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There are days when the small people I share a home with seem to get out of bed without putting on their listening ears. Today seems to be one of those mornings. To be fair, this usually pretty mellow Grammy is trying to get ready to go out of town, and is probably not quite as mellow as she could be. Still, when my instruction to the girls was to “put on your shoes and jackets and go feed Aunt Christine’s cat,” (two doors down the block) I really didn’t expect them to run out the front door, barefooted and jacket-less! And while the morning has warmed up a bit, it is still only 50 degrees and the sidewalk is both chilly and leaf-covered.

As (bad) luck would have it, they returned straight away after the small one crashed and skinned her bare foot. And I must admit to reminding her that it wouldn’t have happened had she followed directions. (I really try to avoid the “I told you so” message…Mom never used it, even after my first marriage crashed and burned.) It seemed appropriately instructional in this instance, however.

Listening ears are not limited to small children, of course. How often do we truly listen to what our spouses are trying to tell us? So many times our listening ears need to be coupled with a listening heart, as spouses often don’t know how to say what they truly feel. And do we wear our listening ears at work, and realize what our bosses are really saying when they make requests of us? (Is that reminder of what needs to be done really a gentle rebuke that we aren’t giving our full measure to the task?)

And, most important of all, do we wear our listening ears to hear that “still, small voice” inside that warns, encourages, and challenges us to do the right thing, to stretch ourselves and move out of our comfort zone, to be the creative person of God’s design?

I challenge you today to put on your listening ears and open up to your listening heart. Amazing things are being said to you — hear them!