I saw an advertisement yesterday for a new "smart" something, and while I don't remember the details of the actual product, I distinctly recall the irony of the ad: "If you have something to say, this is all you need..." Without any hesitation, I can assure you that three minutes with my three year-old, and you will disagree with the advertisement. Most people don't need anything to encourage them to say something. In fact, we all have too many outlets for our opinions right now. (I'm calling my coffee kettle black right now as blogs are the perfect example.) Social media has afforded a huge canvas for monologues. I do not mean to always bash social media, but I would love to see a better tech tool designed to facilitate true dialogue. I think we are missing that "smart" thing that will encourage us to listen to one another instead of simply talking until we are too blue to see our own faces in the script.
As the only female among a four male household, I'm realizing that I speak way too much, and everyone else listens way too little- a terrible combination. Trying to teach my sons to listen is a monumental task in and of itself, but aren't we all guilty of forgetting the difference between "hearing" and "listening." I'll be first to admit that I was that student who was anxiously holding up my hand thinking about my amazing question, and I forgot to listen to the person right before me asking the same question.
Silas recently said that it'd be "really cool if we could hear God's voice." When I tried explaining that we can, I began to see the difficulty in this dialogue. The root of the problem is that if we can't listen to one another well, how on Earth could we possibly know how to be still and silent long enough to hear a still, small voice from Heaven. I recall having the same desire to hear my maker's words aloud, but over the years, God has given me ample and beautiful opportunities to learn how to hear Him. Now, I want to learn to not only hear, but truly listen and obey Him (another lesson I'm hoping my children will learn to do not only with God, but with their parents too!).
Listening, like humility, is a lost art that we all, especially me, need to rekindle and renew. I pray that the quickness of the Christmas season will be replaced with quietness this year. Unlike the Grinch, I love me some noise, noise, noise, especially when it involves, music and dancing. But every day should also involve sweet, silent stillness so that we can learn to listen to our Maker whom we are celebrating this season.

No one likes his first bath, but the warm towel afterwards is the best part.

I really wish I could have nose-dived into the end of this fall goodness.

But I was holding this sweet munchkin.

Painting cookies is always in-door fun!

But when you need to get out, just pack light.

Silas asks to "make slime" practically once a week.

Levi was really jealous cause he loves to get messy, but I knew he'd eat the toxic mess, so...

we didn't tell Silas that we were messing with cool whip!

Don't be sad Roman, you'll get to eat cool whip one day too!
Quick note on my boys for those of you who sweetly pray for our little family:

Despite my knock on him struggling to listen, Silas has been a great help with both my little ones. I couldn't be more grateful for him.
God has graciously given us a new baby that sleeps and eats well. While, babies change with the wind, transitioning into three hasn't really caused much of a blip on our radar. The crazy life of boys feels relatively similar to what it was before Roman came home. Thank you for praying for him. He is doing wonderfully, and we thank God daily for his sweet, sleepy life right now.
Levi is back to his weekly therapies, and I am thankful that most of them come straight to our home! He's been eating his purees and taking on the additional pediasure calories well! Since we have a break this month from most doctors, I'm excited to pray for his progress before we return to them all next month. Levi is handling more and more "crumbs" of solid food when he doesn't have a cold, so that's encouraging. The boy LOVES to eat, so I pray one day soon he'll be able to eat everything! He is back up in the 18 pound region, so we are gaining again instead of losing weight. However, the last cold he had lasted almost three weeks, and he threw up at least one meal a day, so please pray that whatever mucus he maintains this season wouldn't affect his ability to swallow and keep his food down. Also, he's very close to walking, but we, along with his PT, have noticed how much his feet turn out when he takes steps. The over-correction due to his leg braces (which he still wears at night and during nap) is suppose to help "club-footed kids" from turning back inward, but we need to chat with his orthopeadic doc in January to see if he needs any sort of new foot gear.

As always, we are beyond grateful for your prayers, and we are so very grateful for growth this season. God bless you!

~Listening Buster