Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?

Hey Friend,

Ever since I was little, I've been dreaming about things I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course, as a very little girl in ballet class, I wanted to be the ballerina center stage in Swan Lake.  Then, there was the phase of loving Dorothy Hamill, and wanting to be a professional ice skater.  Deep down, I knew I wanted to be a wife and have a family.

Throw in the phase of wanting to be a flight attendant, beach lifeguard, and various other professions; there finally came the day of picking a college major. I hated math, so that eliminated some careers right there.  I always loved writing and words, so kind of half blindfolded, I picked English and Communications. (With my Father's suggestion of, "Be sure to take a good typing class," thrown in for good measure).

The emphasis has always been on "Being" something.  The typing class did get me into a temp job that led to being a Relocation Specialist and then a Relocation Director for a large firm.  So I "directed and managed".  

Then came motherhood.  I admit sometimes I struggled with "just being a mom".  It didn't sound impressive until God impressed it upon my heart what a crucial and important profession Motherhood is.  So, I took pride in the fact that I was "molding and shaping" young lives for the Lord.

Then I taught for a period, so I was a "teacher".  I also taught Bible studies and Sunday school so "teaching" was my profession for some years.  That was until the succession of surgeries sidelined me.

Ready to climb the walls during recuperation, I felt called to return to my first love of writing and started a blog (which you are now reading).  I remember the day I proudly held business cards in my hand that said Beverly Duncan (my name at the time) and next to it was the word "Writer".  A writer....after all, this was what I was destined to be.  I had a college degree to prove it.

My blog then led me to start a Christian school in the Middle East (long but interesting story).  So now I was "President and Founder".  Impressive, huh?? You'd think by now, I would have satisfied that question of "What do I want to be when I grow up?"

While recuperating from surgery #4 and being laid up, yet again, I had A LOT of time to spend in God's Word (partially because I couldn't "Do" much of anything else).  I have to tell you that this time spent reading, meditating on, writing down, and praying God's Word began to speak volumes into my heart.  

There was a closeness and presence with the Lord that I have never really felt before.  

Each morning I couldn't wait to dive into His Word to see what He had for me that day.

I could relate to the deer panting for the living water....the more I drank, the more I craved.  

The verse in 1 Samuel 3:9 kind of summarizes what I was experiencing.  Much like Samuel, who heard the Lord's voice in his sleep, I responded:

"Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."

That was it...I knew what I was called to be and what I wanted to be when I grew up....a professional listener.

Think about it...wouldn't it be great - the next dinner party or back yard BBQ you attend and someone asks you, "So, what do you do?"  And, you respond, "I'm a professional listener."  Wait for it....dead silence.  

Crazy as it sounds, that's what I want to say.  

Every other "profession" I've named is a passing profession.  Even mothering is a profession designed for eventually letting go.

But, what stays?  What remains?  What is something I can do and never grow out of or get tired of?  Sitting at the feet of Jesus and letting His words speak directly into my heart so that I may bask in His presence, be in relationship with Him, and know, without a doubt, that I was made and designed to be fully loved by Him.  There is truly nothing in the world that can beat this.

Wow, it kind of makes my desire to someday write a book, pale in comparison. There's no title I could put behind my name on a business card that could ever compare with "listener". 

Admittedly, most titles are somehow wrapped up in "pride" and "self".  Listening is the only profession I can think of that is truly selfless. 

God's Word gives life.  When I read it, meditate on it, pray it, write it down, and share it....I am bringing forth life.  Life for me and life for others.  

But, before I "Do" something with it, I first have to be willing to listen.

Before I write it for others, I have to listen to it for me.

I know what I want to be when I grow up....a professional listener.  

Beverly Rihtarchik, Professional Listener, LPL  (licensed professional listener)....you have to have a designation acronym.

"Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening....."

I'll let you know how it goes when I share that at the next gathering I attend and I'm asked, "So, what do you do?"

What about you...what do you want to be when you grow up?  What is it that gets your juices flowing?  Have you been searching to "be" something when what God wants you to be is right under your nose?  I invite you to take a moment and ask God what He wants of you....what is He saying?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your patience with me as I seek and search and strive to "Be" something impressive.  Help me to understand that the best thing I can be is your disciple - to sit at your feet and listen to your words that speak directly to my heart.  Let this be my greatest desire.  Enable me to set aside my prideful desires and seek what you would have me to do for the glory of your Kingdom. Thank you for loving me so much that you simply want to be in relationship with me and spend time with me.  Give me the desire to never want to stop listening.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed....
                                                                Beverly Rihtarchik, Professional Listener, LPL

40 comments:

  1. Bev, at 66 I'm STILL asking myself this question! Great post. We are "sort of" neighbors at Holley's. Joanne V is parked between us - I'm in awesome company this morning!

