ and your neighbor is not. 

Maybe it’s a back to work decision. Maybe it’s a back-to-school decision. 

Maybe it’s a social distancing question or a political question or a parenting question.  

Being a human and living in community seems like an invitation to begin to look in one direction, and then another, and to start comparing before you’ve even gotten out of bed.

A few years ago, faithfulness was a word I focused on for a year. And these important whispers began to take root in my soul:

  • Your faithfulness and my faithfulness are going to look different. But that does not mean we are not both being faithful.
  • A life lived faithfully will perhaps never look the same twice.
  • Faithfulness and perfection are not the same thing. Definitely let that sink in.

Like the proverb highlighted above says, God is willing to instruct you, yes, even you, on what faithfulness looks like.  

Make space for some quiet so that He can instruct you on how you can be faithful in this season. 

Your vote, your school choices, your answer to social distancing questions – maybe they will look different from someone else’s. Remember those words in Romans 14:4? To their own master, servants stand or fall. 

Before you let comparison steal your joy, or judgement sour your heart, maybe let these words sink in for you, too, this week:

Stay in your lane. Swim Your Own Race. 

Let’s aim for faithful together this week.

P.S. In case you have a few extra minutes and want a little more encouragement about faithfulness today, I’d love to remind you to Let Jesus Tell You Who You Are Before the World Does

Last week I shared that following me on Instagram, liking/sharing on Facebook, subscribing to my emails and sharing them with friends are ways of supporting me as a writer who is WEEKS away from pitching a book proposal.

So many of you friends blew me away by sharing, liking, following and encouraging me again and again. Thank you so much. Publishers look at numbers and care about engaged audiences, so these small actions truly are a gift to me!  I continue to pray these words will find you at the right moment and bless your heart. xoxo, Caroline

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

Three Ways My Kids are Teaching Me to Pray

Honest confession. Blame the internet. Blame the scattered brain of a mother of four. Blame space aliens.

I STRUGGLE to pay attention when my kids pray. 

We all pile onto one of their beds every evening at bedtime and take turns in a circle, youngest to oldest. Of course when they’re really little and they first start praying, I linger on every word because it’s adorable. Or, when they’ve just come back from a 48-day hospital stay — yeah, I’ll pay attention then, too. 

After a while? I get used to their words and hearing the same basic things and I get busy thinking about whether the laundry got moved to the dryer — and did I turn it on? Or do I have anything else to do before I can relax this evening or…  

You get the idea. 

Lately I’ve been making better efforts at clocking in — not even thinking about what I might pray after they finish, but just really listening and hearing what they’re saying. 

A few basic things have come to the surface that are so breathtakingly beautiful, and beautifully simple, I want to share them with you.

My kids are very repetitive … and God is okay with that.

Every morning, the sun comes up, and every evening it goes down. Spring makes way for summer, which saunters toward fall, which drifts into winter, and then the cycle begins again. God has chosen rhythms and repetition for so many aspects of His creation.

There is peace and there is beauty in repetition.

In the same way, we perhaps think we need to come up with new ways of saying things — or new ways of praying things — but we forget the beauty of repetition. When we repeat things enough, we memorize them and they are “hidden in our hearts” as one Psalmist put it. We might not remember learning the Lord’s prayer, but repetition is the reason we know it.

It’s a beautiful thing to go to the Lord with the same requests again and again. He is a loving Father and wants to hear from us. Even when it’s not apparent that our prayers are changing our circumstances, we can be confident they’re changing our hearts.

My kids pray with boldness… and God isn’t scared.

I’ve repeatedly heard my children ask God to “wipe the coronavirus off the face of the Earth.” Even the four-year-old makes this request! My kids always swing for the fence.

I believe that nothing is impossible for God, but I find myself crafting my prayers carefully, and trying to have “realistic expectations” and add I qualifiers like “If it’s Your will.” I think sometimes I think about whether or not He’s going to do it before I pray.

But my children ask big. And when it hasn’t happened yet… they don’t seem phased or discouraged. They just bow their heads the next night and ask again.

My kids pray about what they care about… and God loves it.

I have one kid who prays, almost every night, that we’ll have fun the next day. Fun. He loves fun. So he asks for fun.

Why not?

Why not show up with our whole hearts and lay everything on the table? Why do we pray with a pokerface? Or only say the things we think we’re supposed to say?

If we’re feeling distant from God, maybe it’s because we’re only bringing a part of ourselves to the table… the part we think He wants to see.

What if we showed up fully ourselves — because He already knows all our business anyway?

I could say, “Lord, I’m super jealous that that girl got that promotion I really wanted.” And maybe He’d whisper to my heart with that still small voice. “I know that was hard for you — but I have great plans for you, little one. They’re good and they’re for your good. I hope you can trust me.”

