The more I write, the more reasons I discover that I love writing. There is just something about putting words together that invigorates me. One of the reasons behind my love for writing is my really, really strong desire to communicate. Like my husband sometimes lovingly observes about me, I have "a lot of words."
I guess we all have different ways we like to communicate, and not everyone enjoys the exact same amount of communicating. Maybe some of us are content saying just a few words, while others of us will happily continue sharing as many words as we're given the opportunity to share.
Case in point: our five very talkative children. I'm fairly sure they have all inherited my deep love for communicating with words. Certainly none of us (my kids or me) are experts with our use of words, and there are plenty of times when our communication falls short. But one thing we're not when it comes to our words is stingy. Get any of us talking about a subject - especially one we're excited about, even more especially if you give us the idea that you genuinely want to hear about it - and we will gladly say all the words we can come up with to say, and then some.
Communication is hard though. Especially communicating about hard things. Things like conflicts or hurt feelings or tough decisions or confusing expectations. Really, there is no end to the list of things that are hard to communicate about... Not to mention figuring out the actual best way to communicate in today's world of talking, texting, emailing, messaging, voxing, Marco Polo-ing, and [insert-whatever-other-means-of-communication-I'm-forgetting].
Then, if all of that isn't enough, the other tricky thing is that some people prefer one kind of communication and other people prefer another kind. Just figuring out what means of communication to use with whom is enough to make any of us sometimes feel like we're taking crazy pills. How do we keep it all straight? Is there any hope of us being able to keep up with all these types of communication? Is there even still a way to be successful when it comes to communication?
As much as I enjoy writing, and communicating through writing, I've become very aware lately of how truly difficult good communication is. I recently watched a video teaching by Mary Aldrich (who runs something called SuperMom School) and she was talking about how many of us as moms are exhausted from trying to keep all the balls up in the air. She acknowledged that realistically for most of us, it's more like developing some kind of schedule for picking up all the ones we drop than actually managing to keep them in the air!
But then she shared an analogy that felt fairly eye-opening to me. She suggested that rather than keeping all the balls in the air, we imagine them all being helium balloons, and we're just holding the strings. How is this possible? What is it that's keeping these balloons floating in this analogy?
You guessed it. Communication.
Now I must admit, this video was sort of a teaser to try to convince people to sign up for her SuperMom School, so I didn't actually get to hear her expound too much on the ways of communication that supposedly keep all the balloons suspended in the air. But she did talk about how communication is an art, and it's a little bit like a dance. It takes practice, and sometimes when we're trying to learn new ways of communicating, we step on each other's toes. And that is about as far as she went with an explanation.
But if it's really true that communication is powerful, powerful enough to make the difference between me trying to keep another ball from falling or simply letting a balloon float happily in the air on a tiny string, well then I say let's keep trying to figure it out! Let's find ways of communicating that are clear, kind, and effective.
How do we do this? I don't have an easy 10-step plan for us, but I guarantee we can't go wrong by involving prayer. Imagine how our communication would be different if we based all of it on prayer. Pray when you don't know what to say, how to say it, or when to say it. Pray when you're trying to find the right words to say. Pray when you are filled with emotions that you want to express to another person.
Ultimately, God is the One who always knows what words need to be said. Thankfully He understands our prayers, even when we struggle to find the words. Let's pray that our communication with each other would come out of our communication with Him!
Pray with me...
... Father, guide and bless all of our communication, in the ACSD community and beyond
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
... Lord, teach us to look to You as we prepare words to say to each other
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11
... God, may our communication, to each other as well as to others, reflect Your glory
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory