Midnight

Midnight.

That’s when I crawled into bed last night. The red numbers on my alarm clock glared at me, reminding me that it was way past my bedtime.img_4537

But my sleepy eyes couldn’t steal the smile off my face. And my drained body couldn’t take away the fullness of my heart.

I was very tired when I got home. It was a busy workday, then I led a ladies’ group for two hours. On the quiet drive home, I thought of the few things I needed to do before I went to bed. I decided they could wait.

My plan was to chat with my family, change into my pajamas, wash my face, brush my teeth, then go to bed.

My husband and youngest daughter followed me into the bedroom. They were still chatty. We sat there, talked about our day in more detail, laughed and yawned. My husband got his fill and went into the living room, but his spot on the bed was taken by my 18 year-old son. I was surprised he was home. I don’t see as much of him and his older sister. They’re always on the go…….working, hanging out with friends……just not home.

But he was home last night. He lay across the bed and listened to his little sister talk and talk. He stayed there, interjecting something every now and then. He asked me how group went and listened some more to his little sister talk and talk.

When she was through with all of her words and left the room, he shared what was on his mind. Deep stuff. Life stuff. So we talked. And I didn’t feel tired. And he felt better about some things.

He made his way to the kitchen when he realized he was hungry. I realized how tired I really was. So I changed into my pajamas, washed my face, and brushed my teeth. I heard my oldest daughter come in the front door. It felt as if I hadn’t seen her in days. I went into the living room and sat on the love seat. She sat too and showed me some pictures on her phone. We had a short talk then she went into her bedroom.

She came back before I made it off the love seat. She started talking again. Sharing what she’s been thinking. Deep stuff. Life stuff. So we talked. And I felt really tired but it didn’t matter. We talked and we both felt better about some things.

I finally crawled into bed with a big smile and a full heart.  And I slept.

Because the red numbers on my alarm clock didn’t keep me from the essential things.

 

Face-Time

I ran into a friend yesterday.  I followed her back to her office and we sat and talked a while.  It was good.  We caught up, laughed, remembered, and made a plan to hang out soon.  I needed that.

I love good conversation.  My heart swells like a roasting marshmallow when I get face-time.  It’s good to catch up or get to know someone in a deeper way.  That happens through face-time.  I’m not referring to the app on your smart phone but it can happen there.  Can even happen talking on the phone.  But you must be genuinely involved.

Conversation requires a balance of listening and answering, offering your thoughts and receiving theirs.  A discovery of a mutual hobby or similar work, a laugh, maybe some tears, a shared history…….an open heart.  Mostly it requires your full attention.  Your simple devotion to what’s right in front of you.

Conversation heals, brings revelation, transforms, uplifts and teaches.  If you’re truly engaged.

But we give the fake nods; say the phony “mmhhmms”; pretend we heard what was said.  Scattered, distracted, bothered, uninvolved.  We walk away from the conversation unaffected.  We barely offer anything of ourselves and have learned nothing about the other person.

It makes no difference whether you’re face-to-face or on the phone.

Good conversation, the kind that makes a difference, requires concentration and consideration.

Next time you have a chance to talk with someone, focus your attention.  Stop everything else and connect, encourage, inspire, and listen.  Make someone’s heart swell.

It’s the simplest way to show someone they matter.