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    1. Susan,
      So good to see your smiling face here this morning!! I don't think we ever stop asking ourselves that question and thankfully God never stops adjusting and molding us!! So glad you're my neighbor!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  2. Good morning, Bev. I'm here because Susan told me I had to stop by and read your post today. (And Joanne's and Patti's ;) Our astute friend noticed a recurring theme. She was spot on. When I got to the part where you realized you wanted to a professional listener I smiled as I stared at those words. This very morning I told my husband I wish being a listener was a profession because that's what I do. I'm a listener. I love it. I love that people want to talk to me and share their stories. I don't think I've met anyone else who has said they're a listener too. So happy to be in your company.

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    1. Debby,
      That's great - so glad Susan steered you this way. Listening is a lost art!! People love to talk, but few truly listen. I think the world would be a lot better off if there were more people like you!! Joining with you in loving to listen :)
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  3. That is my word of the year, Bev! Listen (well) So glad I landed next to you this morning. I'm more accurately a professional talker (as in I sometimes get paid for it...) but I want to be a better listener. I'm reading The Listening Life - I do believe you would love that book! Thanks for listening! (and yes you are very accomplished!)

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    1. Sue,
      I'll have to check out that book - thanks for sharing! I always remember my dad saying that people will think you're a brilliant conversationalist if you ask lots of questions and simply listen....wise man. Thanks for popping by!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  4. As a counselor and life-coach, I've got that professional listener thing going for me too, Bev! ha! I truly enjoyed meeting you and getting to "listen to you" just a bit at She Speaks. It was a joy to hug your neck and see you face-to-face. I think you are right about the need to listen to the Lord and let Him lead us wherever He wants--even if that's with a bum foot! ;) You go, girl! God is taking you places! And I'm so glad I get to stand back and watch, listen and cheer you on!

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    1. Beth,
      As my husband would surely tell you, I can also have the gift of gab as well sometimes lol. I loved getting to meet you at She Speaks!! My foot was pretty swollen at the end of each day but well worth it! I love your blog and it was great to meet the lovely person behind the picture!!
      Blessings and ((hugs)),
      Bev xx

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  5. It is with interest I read your post this afternoon. You have made me wonder how different life may have been if I had been a better listener - listening and obeying His voice instead of going my own way. But we do learn and now I am aspiring to be a LPL right alongside of you :) xo

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    1. Joanne,
      As the old saying goes, "God gave you two ears and one mouth....use them proportionately." Wise and sage advice. I think it's been in my later years that I have settled into being a better listener. Thankfully God had patience with me going my own way on many occasions. Let's aspire together!!
      Blessings sweet friend,
      Bev xo

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  6. We are always works in progress, I'd say, being and becoming until perfected when moved on to the next part of our journey, when we are home! I love your idea as a professional listener! It's interesting too, that I was prompted to write using the word 'be' as a centre point today. God sure is working isn't He?

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    1. Lynn,
      I thing that several of us were on that same wavelength that day. Amazing how God will use the words of various people to reinforce His point. So thankful that God is patient with this work in progress. We won't "arrive" this side of heaven.
      Blessings and thanks for your insights,
      Bev xx

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  7. I love your post,Bev! I just want to be a listener sitting at the feet of Jesus too. Every other relationship has a time limit except my relationship with Christ :)

    Thank you for visiting my blog today, it led me back to this wonderful post today :)

    Diana

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    1. Diana,
      Love this- "Every other relationship has a time limit except the one with Christ." Amen. I enjoyed visit your site today and welcome here...so glad you came :)
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  8. LPL, haha. -- Love that, Bev. Professional Listener. I think I want to be that when I grow up, too. -- Beautifully said, friend. xoxo

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  9. Oh, I love that, a professional listener. And then a doer of His Word.

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  10. Awww, Bev, I loved this post. And, I think I want to be grow in my LPL license too. :) God has been speaking to me a lot about being more than doing. I learn to BE with God when I learn to listen to Him. It's such a process, is it not? An intentional discipline of being still, being attentive. and learning to hear His voice . . . sounds easier than it is, eh?

    "But, before I "Do" something with it, I first have to be willing to listen." This spoke directly to me. Thank you, friend.

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  11. I so much love this, Bev: "That was it...I knew what I was called to be and what I wanted to be when I grew up....a professional listener." The world always needs more of these! May I consider it my calling as well.

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  12. Bev, I had to chuckle when I read this. Years ago, my oldest daughter was spending time with me in my office. A staff person came in and seeing just the 2 of us began sharing her heart out, for 45 minutes. I barely knew her name, and had never chatted more than 37 seconds. A few weeks later, after being with me in several settings, my daughter observed that people, even strangers, would come up and share with me. Listening to others starts with listening to the Lord, and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for affirming the gift and call to listen, Bev!

