“Mom, mom” he said in a hushed voice as I stood by the bathroom telling the three year old to get off the toilet. “Go to sleep…” I replied in a bored voice.
“Mom, mom, come here.” The almost eight year old repeated. I half-heartedly walked a couple of steps closer to him and said “I’m listening…”
He started talking even more quietly, forcing me to walk all the way over to where he was perched on his bed. Why are they only quiet when it’s inconvenient??? With an excited grin he said (louder, now that I was over there) “Guess what I’m going to be for Halloween.”
“Please tell me.” I said in a monotone voice—completely unenthusiastic about this conversation. In the moment I was only interested in getting the three year old off the toilet (he was still just sitting there) and then all four of the boys into their beds. Smile getting impossibly bigger he said, “I’ll tell you on…November 30th!”
Unimpressed I said, “I think you mean October 30th, and you have to tell me before then otherwise we can’t get a costume ready. Why don’t you tell me right now what you want to be.”
He looked thoughtfully up at the ceiling saying, “Ummmmm…”
Seriously, dude? You don’t even know. Why are we having this conversation right now??? He had called me over to tell me that he wasn’t going to tell me what he wants to dress up as for Halloween. And he doesn’t even know what he wants to be! He literally called me over to tease me about a piece of information that he does not even possess.
Oh, and did I mention the fun fact that this is a child who does not even like Halloween??? For years he has refused to go trick or treating with his brothers because he doesn’t like seeing all the kids dressed up in scary costumes. Which is fine with me because I don’t like Halloween either. This is the kid who I have to practically beg to dress up in something basic each year just for a photo op. So it makes our little bedtime conversation that much more ridiculous.
Sometimes (most of the time) I feel like my children just like to hear themselves talk. Or maybe it’s a conspiracy to make sure I never have another quiet moment for as long as I live. Even the three month old is in on it with his cute “goos” and “gahs”.
The other day I went to the store with just the baby and the nine year old. The nine year old kept talking and talking and talking. I’d start to tune out and then have to remind myself to listen to him. But it was difficult because his voice was competing with my inner dialogue. I kept bouncing between the two—not having a quality conversation with him or myself.
Even if you don’t have four very chatty boys like I do, you can probably agree with me that there is so much chatter in life! So many things competing for our time, energy, and attention. It can be extremely difficult to know who to listen to and when. And it can be even more difficult to decide what to spend our efforts on. So many choices don’t make us happy—they make us indecisive and frustrated!
Fortunately there is one consistent voice that we should be listening for. But I know I at least have trouble sometimes hearing Him over the chatter I’ve allowed to surround me. It’s easy to continue on and think that if God wants to tell me something it will be loud and obvious. However, I know from experience that I hear God best when I am still and quiet—even turning down my own internal chatter.
So can any of you relate to this at all? Are you like me—allowing yourself to be distracted by web-surfing and day-dreaming? I do that, and then I wonder why I seem to lack direction sometimes. Perhaps if I spent more time in the Bible, learning God’s truths, then I’d actually find the answers I’m so aimlessly looking for.
1 Kings 19:11-12 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.