Proverbs 10:8 The wise of heart will heed commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
I love this verse because it is not only a wonderful reminder of what God expects of us, but it is also a recipe for success and it could not be any more clear…listen. Over the last several years I have tried really hard to get better at this, but I can tell you it requires constant effort. It is really hard to listen to others, but the more I practice it, the more I see the truth behind these words.
Today I actually found myself listening even though my instincts wanted to be a “babbling fool”. I was helping out with the afternoon shift at the hospital with Katie because there were 8 children in the neonatal unit and the nurses needed help feeding them. After 3 children of my own combined with many more years of nannying I really feel competent at feeding a newborn. However, when I was feeding a second baby one of the nurses came over to adjust the bottle for me and tell me something in Romanian. I will be completely honest, my first response was to get very defensive–“I know how to feed a baby!” However, these nurses know these babies way better than I do because they spend their days caring for them, just as I knew my babies better than anyone else. I am so glad I held my tongue because the nurse was actually sharing with me why the baby was eating so slow and also was giving me a heads up that he vomits when he is done eating. And although she was adjusting the bottle while I was trying to feed the baby I realized very quickly that she knew what was going on more so than me; my years of experience as a mom and nanny was helpful in many ways just not this one. This nurse was much more knowledgeable than I was and I was happy to listen to her orders.
In situations like this it can be very difficult to accept the direction of another, especially those times that you feel you don’t need direction. I can’t help but think of the quote by Epictetus “we have two ears and one mouth so that we may listen twice as much as we speak”. I really believe that listening is one of the hardest things God asks us to do because it completely goes against our self-serving ego and our nature to put ourselves first. Instinctively we think that we know we we are doing and that we have all the answers. I also believe that this is why following Jesus and giving our lives to God is so difficult to do because we have to admit that we are not in control and that there is someone else who knows what we need better than we do. What I find so incredible about this is that while handing our lives over to God is probably one of the hardest things to do, once we do it we find that everything in our life is easier to do! Our egos get in the way of a fulfilling life and quickly turn us into babbling fools.
I’m stepping down from my soapbox now and I will share a little bit more about our day today. Today was my day for the hospital shifts and I was so happy to be able to help with the newborns this afternoon. We also got packages from home today and we all were thrilled to see what our families sent us. My parents sent a box for the kids filled with candy, even Toxic Waste–Anjali’s request since we left the states which is basically flavored citric acid. Our church family in Madison also sent a box filled with wonderful cards for all of us and a bit of candy. Needless to say my kids are not needing any more sugar anytime soon. It is always so wonderful to get these gifts of love from our many families back home.
Check out the video of the kids opening the box from our church! We did a FaceTime with Grandma and Grandpa so unfortunately we only have 1 video.
We all have really been missing our time in India so we made one of the meals we frequently had during our time there, Chicken Curry with chapati and chutney. Oh my, it was so good. We even enjoyed the company of Katie, one of FFR’s long-term volunteers. And while we weren’t with our Banbasa family, they all were close to our hearts as we enjoyed this meal and got to share our experiences in India with Katie. It was a beautiful day and I am so grateful for God’s blessings.