“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
I tend to be hard on myself. I want to do more for those I love, be there all the time and yet still be able to work, clean, shop, keep up the house, etc. I usually end up exhausted and focusing on the areas where I’m lacking instead of what I’m doing right.
Today started out as an ordinary day… actually a little better than ordinary. It was my extra work day which means my schedule is a little more flexible than usual, allowing for more emergencies or extras than an ordinary day.
The kids missed the bus so instead of working for an hour before running to the store and then dropping off our youngest, I had to stop work, drop them off to school, then run a few errands, barely making it in time for the youngest before the tardy bell. Not exactly what I had in mind, but still, doable.
In between laundry and work, keeping an eye on the clock because I was going to spend the afternoon at the elementary school partying with a bunch of amazing kids and their fantastic teacher, the phone rang and I greeted the person on the other end with happiness because I love talking when they call.
While I was having a fairly manageable day, this person’s day wasn’t going so well. Impossible demands, some not so smart decisions and multiple frustrations were building up and I was honored to be the person the caller decided to share from the heart with. While sympathizing but not really having much to offer, I was feeling as though I wasn’t helping much. However, at the end of the conversation three simple words were spoken, “Thanks for listening.”
Then I realized: That was all that was needed. No solutions, just a listening ear. Someone who cared. Letting the person on the other end know the value and worth and how much that person mattered – in my life and others.
I don’t have to do it all right. My house doesn’t have to be perfect. My life can be my own version of crazy – what matters is that I take the time to listen and show the people in my life how much they mean to me. They matter. They are important. They are heard and understood. They are loved. And that might take some time, but it’s time well spent.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017