Learn the Art of Other-Centered Living (Listen, Love, Repeat review)

Proverbs 31 Ministries Author and Speaker Karen Ehman just released her new book, Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World. It’s a lovely, practical, creative guide to putting others first. 


And it has a simply wonderful message: listen well to love well and keep doing it. Yes, I want in!

I Was Lost at Listen

But I’m afraid Karen lost me at the listen part. I mean, really, how well do I listen? How well do most of us listen? 

Case in point: I’ve known my mother for, well, nearly half a century now. That’s a long time to share life with someone. Yet when it came to making a cake for her surprise 80th birthday party, I didn’t know what flavor she liked best.

Granted, I haven’t lived with her for the past 30 of those years, but still, I should have heard at some point what her favorite was. I think I may have gotten it right in the end (homemade coconut cake). However, if I would be more attentive to the likes of those I love, surprising them with kindness would be much easier. 

Other examples of my poor listening skills are even more incriminating:

*Not more than 30 minutes after my hubby told me some big news he thought I’d find interesting, I struggled to recall who it involved.

*Within 10 minutes I’d forgotten the details of a friend’s fun news report. 

And the list goes on…

Desire To Love Others Well

It’s not that I don’t care. I want to love others well.

It’s that I let I get in the way. Thoughts of what I need to do next block out the meaning of my mom’s words. Hyper-focusing on a problem I have prevents me from fully engaging with what my hubby or friend is saying.

I cannot be fully present with others when thoughts of me and my life captures all my attention. None of us can. We need to let go of the self-centeredness that binds us.

We cannot be fully present with others when thoughts of 'me' captures all our attention. Click To Tweet

My heart echoes that of the author’s: “I am a woman who wants to love God, but so often I am too busy to love the people he puts in my path.”


A Welcome Guide to Loving Well

So, although, Karen Ehman lost me at listen, I’m diving deep into this book for two reasons. 

  1. To learn how to listen well
  2. To be inspired to listen well so I can love well

For me, it’s not a lack of want. I want to scatter love and kindness. But I need to let go of me, to get my eyes off me and onto others. 

To scatter love and kindness we need to let go of 'me,' to get our eyes off us and onto others. Click To Tweet

To help, I need that extra push. I need to read stories of the blessing of blessing others. I need to explore how-to suggestions and revisit God’s call to love others. Exactly what Listen, Love, Repeat offers.

Simply and Practically Appealing

This book isn’t filled with catchy, quotable writing. And it isn’t the most profound or deep read. In fact in many ways it’s rather simple.

Yet it’s precisely that simplicity that makes it appealing, with real-life stories, biblical references, and easy-to-implement practical suggestions for scattering kindness tucked into each chapter (my favorite is the practice of celebrating unbirthdays). It even includes a few recipes for loving others through food. 

Listen, Love, Repeat begins with a look at the need to live alert to the heart drops of those around us and ends with a call to scatter kindness. In between we learn how to minister to the necessary people in our lives as well as the difficult. We receive tips for creating a welcoming home and learn why it’s far better to extend hospitality than it is to entertain. 

This newest book from Karen offers guidance and encouragement to begin moving from a self-centered life to one focused on serving and loving God by serving and loving others. 

Receive guidance and encouragement to begin moving from a self-centered life to an other-centered one. Click To Tweet

And who couldn’t benefit from that? 

Now for the best part. I’m giving away one copy of the book, Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World AND an accompanying Study Guide with DVD (the study guide and DVD will not be released until November 29; I will hold the book until the entire package can be sent together to the winner)! To enter to win, simply follow the Rafflecopter instructions below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10

Reflections: Do you struggle with listening well? What is one of your favorite ways to scatter kindness? 

I am always thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “I’m finally letting go.” Click on the image to check out the wonderful encouragement.

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By His grace ≈


*affiliate links present in this post

*Two copies of this book and study guide with DVD were received from BlogAbout Network and Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are my own. 

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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