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Friday 15th Jan

listening and conversation

Hello everyone,

Mr Le Fevre has very kindly asked me if I would like to share a weekly message with you all, alongside his, as we continue to support and encourage each other during these testing and challenging times. So here we go…

Have you ever heard the saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’?

Someone mentioned that phrase to me this week and it certainly struck a chord. There are so many things in the world recently that we are being bombarded with which are seen as problems and after a while these problems can build-up and cast a heavy weight upon our shoulders. We can end up carrying this daunting load for too long on our own and as a result, we stumble and fall, and become exhausted. The reason this friend of mine offered the advice was the fact that they wanted to listen to what I had to say. They did not offer me any solutions. They just listened. Interestingly, after I had finished talking I felt this weight lift from my shoulders. I felt lighter. I felt like I was floating. Now, that sensation did not last forever and since that discussion, other problems have come along to increase the load once again BUT the difference is I know I have a friend who is willing to listen and absorb my thoughts and anxieties, and that really helps.

In The Bible, in Philippians 4 verse 14 it says:

‘Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.’

In this fourth chapter of Philippians Paul encourages us to recognize and share what is troubling us. In this verse, he shows that he has benefitted from sharing his troubles with others.  It is so easy for us to bottle up problems and fears and keep them to ourselves.  However, there is something incredibly powerful and soothing about sharing our burdens and woes.  Whether it is laying them out before God or a loved and trusted friend, there is something tremendously helpful in sharing.  While our troubles and fears do not completely go away, it is almost as if a problem shared really is a problem halved.

Jesus was a good listener. He would often listen first before offering any of his own thoughts or ideas. Sometimes he would just listen and say nothing at all. He would listen intently and if he gave a response, it was both considered and thoughtful, and more often than not, you could not argue with it.

Let us take and make time for each other. Let us listen intently to what our children have to say to us. Let us celebrate the opportunity to spend time together either in school or at home by sharing each other’s thoughts and supporting and embracing each other’s company.

Here are some activities you might want to try at home this week that will encourage listening skills and enjoyable conversation:

  • Prepare a meal together, help lay the table, turn off technology and enjoy the mealtime together.
  • Go for a nature walk and spend snippets of time just listening to what you can hear and identifying what you can see.
  • Play a board game or card game together.
  • Snuggle up on the sofa and watch the film ‘The Sound of Music’ together or another family favourite.
  • Have a 15-minute ‘Mindfulness’ slot in the day. Turn off technology and enjoy some yoga together or the reading of a book, turning the page after predicting what is going to happen next, discussing the characters, setting and plot.
  • Write some ‘Top 5’ lists under headings such as ‘Favourite Films’, ‘Favourite Songs’, ‘Favourite Books’, ‘Favourite Ice-cream Flavour’ and ‘Favourite Holiday Destinations’.
  • Sing a lullaby at bedtime.
  • Share this prayer together; first thing in the morning or last thing at night if you wish:
    Dear Lord,
    Thank you for always being there for us to talk to.
    No matter how great or small our burden is we know we can share it with you and you understand.

If you would like to share any writing, images or thoughts about these suggested activities send them to  and I will gladly respond.