With regret I think back on the time I went to the door of a friend, knocked, and when I entered her home began an intense update of my life, giving her no room for comment or observation. We stood near the door . . . maybe because she had no time to invite me in. Whatever the current passion, I don’t recall. I do recall my pain of embarrassment that I had given her a boring update . . . it was all about ME.
Josh, our son, was over the other night. Both he and Eric, (my husband, his father) are good conversationalists. Their pace is relaxed, thoughtful and always includes give and take. I’m a slow learner, but I am growing in my ability to understand “give and take”. I care about a good healthy conversation. Josh said, “I think of a good conversation as a game of catch. One person throws the ball, the other catches it. Then the second has a turn to throw the ball and waits for the first to catch it.” Good conversation is like that. Two, maybe more, are having an exchange. The person who opens the dialogue waits for the next to respond. Neither is controlling, nobody knows where the topic will go, but there is mutual respect and interest as the talking proceeds. They provide social clues to each other.
Eric added, “Some people don’t recognize social clues.”
I am interested in important issues like politics, theology, women’s issues, health, exercise, style, rearing productive children. By now I’ve grown quite confident in my ability to communicate. Though I still check up on myself. My fault is a lack of confidence.
It isn’t hard to be interesting: think about the person in front of you, or the audience, or your husband or your child. What do they need to know from you? They need to know you are interested in them on a profound level. Talk about them. Give a word of encouragement. Understand and discuss their interests. Will it sometimes be an affirmation of who they are, or perhaps a truthful comment they don’t want to hear?
All the while remember the game of catch.
A friend very hesitantly admitted to me that she often has more interesting conversations with men than women. Yet she loves women and has many girlfriends. But with even more trepidation she said, “Often women are boring.”
It is quite simple to become an enlightened woman. Are you regularly working on becoming an interesting person? Are you becoming your best self? You have twenty four hours a day to achieve and polish the innate abilities with which you are born.
My friend, just mentioned, is a business woman, a performing musician, and a home school mother. She is a leader of women and a successful wife. She exercises, she is interested in health and she looks good! I love having conversations with her, doing projects with her, meeting up with our husbands. Her interests well up from . . . well, where?
As I’ve observed her: she is vulnerable, she has a heart for God that is wide open. She is Biblically astute, she is busy working and serving others.
This standard can be the goal of every woman. To be all she is created to be is possible for you and me and every living human being.
One step at a time is enough. Thinking on it today is enough. Just a mindset can be the right beginning.
Here is something you may have already. A group of women who are fun-loving, not threatened by each other. We will not be jealous when we are doing all we can to live up to high standards of excellence . . . when we are encouraging each other, when we are learning from each other, when we are feeling free to share our passions with one another.
How fun would a group like this be! We will be better as women, better wives, better mothers, better in our work and play and more into the journey of living life as Jesus did. “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you have love one for the other.”
Malachi the Prophet wrote, “Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” (Malachi 3:16)