SEASONS OF LISTENING
LISTEN TO YOURSELF
ISSUE 31 | MARCH 2018
DONATE AND FEED A CHILD
HEARING GOD'S VOICE
Stellar Day Magazine
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Listen To His Voice Listen & Create Seasons Of Listening Listen To Your Soul Wake Up Calls At 3AM
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Listen To Yourself Ready To Listen Quick To Listen Editors Note
LISTEN TO HIS VOICE By Jessica Williams
Listening is hard. We live in a go go go world where noise surrounds us, life beckons us, and we can't get one second of quiet in our day. How on earth are we supposed to listen enough to hear our own thoughts, let alone God's? I think it's a true challenge, and not all of us can afford to take a weekend retreat up north to escape the noise whenever we feel like we need to hear from God. And the noise of this world just places more demands and closes in faster and deeper more each day. "Am I ever going to hear the voice of the Lord again? Is it even possible?" It would be easy for me to sit here and just to tell you to listen. Which is, I guess, sort of what I AM going to do. BUT, I'm going to try to encourage you on how to find his voice even in the middle of the chaos that we can't get STELLAR DAY MAGAZINE | 03
JUST LIKE ANY RELATIONSHIP, IT CAN TAKE AWHILE TO SEE HOW EACH OF YOU COMMUNICATE. BUT PRESS INTO THAT. SEARCH FOR HIS VOICE. away from. The truth is, you don't NEED to get away to hear from him. Is it easier within nature? Completely. When we can slow our lives down and make space for the Lord to speak, He will truly show up in that. But in the times when we can't get away, He wants to meet us there too. He wants to meet us in the middle of the chaos, the loud, the crazy. He wants to redeem the parts of us that need healing and He wants to walk this thing we call life WITH you. He wants to speak even though you might think life is too loud to hear
Him. Our God can do anything and can use anything and any time to speak to us. All we need, is to be ready and to be willing to listen. I try to make this the forefront of my prayers. 'God, would you give me space to listen today. Would you pop up in ways that I can't deny that it's you? Would you reveal your will to me in ways that speak to me in this crazy season that I'm in?' And you know what? He did and He does. Sometimes it's giving me a front row parking spot to let me know that He sees me. Sometimes it's my favorite song in the car or the song
with the right lyrics to speak to me. Sometimes it's words through a friend when I needed it most. Or a hug from my husband who knew I needed it.Â Or maybe I just intentionally make space to listen, even in the middle of the crazy. Get up a little earlier when it's quiet. Read your bible. Work at your desk with no music on, even just for 30 minutes. Pray. Ask God to reveal Himself. Tell Him you're willing to listen but that He's going to need to meet you where you are right now. And He will. He always, always will. There is nothing greater than hearing the Lord. I'm now at a space in my life where I hear Him and see Him working daily. I don't tell you this to make you feel like you're doing something wrong, but to give you hope. When you want to listen, and when you create space, even slivers of space, the Lord will fill them up. You will see Him, you will hear Him. It might take a bit. It takes practice. Just like any relationship, it can take awhile to see how each of you communicate. But press into that. Search for His voice. You won't have to look far, He's closer than you think. Even when He feels the furthest He's ever felt, He's still right there. Tell Him you miss Him. Cry out and reach out and try. Fall on your knees, turn off the TV, put down your phone for a few quiet minutes and listen. Just listen. Hear the cars drive by outside and know that our God is intimate, even in our crazy. There IS space to hear from Him every single day and He wants to meet you there.Â He died to meet us there. So don't give up. Listen and when you hear silence, just wait. His voice is coming. I don't know in what form, but I do know that it will come.
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LISTEN & CREATE BY WENDIE DAVIS-GRAUER
I decided not to make any New Year’s
lightly. I enjoy digging deeper and seeing how else I might
resolutions this year.
assimilate meaning and productivity from this term. Through my perusal, I came across a quote I have read a plethora of
Instead, I determined to start 2018 off with one word that
times. It felt as if I had unearthed the mantra, or,
would help me to manifest a better version of myself. I took
cheerleader to my attempts to live out my chosen word. Leo
some time to listen, pray, research, reflect, and chose the
Buscaglia writes: “Too often we underestimate the power of
word “create.” This one word encompasses many facets of
a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest
my life that would allow me to grow as an individual, wife,
compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have
mother, friend, daughter, sister, and as a contributing
the potential to turn a life around.”
member to society. This quote solidifies my friendship with the word “create.” This one simple word speaks volumes to my heart. The word
Together, we can reach out to those in our lives and be the
create allows me to create time. Create memories. Create
breath of fresh air in otherwise trying scenarios. My desire
boundaries. Create “me time.” Create authentic and
is to truly listen, offer benevolence, love, joy, and
worthwhile friendships. Create ambition and drive. Create
reassurance when it is in my power to do so.
something beautiful with the written word. Create uniqueness. Create inspiration. Create hope. Create a more
I have the desire to make the world smile, even if it’s just in
loving version of myself. Create excitement. Create fortune.
my own little corner of it. So, I simply challenged myself this
Create family time, and create a more loving atmosphere
week —to really listen for what the world might need. I
for whomever I may cross paths with on any given day.
listened intently as a friend poured out her heart for a loved one being sex trafficked and another whose wife was
I do not take the word “create,” or this challenge to myself,
having an affair. I offered prayer and encouragement to
them both, as well as to a downtrodden, burned out mama, and I listened to the longing heart of one who desires to be married. Even yesterday, I saw a woman with peacock feather-looking hair loading her groceries. I loved her style and listened to myself saying, “let her know it.” This stranger was taken aback, but beamed at my compliment. It felt good to praise someone “just because.” In these scenarios, listen and create were my comrades and teachers, showing me how to be supportive and a blessing to all I encounter. Challenge to self: why not listen and create opportunities that allow you to become a better, more loving version of yourself, not only for you, but for others who could benefit from your touch as well?
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
S E A S O N S
L I S T E N I N G
BY MARIA DERMINIO
It is often said we hear with our ears and listen with our hearts. As I think back on the different stages of life as a parent, I see each season has provided opportunities for me to work on listening skills and develop the habit of listening with my heart. Listening to my newborns was unlike any other human interaction. It was a simple relationship. Their sweet smiles, expressive eyes, and soft coos spoke directly to my heart. The only requirement on my part was to look into their eyes, listen to their gurgling, and understand their various cries. It was comical to observe how my husband and I spoke to our babies. Words, tones, and intonations we would never use to speak to an adult were acceptable when conversing with our babies. I loved to whisper sweet words and sing songs, feeling the exchange of love growing between us. This was a precious stage of life that passed too quickly, but I learned that if I slowed down and took time to listen, really listen to them, I connected with their hearts. When I think of my children’s pre-school years the “Why?” stage comes to my mind. That inquisitive age where they looked at the world around them, soaked in information, and started to process their thoughts. They learned by talking and asking questions. It did become weary at times, especially if my son or daughter
STELLAR DAY MAGAZINE | 09
asked the same questions or their talking wandered down rabbit trails. But I loved that season of childhood. Their questions revealed a developing mind that was relating to other people, understanding the world and their place in it. They were learning how to think. It was important for us to have good listening skills to answer their numerous questions, guide them into good discussions, and teach them how to listen. A different type of listening was required when my children were teenagers. They rarely wanted to have deep discussions during the day or when it was convenient for me. Their lives were full of school, friends, sports, clubs, and jobs. Time alone to talk was according to their schedule and I needed to be flexible. Some of my teens, there were six of them, chatted while in the car. However, others wanted the car time to be quiet. It was important to be aware of what time worked for them. Sometimes they wanted to talk late at night, at the kitchen table, on a walk, or when I snuggled in bed with them. Often it wasn’t a convenient time for me, but if they were ready to open up, I was willing to stay up, even until the early hours of the morning. Those conversations were mostly one sided; they talked and talked while I listened to their concerns about school, problems with friends or coaches, their future, and their fears. Sometimes I struggled to stay awake, but
"AS I THINK BACK ON THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFE AS A PARENT, I SEE EACH SEASON HAS PROVIDED OPPORTUNITIES FOR ME TO WORK ON LISTENING SKILLS AND DEVELOP THE HABIT OF LISTENING WITH MY HEART."
