As my six year old stumbled into the house tripping over his older brother one day last week, he was bursting with barely contained excitement. I thought perhaps like me, he was happy the sun was finally out after several days of dreary weather, or he had a chance to see the fluffy snow falling earlier in the day. Maybe he was delighted by the books he bought at the school’s book fair or he clipped up to pink for good behavior. Perhaps, he had a new drawing to share with me. I was completely unprepared for the next words that came from his tiny mouth.
“Mommy, Mommy! You’re famous!!”
Excuse me! What? Ummm…. What do you say to that?
Tugging frantically at my arm, he said, “Yeah, you are famous. When I said my name, the lady that works in the library said she reads those stories you put on Facebook.”
Oh. “So we are friends on Facebook?”
“No, she READS those STORIES you write.”
“I see. Wow, well that’s really nice to hear! Do you know her name,” I inquired, wondering if she was a friend.
“No, they were just there for Book Fair.”
His head was bobbing up and down with the glint of approval in his clear blue eyes. “Yeah, you are famous,” he said almost reverently.
Wondering if he could provide me with a clue as to who this mystery reader was I asked, “Well, what do they look like?”
“One was really tall and the other was kind of small like you with freckles,” he called over his shoulder as he scampered off blissfully unaware of the blessing and mystery he had bestowed upon me.
Famous and small! Double score for me!
Not only did these mystery women make me a super hero in the eyes of my son, they made my writer’s heart swell by recognizing my name. So, if you are reading this and you are or know who my sweet angels are, please solve this for me! I would very much like to bless them in return with a small gift! I’m serious, I’m searching for them. This was a big deal to both my son and me!
The next day as I stepped out of the shower, an idea hit me.
They are listening!
First, my son, even if for only one solitary, fleeting moment, is listening. He knows that my writing is important to me and for some reason, he assumed that is how these women not only knew who I was, but that they saw me in a positive light. It is amazing to me to realize that what I do outside of those things I consider parenting impacts my children. He notices me following God in this endeavor. He is listening.
Then, I realized “she” is listening. I don’t know if these ladies are actually reading what I’m posting from my blog or maybe just my random status updates or even something about My Messy Desk. There is even a chance that they don’t much care for what I have to say. However, I’m hopeful that I have somehow connected with a reader in a way that is impactful enough for her to recognize our family name when my son mentioned it. People out there are reading what God is writing through me. That is honor enough to inspire me to improve and expand my writing. I can only dare to dream that I have pointed her toward the goodness of the God I seek to serve with my words and actions. She, and I can only hope many more like her, are listening.
Most humbling of all, God is listening. He has heard my prayers and knows full well that in this stage of new growth in what He has called me to do, I need all the cheerleaders I can get. 1 John 5:14 reassures me of this with these words: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” The very Creator of the universe hears what I am asking and He cares enough to provide it for me in ways I can easily comprehend. He hears you, too. HE is listening.
Finally, I am listening. Right now, I am listening to you, my friends and my sisters in Christ, and to our great God more than I ever have before. His purpose for my life seems to be taking shape and I am gaining the confidence to stand before Him and ask for the things I need to fulfill His calling for me. I am emboldened by this encounter and will continue to seek these cues from God and through man that keep me pursuing His vision for my life. I am listening.
We are all listening to a multitude of things each and every day. We belong to an ever-growing community on the internet where we have the opportunity and responsibility to provide encouragement to one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Too often, however, all we hear are the voices of opposition and condemnation. Sometimes they are deafening and all we can make out are the words that tear us down and cause us to shrink back, robbing us of the great confidence Christ won for us on the cross. Do not fall pray to this tactic the devil uses to distract you from God’s mission. Instead, listen closely to the voice of truth spoken in The Word and allow it to strengthen you as you go about His business.
I may never be “famous” in the eyes of anyone but my 6 year old son, but it has been good for me to realize that he, my readers, and my God are all listening. My prayer is simply that all I write, say and do will be pleasing to God and worthy of the time my readers and friends spend with me. “May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
To which voices are you listening? Where in your life are you longing for a gentle nudge?
Chances are that people in your circle of influence are listening to you, as well. What do they hear? Who needs a clear word of inspiration from you today? Can you make somebody feel famous just by listening to what they have to say?