Are you a fixer or a listener?

Hi friends! Happy New Year (almost a month late)! I hope everyone had an incredible Christmas and New Year. Things of course looked different this year, but we were able to spend time with some of our family and create new traditions. Our favorite things were driving around looking at Christmas lights and our almost nightly Christmas movie watching with hot chocolate. Many nights going to bed Lincoln still says wait we forgot to watch a Christmas movie. We also tried hot chocolate bombs which were the new thing this holiday season and so yummy!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written in this space. 2020 was a whirlwind of many things for a lot of us. I pushed through and my book While in Waiting was published in October. That took a lot of my attention and I didn’t balance this little blog here. I’m excited to get back into this space and share some more things with you that have been on my heart.

Anyone else excited it’s a new year? I know a new year means new beginnings for some. My husband and I spent 24 hours away and we spent that time dreaming, encouraging each other, and mapping out what we want our year to look like. We talk about things we want to do better. We set a yearly budget and talk about big financial things we have coming up. It’s what works for us. It may not be what works for you, but we are planners and it’s important we are on the same page.

I saw this from my post last year on New Years and its so cool to look back on how we set the trajectory and see all the changes our family implemented:

Many years we set our goals and within a few months we have let them slip away. This year we decided to not set goals in some of the bigger areas, but instead chose areas of our lives that we needed a lifestyle change. This isn’t a goal for us, but something we will change with time and practice. There is a shift in some areas that need to happen. There are areas we need to focus more in. There are areas we need to dig our heels in deeper. There are areas we need to open our hearts up more. There are areas we need to listen. Not talk. Just sit and listen.

This is something we have implemented again. I sat down to pray over and write down my goals and felt the Lord prompt me again. Not goals, lifestyle changes. I’ll be the first to admit I know there are still areas that need change. We have worked through so much this year and it’s changed every area of our life!

One of the most valuable things I have learned this past year is listening without the intent to fix it. I’m a fixer, and want to encourage and give all the advice- hello enneagram 2! Sometimes I realized how frustrated I would get when I would pour my heart out and then someone would list off you need to do this, this, and this to make it better.

Sometimes I didn’t want advice. I just wanted someone to listen so I could feel heard or seen. It is incredibly valuable to ask someone questions like- do you want advice or just someone to listen? How can I best support you while you are working through this? How’s your heart today? (Shoutout to one of my all time faves Melissa for that one).

What is your expectancy with communication? Do you expect others to communicate with you the way you communicate with them? The thing is sometimes they can’t. Sometimes their communication style is different than yours and you have to be ok with that. They can’t morph into you to give advice. Let’s be honest, sometimes we need someone who communicates differently to give us a good dose of humble pie. Let them be themselves, and let them show you love and support the best they know how to!

Friends, my question for you (that I always ask myself) is are you listening to fix, or are you listening to hear?

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