Or I could say, “Lord, I’m really mad that you let that bad thing happen to me. Where were you? Why didn’t you stop it?” And maybe that precious whisper would say, “Little one, I was with you through it, right there, as you lay on the floor and cried. I know it’s hard to believe, but I have every intention of working this together for your good. It might be a long time before you can see it. I hope you’ll hold onto me anyway.”

I hope you’ll consider these thoughts an invitation to examine your approach to prayer. Are we swinging for the fence or asking for crumbs from the table?

Are we afraid of being completely honest with God? Do we believe He is big enough to handle anything we bring to Him?

Let’s give this one idea a shot this week: start smiling, and then begin praying, trying to keep that smile on your face. Show up like a child who believes God is the biggest thing there is.

He already knows all of it friends, the good the bad and the ugly… and He loves us anyway.

P.S. How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler is still open for enrollment! The first 25 students who use the code “CHRISTMAS” will get 15% off the course! Click here to find out more.

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

Wisdom on time from Hootie and the Blowfish

For one single day of high school, I was absolutely certain I was the coolest kid in school.

It was my freshman year, and the night before my big brother had picked me up to take me to a Hootie and the Blowfish concert.

I was wearing my brand new Hootie t-shirt to school — an earthy pale green and three sizes too big because it was what was left at the Hootie swag shop after the concert.

I knew the words to every song before that night, but afterwards, the music was forever etched in my memory as special and precious. Love is so often spelled Time.

Among the hits that topped the charts that year and made the concert line-up, one’s lyrics have echoed in my mind in the (ahem, many) years since. They’re from the song very aptly named, Time.

Time, why you punish me?

Like a wave bashing into the shore

You wash away my dreams.

Time, why you walk away?

Like a friend with somewhere to go

You left me crying

Can you teach me about tommorrow

And all the pain and sorrow

Running free?

Cause tomorrow’s just another day

And I don’t believe in time

 

The song carries on to say:

Time, you left me standing there

Like a tree growing all alone

The wind just stripped me bare, stripped me bare

Time, the past has come and gone

The future’s far away

Now only lasts for one second, one second  

If you take a walk through Proverbs 20, you’ll discover the theme of time woven through several verses. A tiny tick-tick-tick as a backdrop to the meaning.

If you don’t plow at the right time, you won’t have anything to harvest at harvest time. (v. 4) 

The thoughts in a man’s heart are deep waters — but they can be drawn out, so to speak, with time. (v. 5)

An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end. (v. 21) and The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. (v. 29)

So I’m processing time this week — the time I’ve been given, how I’ve used it, how I’ve failed to use it wisely. 

People love to say “time is money” — but I know which one I can get more of. 

So there are just two simple thoughts I want to give you to ponder this week, regarding time:

  1. You can trust God with the days of your life. 
    If looking back on past mistakes is hard, if you feel like that tree Hootie described, standing bare, give those mistakes to God. He truly can redeem time. He can make our mistakes glorious by turning them into something beautiful. Trust Him with your regrets, just like you trust Him with your hopes and prayers.
  2. While You Number Those Days, Give Careful Thought to How You Use Them 
    Think about five years from now, think about ten. What do you want to be true? Our thoughts might plan our way, but God can order our steps. Ask for help to make today’s decisions, with the awareness that they can have such a beautiful impact on your tomorrow.

The t-shirt is long gone, the ticket stub forgotten. But the memory of my big brother taking that time: why does it remain so many years later?

Loving people in meaningful ways — our family, our neighbors, even strangers in our community — this is the most powerful way to open up our wallet-full of months and years, pull out the currency of hours and minutes, and spend it most wisely.

Here’s to loving people well with our time this week, friends. Hootie said it well: Now only lasts for one second, one second.

P.S. How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler is open for enrollment again. For a limited time the code “CHRISTMAS” will get you 15% off the course! Click here to find out more.

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

She Reminds Me To Breathe and I Want to Tell Her to Shut Up

(And I totally correct my kids when they say “shut up.”)

Maybe you’ve joined me on the 2020 wave of online workouts? 

The hubs and I have used different apps to work out from home for several years now.  

My sister is currently offering online workouts on a fantastic membership site if you want to check it out! She likes to say “Good things come to those who sweat.” 

The tough thing about working out is… it’s hard. I usually don’t want to do it. 

I don’t want to get out of bed, spread out a mat, do planks and push-ups and burpees and bear crawls.  

And sometimes this gal with an interesting foreign accent (not my sister) has us doing these crazy hard things. And she’s doing them at the same time.

She jumps like twice as high as me. 

And makes it all look effortless. 

And she’s not even breathing hard. 

We’re in some awkward reverse plank or other and I’m sweating and fighting to stay afloat, and I think she’s going to bust out a Julie Andrews song or something. 

