We All Want Confidence and Clarity.
Have you ever questioned what your purpose is? Have you ever doubted your worth or wondered what makes you, you? If you answered “yes”, you are not alone. You are in the company of every human. We are all searching for confidence about who we are, and clarity about what we were made for. The fact that we are all seeking for this confidence and clarity points to something pretty neat, which is the fact that we are seeking these things because we were made for these things. We were made to be confident about who we are and have clarity as to what we were made for.
We cannot get very far in this conversation without addressing who made us. It is only through knowing our Maker that we can discover who we are and why we were made. It is God who made me and you. With purpose and delight, we were made, seen, and loved by Him. In Psalm 139:13-16, David writes,
For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.
Here we can see David writing about how God loved him, saw him, and delighted in him before he was even born. And not only this, but what catches my eye is that David writes, your works are wondrous, I know this very well. Just as David was confident that God’s work was wonderful, I believe that God desires for us to have confidence like this. I believe that God wants us to know “very well” how wonderfully and purposefully He made us. I believe that God desires for us to walk in confidence about what He has done, who He is, and who we are in Him. This confidence and clarity we are all seeking is only found through truly knowing who God is.
God is the Everlasting Father, the Wonderful Counselor, and the Prince of Peace. He is the Maker of heaven and earth and the one who upholds the universe by the word of His power. He is the beginning and the end. He is the fullness of joy, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the Great I am. He is holy and good. He is the Savior, the Redeemer, the Overcomer, and the greatest Friend. And He saw it fitting to make me and you – how cool and beautiful is that?
What Lies Are We Calling True?
Even though God desires for us to know very well that His works are wonderful, more often than not the only things that we know very well are the things that are not of Him at all. Would you say that the statements written below are ones that you know very well?
I am all alone.
I am the likes and follows.
I am what I struggle with.
I am not influential.
I am too far gone.
To put it plainly, we need to call a spade a spade. So many of us respond to these lies in defeat and, without even realizing it, we welcome them into our hearts. We sometimes can even be hospitable, letting the lies of the enemy make themselves at home within our mind and get comfortable. When we live this way we are making it so easy for the enemy to steal our joy, kill our confidence, and destroy our clarity. When we welcome the lies, we reject the clarity. When we welcome the insecurity, we reject the confidence.
The word “insecure” means “not firmly fixed; liable to give way or break”, and when we are not firmly fixed on the truth of who God is, then we make ourselves liable to give way beneath the deceit. It is quite hard to identify what a lie is when we don’t know what the truth is. Scripture says that the enemy masquerades himself as the light, which means that he is a professional at making lies appear to be truthful. This is why it is crucial to know very well what is actually true.
What Do We Do with The Lies?
Not only do we need to call a lie for what it is, but we must replace the lie with the truth. Have you ever known what was true, but it was still so hard to believe it? Have you ever looked in the mirror and knew that you were beautiful but didn’t feel like it? Have you ever known that Scripture says God is with you, but still felt alone? Just because we know what is true, doesn’t mean it’s always easy to trust what is true. We will discover so much freedom when we choose to put truth into practice – even when our feelings contradict it and even when the lies of the enemy feel heavier and louder than ever before. Walking in the truth of who God is and what He says is a choice that we get to make each moment.
I am reminded of the man who said to Jesus, I believe; help my unbelief. What a relatable prayer. I invite you to pray this with me the next time it is hard to believe what you know to be true as you encounter lies that appear so truthful. Call on the Holy Spirit, for He is our ever-present help in time of need. He is so faithful to remind us of what is actually true.
I love how Paul writes about the armor of God in Ephesians 6. He writes that we must be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. He says to put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. One piece of armor that Paul writes about is the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. Sister, the Word of God is truth, and it is through believing and living out His Word that we will experience the power of it in our lives. The Word of God is not just for memory to recite on a Sunday morning. It is through God’s Word that we get to grow in our relationship with Him, and it is through applying His Word to our lives that we will discover the confidence and the clarity that we were made for. It is through knowing who God is that we can spot the lies and replace them with truth because He is the truth. So, not only must we call a lie for what it is, but we must also replace it with the powerful, unchanging, and true Word of God. I encourage you to hide God’s Word in your heart. I encourage you to learn what He says and Who He is. I promise it will give you more confidence and clarity than anything the world could offer.
