Listen, Love, Repeat
Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World
A new book by Karen Ehman
“A heart drop is something you notice when another person directly or cryptically gives you a peek into his/her heart. A heart drop sticks with you rattling around in your head, pressing on your heart, reminding you of another person God loves dearly.”
What does one do when a heart drop is felt? How can I listen attentively enough to feel these heart drops? Do I need to be a special kind of person to feel another’s heart drop? What about God…do I need to have a close relationship with God so that I can feel the hearts of others?
Karen Ehman’s new book, Listen, Love, Repeat answers these and many other ponderings about the uniquely specific nature of feeling another person’s heart drop. The quick answers are as follows; What do I do when I feel a heart drop… You turn your listening into an action. How can I listen attentively…You focus your attention on the person right in front of you. Do I need to be a special kind of person…YES. YOU! You are enough. Do I need a close relationship with God…no matter the situation; the answer to this one is ALWAYS a resounding YES! When our minds and hearts are attuned to God’s mind and heart we become more attuned to the minds and hearts of others. God is magical.
Each chapter defines an important aspect in learning to love people as Jesus does. Chapter one defines the heart drop’s origin and exemplifies it through Ehman’s personal life stories. These are my favorite parts of the book, the personal stories of the author. Chapter two emphasizes the importance of relationship, friendships with people and connection to God. In chapter three, Ehman delivers a poignant chapter about time and how incredibly valuable time becomes when we realize how much time costs others and how much it is worth to us.
Relating to the cost of time Ehman, encourages readers to help someone with their To-Do List. I sat stuck on this concept of helping someone else with their To-Do List while I still have my own to think about and accomplish. People often find it much easier to keep to themselves, mind their own business and figure out their own To-Do Lists rather than working with their neighbor as God calls us to do. I am just as guilty as the next person, which is why I think this concept struck me so much. I have enough on my plate, how could I even think about helping out with someone else’s To-Do List, especially when mine is nowhere near completion? And then I step back, away from myself, for a moment and remember, It Is Not About Me. It Is Always All About God. And lending that hand to another when my list is uncompleted is a great example of being the hands and feet of Jesus. (A concept I wrote about in the previous review on the book The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp). Hugged between pages in chapter three are five go- to meals to cook, freeze and share with someone in need, what a cool addition to this book.
The title of chapter four intrigued me; “Who Makes Your Day. Noticing the Necessary People”. I sat questioning its command, who are the necessary people in my life? According to Ehman a ‘necessary person’ is one who helps you get life done each week. What a great title to give people who work as postal carriers, teachers, church leaders, hair stylists, grocery checkers and baggers, garbage collectors and so many others. They do so much for me in my life, I wondered, how I could show my appreciation to them in a creative, unique way. This chapter provides ideas for making all the ‘necessary people’ feel thanked.
Chapter five is a perfect one for me. I seem to get tongue tied when speaking with someone who has gone through a tragedy. “What to Say or Do When You Don’t Know What to Say or Do”. Notice. Simply notice this person and be with them in their grief. This is the clear message from chapter five; an easy enough thing to say but, still, often a hard thing to do.
This gold nugget of a book continues on with lots of stories, tips and tid-bits about how to share yourself with others in a way that is pleasing to God. The emphasis of this book rests on people. Ehman guides her readers to stop overlooking those faces of God before us each day, to stop focusing on ourselves and to start focus to more on others while scattering the kindness to all. Because every person is a loved child of God and should be treated as such. She gives specific ideas for ways to implement this kind of love; these are easy and do-able ideas that often require more love, time, patience and selfless-ness than money, which are some of the truly important qualities of life anyway.
The last chapter is not the end of the book. Ehman packs the end with a list of Bible verses, motivational statements from the book, recipes and fun gift tags to add to a prepared meal for a friend.
I am GIVING AWAY a COPY of this BOOK!!! Want to enter? LIKE my blog, or LIKE me on Facebook or Twitter. You will be entered in the contest. The winner will be announced NOVEMBER 18th!