She reminds me to breathe and I want to tell her to shut up. 

(Again — not my sister!)

This week Proverbs 19 reminded me about the fear of the Lord. “Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm,” verse 23 says.

On the surface you might think — isn’t it odd that we should be scared of God?

But I think this verse is saying the exact opposite thing. 

When we are fully convinced of God’s love for us (Henri Nouwen so elegantly explained that we are His Beloved) we start to believe that His will and His ways are always, hands-down the best possible option.

So we fear stepping outside of His will because we believe that being the all-knowing God who is wise beyond compare, if we choose to follow His lead, we can trust Him to work things together for our good.

Will our lives be daisies and sunshine ad infinitem? No. We will experience hard times and hard places. But we will experience them trusting He is with us in those valleys, and He is the God who will see us through.

What an eye-brow crunching thought this was for me this week: that so many people go their own ways, make their own choices, take no heed to the wisdom of God for their lives, and then are so angry at Him when things begin to unravel.

God invites us to revere Him, and stand in awe of His complete other-ness. His greatness. All those incredible things He explained to Job that made Job reply, “I am unworthy! I put my hand to my mouth! How can I reply to You?”  

Sometimes God invites us to do hard things. It’s tough, the paths He calls us to are often not the easiest.

But He sees the whole picture. He leads us to the paths that truly do bring life and security and protection from harm. 

Good things come to those who sweat, yes, it’s true.

And? Good things come to those willing to take the hard road, the narrow path, the way that is an invitation from Jesus.

P.S. How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler started last week and we are having fun! If you missed the chance to sign up but you’re interested in hearing when it opens again, pop your details into this form right here!!

Now Open: Homeschooling for Newbies

So many families are asking about homeschooling, I created an online course to help! To find out more about How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!

Three Things to Remember for Healthy Communication

You want to know something I’m superrrrr guilty of? 

Do, tell, Caroline, yes, do tell, you say? 

I’m super guilty of assessing a situation and feeling confident that I’ve totally got it figured out — when I don’t.

Like this one time we were staying at a hotel back when I just had three Collies toddling around me. Our room was on the ground floor but the eldest begged for an elevator ride, so I promised after breakfast we’d go ride the elevator. 

No big deal until kid #2 began blubbering something that sounded like “I don’t want to ride the elevator!!!” Ya know, super loud, while we stood in front of the elevator doors.  

Surrounded by other people. 

Within view and earshot of everyone still enjoying the breakfast in the hotel restaurant. 

I discussed this problem with the eldest, who felt it necessary to remind me of my promise at breakfast. 

Next, I tried explaining to #2 the fact that those people weren’t disappearing — the doors were opening to let them out on other floors. We could go up and come back down again. It would be so fun. 

He remained skeptical and unconvinced. 

Finally, with #3 on my hip, I took a knee to get on eye level with #2. I asked a question, trying to figure out what was at the root of this sheer terror. I was met with definite clarity when he cried out:

 

I don’t want to ride the alligator!!!

Now it all made sense. I could’ve sat there another half an hour, explaining the engineering behind elevators to my two year old. Gears and lifts and pulleys and shiny buttons that light up when you press them.

But the communication he needed was completely different.

He just needed his Mama to explain with great articulation that the word “elevator” and the word “alligator” are different.

Proverbs is pretty good at calling us out on our human condition. It speaks to our communication struggles with striking clarity.

What if we all took five today to check in our how we’re doing with communication? Check out these three points straight from Proverbs, well illustrated in the elevator/alligator experience.

  1. Communication is Dialogue, Not Monologue
    Save the soliloquy for the shower or the stage. Communication has to be a two-way-street or it will always dead end.
  2. Focus on Truly Understanding
    The verdict is in: fools only care about being heard. It takes wisdom to really listen.
  3. Be Slow to Speak
    When I’m rushing to say something, it often turns out that I don’t have the most useful things to say. We need to give others time to form their thoughts and opinions, and we honestly need to do the same for ourselves, to hear our own hearts, and then to consider what’s there in light of God’s Truth.

You know what’s crazy about listening? It’s an inexpensive gift to give, that can feel like a precious treasure to the person receiving it. We all want to be heard. It makes us feel like we matter. It makes us feel more connected and more understood.

Give someone the gift of listening today! And may your elevators be elevators, and your alligators, alligators.

P.S. If you’re struggling to tell elevators from alligators with your kids, I’d love to share some resources with you that have worked for us. To see them, click here!

Were you late for class?

If you missed the chance to sign up for my new online course, How to Crush it as a Newbie Homeschooler, fear not! Enrollment will open again soon. If you want to be the first to know when it’s time to sign up,

Click here!

Got kids?

Ten Simple Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids is a simple ebook I created to help parents take baby steps toward changing the faith culture in their families.

Click here to grab this freebie today!