Let’s go to God’s Word together and replace the lies we called out earlier with what is true. Let’s commit to building our lives on His Word that never fails.
I am not alone because never will God leave me and never will He forsake me. (Deut. 31:6)
I am not defined by the likes and follows, but by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
I am not what I struggle with because I am not condemned in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1)
I am influential because I am an ambassador of Christ. (2 Cor. 5:20)
I am not too far gone because through Christ, I am brought near to God. (Eph. 2:13)
Truth Lived Out
Friend, this is a life changing way to live. Imagine how different your life would look if you really believed who God is and who you are in Him, and you lived that out? You not only would live confidently in your Maker, but you would be a giver a clarity to a world that is desperately confused about who they are. The whole world is craving for confidence and clarity. The whole world is craving their Maker, and through your decision to live out the truth, you can help lead them to Him. God’s love doesn’t end with you, but it continues with you. You have purpose and were made for the glory of God. You matter to Him, and you are a valuable part of His bigger plan. You are a part of His global mission to draw the hearts of people to Himself.
Your decision to trust in Him and stand firm against the schemes of the devil doesn’t only impact you. Your choice to walk in the confidence and clarity that is found through Christ does not only change your life, but can help show others who God is, and therefore, who they are and what they were put on this earth to do.
For more reading about who you are being of who God is, you can preorder Emma Mae’s book, You Are, which releases June 28, 2022.
Emma Mae McDaniel (formerly Jenkins) is 23 years old with a degree in Church Ministry and Women’s Leadership. Her and her husband Josh currently live in Lynchburg, VA. She has a deep joy for teaching the Word of God and seeing people come to know Him and grow in Him. She is the author of “Be Loved” and “ALL-CAPS YOU”, is a YouTuber, and hosts the “Have You Heard?” podcast. In the words of Paul, her life is worth nothing to her unless she uses it for finishing the work assigned to her by Jesus, the work of telling others the good news about the wonderful grace of God.
Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to have our friend, Emma Mae Jenkins on the blog today! Today is such a special day because today Emma’s devotional “All-Caps YOU: A 30-day Adventure Toward Finding Joy in Who God Made You to Be” hits stores! We love supporting our people 🙂
Now enjoy today’s post!
In the very beginning, the Lord spoke, and when He spoke, there was life and light and beauty and order. When He spoke, there were boundaries in pleasant places. When He spoke, there was freedom. This is the Lord. He created people in His own image, in His image He created people without shame. He walked with Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, in the cool of the day because He made people to be in relationship with Him. He designed us to be in relationship with Him, and He desires a relationship with us. He said this was very good; He was pleased; from His Word came goodness.
One day, the serpent approached Eve and asked the very first question ever asked in the Bible. He asked if God really said what He did. The enemy questioned God’s Word. He questioned the character, the perfection, the word of God in the ear of Eve. She first responded to his lie with confidence, but he responded to her with an answer of deceit to his own question. The serpent told her that God was trying to withhold goodness. Eve was convinced and therefore, she disobeyed God, as did her husband, Adam. Immediately, they felt shame (see Genesis 3). Wow. What the enemy offered to be pleasing was the very thing he used to steal their freedom and intimacy with the Lord . . . and it all started with a questioning of the Word.
Again, when the Lord approached Gideon in Judges 6, He declared that Gideon was a mighty warrior, a hero. Yet Gideon replied with “Pardon me” and began to explain why he couldn’t be who God said he was and couldn’t do what God was calling him to do because of his status and his family history. Isn’t it interesting that the enemy would whisper lies of insecurity and fear in the midst of God speaking courage and provision? The enemy does not want us to hear and believe the Word of the Lord, because when we believe, the Lord begins to do exceedingly and abundantly greater things than what we could ever ask or imagine according to His power at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).
