Communicating for Connection

  “Fear of truth is the greatest hijacker of communication.” Danny Silk  (Keep Your Love On) Communication that reaches the heart. It is what my mom needs. My kids and grand kids. And my husband. Honest. Authentic communication that connects at a heart level. While I am very limited in what I can share with my mom,  I can still connect with her heart.  In fact it is the only means by which I can reach her. Influence her. Gain her trust. Everything else shuts her down.  Alzheimer’s destroys the ability to reason but her feelings remain.  “I listen to my heart,” she says to me each day.   “And my heart wants home.“   “I understand mom,” I say.  But I refrain from reminders, lectures and advice.  When she feels understood, she is able to calm down.  Then I am able to speak truth to her. And she is able to receive it. Isn’t that how it is with our kids?  The lessons they hear from us fall on deaf ears without a strong bridge of understanding formed from our heart to theirs. They best receive wisdom via a loving relationship.  And they are willing to accept correction when they feel securely loved even in their mistakes. It’s what Jesus offers us – and we in return must offer those we love. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.  Psalm 112:7 Watching my mom decline not only causes me to ponder my days as a child, but also to regard my role today as a mother and grandmother.   The importance of...

Communicating Value to Others

A fool has no delight in understanding but only in expressing his own heart. Proverbs 18:2 Toni, A Veritas Academy receptionist, has a way of communicating encouragement by her words and actions. Regardless of her workload, or what has transpired in her day, she looks for ways to be uplifting.  She demonstrates that she values others- never sending a silent message of indifference. I love that about Toni and want to be more like her. What we communicate to others has profound influence.  Last week, I attended an information meeting at a nationally acclaimed university and left with a negative mindset about the institution, formed largely by what the presenter said and how she said it.   Regardless of how accurate her presentation was, it influenced my belief about the institution. Imagine how impressionable the hearts and minds of our children are, who are in the process of developing their thoughts and figuring out their beliefs.  What they hear serves to shape their thoughts.  What they think eventually becomes their beliefs, which form their personal reality. No wonder the scripture is full of warnings about our tongue. And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.  The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.  James 3: 6 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  Ephesians 4: 29 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that...