I knew those times were important. They were windows into my children’s hearts. My two youngest children are now in college. This season of life requires a new level of listening on my part. I call it the “Dream Big” stage. They are adults now, living on their own, managing school, budgets, jobs, roommates- living the “Big Game of Life.” Their conversations are maturing. They have their own dreams and plans for their future. My listening role is changing to a “sounding board.” They do not want my opinion as much as they want and need my support. Our conversations now involve fewer words from me and more concentrated listening. One of my adult daughters recently pointed out that I occasionally walk away when she is still speaking to me. This admonition hurt because I knew she was right. I am often busy, running late, or weary. I need to continue working on intentionally listening to my grandchildren, my children, my husband, and my parents. I am in a season of life called the “Sandwich Generation.” Besides sometimes helping my children and grandchildren, I help care for my elderly parents. They live a simple life now: meals, walks, stretching class, and naps, lots of naps. Our conversations are seldom about questions, fears, or dreams. They are about memories- their memories. And listening to those conversations requires me to demonstrate patience, encouragement, and compassion. In the midst of listening to the people in my life, I want to pause and listen to other sounds: the patter of raindrops, the song of a violin, the rustle of the wind, and the sweet chirps of a bird. When I listen to those sounds, I hear the voice of God. It is a still, small voice calling me to listen to Him.
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listen to your soul BY JENNIFER STAMPS Have your given yourself permission to listen to your
somewhere. Didn’t have to be anywhere special. Didn’t
soul? When was the last time you listened? What did it
have to be crazy. But it needed to be just me and my
tell you? And I don’t mean hear – I mean listen. There’s
camera. So that’s what I did. On a rare holiday where
a significant difference between the two. I’ve been
my daughter’s school was open but my office closed, I
hearing it for about a year, but I wasn’t actually
took the day for some mental self-care. Instead of
listening. I kept pushing it aside, labeling it as
pulling her out of school and spending the entire day
nonsense. I was too busy. Too many tasks left undone
together, I sent her to school and went to a botanical
on my to do list. Too little time to do the things I need
garden and spent two hours there, just being. Camera
to do. I certainly had no time to listen to my soul.
and rolls of film in hand. I heard the birds. I noticed the few blooms left in the dead of winter. I appreciated
I’m busy, with lots on my plate – the modern-day mom. I
life. My breath, the sun, and crisp air.
joke about all the hats I wear. Which doesn't allow a lot of time for self-care. Until my soul got so loud it was
In a society where we glorify busy, it’s too easy to
practically screaming at me. My patience level was at
forget about ourselves. And how am I supposed to
an all-time low. My exhaustion level at an all-time high.
tend to all of my commitments and take care of my
And I saw no end in sight. Enough was enough.
family if I constantly feel like I’m running on empty? It’s important to take time to listen – actually listen – to
All my soul wanted was some mental self-care.
your soul. What is it telling you? You never know what
Something I shouldn’t be ignoring. And for me, all
you might find when you decide to listen.
it meant was picking up a camera and going
WAKE UP CALLS AT 3 AM BY
When does God get your attention? For
When I seek Him in the quiet of the pre-
me, it’s often about 3:00 a.m. when I
dawn hours when the only sounds are the
wake up with a migraine. I’ve struggled
words of my thanks, praise, and
with hormonal migraines for several
supplication and the whirring of the
years now and they usually occur at this
heater keeping the house warm and
seemingly ungodly hour but really, how
toasty, that’s when He really gets my
godly this hour has truly become for me.
