The One Sentence I’ll Never Forget

It’s so strange. When you’re a young mama, you think your children will always be little. At least I did. I was positive I’d be putting band-aids on skinned knees, making school lunches, and answering questions forever.

Our children, 21 years ago…Katie’s in front. Jamie’s holding baby Thomas. Our other son Robbie lives in heaven.

A few weeks ago, Katie called on her way home from work. I had some sort of decision weighing on me. I can’t remember what it was or I’d tell you.

(Katie now, age 28.)

This time, I was the one asking tons of questions. By the end of our conversation, I knew what to do. Dilemma solved.

“Wow,” I said. “Thank you. Did you realize you’re an incredible listener?”

“Awww, thanks, Mom.”

“Seriously. You didn’t interrupt me. You didn’t tell me what to do. You had the sweetest tone and you didn’t act bored. It means a lot.”

“Just think,” she said. “You’ve listened to me every single day of my life.”

Her sentence was a lacy pink Valentine to my heart.  A gift I’ll never forget.

She remembered.

Images of my children passed through my mind.  A lifetime of words.

Maybe there’s no greater gift than to listen. 

To really listen.


Julie (Mom)


  1. How true. And as mom’s our first instinct is to FIX! I want to jump, run, leap into the situation and fix it. Thank you for the encouragement to listen…

  2. Ditto what Robin said. I love how you write, Julie–“a lacy pink Valentine to my heart.” Such a precious post! And Katie is such a beautiful young woman–just like her mamma!

  3. So sweet, Julie. Thank you for being such a wonderful listener. You have blessed me and so very many people.


    • And Lisa, what about you?!

      A radio celebrity! An incredible listener. And so very compassionate. You make everyone you meet feel comfortable.

  4. Awwwww…..this post is the sweetest in the whole world. Love you!

  5. Brenda Greene says:

    Ah Sweet Julie…this touches my heart on a couple of levels. I also have two amazing daughters and our youngest sounds much like your Katie. Not only is she an excellent listener, but always says just what my heart needs to hear. We are blessed aren’t we?!!

    Listen! With an intense “gift of gab” (as my late Mama used to remind me) I’m working hard to be quiet and listen….a real struggle at this age! However, God is good. Just this weekend a situation happened in our family that was causing some distress. I had just sat thru our SS lesson on prayer and how many of us are guilty of “talking to God” but rarely do we sit quietly and listen for what He might have to say back to us. Oh, so guilty!! Standing in the shower and praying for the “situation” I sensed Him saying “Listen”. So, I promised Him I would do that whenever the “situation” came to mind as proof that I was leaving it with him. It worked!! Awake at 2:30 a.m. for a bathroom break and as I was dozing back to sleep…the “situation” hit my brain! Ugh! But I remembered my “shower promise” and kept repeating “I’m listening Father, I’m listening”…next thing I knew it was 6:30! He is SO faithful, if we but “listen”!

    Thank you, once again, for delighting my Wednesday…and the Wednesdays for all your followers!

    Much love and gratitude! Brenda

    • Brenda, wow. INCREDIBLE LESSON.

      Learning to listen. Learning to keep quiet. Learning to wait on HIm to speak.

      Your responses are always delightful!! Makes me know someone is “listening.” 🙂 🙂 ‘Cause it would be very lonely to write blogs for yourself.

      Hugs, my friend.

  6. yup! — I’m much more a teller-what-to-doer than a listener for my sons. (becauseI’malwaysright) 🙂
    What beautiful children you have! Your Katie has joy radiating from her face.

    • Laughing out loud, Melody–a “teller-what-to-doer.” Ohh, yes, I’ve been that too. It does get a wee bit easier as they get older–sort of. :-/

      Thank you, my friend. You always encourage me to keep putting my fingers on the keys.

  7. Lindsey says:

    I love reading your blog when you write about being a Mommy and looking back when your kids were little. It reminds me to take the time and just listen. We are talking about communicating with our kids in Sunday School right now. They gave an example at the dinner table, a son tells his Dad I want a bike. Dad tells his son to eat your beans. The point was listen to your kids hopes and dreams, one day they will be listening to you to, just like Katie did 🙂

    • Ohhh, Lindsey, I DO love writing about being a mommy. That was one of the things that I wanted most in life–well, to be a wife and a mommy.

      And to know that young mothers like you might be moved by something I write, I can’t tell you what it means.

      Of course, there are quieter times as a mama–when your teenagers don’t want to listen. And even stop talking. Hmmmm, maybe another blog….

      Hugs to you and yours!

  8. Janette says:

    what a blessing your blog post is to me. I loved today’s entry. Thank you for the reminder to be a good listener.

    • Thank you, Janette.

      Listening a skill that takes a lifetime to master, isn’t it! Doesn’t always come easily.


  9. Sandra Walker says:

    The Lord reminds me often to listen; to be still and know He is God. I am learning to listen and not talk so much, too. Would be a good title for a book, don’t you think (Learning to Listen)? Just pulled out my copy of Learning to Lean. A good day to snuggle in a comfy chair and listen for a while!

    • So true, Sandra. And listening really is an art. A gift. Takes lots of practice to open my heart and kips my lips sealed.

      Ohhhh, Learning to Lean. I have my own copy right here behind me on my book shelf. So sweet that you have one too.

      XO thanks for writing, my friend…means a lot!

  10. Tricia says:

    On a journey of my own to be quiet and listen…your blog touches my heart Julie, thank you!

    • Thank you, Tricia. I can sense your peace and quiet even throug your comment. Thanks for letting me know you’re reading, my friend. Much love!

  11. I got choked up as you shared your memories- such precious treasures and times! I’m sorry about your loss with Robbie- maybe our Kristin & he know each other 🙂 Though I grieve sometimes for the loss of childhood days, the most miraculous treasure, in my mind, is when our children become our not only our offspring but friends of our hearts too! If we invest in Listening and loving our family- He’s going to bless that sowing with treasure beyond what we can imagine! Blessings Julie and hugs

    • Oh, Cindy–I’m all tight-throated with tears. The two of them could be friends! Like we are. Loved your precious sentence….”If we invest in Listening and lovng our family He’s going to bless that sowing with treasure beyuond what we can imagine.”

      Hugs to you and yours!

  12. Julie, this made me cry. My daughter and I have been through some really TOUGH times but now are the best of friends. It warms my heart to just BE WITH HER. She is an incredible and amazing woman. And, my son continues to teach ME. Funny how our roles reverse. XO, Pinky

  13. Pinky, I know, I know!! Katie and I had some tough days too, but it’s all been healed now. I know exactly what you mean about just being with her–and each of my children.

    You’re so right. You mentioned your son teaching you. Nothing and no one has taught me like my children. Hmmmm. Another blog idea?

    Thank you so much for letting me know you understand.

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