Choosing to Listen

It’s spring and I spent the day yesterday cleaning out closets, packing away winter and bringing out summer (goodbye, heavy sweaters, hello, gauzy tops). I’m on a spring cleaning tear, friend.

Choosing what to change or get rid of can be hard (I was a bit emotional putting a favourite little shirt of our Sweet Girl’s in the giveaway pile) but these decisions to clear clutter make room for new good things, and little decisions end up making big changes. Some of the decisions were hard, because we don’t know for certain if our Sweet Girl is our only girl, and, well, the last number of months have been a wee bit emotional, but the decisions were good. They were courageous statements of making space in not just our closets, but our life.

And personal decisions for courage? To others, they might look like nothing more than throwing away a forgotten toy or a stained favourite shirt, but they can change our day, our month and our year. They might be just 1 degree changes, but they can alter our life’s trajectory. I’m thinking it’s time to think through some of these choices again. It’s spring – why not, right?

Courage: to be active in the face of fear – the ability to do something that frightens one. To chase your dreams, instead of giving in to fear.

Finding courage, it seems to me, is the result of a lot of choices. Just like putting one foot in front of the other, brave is putting making one choice after another – sometimes good, sometimes not as great. Some small, some big. And one day? You just realize that you did the thing you feared. You accomplished something you never imagined you could. And it was because of the small (and large) choices you made every, single day.

I’m looking forward to spending some time with you thinking about what choices we might make in declaring a new season. Choices like deciding who we’ll listen to. Like what we’ll show up to. And what doors we’re going to open. 

Courageous Choice #1: Choosing who to listen to

Brave: ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.

You know what is a continuous challenge for me? Deciding who & what I’ll listen to.

I’ve had some really good people speaking into my life. The first was my mother. Her calm voice (which still lives in my head) reassured me that I’ve got exactly what I need to make wise choices and to live well. I’ve been similarly blessed with a father who basically I can do anything. ANYTHING. It’s those voices in my ear – they’re still there, really – who started me on a courageous path. I never doubted that although things would be hard, I could do them. I had what I needed.

You might not have had those people in our ears from the beginning. Everyone starts differently, but it doesn’t mean that those things are less true for you. We make choices every day about who we’ll listen to, who we’ll let in to our lives, and who’s voice will win a battle of words in our own minds.

I’ve had some not great voices speaking into my life over the years as well. I’ll never forget the pain of having a close, trusted friend tell me that she didn’t believe I should be a mother. (First off, who says that?!) I’ve never forgotten those words, and worse – I believed them for a while. But those words? They were lies. They were intended to break my heart, and I should have never, ever listened. If nothing else, that experience proved that there is a very real enemy of my heart, of my mind and of my life who wants to destroy me with ugly words, and those ones hit hard.

These days, I’ve got these women in my life who help me see things about myself that I’d forgotten or never noticed. They believed I could do hard things, and so I did. Last year I was able to step out in new ways simply because I had friends telling me it was possible, and that, while I might fail, they believed I could do it.

Recently I asked my husband about doing something, and he wondered why I wasn’t able to make the decision. “Because I know you don’t want me to do it”, was my answer. He had no sweet clue what I was talking about – he’d never said he didn’t want me to do the thing I was wrestling with. So actually, I was listening to his imaginary voice. For real. Instead of listening to what was actually coming out of his mouth, I made up a whole dialogue without even realizing it. (I’m loonier than it appears, it turns out). So, not only do we listen to lies, we make them up ourselves and listen to them. For the love, friends. We need to STOP.

Most importantly for me, over these last two decades, I’ve had to learn to listen to what God says about me – those things are the most true of all. I am loved, I am chosen, I am His masterpiece – and you are too.

If you don’t have those good voices in your life already, friend – it’s time to let some new people and new voices in. Maybe that’s why you’re here. I’m praying that my voice will simply be a way you hear God’s heart for you, and find hope there.

We also have to decide who we are NOT going to listen to. It’s hard to remember the good and be courageous when we’ve got our negative “friend”, our fearful naysayer on continuous replay – or maybe, just maybe, we need to stop listening to our own fear, and remember that we’ve been given an awful lot of gifts to use!

Imagine how our world could change if we’d commit to making courageous choices, doing things that impact ourselves, our families, our neighbourhoods, our community and our nation.

Join me?


  • Who have been the encouraging (“inspiring courage”) voices in your life have been. Who are they today? What have they said to you?
  • Who’s voice do you need to let in? Who’s do you need to shut out?
  • What does your courageous choice about who you’re going to listen to look like?