What are you trying to say?

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This past week I had the joy of babysitting one of my precious granddaughters, Scout Jubilee, 2 days in a row.  We had such fun together, however, we also faced a real challenge!  Scout is now a big talker, firmly expressing her thoughts about many different elements of her little life.  To her, she is speaking very clearly and certainly loud enough for her Mimi to fully understand what she is trying to convey.

Imagine her dismay when she looked into my very confused face and heard me say numerous times “Scout, Mimi doesn’t understand what you are saying.” Scout kept saying over and over “Ne Ne” and I kept asking her about different options to unlock the meaning of the words that clearly held a strong meaning for her!  After about and hour of trying to unlock the mystery I decided she was probably a little tired so I would kiss her and carry her upstairs for her afternoon nap.  The moment I headed up the stairs Scout started to say “Ne ne” all over again; but this time with her little head lying exhausted on my shoulder! And then it hit me, this little darling had been trying so hard to let me know she was very tired and wanted to go “night, night”!!

Because of my inability to clarify her words, I completely missed what she was longing to express! ( she slept for a little over 3 hours, by the way!)

I have pondered this experience with Scout and began to wonder how often we are all on the expressing side and the understanding side of a conversation.  I wonder how often we fail to express our heartfelt thoughts in a way the someone can truly understand what we are longing to say?  I wonder how often we fail to hear the real meaning of the words someone is trying to express to us?

Engaging in quality conversations can be a real art sometimes and I believe if we really want to understand someone else, if we really want to be able to respond in such a way as to make a difference, then we need to keep clarifying until we can see or hear that we have “got it”!! Are there any conversations in your relationships that are needing further clarification?  Are there questions needing to be asked for greater understanding?  The efforts to understand will make a big difference.

“The single biggest problem in a conversation is illusion that one has taken place!”  George Bernard Shaw

Warning Signs~

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Heading down the elevator I saw a sign warning visitors that the oceans temperature was especially warm and there had been an influx of jelly fish.  We were being encouraged to consider using the pool for the day rather than swimming in the ocean.

Vacationing on Maui and swim in the pool rather than the ocean?  Not me! I headed to the beach.  After successfully enjoying a few hours of ocean fun I felt a sharp stinging pain across my entire back!  I had been stung by a jelly fish ~ a sting that went on to become a large welt across my lower back creating much discomfort for the remainder of my trip.

The day before we flew from Maui to Kauai we visited a beach located in front of one of the larger resorts on the island.  Located at key points along the beach there were red flags warning beachgoers of strong waves and an aggressive undertow.  Nevertheless, the ocean water was full of swimmers.

Sitting on the shore I watched a toddler getting pulled from her mothers hands and getting yanked out toward the crashing waves, a senior citizen getting tossed to and fro unable to get up time and time again, and a grandpa frolicking with his grand-daughter getting pummeled by a huge wave pulling them  both under the water unable to get their faces up for air.  I was full of anxiety watching these scenarios!!

In both stories warnings had been posted, these swimmers assumed, as I had, that they would miss the harm that they had been warned about!!

I have been pondering the whole Idea of “Warning Signs”  over the past few days and I wonder if, even in our day-to-day lives, we ignore warning signs all around us? Whether the warnings involve an activity, a personal choice, a relationship, the use of finances, or numerous other decisions, I wonder if we end up paying a high price for ignoring the “warnings” we receive from those we trust, things we read, or even the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

In the early days of ministry I really wanted to “help” people.  In my desire to help I would blow past internal and external warning signs and engage in “high need” relationships thinking that I would certainly be able to make a difference even though others had been greatly challenged in those same situations.  In my misguided heart to help I would find myself pulled into the emotionally charged lives of unwise people who completely wore me out!  If I had paid attention to the warning signs I would not have faced the fall out of my involvement.  The warning signs WERE there!

What about you?  Are there decisions you are making where you have chosen to ignore the warning signs, the cautions that are right in front of you?  Are you thinking that YOU will be able to “make it through” without any repercussions?

Heeding warning signs breeds wisdom.  If I had made a wiser choice on my vacation I would not have been stung by that ol’ jelly fish!! I was warned!! 🙂