A post for December 43, 2022.

I’ve had lots of conversations in the last few days about saying things in different ways. It’s not just about semantics. Sometimes we can benefit from changing the frame we use.

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I was talking with a family the other day. They’ve had a lot of death in the past couple weeks. One family member said, “I’m counting this as part of 2022.” I said, “so write down the date as December 39, 2022.”

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I was talking with a family the other day. One of them has been in the hospital for a long time. Recovery is going slowly, both from an objective perspective and from how it feels. They are talking with God regularly, are being honest about how hard the journey is. And they are dealing with friends who are regularly asking how things are going. It gets discouraging to not be cheery. “The next time they ask,” I said, “Tell them he’s getting better, like an oak.”

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I was talking with a family the other day. They kept talking about talking with God and saying, “need to.” As in “I need to pray more” and “I need to be more thankful.” I walked over to a white board and wrote, “get to.” I’m not sure it’s the best rephrasing, but it moves us away from obligation to pray to an opportunity to talk with God.

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I was talking with someone the other day about all the challenges they’ve walked through and all the things they’ve asked God and all the things others have asked God for. They have faced a lot. And there have been changes and results and progress. But they forget the changes and keep asking for help for new things. “Are you keeping a list?” I said. Just a simple list in a journal of the things that have happened, good and bad, hard and easy. A list of things that they’ve asked God for. A list of things others have asked.

Our memories are really bad, most of us, and oriented toward what doesn’t work. With a simple list, our memory doesn’t have to do the hard work. (Some people do something like this in a “gratitude journal”.)

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