And again, in Matthew 4, Jesus is in the wilderness, and the enemy approaches Him three different times. He approaches Him with questions. He questioned Jesus’ identity. He questioned the Lord’s provision. He questioned the contentment that the Lord gives and how worthy the Lord is of all worship. But Jesus, all three times, responds with God’s Word. Jesus lived in a way that we should follow. Jesus believed the Word, learned the Word, spoke the Word, and lived out the Word.
If we don’t know truth, the lies we are told will appear to be true because we won’t know any better. The Lord has placed on my heart three lies that we as women believe, and the truth that He wants us to know to combat them.
Lie #1: I am my title/relationships/accomplishments/failures.
My dad came into my room one morning and sat with me as he shared something with me I will never forget. He told me to pretend that all of my titles were taken away. He told me to pretend that there were no more book deals, no more speaking opportunities, no more YouTube subscribers, no more Instagram followers, no more boyfriend (now fiancé), no more education, no more (fill in the blank J) . . . and then he proceeded to ask me, “With all of these things taken away, who are you?” I sat and thought, and he told me that I am a daughter of the Lord no matter what title or position I am given. No matter what relationship I am in and no matter what other’s opinions are of me, I belong to the Lord. No matter how many successes or failures I have, I belong to the Lord.
But this is a lie that the enemy will whisper into our ears. He will seek to convince us, just as he has since the very beginning, that our worth and value and identity are discovered in what we do, what people say about us, what relationships we are in, and what positions we have. The moment that these things change though, if we have believed this lie, our worth and value and identity change right along with it. Once we fail, well, now we must be failures. Once people disapprove of us or speak hatefully about us, well, now we must not be loveable or enough. Once relationships end, well, we must not be pretty enough. Once positions change, well, we must not have been important to the team or brought enough to the table or not be as talented as we thought. Whew! It’s exhausting.
I have had someone tell me that I was hideous and someone else tell me that I was beautiful in a matter of seconds—how confusing! What am I supposed to think about myself hearing that? When that’s where my identity is, I am a constant hot mess.
Lie #2: Some chains just don’t unshackle, and this is just who I am.
Another lie that is commonly whispered and believed is that we are our fears, our anxieties, our thought patterns, our addictions, and so on. I raise my hand on this because I do sometimes speak with a defeated tone in my voice because I feel as though there is no getting around worry or thought patterns that leave me exhausted.
We tend to think, “I know that Jesus came and defeated my sin, death, and the grave; I know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus; I know that Christ came so that I may have abundant life—but this is just different.” It’s almost as if we know that the same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives in us, but we aren’t actually believing it. The enemy wants us to believe that there are certain things beyond the Cross—certain things out of God’s reach—certain things that simply cannot be impacted by the power of the Cross, and it’s simply not true. If the enemy can convince us as women that we are what we struggle with and that the power of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is limited, then we will unknowingly walk in a limited version of what God originally intended for us as His daughters.
When you think of who you are, do you automatically think about what you struggle with? Have you believed that this is simply who you are and that nothing can change that? Are you convinced that maybe this was meant to be?
I beg to differ, my love. God does not contradict His Word and what has been written above is pretty opposed to what He actually says about me and you.
Lie #3: My freedom is restricted when I obey God’s Word.
There is a misconception that many people have, which is that “if I am living out God’s Word than I am missing out on fun and freedom.” The enemy has whispered a lie in the ears of women that the Word of God is a list of rules, do’s and don’ts, and if we live by it then we never get to experience true satisfaction and happiness because we are restricted.
Just as the serpent made disobedience to God look pleasing to the eye and good, so does he want us as women to believe that we are missing out on true pleasure by being obedient to God, so therefore, we should go do whatever looks good to our eyes and whatever feels good to us in the moment. He does this by tricking many to be convinced that God’s Word is restricting rather than liberating.
But, as we saw with Adam and Eve, the moment they gratified themselves and went against God’s Word, they were ashamed, and they hid. The enemy knows that God’s Word is our hope that does not put us to shame, so of course he doesn’t want us being obedient to that which deepens our relationship with our Creator! The enemy is deceitful and crafty, but he is doing the same thing he has been doing all along. He attempts to convince us that the world is better than the Word, and every time we take a bite of this lie, we are left unsatisfied. He lies to us by saying that if we’re living out God’s Word, then we’re missing out on true fun and freedom.
Speaking about the truth that God wants us to know, I simply want to share His Word that combats each of these three lies. I encourage you to write down the verses that resonate with the season you are in and put them somewhere that you will see them every day (whether that be on your refrigerator, in your car, or on your mirror). It’s one thing to read an encouraging blog, but it’s another to take this truth beyond this moment and believe it, learn it, speak it, and live it out in your own daily life. This is powerful, ladies. This is life changing and nothing I ever write in a blog to you is more powerful than what the Lord has already spoken to you in His Word.
Truth to combat the lie that you are your title, relationships, positions, accomplishments/failures, or others’ opinions of you: Genesis 1:27; Psalm 23:1; Psalm 139; Ephesians 1:1-14; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 4:12-13
Truth to combat the lie that some chains just don’t unshackle, and your struggle is just who you are: Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 11:28-30; John 10:10; Galatians 5:1; 1 Peter 5:7
Truth to combat the lie that you are restricted from fun and freedom when obeying God’s Word: Psalm 119; Isaiah 55; Matthew 7; John 8:32; 1 John 5:3
The power of God’s Word is so real. The enemy is the father of lies and therefore, always leaves us questioning the Word (John 8:44). Psalm 29; Psalm 138; Jeremiah 17; Jeremiah 20:9; and Ephesians 6 remind us that we have can have confidence in the Word of God because we have confidence in God. Because we have confidence in God, we have confidence in what He says.
Emma Mae Jenkins is a 21-year-old lover of Jesus and people. The color yellow, smiling, and flowers are some of her favorite things. She is the daughter of Jason and Amanda Jenkins and older sister of her brother, Nolan Jenkins. Emma attends Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she majors in Women’s Christian Leadership. Out of an overflow of God’s love, she travels throughout the country speaking at conferences and retreats to be a messenger of God’s Word. The Lord has blessed Emma with platforms of influence to glorify Him through social media and YouTube. Walking in obedience to these opportunities, she is able to invest in the lives of thousands worldwide.
Follow Emma Mae on Instagram @1corinthians13_love
Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you part 1 of ‘In Him’, an LO Fam exclusive bible study created by our sister and friend, Emma Jenkins! Want to join us over the next four weeks as we study and grow together? The doors are open for this week only! Hope to see you there 🙂
In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus is invited into a woman named Martha’s house. As Jesus was in the home, Martha’s sister, Mary, sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him as He taught. In the meantime, Martha was distracted as she was preparing a big supper. I can only imagine all of the details that she was focused on. Dishes needed to be cleaned, the food needed to be cooked well, and the service needed to be excellent. I am sure she was one who liked her kitchen area to be tidy too. Many details were to be invested into, I mean Jesus was in fact at her house, but all the while, Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus as He taught. In frustration, Martha approaches Jesus and claims, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” Isn’t it interesting that Martha feels as though she should be spending her time doing things for Him instead of enjoying being with Him? Jesus responds by saying, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
In Philippians 1, the apostle Paul, prays over the church of Philippi that they would understand what really matters. Have you ever thought about where you are investing your energy? Where you are spending your time? Or, where you are hanging out in your mind? What does it mean to understand what really matters?
To understand what really matters comes from a heart that truly believes that the promises of God are faithful. The Lord promises that He will finish the good work that He began in us, and with this confident hope, we can live our lives focusing on what really matters. Throughout the chapter of Philippians 1, Paul expresses what this looks like. To understand what really matters is to always be filled with the fruit of our salvation-the righteous character produced in our lives by Jesus Christ-for this will bring much glory and praise to God. It means to consider our present sufferings as a blessing because we believe that God is working it together for good to help spread the Good News. To focus on what really matters is to rejoice always and continue to rejoice more because we know that it is the joy of the Lord that is our strength. It looks like not being ashamed but being bold in Christ. It is to help others grow and experience the joy of their own faith. To understand what really matters is to walk with a posture of awareness that we are citizens of heaven and we are simply passing through here. It is to live in a manner worthy of the gospel. It is to stand together with one Spirit and with one purpose, fighting together in unity for the one faith. When we are focused on what really matters, we are not intimidated by our enemies because we know that we belong to Christ and we also acknowledge the privilege of trusting in Christ and suffering for Him.
As Paul continues his statement, he says that he wants the church of Philippi to understand what really matters so that they may live blameless and pure lives until the day that Christ returns. Meaning that there is a purpose in focusing on what really matters. We focus on what really matters so that we may continue to live the life that God has called us by name to live until the return of Jesus. Where we invest our energy has purpose. Where we focus our thoughts has power and meaning. But I think that sometimes we think focusing on what really matters means doing enough things, being involved in more organizations, speaking at more events, knowing more people, making more posts, having more bible studies. In Martha’s case, focusing on what really mattered meant cleaning dishes and preparing a big supper, but although these are all sweet and wonderful things, if these things begin to be our determining factor of how “close” we are to Jesus, then we have missed it. Big suppers are important, but if I miss the purpose of sitting at His feet in order to serve a yummy supper, then I didn’t actually taste and see how good the supper could have actually been because it would have been prepared on my own without the One Who wants to cook it with me. Our relationship with Him is not based on how much we do for Him, but it is how intimately we know Him. Are we sitting at His feet? Our actions are an overflow of our focus and I want my focus to be on what really matters. There are many details that are fun and sweet and important. But there is only one thing that really matters, and that is a relationship with Him at His feet, and this will never be taken away from us.
I will leave you with some questions to consider.
- What details are you concerned about that are distracting you from sitting at the feet of Jesus?
- What does it mean to understand on what really matters and how will that impact the way that you live?
- What does it reveal to you about Jesus’ heart seeing how He responded to Martha?
Loved this post? Want more? Join our online community today to walk through this study with Sadie, Emma, and thousands of sisters from all over the world! Click HERE to start studying!
Seeking my first love, I rise in the morning and God embraces me in His grace that is sufficient. As the soles of my feet hit the floor, I go to the foot of my bed and spend time with Jesus. I delight in His Word that is breathed by Him. He reminds me of Who He is and who I am in Him. I dwell in light and armor up in truth, for I also know that without question, the moment I rise, flaming arrows of deceit and attacks of darkness are coming.
My phone lights up with notifications and as many of us do, I get so excited to go and see what I am being notified about. Picking up my phone and going to social media, I don’t encounter the notifications that anyone would be hoping or expecting to see. I post pictures and videos about Jesus and how beautiful He is, and how He changed my life and how much He loves His people so unconditionally and recklessly. The videos that I post are filled with God’s truth and encouragement, and songs and joy.
Then there are the comments, though. The comments say that my singing makes ears bleed. The comments say that my eyebrows look like caterpillars and that my nose is too big. The comments. They ring loud and clear that I am brainwashed and that my faith is a fairytale. The perverted and disrespectful words sting and hurt. The comments say that I am crazy odd, and that I need to tone it down a little and that I love Jesus too much. People are tagging other people for simply the gratification of laughing at me together. I have been called an “annoying religious Disney princess”, “cringy”, and words so filled with hatred, that I didn’t even know those words existed until I had been called them.
The comments say that I need to be quiet. The comments say I don’t need to live anymore. They mock. They bully. They laugh. They poke. Like stones, they aim and throw a comment here and a comment there to see how they can make me fall. Sometimes, I wonder if the writers of these comments realize that there actually is another person on the other side of the screen. Another heart reading these words that have so much potential to tear apart. I have found myself sometimes looking in the mirror with all of the comments racing through my head, and wow…it would be so effortless to believe them, and sometimes in my human feelings, I momentarily do. Sometimes, even knowing that God is receiving the glory for it, I can’t help but cry because joy doesn’t always look like a smile.
