Five Minute Friday

It’s that time again folks.  Where we bravely battle the need for perfection and over editing and just write.  No holds barred – writing for the sheer joy of it.   And if you’re ever free on a Thursday night you’re gonna find the best party EVER on Twitter #FMFParty.  So head on over to our lovely host Lisa-Jo Baker and join in.

Five Minute Friday


I don’t do this over-well.  Listening.  I don’t always wait until the other person is finished talking before I jump right in with my own words.  I’m not very proud of it, in fact I can be quite ashamed of myself and more often than not I end up beating myself up.

Sometimes I can see it in people’s faces, the look of annoyance when I interrupt them.  I have been told I can be a bit “in your face” what ever that means.   I do know that it’s not intentional.  I do know that I want nothing more than curb my tongue and listen to your words.

If you only knew how I would berate myself after our conversation.  How I absolutely dissolve because I’ve spoken to soon and offended you.  And then my mind starts wandering with all kinds of lies.  You can’t possibly be liked Tonya.  They tolerate you, Tonya.  You’re annoying Tonya.  All because I can not for just a little bit zip my lip and let you talk.

I’m learning to be better at this, learning to lean in and press close and hear your words and your heart.   I’m learning that my words while they may be important don’t always need to be spoken out loud.

I’m learning that when we’re sitting down with our hearts wrapped up in conversation that what you say is so important.  And… sometimes what you don’t say is even more important.   I’m learning that if I don’t tame my tongue my heart cannot hear your heart. 

So I promise you this… that the words that I don’t say – because I know I can’t fix your hurt or your pain – will flow straight to God’s ear on a prayer.  I will wrap you in my arms and do nothing more than murmur that you are loved and cherished.  I promise that I will listen and not talk. 

I promise.


  1. I love this. I am not great at listening and the only thing I’m worse at than listening: prayer. Great post!

  2. yes, yes! ‘learning to lean in and press close and hear …’


  3. Oh! If you even knew! I could have written this myself!

  4. LOVE this. I’m not always the best listener, though it’s something I’m trying to work on. I love what you said at the end…that the words not said can be a prayer…so good. Happy Friday to you, sweet friend. Thank you for this! 🙂

  5. This is me, Tonya!!! I’ve actually had a coworker pull me aside and tell me that my interrupting was hurting people on my team. 🙁 This is something I struggle with daily, but God is helping me, and I have certainly come a long way.

    Man, what would it be like if we were talking to each other? Neither of us would ever finish a sentence 😉 Hahaha! Love you!!!

    • April – it could be difficult 😉 But I think it would also be a lovely conversation full of grace! Praying for both of us to rely on God to help us listen.

  6. What a great reminder for us all. This is such an easy thing to forget – because we want to let our mouths get ahead of our minds (aka ears) Thank you for sharing this.

    • Debi – this is a constant struggle – and what I find the hardest sometimes is that my desire to fix or take a way someone’s pain closes my ears – I have to learn that even silence can be healing. Thank you so much for stopping by here and saying hello.

  7. Tonya,
    So wise of you…yes, we can pray and listen when our words cannot erase another person’s pain…such a discipline to listen…I relate to your struggle…Thanks for reminding us of this truth 🙂

  8. Growing up my family was always talking and we’re all a very passionate bunch. So our natural style of talking is interrupting and finishing each others thoughts and sentences. And it worked fine. Our voices would get higher and higher because like I said, we’re all pretty passionate. But no one was angry or arguing, we were just having a robust conversation. When I married my husband who is VERY quiet and doesn’t talk much, I’ve had to temper some of that enthusiasm or he cannot get a word in edge-wise. I think there are lots of different styles of communication and I owe some of that to my Korean ancestors I’m sure. But it’s always important to assess who you’re talking with and sometimes to hold your tongue. But don’t hold back when we meet, I wanna hear what you have to say.

    • I won’t hold back I promise – but I will just enough so we can share our hearts together… My husband as well came from a very quiet family – so my very Dutch, big and loud family was a little overwhelming for him – but he’s getting better at reminding me when I’m being too “in your face”

  9. Oh girl. Thank you for sharing so bravely. I too have had to walk the road of overeagerness in conversation, and GIRL is it ever hard to hold my tongue! But I’ve noticed that in holding it in a little bit, I do hear more. Because I enter into conversations knowing I won’t speak as much as they will, my ears and heart are tuned in differently. Don’t get me wrong – there are some friends with whom I just prattle and talk and they hold their tongue for mine. You need a place to just ramble! Which is what this comment is doing… {sigh} you just touched a nerve with this post and I really appreciate it. The end. =)

    • You are not rambling friend – you are speaking your heart – which is why this space is here! I’m so glad that this post ministered to you. Praying we feel His grace as we lean in and listen together.

  10. I too am learning to listen better, to listen even in the silence. I so appreciate this–so appreciate YOU.

    • Kris, I just love how we can come together here and not be afraid to admit the areas where we need God – so happy you stopped by. I appreciate you too!

  11. Love this! I love knowing that the words you don’t say are winging their way to Heaven in a prayer. Beautiful!

  12. Dear Tonya
    Sometimes I think we have forgotten that we have been created with two ears and one tongue! May we listen and hear much more than we talk, dear friend. After all, our words are not as important as the ability to truly listen and hear.
    Much love

  13. I think you were writing about me and was just to sweet to use my name. I am so bad about not letting others finish before I atart. I know that about myself. I try not to but it just seems to happen. May God continue to teach us to keep our mouths shut. LOL!!!

    • Amy – you’re so sweet! And as the rest of the comments attest to we are not alone friend – it seems we have a communal struggle – and when we bring our struggle to the Body we can pray for one another – praying for you friend.

  14. We are kindred spirits, Tonya as I’ve been told many of the same things as well! Great post!

    • Holly – thank you for your kind words. And welcome to my space here friend and to Five Minute Friday – you won’t find a more welcoming community!

  15. Listening is HARD! Love it.

    • Rachael – It is isn’t it – sometimes I wish I could sew my mouth shut – it would help me listen better wouldn’t it? LOL. So happy you came for a visit and so happy that you linked up to Five Minute Friday for the first time. {hugs}

  16. Brilliant. The best word to sum up this post. I feel so much the same as you do and I berate myself constantly the way you have described. How to STOP! thanks for the encouragement today.

  17. This is beautiful…because sometimes there are no words. I heard your sincere prayer and hearts cry to listen.

  18. Love this so much! I love that I can count on you to pray for me… with words both written – and unwritten… spoken or unspoken!

  19. I heart you, Tonya. Not annoying, Tonya. Such encouraging words, Tonya. True story. I so could have written these very words and meant every one.

  20. Leaning with you, my friend!

  21. Oh my … I most certainly could have written this, and have been working over a decade to remedy it too! To sit and listen and then sometimes let there be silence, a connection of hearts instead of just voices, can be so very powerful. Beautiful post!!

    • Jacque, Thank you – and the idea of a connection of hearts! Yes that is deeper than any conversation. Thank you so much for coming for a visit in my space!

  22. Stopping by from Five Minute Friday.

    Phone conversations can get even more annoying. You think there was a pause, so you jump in… but really, they paused for some other reason (a dog barked, a bug flew in their face, a pause in the cellular network, etc).
    I understand where you are coming from. I sometimes share this habit. Most wouldn’t believe it, because I generally come off as reserved, silent, and contemplative. But those who I am very close with see the other side. They are still around though. Very forgiving?

    • All is grace friend – and it sounds like your friends and family love you! Phone conversations can be hard because you’re missing all the non-verbal cues that might clue you into the fact that they have more to say… Thank you so much for popping over and saying hello.

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