The Anatomy of Listening Effectively

michelehowe:

Listening to really hear what someone is saying…not half-listening so we can make our point.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

I admit it. I’ve always considered myself a good listener. I was wrong. Not until I read Stephen Covey’s book, The 8th Habit, did I realize how limited my listening skills have been. Perhaps my biggest mistake is trying to formulate a response while someone is still talking with me. Instead of giving my full attention to the speaker, I’m guilty of (1) allowing my mind to race ahead trying to solve a problem and (2) busy deciding if I agree (or not) with the one talking. In either scenario, I’m not fully engaged in what’s being said and therefore, I’m not listening effectively (and that has to change).

According to author Stephen Covey in his newest title, “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness” communication is the most important skill in life. Covey writes that people spend about two-thirds of their…

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Promises, Promises — We Make Them (and then break them)

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

Go out on a limb – that’s where the fruit is. Will Rogers

I’ve decided that when I make a promise to someone (anyone) I’m really going out on a limb.

When I promise to do something, be somewhere, bring something, or follow through on something…I’m also counting on a lot of “somethings” to fall into place.

Like

Time (never enough of this)
Availability (even with a calendar in hand we can’t always predict this)
Energy (always an uncertainty)
Money (what we have today, we may not have next week)
Skills (sometimes we thought we had what it takes and were wrong)
Material Resources (see Money above)

Even more likely

My ever-changing mood, the level of my emotions, or my current desire to offer forgiveness if you’ve offended me.

It’s really embarrassing…

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How Does Your Fear Bleed Out?

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

Bleeding out. It’s a medical term that I first heard explained to me many years ago when one of my good friends worked in the ER of a local hospital.

Bleeding out…it can happen suddenly and fast.
Bleeding out can kill a person before they get the help they need
.

While all precautions are taken to ensure patients don’t bleed out in the ER or (OR) it still happens.

When it does, it hurts those individuals who loved the person who bled out as well as those medical professionals who were in charge of caring for the patient.

That much I know from my friend’s reaction when it happened on her watch.

Bleeding out when it relates to the physical is bad.

Bleeding out when it relates to our emotions can be quite the opposite.

Let me explain.

One week ago today, I went…

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Press On…Yes, Life is an Upward Climb

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Yes, life is an upward climb.

Doesn’t matter how old you are, how rich you are, how healthy you are…life is an upward climb…because as a good friend once reminded me long ago…there will always be people around you in need of help. Always.

So…press on…knowing that God can handle whatever troubles begin to pile on your shoulders…and you’ll be able to offer some measure of comfort to others in the midst of your own pain and hurt. Press on!!!

Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders…he’ll carry your load. Psalm 55:22

Max Lucado writes—

I wonder, how many burdens is Jesus carrying for us that we know nothing about? We’re aware of some. He carries our sin. He carries our shame. He carries our eternal debt. But are there others? Has He lifted fears before we felt them?

Those times when we have been surprised by our own sense of peace? Could it be that Jesus has lifted our anxiety onto His shoulders and placed a yoke of kindness on ours?

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Activating Our Internal GPS to Navigate to Higher Levels with Others

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

I often walk this straight path to reach another more interesting one.

Although you can’t see it from this position, right around the next corner the entire path starts taking some definite turns. Once I reach the wooded area, it gets even better.

Around and around the footpath winds through a variety of trees, colorful brush, and way over my head water-loving cattails and towering Phragmites that will stop me in my tracks if they’re not kept under control and trimmed back.

Even though I’ve walked this route for many years, I never know what I might encounter on any given day. Some days I’m pleasantly surprised, other days I’m startled and unnerved (sort of like trying to connect with other people.)

Just as we all have to get through one path to reach another (we also must find ways to connect in basic ways before moving toward…

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Sometimes Healing is Just a Groan Away

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Feeling bad about a bad choice you made?
Feeling sorry you didn’t speak up when you should have?
Feeling down about neglected relationships when you chose work over the people you love?
Feeling distressed about the state of the world?

Me too.
And often, I ask myself, what can I do?
The answer, I know, starts with dealing rightly with myself first.

And Max Lucado, once again, says it all…

The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from every sin. 1 John 1:7

The cleansing is not a promise for the future but a reality in the present. Let a speck of dust fall on the soul of a saint, and it is washed away. Let a spot of filth land on the heart of God’s child, and the filth is wiped away…

Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, “I can clean that if you want.”

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Not My Fairytale

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I laughed when I saw this photo…then I stopped laughing when I considered how often I’d like to view life from my own little fairytale.

Of course, Max Lucado’s words spun me around in double-quick time.

The trip from Egypt to the promised land can be made in nine days (Deut. 1:2). It took the Israelites thirty-eight years.

What they should have done, they didn’t….

So God decided they needed some time to rethink a few things.

Maybe God is wanting to teach you a few things. Pay attention. You don’t want to spend thirty-eight years missing the point.

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