Thursday, November 5, 2015

Twenty-One All Important Words To Connect Us

Steve Smith says that these are the most important words in marriage but really in life.
The 6 most important words—I am sorry. I was wrong.
The 5 most important words—You are my best friend.
The 4 most important words—What is your opinion?
The 3 most important words—If you please. (It’s not “I love you.” You show that you love one another.)
The 2 most important words—Thank you.
The single most important word—We

6 words- One of the hardest things in life is to forgive. To truly let go of a hurt is difficult. We want to cling to the injustice and prove how right we are and how wrong the other person is. Our ears close to the truth sometimes. After all, both of us can't be right so we assume we are the wronged party. Letting go doesn't mean you cave and lose. It means you move past the disagreement even if it is unresolved. It is also so hard to ask for forgiveness or admit we are wrong. None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes and misspeak. So why is it so difficult to admit when we are wrong? I guess it comes down to our pride. 

5 words- Today we have fewer and fewer refrigerator friends. Friends who walk into our houses without knocking and know how to make a pot of coffee or where our spoons are. I love that I still have a few friends who drop by unannounced. Last week, we found a juicer and an apple picker in our kitchen. Our cousin brought them when she stopped by to get apples from our tree. I love that she and others feel welcome in our home. Too often we meet at restaurants instead of connecting in our own homes.

4 words- Listening to others, really listening to absorb and understand what they think is rare. Often we are listening to respond and get our thoughts across to them. It is always an insult when someone calls us a know-it-all. Really, we tend to act like we know it all. I tell my students that they have 2 ears and only 1 mouth for a reason. We all have been around that person who leans in when we talk and really hears us. Their eye contact and everything about them shows that they value what we are saying. I know being perceived as a listener is important to me even though my actions rarely match my intent.

3 words-Being willing and involved with others activities and lives draws us closer to them. A few weeks ago I wrote about Ron helping me make applesauce. I am sure he could have thought of a dozen other things he would like to be doing but he stopped and joined me. When someone asks us to join them it is a gift. I fail too often at saying 'yes'. One success  Ron and I had was a few summers ago when he came with me to a Young Life retreat in San Diego and on the way we stopped in Yuma to survey petroglyphs. Even Yuma in July was bearable because we were each including the other in our activities.

2 words- Thank you is easier than I am sorry but still 2 little words we too often overlook. Being grateful means someone else is being appreciated and we all want to be appreciated. When we were first married, Ron never said a word about the dinners I cooked him. I was insecure since it was the first time I was cooking for someone. When I finally shared how hurt I was that he never complimented my food, he smiled and said he would tell me if anything tasted bad. Ugh! Well that wasn't good enough. I had a need to have my efforts recognized whether they were a success or not. Ron is wonderful about complimenting me now but it took awhile for him to see that  his words are what show his appreciation.

1 word-We. We, not I is so important. I saw a meme that said we instead of I turns illness into wellness. Doing things with others, sharing with others, including others is a way to grow with each other. Last week, I had coffee with a friend. Many of you who read my words here know I have been struggling with isolating myself. When I told my friend that I really needed her to call and include me in her life she was shocked. Her perception is that I am always busy and even too busy to have the time to get together with her. This is a problem most of us have especially with social media. We put our lives on Facebook and they often look more vibrant than they really are. Don't assume everyone is busy. Call and find out. This same friend a few years ago was sitting at home when I called her on her birthday. No plans. I assumed she would be out and about with family and church members. I am glad I called and we could spend her special day together. How many times have I not called but just assumed others didn't have time?  Too many times!

All of these words challenges me. I found this in my morning Bible Study and it hit me that I need to work on each of these. Connections with others is the most important thing in my life but too often I pout that others don't reach out to me. The reality is that I need to improve my own self in connecting with those I love.

In Him,

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