It was one of the most convicting mornings of my life.
I got up, made coffee, and grabbed my laptop. My regular morning routine.
My young daughter soon came downstairs, poured herself a bowl of cereal, and sat down next to me at the kitchen table.
Then she started talking. And talking. And talking.
This girl is a talker, and she knows it. At the tender age of five, over dinner one night, she proudly declared, “Talking is my gift!”
She hasn’t stopped since.
I love that she talks to me. I love that she confides in me. I love that she has plenty to say and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
But in the morning, I’m not a talker. I’m a be-quiet-and-leave-me-alone kind of person. Especially before my first cup of coffee.
Well, that morning my young daughter would not be deterred. She had important things to say, and I had not yet looked up from my laptop. So my dear girl simply reached across the table and closed my computer.
“Mommy, listen to me!” she said.
Right there at the table she challenged me to a duel: That world or this one?
The virtual or the real?
Them? Or me?
I knew what she wanted: she wanted my attention. She wanted my eyes trained on hers. She wanted my ears open to her words. She wanted my mind fully engaged with hers.
And she had every right to ask me for it.
As a child of the King of Kings, I regularly come before our gracious God, bringing my day to Him, telling Him about my worries and fears, and asking Him for whatever I need. Sometimes I babble on and on, and yet, He listens.
He’s never too busy or distracted. He never has better things to do.
He just listens, because He loves me.
That day the Lord reminded me that mornings with my daughter are short. Literally. We get only a few minutes to connect before school each day, so why would I want to spend it reading the words of others when I could be listening to hers? Why should I be distracted when my child is speaking to me?
There is plenty of time for work or reading or writing at other times in the day, but mornings need to be focused on what’s really important: our kids.
That morning I resolved to simply be present with my daughters, and in this way to show love to them as Titus 2 encourages me to do. As much as I can, I try to close my laptop, put away my phone, and simply listen.
Even before my morning cup of coffee.
Do I do this perfectly? No. But my hope is to send my girls out the door with just a little of their mom’s attention every day.
Because sometimes we talk without saying a word.