Say what?

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Say what?

Are you listening to me?

Can you hear me now?

How often do you feel that no one is truly listening to you as you express your dreams and fear? Or do you even try to put words to your thoughts? Would they be received without judgment or solutions?

It can be challenging to navigate our thoughts, especially when we are vulnerable. As we share apart of our inner self with another, we are opened up to judgement and speculation. Personally, I know that I have found this to be challenging, so you are not alone in the struggle to be heard. To find a true listener these days seems to be like going on an epic quest. With twists and turns that never quite reveal what you need. And yet, after reading, Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Guenther this summer, I have hope and so should you.

She describes holy listening as midwifery of the soul.1 That it is an act of holy obedience.Our time with others is our calling to be fully present to one another. We need to not only find someone who will truly listen to our needs, but in turn we need to make ourselves available to others. Some will feel called to be Spiritual Directors, so that they can support others with the training they have be challenged with. But Guenther shares that, “Spiritual Direction is not a crisis ministry, even though the initial impulse to seek out a director may arise from a sense of urgent personal need.”3

The time spent listening is an investment in the ongoing slow work of God. Out of crisis an awakening may occur, but the revelations from it may be heard over time in a safe, Christ-centered environment. A Spiritual Director can help re-awaken a person and help them take stock in themselves and their desires for life. Guenther states that, “Self-aborption is what leads us to forget the gracious love of God, the giver of new life in the most tired and wounded soul.”If we allow our selves to truly listen or be listened to as we openly share, our tiredness will be transformed into wisdom. When we stop to truly listen and reflect, we will usually find that we already truly know the direction of our next step with God.

If you are interested in learning more about the renewing act of holy listening, I highly recommend this work by Margaret Guenther. I would loan you my copy, but I have underlined so many lines and even dog-eared pages throughout. I bet you may do the same as I did. She may have written a book, but the Holy Spirit blessed it with divine wisdom and grace for generations to follow.

Have you found someone to listen to your dreams and fears?

If you are a holy listener, what do you find life-giving or energy-draining from it?

Holy Listening
Footnotes:

  1. Margaret Guenther, Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction (Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley Publications, ©1992), x.
  2. Ibid, 77.
  3. Ibid, 92.
  4. Ibid, 107.

Bibliography:

Guenther, Margaret. Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction. Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley Publications, ©1992.

Get your own copy of Holy Listening here.

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About Kristin

I started this blog thing years ago in August 2011. I have made attempts to blog over the past three years of seminary, but it was like writing when drowning. But I have completed the bulk of my course work, so I know there is a God. I am currently in my capstone creation phase this fall. This allows me time to unravel a little and renew my passion for writing my ramblings. If you like what you read, share what it stirs in you or even share it with others. I write for you from me. A little about me... I have celebrated 16 years of wedded bliss and reality with my best friend for over 17 years. We have 3 wonderful kids that are all unique, amazing and different in their own way. Our first born is nearly a teenager. He loves talking, Scouts, reading, camping and science experiments. Our daughter is a decade old. She is our creative soul and a planner! She loves to spend time dancing, singing and nurturing/teaching her babydolls and us. She is very sweet to her brothers. Last but not least is our daring 6 year old red head boy. He broke the "Wooldridge Mold". He is the fastest runner, our busiest explorer, our deep philosopher and biggest joker, oh and he gives the best hugs. You know the long lingering kind that truly fuel your soul to sing. I have been a stay at home mom for nearly 13 years and I have found a groove that works for our family. (That grove doesn't mean I have it figured out. It just means I am good with asking for help and having my family help us survive.) Twelve years ago, I joined a local MOPS group and I have been the Coordinator for 1o years. This group has given me a chance to lead without working full time, support other women in my community and help refine my walk with God. I also attend Central Baptist Theological Seminary. I am pursuing a Masters of Divinity and loving every minute of it. I am currently working on my capstone project, which a ministry guide for the MOPS group I have lead for a decade. It will serve as a touchpoint for those in leadership and also as a sweet offering as my goodbye to meaningful work that touched every part of my life and taught me that I am called to pastor. My life isn't perfect as the paragraph above makes it seem. But I have traveled through those harder times and found strength and support through them. Hoping to use this blog as a spot to write my thoughts, feelings and stories as I keep on living life! God Bless you and keep you. We each need to remember the Divine is within each of us. Be kind to yourself and to others.

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