full attention. I’m not saying that He
The wake-up call usually goes something
gives me headaches so that we can have
like this for the next 30 minutes:
coffee talk at crazy hours of the
acknowledge the knife-searing pain that
morning; of course, He doesn’t. And I’m
jolts me awake. Toss and turn. Groan and
not saying that I only talk to Him when
bemoan the fact that I’m awake and in
I’m at my weakest, because we hang out
pain. Eventually decide on either
when I’m feeling fantastic too, during
toughing it out in bed and hope that I
everyday tasks like running to the store
can fall back asleep (highly unlikely)
or taking a peaceful desert walk. But
or take the trusty Excedrin I keep on my
there’s just something about seeking Him
nightstand which will jolt me into a
in the midst of pain and suffering,
hyper-caffeinated state (where I won’t
sleep anyway) to help alleviate my pain. So whichever sleep deprived option I
I used to be so annoyed with these
choose, I’m up for the day but if I
hormonal wake-up calls and the fact that
choose to get out of bed in this
no matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able
vulnerable state, I’m not only needy,
to fall back to sleep. But over time, I
but also soft enough to listen to Him.
learned to use those vulnerable hours of
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other day. You would think it would be the opposite; that I would be focusing on my immediate need and ask my great physician to heal me from the migraine. But that’s what’s so weird and wonderful about the struggles that cause us so much pain-- He uses it in unanticipated ways to bless others, intercede for and put them before our own selfish requests! He ties those people to the end of our heart strings and plants them on our minds so that we might pray for or gift them with an unintentional act of intention. Has He made something new and beautiful out of your pain that you couldn’t see at the time? Was a new, loving intention borne out of your struggle and extended to others? Maybe it was a few simple uplifting words to the harried mom of screaming toddlers at Target or a beautiful work of art that glorifies God and shows His never-failing love? If you’re breaking from something right now that seems too heavy to bear, ask God in head-splitting pain to just surrender
your vulnerable state to reveal how He
and listen. So when I wake before the
CAN and WILL use it to not just heal or
sun now, I pray and sometimes just leave
bless you, but to comfort and encourage
it at that; but if the pain subsides,
others too. If you’re going through
and it usually does, I’ll read my Bible
divorce, maybe He’ll connect you with a
and am often moved to write. You see,
co-worker who will go through it down
out of even my physically painful
the road that you can empathize with and
circumstances, He creates something new-
minister to. Maybe you’re a musician
- a willingness in me to bend my ear
and out of experiencing the death of a
more pliantly and not just listen, but
loved one, you’ll write a song that will
hear His wisdom, and take that a step
soothe other mourners’ grieving spirits.
further to share what I’ve learned in
Maybe as you go through cancer
written form. It’s also often during
treatment, you’ll blog about your
these quiet times, that I pray my
journey and encourage other patients in
biggest prayers for others including
people that I haven’t thought of in a while, a work acquaintance I
I encourage you to give Him your full
rarely interact with, or the homeless
attention, and hear what He has to say
person I exchanged a few words with the
in the midst of your suffering. Wake up
today knowing that He is faithful to heal your heartbreak or physical pain, comfort you in your anguish, and make all things anew.
Reflect Behold, I am DOING a NEW thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it. I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.Â Ecclesiastes 3: 11 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of COMPASSION and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that WE CAN COMFORT those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.Â 2 Corinth. 1: 3-4
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STELLAR DAY MAGAZINE | 18
LISTEN TO YOURSELF BY SARAH HUMPHREY
What if we really listened to ourselves? I’ve spent the majority of the last seven years going as minimalist as possible. From clothing, to kids’ toys, to my schedule, and to my heart. Seven years seems like a long time to go minimal. Why not hurry the process up? Get to it? Just get it done? Well, that would have seemed like a good idea, but challenges kept arising and more kids kept coming. I loved growing our family, and yet it also meant making more space. So it basically meant more minimalism with a bigger belly for me and also more stuff in the house. It ended up taking seven years to get to this freeing point simply because there were twists and turns in the plot. How many times have you started something only for it to turn into a scenario that you never saw coming?
