that time I made a sticker chart…
This is a family pic that we took on Mother’s Day. I LOVE my precious offspring…all four of them…but after weeks of quarantine and endless family time, I have never been more thankful or appreciative of babysitters. And grandmas. And date nights. And alone time.
Here’s why: my youngest two are not good listeners and it’s making me crazy. From morning to night, I endlessly repeat myself to no avail. It usually sounds like this:
Honey, please don’t go in the street.
PLEASE get out of the street, it’s not safe.
HEY! GET OUT OF THE STREET so you don’t get hit by a car!
THERE’S A CAR COMING! GET OUT OF THE STREET RIGHT NOW!!!
If they make it to 18, it will be a miracle. Don’t get me wrong, their ears work perfectly fine. They hear me, they just don’t choose to obey me until I am yelling loud enough for the entire street to hear me. I’m sure the neighbors think I’m momzilla. It’s exhausting.
A few weeks ago, I decided I couldn’t handle it anymore so I made a chart and found some stickers. I told my little minions that every time they listen and obey the first time, they get a sticker. I promised them that whenever they reached 20 stickers, they get a prize.
At first it wasn’t easy for them to respond well, because they were in the habit of ignoring me. But then, they turned a corner and IT’S ACTUALLY WORKING! THANK YOU JESUS! They respond so much better now (most of the time) and I am thankful. I am also thankful that they love $1 matchbox cars or this would be a spendy little experiment.
This I have learned: listening and obeying is not easy, but it is a game changer. Our house is a much more pleasant place and I feel way less like momzilla. Ironically, I have been studying the book of Luke in the Bible and I’ve found this theme of listening in chapters 6-8. Jesus makes it clear that his children, the ones who will inherit the kingdom of heaven, are the ones who listen and obey his words:
Luke 6:46, “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep against that house, it will collapse in a heap of ruins.”
And again at 8:18, “So pay attention TO HOW YOU HEAR. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.”
For the last couple of weeks, I have been analyzing what my hearing looks like when it comes to God’s word. As his child, I am called to listen and obey, even when I don’t feel like it. For example, In Luke 6, Jesus tells me to love my enemies, pray for those who persecute me, and bless those who hurt me. It’s tempting to respond with selective hearing like my littles used to!
No thanks, Lord. I think I will love the easy people and not the difficult ones.
But that’s not what Jesus says, so I am working on my obedience in this area. IT’S NOT EASY. I bet if you take a minute, you can think of a couple people in your life that are difficult to love, pray for, or bless. I know that I can. But maybe if I make myself a sticker chart, I can track my growth and get some prizes? Kidding not kidding.
How about you, friend? How do you hear? Are you intentional about your listening habits when it comes to what you read in God’s word? Can I encourage you to take a minute and pray and ask God to show you one step you can take toward becoming a better listener?
As always, I love hearing from you. Email me or comment on the blog and I will get on my knees for you. Let’s do this faith journey together.
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