Be a good listener.

That’s one of the latest catch-phrases in Lilli’s repertoire, mainly because she hears it about 732 times a day.

“Lilli, Mimmie needs you to be a good listener.”

“Lilli, put your listening ears on.”

“Lilli, big girls are good listeners.”

Last night, bedtime was a wee (read: GINORMOUS) bit of a struggle due to a car-quality, less-than-an-hour, nap that occurred too early in the day. One would think this would ensure an easy transition to dream land, but alas, no. She didn’t throw a fit, or fight me; she mainly just engrossed herself in what she was doing and pretended I wasn’t there talking to her.

“Lilli, stop playing with the dollhouse now, please. It’s time to pick some books.”

No acknowledgement.

“Lilli, I said to stop playing now.”


“Lilli, listen to Mimmie and STOP NOW.”


“Lilli! You will lose reading books if you don’t STOP RIGHT NOW.”

To save you from a tennis match of the entire evening, I’ll tell you now that she lost the books. AND her songs. We said prayers, and I tucked her in and we talked about starting today off by being a good listener, and not too much longer thereafter, she was asleep.

After that exchange, I drew myself a hot bath, grabbed a book, and settled in to relax a little (and commend God for His wisdom in determining the age-range of child-bearing years, but I digress…). I have a fair amount of patience; more, I think, now that I’m older and I don’t have the same type of responsibility for my grandchildren as I did with my own kids. But, I’m here to tell you, when a little child doesn’t respond at all (AT. ALL.) to what you’re telling them, and it goes from one act of discipline to the next, your patience is tried.

As I lay there, smug in the bath, I was reminded by the Wise Child-bearing-year Maker that I try Him everyday. He tells me things over and over and OVER again, which, if you were privy to the conversation, you would witness me completely ignoring Him.

Because I really like whatever it is I happen to be doing.

Because I don’t want to stop.

Because His way sounds like it will be less fun than my way.

As it turns out,

Big girls are not always good listeners.

I told Him I loved Him and that I was sorry. I told Him I would try to be a better listener. And you know what? Lilli did the same thing before I left her room, which was, actually, a very big girl thing to do.

It seems that she and her Mimmie are both works in progress. I’m thankful for the deep and wide capacity for patience that belongs to our God as we both continue to become good listeners.


“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 ESV

God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s psalm, centuries later than the original invitation: Today, please listen,don’t turn a deaf ear . . .” Hebrews 4:7 MSG

Love is patient…” 1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV