There are some days when I feel completely talked out. After a long day, I just feel completely drained.

Dr. James Dobson is quoted as saying women typically have 50,000 words in them while men have 25,000. (There are those who dispute this reference’s accuracy.) While I’m not sure if my wife outnumbers my number of words 2:1, throw in my kids and I am definitely outnumbered. (I sometimes feel my kids have 100,000+ words each they try to communicate to me.) And often they need some kind of response, not some passive listening. (And that’s a good thing.) But I realize I need to ramp myself up to really be able to accept, process and verbally response to those words.

A few of weeks ago, I had a “personal retreat” where I spent most of the day on the TTC. From Kipling to Scarborough Town with a stop at the Eaton Centre, I spent the day mostly listening. Within those 6 hours, I spoke less than 40 words (the odd “Thank you” and other courtesies). When I went back to pick up my kids at school, I felt much more refreshed and ready to take on their words. I felt I didn’t have to respond much to other people’s words verbally and was able to just take all the sounds in. (Also interesting, I don’t feel as drained after writing words i.e. texting or email; another experiment for another day.)

For a preacher, I realize I don’t have as many words in me as other people. So I need to either ramp up well if I know I need to verbally communicate a lot or know how to conserve when needed.