Notes from Jan

Learning to Listen Up

February 3, 2016

Ate oatmeal for breakfast this morning.  So why cry over oatmeal?  It’s not like it’s spilled milk.  Memories.  Jud, the early riser, used to make it after we left Gordon.  Suzy Young introduced us to Irish oatmeal, not Quaker  Oats, the kind I grew up on.  The Irish kind made me enjoy eating oatmeal. Had to eat it growing up, so gave it up the first chance I got.  Now, I know it wasn’t just that we couldn’t afford cold cereal, it was healthier. Mama was a nurse.

This morning the warmth of oatmeal and mug of coffee warm all but my heart. I miss sitting at the counter with Jud, bumper to bumper with our bowls of oatmeal, mugs of coffee and the comfort of conversation or side by side silence. It’s one thing to give up oatmeal, quite another to relinquish the man you’ve loved most of your life. And so I cried over oatmeal.

The phone interrupted my downward spiral.  I didn’t quite catch the name of the person or why they were calling so I asked her to please repeat.

Wouldn’t you know…It was a company selling hearing aids!

Did I hear her snicker?

Hardly the time  for me to say, “I have no need of thee or them.”

Though I did.

Troubles me more that  I tend to be hard of listening. To be able to hear is physical.  To listen involves mind, heart and body.

When I read the Bible, it seems like God shouted a lot, often through the prophets, to get his children to listen up. Even used a donkey once.  That worked!

Well, I’ve got two hearing aids.  The secret? Remove them from the box, put them in my ears, then ask God to help me listen UP.

“Everyone should be quick to listen…” from James 1:19

If Jud and I were sitting together at this counter today, with our oatmeal and coffee and I was asking him to repeat something again,  he’d give me that grin and say something like, “have you thought about using those hearing aids we bought?”

“What did we buy?”

Maybe today, to honor Jud, I’ll pull them out of the box, put them in my ears to aid both hearing and listening. I want it to be true when I pray,” Speak , Lord, for your servant is listening.” I Samuel 3:10b





















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  • Reply Dale Lefever February 3, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for the reminder that listening is wanting to hear. Depending upon the person speaking, this is not always true for me.

    Blessings dear friend,


  • Reply Priscilla Young February 3, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Mark and I sat this morning and ate our steel cut oatmeal and peanut butter (adds some protein) along with our coffee, so your post hit my heart and moistened my eyes. Our hearts turn often to you and to Jud, like when there is a board conference call (yesterday at the kitchen table, a snow day), and when we anticipate having lunch next week with a prospective board member who, as an lifelong educator, will help fill the void Jud left. We pray for you.

  • Reply Wendy Lane February 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Oh my goodness – you are one of the best “hearers” ever! And listeners too! IMHO
    You help me be more patient with my hubby when I confess, sometimes, i’d rather eat my oatmeal by myself. I am brought to my senses to the incredible blessing and gift it is to have him to eat it with. And reminded to pray for you and others I know that don’t have their beloved with them anymore. Love and hugs dear Jan.

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