The Christmas cards almost didn’t go out this year due to “communication stuckness”. This is a ‘condition’ that sometimes affects me. It happens when there is so much to say, or so many things to catch up on that I don’t know where to start. Unfortunately, the result can mean that I “get stuck”.
My husband tells me my brain seldom rests…I’m always thinking about something which can lead to “information overload”. Then, my communication can get out of sync with what goes on in my head and cause “communication stuckness”. For example, when my mom was still living I made it a goal to write her weekly. At first I used “snail mail” but later we communicated by e-mail. Since she was deaf for many years she relied on written communication. I thought about writing her nearly every day, however too often I would get “stuck” when actually trying to follow through on that intention. Often it seemed there was so much to say that I would not know where to start – so that I wrote less often than I wished. My sister suggested that instead of trying to write “more” less often – I could write “less” more often….perhaps a few sentences several times a week. She suggested that I could even forward an interesting or humorous article that I’d received from someone else. It was more important that I say something to let her know I was thinking of her.
At times I can find the same challenge of “overload stuckness” in my communication with God. I think about Him throughout the day, and communicate often in my head (and heart). However, I can get “stuck” when I feel there is so much to pray about that I can’t even remember it all – and feel it would take hours each day just to mention everything I need and want to pray about. I know that communication with God in prayer and in hearing him through the scriptures is the most important part of my life – so I want to overcome the “communication stuckness” that sometimes occurs.
I am grateful for the instruction and challenges in the scriptures. 1 Thes. 5:16-18 states:
Be joyful always;  pray continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I learn from this that throughout the day I can give “love snippets” of gratitude ….. shorter expressions of love to God throughout the day. He wants to know I am thinking of him.
I also realize that communication takes preparation, watchfulness and devotion. It takes hard work and discipline as described by the term “wrestling” in the scriptures below.
Col. 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Col. 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
I’m going forward with a plan to help me overcome “communication stuckness”- so that I can be a better “prayer wrestler”…. more devoted, watchful and thankful. I crafted a little organizational tool to help me with this. It’s a simple laminated bookmark with an “assigned by me” topic for prayer focus each day. For me, when there is a lot of information to pray about and act upon I get lost and stuck without organization. I’ve found it helpful to have specific days for specific focus. I plan to use this to accompany the snippets of communication throughout the day.
I can also learn to be more effective in communicating my appreciation to others more often by using shorter snippets instead getting stuck in overload. It is even “okay” to simply sign my Christmas cards with the short note – “Love, the Shaws”. If I tried to write more I might still be stuck, pen in hand, with a pile of envelopes by my side.
This year, in thinking about communicating snippets of love more often, I tried something special while getting my cards out. I highly recommend it if you choose to send cards (a personal preference thing). As I quickly stamped each card, I thought of my favorite memory with the addressee and then thanked God for them. ( I didn’t take time to write those memories,…otherwise, I’d still be writing and no cards would have gone out.) After I had done this I felt very full and blessed to have such wonderful friends and family in my life