Emma Tanner

A Work in Progress

I Heart Holiday


Recently I’ve been looking and thinking about ways to hear from God; to listen, and be still. I went away on a family camping holiday armed with plenty of reading matter, my journal, and lots of good intentions about finding an idyllic spot in the forest to sit, and reflect, and listen. (Did I forget that the children were coming too?!)

The first day of our holiday saw us setting off, armed with a picnic, on a mission to Explore the Forest. As we walked along the track, the sunlight hit the new spring leaves and made them zing a vivid green that hurt your eyes if you looked at them too long. The girls started picking up stones from the path- nothing new there, their pockets are always full of them- but these were different and they wanted to share them. Carry on reading…


Prayer is Pivotal (Part 2): Learning to Listen

Aylesford Priory

Aylesford Priory, photo  © Copyright Ian Capper and  licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

I like to talk. I talk at work (I’m a vet, some of the time, and on a work day might spend up to 7 hours consulting- that’s a lot of talking). My daughters and I like to talk at home. I talk to my friends. I talk to my husband (whether he replies or not!) I talk to my cat. I even talk to the washing machine if it’s misbehaving, or to the meal I’m preparing. Some might say that at times I can be a little bit too fond of the sound of my own voice. Lately I have started to realise that this is often true of my prayer life, too. I’m so busy talking that sometimes God doesn’t get a look in. I so easily forget that prayer, like all conversations, is a two-way affair.

Listening is not something that comes as naturally to me. A communication skills module in a professional qualification I undertook a few years ago has helped me to make a conscious attempt to listen more, and practise reflective listening  in a work setting. The parenting children course has taught me the benefit of using  similar techniques at home. And recently I’ve been prompted to do more listening and less talking where God’s concerned, too. Carry on reading…

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