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    1. Alice,
      I can definitely see that you have a personality that welcomes people to come, sit a spell, and tell you about their lives and their troubles. Oh that our world had more people like you and what a wonderful lesson your daughter got to observe...the importance of listening. God bless you sweet friend!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  13. What a great way to look at life, Bev!
    And being a profession is certainly not as important as being a kind and good person!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Jodie,
      Thanks for humoring me and my way of looking at the world sometimes. As always, love to have you stop by and thanks for the encouragement!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  14. Listening to God is such a satisfying, fulfilling profession! I'm with you, Bev. When God's Word speaks directly to my spirit, when the Spirit uses people and circumstances to teach and guide me, I DO experience a thrill. In addition, I see myself as an appreciator and encourager for others--which does involve listening. Your words today, Bev, encourage me to stay alert for God to speak to me personally and then to listen to those around me. Thank you!

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    1. Nancy,
      It IS a thrill, isn't it. I'd say your takeaways from my post were exactly what I was trying to convey. Thank you for summarizing it in such a beautiful way. Love your heart!!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  15. With so much noise in the world today, I think we do need professional listeners. Those who sit at Jesus' feet and listen, and then listen to the true hearts and needs of hurting people. I think I'd like to be Professional Encourager, myself. :-)

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    1. Kym,
      You've got it in the right order....Sit and the feet of Jesus and listen and then listen to the hearts and hurts of others. I think a professional encourager is a wonderful profession. What if our noisy world had more people who listened and encouraged. Joining with you in this pursuit!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  16. I love the idea of identifying yourself as a professional listener. It's so true that it is one of the most important things we can do, both listening to God's voice and listening to others and providing a safe place for them to share.

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    1. Lesley,
      You are so right that people need (here on earth) a SAFE place to share. When we walk around keeping so much stuffed inside us, it isn't healthy. That's why, I believe, God calls us to live in community and part of doing that is listening.
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  17. WOW! I completely was flying along with you and recalling all of my "wish I could be" things and the many that became reality. I was set back when you said "professional listener" but the more I think about it the better it sounds. This world is filled with people who need someone to lend them an ear. They are crying out for ones such as yourself. In these days of my life (besides unpacking zillions of boxes in this move), I find that being an encourager seems to be the calling that fits well with my soul. I pray God has led me here.
    You have blessed me this day.

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  18. That will be my answer from now on when I'm asked what do you do. Professional listener. I cannot wait for the dead silence. Ha!

    Thanks so much!

    P.S. Love the comment you left at my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Yvonne,
      Welcome! So good to have you here! Let me know what kind of responses you get to Professional Listener. I'm always up for catching people off guard :)
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  19. Bev, I Iove it...a professional listener. You spoke those words to my heart. Your story was great, how we've all been there, wondering what to do next. You know what else I love about you sister, you are there for everyone else...cheering them on. God bless you!

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    1. Christy,
      Thanks, Christy, I like to think I'm a good encourager, but my listening skills could always stand some improvement...listening to God and others. But, thank YOU for the encouragement!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  20. Beautiful thoughts, Bev! I love the permanency and selflessness of the Professional Listener title. It really takes the "me" out of it, doesn't it? Thanks for your post. :)

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    1. Kelly,
      Permanency and selflessness....I like that. So many other professions are fleeting, but Professional Listener is a lifelong occupation. Thanks for your insights here.
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  21. Bev, this is great and so encouraging to those of us who don't have "official" titles of any kind. Now . . . I just need to practice, practice, practice.

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    1. Michele,
      I really think "official titles" are way overrated! Why isn't "Child of God", "Daughter of the King", "Lifelong Listener" good enough? Joining you in always needing more practice...
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  22. Bev, thanks so much for stopping by and "listening" to my little blog post today and leaving such an encouraging comment. I love your words here, especially this quote: "Sitting at the feet of Jesus and letting His words speak directly into my heart so that I may bask in His presence, be in relationship with Him, and know, without a doubt, that I was made and designed to be fully loved by Him." You describe my goal in this life and the next, for all eternity, what I want to be when I grow up! Many blessings to you friend :)

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  23. I struggle with this question. I've been saved since my early 20s, and since then all I wanted to do was use my administrative giftings to serve the church. After being laid off from my church admin job a few years back after serving over 10 years in that capacity, I've been wallowing and wondering what my calling is. I am thankful for the new job God brought me, but I wonder why all of those years were spent in the church only to be removed.

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  24. What a beautiful story, Bev. I want to be known as God's listener too!

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