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Memories That Linger

Photo Credit WiciaQ

I was reading Twitter updates one evening earlier this week and came across an author’s book trailer.  Part of the story looked at the past–circumstances that could have led to a life of self-destruction, but hasn’t (I haven’t gotten to read their book yet, so I’m leaving details on the author/title for a later post to maintain accuracy).  Hearing part of their story, it reminded me of the memories that rise up when I least expect them.  Things I don’t want to share-things I’m happy to forget forever.

It made me realize something I should have thought of long ago.  We walk through life oblivious to the memories other people have playing in their minds.  God offers hope.  He teaches us.  He forgives us.  But the memories still penetrate our thoughts sometimes.  I’m going to make an effort to be more mindful from now on and offer grace rather than take offense.  To nurture, rather than commiserate.  To build relationship rather than run to my bubble.  I want the memories of me to be worth replaying.

What are some other things we can do to encourage and uplift one another?

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14 Responses to “Memories That Linger”

  1. Jason January 27, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    A quick way to do this is to compliment someone in an area you know means a lot to them. For example, if you know someone who is a writer and you have access to their work, a quick comment about how you really like a scene or a character’s development can go a long way.

    A lot of the problem of discouragement and depression is when you get hit after hit without any kind of encouragement. A kind word could be better than a new car or million dollars sometimes.

  2. JenDeshler January 27, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Hi Jason,

    You’re so right. Sometimes, just having a kind word spoken is the perfect thing on a hard day.

  3. Katie Bond January 27, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    Love this, Jen. I struggle with listening intentionally, especially with people I don’t know well–when I’m unfamiliar with their sensitivities and history, and don’t know how to put them ease. And I know how helping someone feel heard can make her feel understood, too. It’s a skill I’ve been delighted to discover that my husband has in spades, so I’ve taken to observing him quietly when we meet new people. Bryce has this uncanny ability to make people comfortable, to make even the surliest drive-thru attendant smile and wish us a great day. I love that he sets a goal for himself: find something unique about everyone he meets–something that may have gone unnoticed by those who hurried by…and mention it. It’s amazing how quickly that stranger will open up and visibly brighten.

    • JenDeshler January 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

      Katie,

      I love Bryce’s goal of finding something unique about everyone we meet. If we all did that, the world would be a radically different place. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Lindsey Nobles January 27, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    It’s true. More often than not, we don’t know what demons/memories/struggles others are battling.

    At least for me, it is amazing how quickly a kind tweet, comment, or word can turn a bad day around. I hope that I can learn from the kindness of others.

    • JenDeshler January 27, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

      Lindsey,
      Here’s a kind word from me. I think you rock :)

      It’s amazing how just little acts of acknowledgment make such a big difference.

  5. Mary DeMuth January 27, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Great, important reminder. It’s strange how often the memories will come at times, and other times my mind is a desert! Thankfully, I was able to remember the most vivid memories in my memoir.

    • JenDeshler January 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

      Mary,

      I look forward to reading Thin Places soon. Your history is helping change the future for others.

  6. Sandra Heska King January 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    I agree with Lindsey. We never know what battles others are fighting, and a sharp word or a spurt of anger might be just a symptom. A smile and a word of encouragement can reinforce their armor.

    • JenDeshler January 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

      Hi Sandra,

      I love that mental picture of kind words helping to reinforce others’ armor!

  7. Karen Jordan January 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    So few people really listen–I mean really listen–where they engage in the conversation and not just stare blankly at the person talking. That’s a true gift of encouragement to me. Plus, reading what I write is a boost, too!

    • JenDeshler January 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

      Hi Karen,
      Someone just told me about a mom and child who set aside six minutes each night to look only at each other and talk about their day. I love this act of intentional listening, and can’t wait to try it out with my own kiddo tonight. It’s not enough just to ask about someone. As you said, the listening is what really matters. Thanks for that reminder.

  8. Sandi Banks January 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Your post reminds me of Elvis Presley…and my mom, who, like most moms in the 1950’s, was irate when this wild new rock-n-roll guy came on the scene. But a decade later when Mom was playing her harp in Elvis’ orchestra she had a paradigm shift: his kind words of encouragement behind stage one night– and his sincere personal interest in her and IN THE PASSION OF HER LIFE, her harp– totally changed this irate mother into an ardent fan, to the day she died. It didn’t cost Elvis much, a couple minutes of his time, perhaps. Same for us — often just a smile, a touch, a word, a listening ear, or a sincere interest in someone’s passions or dreams. The POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT can change a heart. Or win a new friend. I wonder who God will put in our paths tomorrow . . . ? Thanks for your post, Jen!

  9. JenDeshler January 27, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Hi Sandi,
    I love this story. It’s true-one kind word can bridge many gaps. Thanks for sharing!

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