Listening Lessons: Unexpected

This summer has been an absolutely beautiful, unexpected, adventure. I have seen the best, and some of the worst in people. But mostly, the best. In the most, humbling, amazing ways – unexpected.


It’s amazing how we can crawl into a hole, work and work, and work, and think we’re doing everything we should be, only to all of a sudden have the hole fill up with a rainstorm, and us get floated out of the hole. Then, outside, we are scared, confused, and need to learn how to find something else. To see the everything else.

It’s there that we realize that there’s a whole horizon that we’ve never seen. Paths to walk and paths to blaze. And out there, you will meet the greatest people – people you never knew could be the greatest gifts you’d ever have.

Unexpected. I’m learning to expect more good. Thankful for summertime lessons.

I asked Ray what made him what he enjoyed the most about our new non-profit adventure. Without a thought he turned around, smiled, and said, “That you’re happy.”

Oh, and if you haven’t heard, the latest and greatest is here:

…because love wins.


Listening Lesson: Heaven Knows

Heaven Knows – Matt Hammitt:
(Listen below the text.)

With open hands, open hearts, this is how we got our start;  how we wound up here.
Oh, and seasons change, it’s okay. It doesn’t have to take away from the love we share.

And now I’m standing at a crossroads, knowing that it’s time to let go. To let go.

Heaven knows when a heart needs to go where it’s meant to be.
And it’s hard to walk away from a place you thought you’d never leave.
Oh, but I can hear Jesus calling my name, saying, “Step out onto the sea, come and find what your faith is made of. Come and live what you claim to believe and follow me.”

Oh I’ve been restless, I’ve been weary ’cause I just keep on fighting this feeling that I want to stay where somebody needs me.
But I hear Jesus saying, “Believe me.”

Listening Lesson: Just because you think life is great, good, and full of wonderful things, doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. Heaven knows, and it’s getting better than you could have ever imagined. 

…because love wins.

Listening Lesson: Being There Says A Lot.

My first love language is quality time, and that’s probably why I am such a big fan of being present in the lives of those around me. I don’t ever mind hours and hours of nice chatting, playing with friends younger than me, or doing projects with my friends and family. I think that the time when we aren’t “accomplishing” anything are the greatest moments to see our humanness. And they are often our greatest time to be feel loved.

kidsThis week I got the opportunity to spend time with a host of people who I adore. Sometimes, when life takes away things that we loved so dearly, it gives us the opportunity to be more present than we ever were before. It’s an interesting thing. Even the best work can not be as great as the power of a one-on-one conversation. 

So, what did I hear this week? I heard that sitting in a room and saying “yes” to going to church with a child means more than one would think. I heard that taking 5 minutes to look into the eyes of a child who is in a new place will impact them in a real way; in a way that will send them home rambling your name and looking forward to the next time. I learned that old friends are always roycethe best kind, even if they involve years of not seeing one another. I heard that lunch dates and facebook chats and late night texts are what keep us uplifted.

I heard that being there says a lot. I’m thankful for each moment with you all, and I’m looking forward to many more moments of being together.

Listening Lesson: Just show up for people. You’ll find the greatest moments life has to offer.  

…because love wins.

Listening Lesson: Speak the heart language.

Well, hello there champs! How have you won this week? I hope in many great ways! I actually owe you all this post from last week, but was on an adventure in Denver with my cute, smart, and charming husband, so didn’t get a chance to sit down and write. But, we’re back now, so here we go.


Last week we got to meet my friend’s son, who just came home from China! She has been working through the adoption process for a year and a half and we’ve been praying and praying for this little man! We are thankful we’ll get to be a part of his life, and are so excited to see how his mom beams over him! Here’s an adorable pic of him! Also, Ray didn’t plan this outfit…just happens that great tastes find each other.

He was my listening lesson last week. He is hard of hearing and also doesn’t know English, so it’s pretty interesting to communicate with him. He was in the hospital a couple days after they came home because he also needs some major help with his kidneys. We got to stop by and play for a while. I’m a talker (shocking) so it was interesting for me to not be able to just use words to communicate with him.

But, it was also magical because we were able to communicate in more meaningful ways. He takes the time to look into the eyes of those around him, and makes sure he is listening by giving his full attention to his mom when she is gesturing things to him. He and I text funny pictures and I sure hope that makes him giggle.

While we were sitting in the hospital room, the adults wanted to figure out some of the Chinese characters that he had written. I looked up what he had written and Google Translate told me that it was the word for bright. I showed him photos of the sun, and lightbulbs and gave him a shrug to say, “Is this right?” He shook his head “no.” I’m sure that was frustrating, but he didn’t show it. I noticed that there was a Chinese word for those characters, and that it happened to match his Chinese name. I shrugged and pointed to him, and the characters, back and forth.

He nodded, and got this adorable little smirk. Just the cutest thing ever. I hope that simple action made him feel loved and understood in a brand new place to him. I hope it made it feel like home.

Listening lesson: Take the time to communicate with your heart. Take the time to learn how someone else will feel loved. Take the time to be present and be a human. Life’s about the “we’re in this together” moments.

…because love wins.

Listening lessons are once weekly posts developed by something heard or experienced in the week before. They offer insight are based in my belief that we need to listen much more than we do in a world full of so much being said. It’s simple. Listen more; learn more.