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The year of LISTEN (Spiritual Journey Thursday)

07 Dec
Ps 46_10

Coloring sheet gifted to me by Irene as part of the Poetry Friday summer poem swap. (I plan to spend a few more hours in quiet contemplation working on this in the days ahead.)

My one-little-word for 2017—LISTEN—has served me well… so well, I’m sad that the year is almost done.

As I went through 2017 it helped me make a habit of listening to others, especially when in conversation. Countless times through this year when the urge to interrupt came over me, I would hear in my mind: “Listen.” That reminder brought relaxation and a certain peacefulness as I continued tuning into what the other person was saying.

I’ve become alert to the wisdom of others about listening. Here’s something I read just a couple of days ago that sums up listening to others better than I could say it:

“Listening is more than being quiet while the other person speaks until you can say what you have to say … Generous listening is powered by curiosity, a virtue we can invite and nurture in ourselves to render it instinctive. It involves a kind of vulnerability—a willingness to be surprised, to let go of assumptions and take in ambiguity. The listener wants to understand the humanity behind the words of the other, and patiently summons one’s own best self and one’s own best words and questions” – Krista Tippett in Becoming Wise (p. 29) quoted by Melissa Moore in Entrusted p. 153.

“Generous listening is a revolutionary act of kindness in a world of screaming and competing voices” – Melissa Moore, Entrusted, p. 153.

I have also practiced listening to God through Bible reading, prayer, paying attention to the lyrics of praise and worship music, tuning in to podcasts, and more. One of the practices I’ve begun this year is Bible journaling. It was such fun to create visual memories in my Bible in response to Bible verses about listening. I’ll leave you with a short slide show of some of my listening signposts.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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sjt-2017-graphicThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey First Thursday, hosted today by our wonderful coordinator and cheerleader Irene Latham at her blog Live Your Poem.

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9 responses to “The year of LISTEN (Spiritual Journey Thursday)

  1. Donna Smith

    December 7, 2017 at 9:05 am

    “Be still and know that I am God” is my favorite plaque. I try to listen when I read that, and remember I’m not in control. Thanks for sharing your ways to listen…may have to get a journaling Bible after all – looked at them lots.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      December 7, 2017 at 9:40 am

      Thanks, Donna,

      Yes, get a journaling Bible. They are so much fun. If you are serious about getting one, here is Rebekah Jones’ guide to choosing one—as there are many styles: https://rebekahrjones.com/the-complete-guide-to-choosing-a-journaling-bible/

      >

      Like

       
      • Donna Smith

        December 8, 2017 at 4:07 pm

        Thanks! I will check that out. It would be just the right time to get one. Maybe I can pick one and let my husband get it for me for Christmas… or do as I often do – get it and let him wrap it!

        Like

         
  2. margaretsmn

    December 7, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Listen is a wonderful word full of expectation and wonder. Thanks for sharing your Bible pages with us. Beautiful and meditative.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  3. Irene Latham

    December 7, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Dear Violet, I am so moved by your generous listening quotes and by the slides from your Bible pages! I am filled with peace and love thinking of you so mindfully engaging in this way… thank you so much for sharing! And you know, you can carry listen with you forevermore! (I chose it one year, and may need to choose it again some other year.) xo

    Liked by 1 person

     
  4. Karen Eastlund

    December 7, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Violet: Thank you for your post, and for the thoughtful quotes you share. We forget what a blessing it is to find a good listener. I’m going to hold that idea …

    Liked by 1 person

     
  5. cvarsalona

    December 7, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Violet, your Bible is filled with artistic inspiration. You should do this for my winter gallery-combine your art work with a page of inspiration. How wonderful. The quote you provided will be food for thought tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  6. dorireads

    December 8, 2017 at 11:23 am

    I have enjoyed seeing your posts this year with your Bible Journaling. I have a friend who “listens” in this same way. Isn’t it wonderful how God has designed each of us with our unique way of thinking and interacting with him? I can close my eyes and imagine beauty, and sit in the silence, but I’m only distracted by my stick figure style of drawing. 😉 That verse is printed on mirrors in my yoga studio. It’s one of my favorites, too.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  7. Ramona

    December 8, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    I love how you cultivated a habit of listening to others this year. Your journal pages are breathtaking. I loved watching the slide show you shared with us.

    Liked by 1 person

     

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