Have you ever had one of those conversations with the Lord that was kinda on going for multiple days? He talks… I talk… He talks again… and I just need to take a minute to let it soak in. Sooner or later, we come around to it again and I confirm what I was suspecting a few days ago. He wants me to change something about myself and it’s going to be difficult if not impossible. He reassures me He’ll help me to change if I have a willing heart, but some things just seem ingrained.
Like my own DNA. It’s just part of me. It makes me…ME.
You ready for it? Sit down. You’re gonna laugh if you know me personally.
I talk too much. Like, all the time.
If you know me personally, you know it’s true.
We relocated to the Tulsa area almost 2 years ago. Our church has a wonderful group of women. We have Women’s Bible Study once a month, we also do “Dinner on the Grounds” once a month (Sunday service, potluck lunch and afternoon service). I’m also Facebook friends with almost all the women in the congregation. I’m well connected with the ladies, right?
Well, a few weeks ago one of the women was going through a rough patch and I wanted to make something special for her to let her know how much I appreciate her and was praying for her. I’m a crafty kinda gal and love to grab the hot glue gun and fancy paper. One morning I was in my craft room and had decided I really needed to get this done before she gets well and I miss my opportunity. I sat at my table and tried to imagine her personality and conversations we’d had in the past. Basically just trying to draw from my memory, something she might have mentioned being interested in (gardening? Sewing? Reading?) I wanted my gift to be custom for her so she would know I put some thought into it, not just purchasing something off the clearance section at Walmart. I racked my brain for a solid hour and could not come up with one thing that I knew about her personally! Not one! I know that she has great appreciation for Mike and I being foster parents and she always shows interest any time we get a new placement. I know that she enjoys the funny stories I post on FB about Kat. I know that she is very faithful to attend church, if the doors are open you can count on her being there. But I had no idea what her favorite color is, favorite flower? Maybe she’s allergic to flowers? Favorite food? I’d never even paid attention to what dishes she brings to potluck! I know she has a daughter and I think maybe a son? No idea what her favorite scripture is, or favorite song. CLUELESS.
Then I felt the first nudge. “You can’t make something specifically for her because any time you have spent time with her you talked the WHOLE TIME. You told her about the foster babies. You told her about Kat. You told her about 2012. You’ve told her more than she probably ever wanted to know!!!”
Hm. That stung. I finally just made her a funny card shoved it in my Bible so I wouldn’t have to look at the reminder of God’s reproof.
I like to talk. I think I’m interesting.
Another nudge happened when I made a short road trip to visit a dear friend. Oh how I love her! I spent the weekend at her place and treasured every minute of our time together. While there, she and I took a short little drive out in the country, looking at wildflowers, taking pictures of a funny dog, even stopping to steal flowers from someone’s front yard tree. Oh how I loved our girl time! Once I got home I wanted to make a special thank you gift for her. I sat down to make a project and as I reviewed my favorite conversations from our time together I realized every stinking one of them was about ME! EVERY ONE!! How did that happen?!! She talked too! I’m sure she talked too, because I remember us laughing almost to the point of tears…oh wait…that was because of a very old memory. Oh no, Lord. I did it again, didn’t I? I had time in the presence of someone that means so much to me, but I talked a mile a minute while she laughed. The only time she talked was when I was busy crying about 2012. Oh man.
I don’t want to be this way! This is a rude and selfish and ugly trait and I want to correct it! I really need to stop talking and LISTEN. But do you know how HARD it is to shut my mouth when I get around people?! To be completely honest, I even talk out loud all day when I’m rattling around my house with infant babies that can’t respond!
And poor Jesus! I know he said to pray without ceasing, but I wonder if sometimes even HE is staring off into space and yawning! *wink* (not really, of course, but you get the picture…..)
The most recent nudge happened a few evenings ago. I attended the viewing of a sweet lady who passed away. The weather was bad and tornadoes were in the forecast so there weren’t a lot of people in attendance. As I walked into the funeral home I discovered 2 sweet friends from out of state had made the trip to be with the family. I was so happy to see them! It’s been several months since we visited and even then it was at a church meeting so we didn’t get to visit much. I wanted to chat with them and see how they’ve been since I last saw them. I stepped over to them and….you got it….I started talking. (see the pattern yet??) Even after TWO Godly nudges, can you believe I STILL talked the whole time!! In my defense, I think I asked them how they were doing and I *think* I waited until they said “fine” before I launched in. ~sigh~
God: “Seriously. I want you to STOP TALKING ALL THE TIME! Be quiet and LISTEN!”
Me: “But Lord that doesn’t sound like any fun at ALL!!”
God: “Sandra Danene, Either YOU fix it or I’ll fix it!”
I’ve always had a fear of being paralyzed or something happening where I couldn’t speak or communicate.
So, here I sit. I’m trying to figure out how to stop talking. Staple my lips shut? Break my jaw so they wire it closed? Duct tape? Shock collar? Tie a string on my finger??
I drew a hot pink “L” (LISTEN!!!) on both of my index fingers right before I went into church yesterday morning. Since I tend to flail around with my hands when I talk, I hoped I’d catch a glimpse of the L and shut up.
It didn’t work.