But here’s the reason I keep going: I might get notifications full of these hateful words, but I have already been notified of God’s Word! My phone may have lit up with notifications devaluing my identity, but it came too late because before the beginning of time, my God spoke light into my identity. In the morning when I rose, God notified me with Who He is and who I am in Him already. This morning when I rose, I armored up in truth. Therefore, anything that comes my way that does not align with His Word, I speak truth over it. How is it possible that I can do this even when thousands of notifications come packed with rudeness and wickedness?
BECAUSE I HAVE ALREADY BEEN NOTIFIED AND APPROVED!
When I read the comments that I am not pretty, or my eyebrows look like caterpillars, or my nose is too big, I back it up really quick, and take note of what voice that is coming from.
I remember the comment of my God that declares I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am made in His image.
I am “the head and not the tail, I am the top and not the bottom”
I am “all together beautiful, beautiful in every way and “enthralling in the eyes of the Lord.”
I am the apple of God’s eye. I am His masterpiece.
I am clothed in strength and dignity.
I am chosen, holy, and dearly loved.
I am His treasure, called by name and filled with a greater joy.
I remember that I have already received the notification from God that “I don’t have to fear or be dismayed, because He is with me and He is my God, and He will strengthen me and help me and uphold me with His righteous right hand”. I remember that I have already been notified that “I am not here for the approval of people, but of God”. I have already been notified that I am made without shame and because “the Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” I am reminded that I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
The notification that “the Lord is my Shepherd and I lack no good thing” rings louder. He rejoices over me with louder singing, and quiets the storm of doubt in my heart with His love that never fails. I am squeezed on all sides, but not crushed because His hope is an anchor firm and secure in me. The notifications of the world still come and advance against me, I will even then be confident because my identity is not in the fickleness of society, but the foundation of truth.
If I allow what people say to determine how I act and decide who I am, I will be inconsistent and never become all that God designed me to be. If I fall into believing that I have to have every person like me, thinking that this is what “keeping the peace” means, in actuality I am allowing the enemy to rob the peace within myself.
In 2 Timothy 3:16, it says that “the Word of God is God-breathed, and it has been made profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” In this way, no matter the comment, I am equipped with truth to keep going and remember that I am in the world but not of it. I am equipped with the joy of the Lord that is my strength. I am equipped in the promise that in my weaknesses His strength is made perfect. And I am also equipped to even love the very ones who speak hatred over my life.
Hurt people hurt other people, and people are not my enemy. Those who send comments of discouragement and mockery don’t know how loved they are yet. What an amazing opportunity to love! For anyone can love those who love them back. When I began to see myself the way that God sees me, I couldn’t help but see others the way that He sees others. Jesus had every right and reason to quit on us and to give up on us, and not love us because of how we turn from Him and choose darkness instead of light, but He didn’t. And because Jesus didn’t give up on me when He had every right to, I will not give up on people, especially those who give me every right and reason to. Because Jesus raised me up, I choose to live my life lifting up others with His love that never fails, and truth that sets us free. The world tells us to love those who love us back, but to hate our enemies, but very truly Jesus tells us to love our enemies. To pray for those who persecute us, and to bless those who curse us.
Jesus came to this earth knowing that there would be those whose response would be in hatred, yet He still loved them. Because it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me, I pick up my cross, follow Him and love the world as He so loved regardless of the response. Jesus said that if the world hates you, remember that it hated Him first.
Not only does God’s Word equip me with strength to see myself as He sees, and receive His notification of my identity, but He also gives me the strength to continue speaking His notification and validation over the very ones who notified me with lies. Seeking my first love, I continue to rise in the morning…for there are still hearts that don’t know how loved they are. That in itself empowers my heart to press on. I rejoice being counted worthy to suffer for the Name that commented His approval on my heart before time began. WOW! This makes my heart smile bigger than my face can. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me, including being the original Emma Mae Jenkins that God made me to be!
I can smile, dance, love and sing, and keep on posting and keep on speaking and keep on writing because I have already been notified.
What comments are you listening to?