Listening and Learning

Listening and Learning

Over the past few years, my husband and  I have enjoyed reading books together. We will often be reading the same fiction books but separately.  Since we don’t always read at the same pace, we will often try to get hints of future events out of the person who is ahead in their reading. That person is usually me. Other times especially with nonfiction books, we will read them out loud to each other, but then our voices will get tired.  This year we decided to try listening to the audio versions. We listen while doing evening chores like dishes or laundry or even while eating supper.  Many times the book is read by the author which makes the experience more personal

For our listening, we have purposely tried to find books that will help us as we transition back to living in the states in the next week. We have enjoyed the discussions that they have provoked and hope they have prepared us at least a little bit for what comes next. 

Here are some of the audio-books we have enjoyed this year. 

Books Listened to Together


Even though we listened to this at the beginning of the year, my husband is still referencing it as he decides what his next vocation will be.  The author goes through his own journey as he guides the listeners to figure out their vocation. A key idea for us was the question. “What did you love doing as a child?”

Dallas Willard does a great job of taking away some of the confusion about hearing from God.  He reminds the listener that communication with God starts with communion with God. We are in a relationship. He goes through the ways that God speaks to us and also gives practical suggestions when seeking God’s will. It is a book I would like to go through again and reread so I can soak in the lessons better.

Ben Sasse, an US senator, gives a good explanation to how we as a nation developed the us versus them mentality.  He doesn’t take sides but tries to stick to the facts on what has taken place.  Being overseas for the past twelve year, this book gave me a clearer perspective of all that has been going on. I see lines being drawn on Facebook, but didn’t really understand why. Ben also makes some good suggestions on how we can move forward to change personally and as communities.  We enjoyed the book so much we bought a copy for our 20 year old son to read.

4. I Think You Are Wrong But I Am Listening by Sarah Steward Holland and Beth A. Silvers

These ladies challenged us to go deeper in our conversations especially politically. Why do you believe what you believe?  What facts do you know?  What do we have in common?  What if we have the same goals but are just going about it differently?  Each chapter they talk not only about how to have conversations on hard issues but their own journey as friends talking about different issues.  Their thoughts challenged me about many of the issues they talked about. A key take away for me was  “Does it have to be this “or” that or could be have “and”?” How can we start thinking outside of the box with the current issues we are facing and come to a solution.

5. Becoming by Michelle Obama

This is our current book. We are enjoying hearing the story of the former first lady. My husband commented that when you hear a person’s story, you think about him or her differently. Don’t you think this is true?  The book had a lot of good reviews, and so far it is living up to those good reviews.


This summer I have been listening to a lot of podcasts.  Here are a few of my favorites.

1. That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs

I especially enjoyed her episodes with Mike Kelsey and LaTasha Morrison where they have discussed racial injustice.

Here is another podcast with Annie. Annie F. Downs is my new friend and doesn’t know it yet.  This podcast is like a morning show with random topics.  I love listening to it as I get around in the morning or do housework.

3. The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman

This one has been a favorite for a while.  Short but timely words each week on making decisions.

4. Marked from LifeWay Women

This summer the podcasts have been the audioversion from Jen Wilkin’s Sermon on the Mount bible study.  It has been a good edition to my study time. 

What have you been listening to this summer? I would love any audiobook or podcast suggestions. 

(Affiliate links are in this post.)

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1 thought on “Listening and Learning

    • Author gravatar

      I love that you guys share books and thoughts and good conversation about what you're reading and listening to.

      I'm guessing that few couples go there on a regular basis. I leave here inspired …

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