Five Minute Friday: Pause

Pause

Gentle Reader,

I don’t know how people go through life without dogs. Two little, fat, four-legged old men follow me around the house all day long. What are you doing?, they say, tails wagging. When will you take a nap so we can nap? Can I help (by getting right under your feet)? Is that cheese? Can I have some? Rough paws and soft fur and sandpaper tongues and snoring and belly rubs and sitting right next to me, pressed against my legs, because they just want me to know that everything is okay and we are safe.

God made plain His existence when He created dogs.

Kate says: pause.

Go.

This unnerving video made the rounds this week:

Those sounds will probably haunt your dreams tonight. You’re welcome.

Many have pointed out that this video is illustrative of many internet conversations. Everyone screams, nobody is heard. I’d remove the word “internet” from that sentence. How often do you come away from talking with someone with the sense that you haven’t been listened to at all? That the other was so wrapped up in making a point or defending a position that he couldn’t see any validity in what you were saying?

It’s frustrating. Depressing.

In order to listen, we have to pause. Stop our mouths from running for just a moment (a Herculean task) and really let someone else’s words break into our minds. We may not agree with what they’re saying. We may even disagree so strongly that the less refined versions of ourselves would body-slam that person. But we have to pause. We have to give others the respect of hearing them out. Because we want it. We want to be heard. We want to know that others will take the time to listen.

Practice the pause in conversation. Lean forward a little. Pay attention to the words, the tone, the body language. Ask for clarification instead of making assumptions. Remind yourself that you don’t know everything and you can always learn from anyone with whom you interact. Give people the space to speak.

Because you need it, too.

Stop.

Signature

SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER, REST STOPS ALONG THE WAY. PONDERINGS AND PUPPY VIDEOS DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX EACH SATURDAY(ISH).
Advertisements

31 Days of Cheering Them On: Closing

Cheerleader

Gentle Reader,

What a month.

A good month. Filled with good things.

But a long month.

As I sit here today, refusing to answer any knocks on the door and anticipating an evening of pizza and potentially smashed pumpkins (I hate Halloween), I am tired. Completely exhausted. I gave everything I had to give to book launches and women’s events and Bible study. My body is telling me it’s time to hit the brakes.

I am profoundly thankful that I had the chance to participate in 31 Days, though it was an extra helping added to an overflowing plate. There is real joy to be found in cheering others on. May we all stop, look around, and see what we can do to encourage those around us.

Signature

For all entries in the 31 Days of Cheering Them On series, go here.

31 Days of Cheering Them On: Yums

Cheerleader

Gentle Reader,

I hate cooking. I hate meal planning. I hate grocery shopping. People who enjoy and are good at all of these things are marvels to me. I chose each of the below at random; none is more significant than the others. Most of the recipes can be modified for a vegetarian or vegan diet. Those that can’t…enjoy, carnivores. Away we go.

********

…although I am Italian and grew up in Italy, I did not spend time in the kitchen with my mom learning how to cook. I was  much too busy for THAT! It wasn’t until I moved from Italy to Florida in 1985 to attend the University of Florida that I HAD to learn to cook out of necessity. I didn’t like the food served at the dining halls and I couldn’t afford to eat out all the time…

Sheila at Making the Most of Every Day

********

Since I get home at 4:30 and dinner needs to be on the table for Hubby between 5 and 5:10, the easiest way to cook dinner is by cooking it in the slow cooker…

Cooking with Traci

********

When the urge to grab a pizza or get a box of fried chicken may be strong on those days. However, I keep a few secret weapons on hand to get a home cooked supper on the table…

Cookin’ Mimi

********

Since I began changing my eating habits, I’m always on the look out for healthy dinner ideas. It’s still too easy for me to fall back into my old habits and eat less than healthy…

Frugal and Focused

********

In a similar way, when your space feels cluttered and out of control, it’s a subconscious stress-er that can affect how much you eat. It follows that it will positively affect you to eat in a space that feels more tidy and self-controlled, or on top of things…

Tico & Tina

********

My problem with typical freezer meals is I don’t want to just throw together a dish filled with cream soup mixes and sugary marinades. Over the past few years, our family has come a long way with how and what we eat. I don’t want to compromise that even though my time for cooking requires much freezing and planning ahead…

Jess Newland

********

Having a structured plan doesn’t mean that you can never find a new recipe on Pinterest, go straight to the market, and make it that night. It also doesn’t mean you have to give up the drive-through forever. It does mean that you have something to work with on all the other days (and will help you say no to making the drive through a major habit). It perpetually answers the “What will we have for dinner?” question…

Coffeesnob

********

When I first got the request to do this cake and cookies, I wasn’t certain I could pull it off.  I mean… making a spine?  out of sugar?  Eeeh… I never even took an anatomy class…

Rose Bakes

Thank you, foodies, for helping people like me avoid starving!

Signature

For all entries in the 31 Days of Cheering Them On series, go here.

31 Days of Cheering Them On: Cleaning Up

Cheerleader

Gentle Reader,

It’s no secret that I like a calm, clean environment. One of my favorite things to do when I have a little spare time is to jump online and see what others are doing to keep their lives and home organized. I chose each of the below at random; none is more significant than the others. Away we go.

********

When I was very young, I lived with my parents and two brothers in humble homes, on a single income, in a small quiet town. We did not take extravagant vacations or own particularly nice things. I wore mostly hand-me-down or thrifted clothes (which I didn’t mind a bit until I was a teenager), and I remember holidays being simple, but full of love. The gifts I was given were always thoughtfully chosen, and the vacations we took were always to majestic outdoor locations where there were rivers and mountains nearby…

Emily at Light and Loveliness

********

If you feel like your sentimental items are taking over your home, it’s time to declutter.  If your past is getting in the way of your present or your future, it’s time to declutter.  If you want to live more simply, it’s time to declutter.

It’s not easy though…

Hilda Rodgers

********

Our meal plan definitely isn’t fancy but I think it will work for us and the season of life we are in right now. I am really trying to focus on being in the moment when I plan so that I don’t set myself up for failure…

Ashley at Blossoming on a Budget

********

Making a house into a home and keeping it clean is hard work. That’s the honest truth.

Ready for some more honesty? Sometimes it feels like impossible work.

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning under the weight of the mess and dirt and clutter, and you just wish you could make it go away…or at least move and leave it all behind? I know the feeling…

Amy Clark Scheren

********

I am convinced that the best years were the simple years.  The years when we had little money and few engagements are those that are etched in my mind and bring a smile to my face…

Blessed Simplicity

********

A planner allows you to structure your time around your priorities, can keep you on track when you need it to, and can be a go-to resource for many different areas of your life…

Scattered Squirrel 

********

Between running my own family practice and a free health clinic, operating our boarding kennel, coordinating care of my dad, writing a weekly column for the local humane society, helping out with my husbands re-election campaign (he is currently a quorum court justice) and keeping our fourteen old rescue dogs healthy and safe, my to-do list is always a mile long and often my husband has no clue what I have on my plate…

Connie Kay

********

I know that I am not the only woman out there that feels overwhelmed.  In fact, I bet there are a large portion of my readers that feel overwhelmed in some way or another.  My goal is to try and encourage you (and myself!) to move forward, and to make some necessary changes in order to thrive…

Heather Townsend

Thank you for teaching us how to clean up, organize and move forward!

Signature

For all entries in the 31 Days of Cheering Them On series, go here.