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Words Give and Take

Three generations sat around my table, working on a craft together. Some of the stickers were difficult to get off the sheet, and while my granddaughter watched patiently, she leaned toward her mom and encouraged, “You can do it, mom. Keep trying. You can do it.”

I wonder how many times she has heard those words—enough to repeat them in an applicable setting. 

Our habits of communication matter. What we model matters. It’s not a give-and-receive expectation. If our primary motivation for communicating well is to get good communication back, we’ll be disappointed. Not everyone repeats back to us what we speak to them. Sometimes, our kindness and encouragement is returned with bitterness and anger. Our communication isn’t a boomerang. Often, how someone communicates with us has much more to do with their own challenges, habits, and health than ours. But it still stings. 

Then there are the glimpses of the positive influence we’re having on others. It reassures us. It encourages us. 

You might be in a relationship in which you’re not experiencing encouragement right now. You might try to stay calm and speak intentionally and healthily, yet be met with harshness, disrespect, and anger. You might not be able to see it, but you are impacting those around you. As exhausting as the process might be without seeing a change, please listen to this reminder:

You can do it. Keep trying. You can do it.