I think it must have been in the final chapter of one of those parenting books I read when Brendan was little. You know back in the day when I had one kid and was obsessed about every little detail of his life. I’d read “Bringing up Boys” by the time he was three months and while the prospect of having a boy who wanted to be a super hero and do wild things was thrilling…..I didn’t really know who it was that was lying in my arms. His desire to be anything but “Baby-wised” was not new to me and I could tell you about every fleck in his little brown eyes, but if he would be strong willed or all boy was an enigma. Only time would tell.
Actually, it is sheer relief that I front loaded on all the parenting books because I slide between the sheets without an ounce of desire to read them now that I’m in the throes of it all. Heavens! If there were cliff notes to two or three I’m sure they’d come in handy about now!
But somewhere in one of those, I learned that if I really wanted my kids to listen. The lean forward kind of listen. I should whisper. Because whispers are powerful and whispers mean that the tidbit being spoken is valuable.
Last year in the fall, in a time immediately following a season where I’d been doing a lot of teaching, the Lord whispered a word to my heart that stopped me cold. I’ve had a few moments during my Christ following years that I could take you back to the exact spot in the room or on the road where He spoke a word in such a severe hush over my heart that it remains deeply etched. And I know that they were indeed from the Lord because they are in harmony with the wisdom found in Scripture. And they were personal and dealt with issues that only He knew I was wrestling through.
There I was standing in front of my dishwasher peeling fruit when the Lord whispered straight to my heart that, “I will not call you to teach something that you are unwilling to practice.” It was like the snap of a rubber band to my heart as I knew exactly to what He was referring. I had been particularly dishonoring in my speech and attitude toward my husband and quick tempered with my children. I was strategizing for moments alone rather than embracing the season God has given me with my tribe.
Honestly, I reeled at the rebuke. “Oh’, Lord. I will obey you. Please forgive me.”
That whisper, the moment the Lord leaned in, has come to mind over and over again. I’ve been more mindful than ever that His way is best and that short cutting obedience will not result in greater joy. Greater joy comes as I embrace surrender not control, and service rather than demanding my own.
What is the Lord whispering to your heart? Are you leaning in to hear?