We’re Making A List, Checking It Twice…

by Laura Kreger

A Hallmark commercial shows a series of people saying to the camera: “Tell me you appreciate the things I do,” “Tell me it’s not the same without me,” “Tell me I bring out the best in you,” “Tell me you love me.”

And what luck! For the low price of a greeting card, Hallmark will reestablish your closest relationships. But of course it doesn’t work that way. A card with only a signature is always disappointing, even with a heap of glitter fused to the front. That’s because no matter what the clever copywriters typed, it wasn’t their words you were hoping to hear.

There’s a reason wedding vows and reception toasts mean so much. Someone took the time to write out their love for someone else. That’s a powerful thing. So why do we save it for once-in-a-lifetime events?

I haven’t researched this, but I’m reasonably certain it’s true:

The people you love crave your words.

Not just sweethearts. Your mom and friends and grandpa and nieces and brother and kiddos, too.

As we participate in Advent Conspiracy and aim to give more relational gifts, what if we gave our words as presents?

I hear your excuses:

“I’m not a good writer.”

“They’ll think it’s dumb.”

“I don’t know where to start.”

STOP. You can do this. Can you make a list? Do you know people? Do they like compliments? It’s a trifecta of winning.

And you, my friend, are the only one who can write your words. They are good words. True words. Even the misspelled ones.

So let’s begin.

Step 1: Who do you love? Make a list.

Step 2: What do you love about each person? Make a list.

Step 3: Give the lists away.

That’s it.

Sure, you can make it more complicated if you’d like:

  • List the ways your daughter is beautiful. Write it in permanent marker on a pillowcase.
  • List the songs that remind you of a friend. Burn the playlist onto a CD.
  • List the things that first attracted you to your husband. Paste them in his closet.
  • List everything you remember your dad saying. Type it on a typewriter and frame it.
  • List the reasons you’re excited to grow old together. Paint them on the wall.
  • List the lessons you’ve learned from your mom. Write them on the inside of a book she read to you.
  • List everything that reminds you of your brother. Write it in crayon on poster board.
  • List your favorite moments together—the ones you’ve memorized. Write them on postcards and mail them one at a time.

Go ahead!  Start your lists now, and let the warm thoughts swirl around for awhile. Think about them during your commute and while you’re washing dishes. Add and edit.

Only you can write your lists, and nobody will think they’re dumb (I promise). You might make your mom cry, but sometimes that’s okay.

You have the words to make people feel loved. What are you saving them for?


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Categories: Advent Conspiracy

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