Say the Quiet Things, Out Loud

We hopped into our truck, the two of us, and sped away. Five whole glorious days with my daughter. Who knows when that might happen again? A punctuation mark at the end of an era. She leaves for college after Christmas, and this trip was a treasured gift.

We eventually exited our state, cruising toward the beautiful Midwest as we enjoyed fine music, podcasts, and audible books, sipping pumpkin coffee and Smart water, snapping gum, and playing word games. We laughed and chatted, discussed good things, funny things, and also delved into the hard, sorrowful places piercing the crevices of our hearts.

When all was said and done, and we pulled back into our driveway spent and happy, we had completed nearly forty hours of driving.

Just think of it: children, no matter how old, have one Mom and Dad, and you, parents, are it.

Cherish them, know them, love them well. Chase their hearts with a holy pursuit, seeking to engage them through conversation. And I am not only speaking to parents with young ones, but parents with children of all ages.

We are people of dust, yet made in God’s image, and shouldn’t we run after of our children’s hearts, just as our gracious Heavenly Father pursues ours?

Think about these things, ponder them.

And then?

Say the quiet things out loud.

***

Perhaps you are like me, more comfortable writing to process than speaking to process. I had one too many people recently express to me that they know me far better on paper than in person, which is probably true. I do not see this as a complete failure, necessarily, since God fashioned me to be an introvert. My dearest friends are few.

Yet at the same time, I want to make certain that my family knows me better in person than from my writings. Which clearly means a bit more effort and intentionality on my part.

This road trip offered unhurried time for deeper conversations, and there is something magical about long stretches of highway mixed with autumn’s splendor. A warm pathway to rich dialogue. It was a sweet opportunity to speak from the quiet places, and we did. Mother to daughter. Daughter to mother.

Also? We laughed a lot.

***

Don’t worry if you are not able to take a road trip. You can certainly venture to the grocery store or coffee shop, or enjoy a walk around the neighborhood with your son or daughter. Don’t just hear them but listen to them. There is a difference.

I remember sweeping up our third son, Marcus, to get his five-year-old pictures taken at JC Penney many, many, moons ago.

Just you and me, Mom? he said, handsome and wide-eyed, hair parted and slicked.

You bet, I told him.

Can we stop for cocoa on the way home?

And we did. We sat at a small table for a bit, and in that brief time he opened his young heart and told me all sorts of interesting ideas while peppering me with questions, this quiet little boy of mine. There was a sliver of time reserved for the two of us, and as the light cascaded through the establishment’s multiple windows, casting long shadows of my boy against the wall, I recognized, in that moment, that time was a fleeting gift; all too soon he would be taller than the silhouette behind him.

***

Here is the good news–even if your children are already adults, you may pick up the phone and call them, text them, and engage. No agenda other than to love them well. When they come home to visit, fluff up the pillows, buy their special coffee creamer, cook their favorite dinners, watch the game together. Listen to their words, because even when they are grown, good parents serve as a steady Home Base.

Be rocks, anchored in love and rooted in Christ. Many things will fade in this fickle world, but may our steadfast love never be one of them.

***

Bless your children with uninterrupted time. Serve them well, these people who are gifts from God. Be generous of heart. Forget about your phone and computer and grace your sons and daughters with your full presence.

Our children, regardless of their age, are not our parents. We are theirs–so let us be about the business of seeking and loving them well–unselfishly with our time, full gaze, and devoted words.

Go ahead–say the quiet things out loud.

***

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11

7 thoughts on “Say the Quiet Things, Out Loud

  1. “Good parents serve as a Steady Home Base.” I love this! Like you, I process best through writing. So one of my gifts to my children is writing a letter on occasions: new job, new adventures. I highlight their character and accomplishments. My hope is that they treasure my “verbal gift” as much as I treasure them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is where I am in life, too. Doing my best to love my adult children well, pursuing their hearts. Making sure that our home base is a place of good conversation, favorite meals, love. Thank you for the confirmation that this is my purpose at this season of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May I add, Children, bless your parents with uninterrupted time. When they come to visit, make it a time to just be together, without an agenda of activities, events, or ‘to-dos’.

    Like

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