It was as if all the clutter on the outside matched an equally awkward clutter on the inside, and so my minimalism process really became a process about honoring myself. It also became about deliverance, perhaps from something keeping me captive but even more so into being born. The fuller version of myself, that is. With every item or emotion that I let go, a new version of myself became present. It was as if listening to those thoughts and feelings, quirky lies, or even desires created a new roadmap for my life. What was it that I valued in my time and space? What did I care about for the future, and what no longer seemed as important? There are a lot of things that seemed important to me before being a mother that no longer seemed as pertinent now that I had become one. There were also
feelings and desires that almost became stronger the more I became minimal--because it was God knocking at my door. And the more I cleared out the clutter, the more clear His voice became. It was during this time that I started writing myself letters. It might sound strange, but it was the tool that brought about the most transformation to me. I’m most solidified when I can express myself, when the thoughts are no longer in my mind but on the table. Feelings can seem so much more scary unspoken, but when they are let out of that cage, they simply become a road, or a series of roads. Go this way or go that way? Which one do you choose? What road seems like it tunes your heart in all the right ways? Which one brings you into more harmony and less noise? Like tuning an instrument, we can listen to ourselves. And in listening to our thoughts and feelings, our needs and desires, we find our design again. The world pollutes us knowingly and unknowingly with tips and vision. It can tell us to go one way or to fit in another way, and what can sometimes seem helpful actually creates denial. But when we truly take the time to listen to ourselves, to write out our thoughts and value our inner-workings, we end up in victory and alignment instead of as a resounding gong. What I know is that I want my life to give its unique sound to others. When I am most tuned and refreshed with my original design, I can give away encouragement for others to do the same. When I get clamored by the cares of the world, that clear
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. sound starts to give way to lesser versions of myself. And I don’t feel nearly as satisfied in life or with my relationships. So what are those thoughts, feelings, desires, or ideas that you need to write out? Where do you need to let go? Where do you need to hold on? What do you need to express? The first step to having a dream come true is to let yourself believe in it. And once you believe in it, you often find that your desire has been waiting for you the whole time. Spend some time this week listening to yourself. Give yourself the freedom to write down a few things you are struggling with or inspired by. Ask God how you can express what’s inside of you as you genuinely listen to who you are at the moment. You have the power to change or grow. It’s all within you, and honesty is your best asset. The world needs who you are and what you have to give. Share yourself, and create a better world around you!
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Ready To Listen BY RACHEL SCHROEDER
Several months ago, I wrote some words down on a piece of paper. I carried these words around with me in my mind since the third grade, (ain’t nobody got time to carry around hurt for that long!) but I hadn’t actually done anything about them. I’d just held onto them. The words were something I’d overheard; two people I thought were my friends were speaking about me and how they didn’t actually like me at all. They were just pretending to, so that our teacher would be impressed. I was the new girl in our class, having moved from across the country a few weeks prior. The teacher had asked these girls to be kind to me, to make me feel welcomed in the class. I will never forget the way those words made me feel, but a few months ago I realized that I no longer needed them to be any more than an unpleasant memory. I wrote them down and threw them away because I decided I was ready to hear different words. I was ready to listen to what my ACTUAL friends actually had to say to me. Years ago I heard rejection and meanness, and I let it in to my heart. I would never purposefully have acted on it, but I listened to it. I let it cast shadows of doubt onto my friendships. I wondered if there was rejection and meanness for me hidden in other conversations. I wondered if my friends were true friends. I let that tiny thing I overheard infect my future interactions.
It has no place with me now. I’m no longer willing to hold onto that ugly little moment from my childhood. I’m no longer willing to assume that every friend secretly feels that way about me. Instead, I’m ready to listen. I’m going to listen to what my friends say, to the way they treat me, to the instinctual pull in my heart. I’m going to listen to the years of experience in relationships both good and bad. I’m going to listen to the truth.
far more comfortable doing the listening than I ever
This goes for my inner voice as well.
am doing the talking. I hope that I am growing in my discernment abut which words I should be listening
No more listening to shame and fear and darkness.
to – about whose voices I allow to echo in my mind.
I’m going to listen to courage and love and compassion. I’m going to listen only to the words that
I hope that the symbolism of throwing away those
propel me toward the life I want, and to the kinds of
hurtful words can translate to a greater ability to
words I would speak to someone I love.
throw off words that don’t belong with me.
