Need to process before responding …

I learned something new about myself this year … and maybe it’s because of the word God gave me for this year: whisper. I loved it, actually, when He gave me this word and I couldn’t wait to figure out why He chose that word.


As 2020 is fully established, I’m trying to be more conscious of speaking slowly, listening more and talking less, speaking with conviction but sprinkling it heavily with love and grace, and more.


And it was while I was trying to make those changes that I discovered something. I handle life so much better when I “whisper,” and by whisper I’m not talking about the volume of my voice, but the speed with which I answer.


I’m learning to embrace change (yes, this actually does correlate with the last sentence) and part of doing that is when things are thrown at me (whether in a work environment, family environment, out in the community, wherever), I’m realizing I do much better giving myself time to digest what’s being asked of me, what’s being said to me, and taking my time to figure out my response.

For example, when one of my children asks me for something on the spur of the moment and if I have to answer “now,” my gut response is “no.” I don’t like always saying no. I’m learning to take a deep breath, think about the question and if it can logistically be accomplished (and if so, how) and then responding.


Another example is I was recently presented with a job opportunity. My gut reaction was, “I don’t have time to add anything else to my plate. It will require more time, will stress me out more, etc.” Then, after praying about it, letting God marinate it in my soul, I’m realizing this might be the best thing that happens! And I’m excited. I’m so glad I didn’t say “no” immediately because I would have missed out on something incredible.


I’m learning, whether it’s a fun spur of the moment date with my husband, job opportunity, writing experience, parenting decision – I do much better giving myself time to process the request and asking for God’s wisdom before answering.


And I’m pretty sure my family, friends, employers, and acquaintances appreciate when I’ve taken the time to process first too – because then I’m peaceful with the decision and I don’t have to come back and say, “Okay, I know I already answered, but now that I’ve thought about it …”


What about you? Are you good at making quick decisions or do you need time to process something before answering in order to give a better response?


© Cheri Swalwell 2020



2 Replies to “Need to process before responding …”

  1. I definitely need time to process and normally regret and need to apologize when I don’t as it’s not the best answer. Thank you for this encouraging message and so glad God is answering your prayers with wisdom and direction.

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