Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering, Relationship

Notice: Seeing Deeper Layers

11-18 Sunset 1

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—NOTICE. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!


I took a deep breath before I opened the door to his room. The words his brother passed along to me convinced me I’d done something to make this beloved child of mine AN-GRY.

When I asked him what I’d done, it took only a second to notice his words had nothing to do with me . . . and everything to do with the hurts inflicted on his sweet spirit during the school day.

If I had gone into his room with guns blazing and anger spewing, we would have shot our way through a mini-version of WW3, with both of us nursing word wounds.

Multi-colored tree

Instead, the Lord prompted me to notice the hurt in his words. First He calmed me, then He used me to calm my boy through just listening. No accusations, only a few probing questions. And a lot of listening.

It took time but God brought out the what was at the heart of his hurt. We talked, God gave me truth-words for him and we hugged and prayed. Then sunshine beamed on his face once more.

How often do I see only the surface of a situation—of words spoken—and miss the deeper layers? Too often, I’ll admit. When I am hurrying through a moment, I seldom take the time to notice what lies below the surface of my children, my husband or the current situation.

Sun highlights on bush

It’s important to take time to listen, to probe and to glean the root cause of words, of actions. When I notice my children, my friends, my family, then I can minister to them with Jesus’ love.

When I am still in the listening, then He can show me my role in the moment. God is ever faithful to minister to me and the other person.

If I will only notice.

What about you? How do you notice what’s going on in the hearts around you? When has someone noticed you?

***Visit Kate Motaung’s post—NOTICE.***

14 thoughts on “Notice: Seeing Deeper Layers”

  1. When I taught second grade, we had a sign in my classroom saying, “Stop and Think” (before responding). Easier said than done!! I especially forget with my safest people…. You are an amazing mom to remember his important it is to stop and notice!


  2. I love that sign. I need to remember it more often. 🙂 You’re right. It’s easiest to forget with our safest people. Here’s to both of us growing in this area of our relationships!


  3. I like the idea that when we slow down and listen God can show us the role we have at a given moment. This is a great reminder for me. 🙂


    1. It’s a deliberate choice to slow down as moms, isn’t it, Kim? Actually for every stage of life, it’s an intentional choice to slow down and notice what’s beneath the surface.

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Flying home from the Dallas conference in 2012, I got into conversation with the woman seated next to me. She was returning to Wisconsin for her mother’s funeral. My mom had died the year before. We were strangers, but there we were, sniffling our way north. In Milwaukee, I’d passed through the jetway when I decided to wait for her. And I gave her a hug. Totally out of character for me, but I think she needed a hug.


    1. Awwww, Terri. I’ll bet that hug strengthened her for the trip. I love how God places people on our paths, or in our seating row on airplanes. And when we take the time to notice them and talk with them, I believe He smiles. I love that you noticed and were sensitive to what would help her that day. Thanks for sharing your story!


  5. You are so right on here! Listening beneath the words; hearing the heart speak is crucial if we wish to communicate at a deeper level. Sometimes I find the need to listen deeper to God speaking to me as well. He always whispers rather than shouts. I find that amusing, because sometimes I’m shouting and His quiet words over ride me. Thankfully!


    1. Yes, I too find the need to listen deeper when God speaks. I love what you said about how His whisper can be louder than your shouting. 🙂 Thanks for adding your thoughts, Mom.


  6. Truth: “It’s important to take time to listen, to probe and to glean the root cause of words, of actions.”

    What’s hard is when you know the root cause of words and actions before the other person does… and then it’s a lot of waiting, letting go and letting God do his thing. I’ve been living in this place for a year now.

    But there is always something to learn, and my reaction time has shifted dramatically. Now I retreat to process and heal my own heart before I ever step in with my intuitions.

    Thanks for this, Jeanne!


    1. Liz, you’re right. It’s hard to be in that place of waiting for God to work in the other person. And to let Him continue to work His grace in us. Sometimes retreating to process is the best thing we can do. I’ll be praying for you today, Liz. I’m so glad you added your heart to the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful post, again. Love your idea of noticing the deeper layers and adjusting your behaviour accordingly…..I’m definitely going to try this approach with my own son [we’re going through a difficult time at home and he’s hurting and hurt 8 year old boys often don’t know how to ask for help :(]. Thank you, a fellow FMF-er.


    1. Oh, it’s hard when our boys (8 . . . and older) don’t know how to put words to their hurt. Their actions tend to hurt us, their moms. And, if it makes you feel better, I’m having to adjust my behavior today. 🙂 I’ll be praying for you today!


      1. Thank you….there should be a special prayer for Mamas of growing boys!!! [It would definitely be centred on finding infinite patience and love that knows no bounds!]. Have a lovely day!


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