Listening comes pretty naturally to me – in fact I am
I hope I can learn to listen well, not just to be a good listener.
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Quick To Listen BY CHRISTINE CRAM “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to
my dearest friends. But never in my life have I
really do not seem to care at all what I have to
anger.” James 1:19
heard the word “no” so many times. On a daily
say. That can be frustrating. To me, they seem
basis. At first, I was taken aback. It was not
to not care at all about your opinion. Then I
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always
what I wanted to hear. I was offended that
think of people that are quick to listen, and they
struggled with listening. I got in trouble the
someone would say “no” to me. The more and
seem to be genuinely interested in me, in my
very first day of preschool cause I was talking
more I am involved with what I am doing, the
life, what I have to say, what I have to offer. I
instead of listening. I should have known then
less personal I take things now. I have grown
realize more and more that I want to be like
what a struggle this area would be for me and
so much and still am growing. I think of my
that. Not just because I am a believer, but that
in my life.
ability to listen for another example in growing.
everyone that I come into contact with
Yes, I struggle but I am growing. I am learning
deserves to be listened to.
This month’s theme has been one of conviction
how to be quiet, how to hear the word “no” and
for me. I have recognized what a terrible
be ok. I am learning that when you truly listen
When was the last time you really took a
listener I am. Even with someone who has a
to someone, you are hearing them. You are not
moment and listened? How did it make you
counseling background, I have been trained to
hearing what you want to hear, but hearing
feel? Comfortable? Uncomfortable? One of my
listen. I struggle. I am getting better. Slowly but
them. Taking your agenda out of it.
goals for this year is to get better at listening to
others. Really listen. Not for my agenda, but to We as believers are called to be quick to listen.
hear when others are speaking. Will you join
This last year, I decided to take a leap of faith
Have you met both sides of that? People that
and embark on a new and unfamiliar adventure
actually are quick to listen? Or people that are
- one where I join a company and start to share
so quick to speak? What’s the difference you
all about its products and opportunities. I
have noticed? I know for one, whenever I come
absolutely love it. I get to do this with some of
across someone that is quick to speak, they
STELLAR DAY MAGAZINE | 23
Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self.
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For Listening To Your Heart.
Jessica Williams, Editor in Chief Jennifer Stamps, Associate Editor Nicole Thompson, Publicity Sarah Humphrey, Creative Consultant
Writers For This Issue Christine Cram Esther Gallagher Jennifer Stamps Jessica Williams Maria Derminio Rachel Schroeder Sarah Humphrey Wendie Davis-Grauer Leadership Team for Stellar Day Christine Cram Danielle Nesper Esther Gallagher Jennifer Stamps Jessica Williams Kate Williams Nicole Thompson Rachel Schroeder Rennai Hoefer Robyn Sastre Sarah Costa Sarah Humphrey Sarah Trapp
Special Thanks AFC Chiropractic Dani Homemaker Honeybook Nine Retreat Nu Skin Sarah Costa, Beachbody Coach Stamps & Co.
EDITORIAL OFFICES Located in sunny Scottsdale, AZ Stellar Day Magazine is published by Issuu and created in Canva. www.stellardaymagazine.com
Dani Homemaker Young Living Consultant
EDITOR'S NOTE Sometimes it just really is hard to listen. We hope that this issue brought you a few moments of quiet, of encouragement, and of spurring into a new season where you can begin to explore hearing new things. New truths that God designed specifically for you to hear. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way, slow down, and just be. Even if it's for three minutes a day and that's all we have. It can be as simple as picking up on signs that the universe gives to us or practicing listening to others more. Without interrupting.Â Whatever the case may be, we hope that this issue helped you to see that we can listen no matter what season of life we are in. We are capable of finding God in the middle of our clutter and we can hear from Him if we search for him. It's a discipline that once practiced, can bless our lives and those around us tremendously.Â For truly listening is to unlock the whispers of an Almighty God who loves us. Jessica Williams Editor-in-chief