Harder Conversations

Love and Kindness in Harder Conversations

Last week I spoke about the harder conversations in life, and this week I had many of them, also some of the easiest, most joyful.

Harder Conversations

After I went “live” last Friday, I went to my mother-in-law’s home to spend the weekend.

My mother-in-law is 89 and the family’s trying to make sure she has the support and care during her transition from independent living to new assisted living arrangements. I planned be at my house working during the days of the long weekend, spending afternoons, evenings, and nights with her.

That had been the plan. And then we got the great snow storm, not the great Texas snow storm, the Pacific Northwest storm.

In the Puget Sound area our streets can get dicey with a little ice, but after 6-10 inches of snow, we shut down all together. I knew very quickly that my plans would not include trips home to work during the days.

Instead my mother-in-law and I had three days just to visit. We watched the Sound of Music and the old classic, State Fair. We watched driving fails in the snow on the local news. We talked about how her life might soon change with her transition to assisted living. We shared memories and concerns about her transition to assisted living. We talked about her beloved home and garden and visits back after her transition to assisted living. We had moments of laughter.

We also had some harder conversation. Some tears, too.

Yesterday during a short visit and one of those harder conversations, I promised that her family would love her through these necessary changes in her life.

Agreeable Conversations

Between my stay with Phyllis and yesterday’s visit, I stayed with my four-year old grandson while his Mom and Dad were at the hospital.

Austin’s new baby brother was born Tuesday afternoon. Knowing his world was about to change in a very big way, I made a point to say yes to every request:

“Grandma, can we watch Transformers?”


“Grandma, can I wear my blue firetruck underwear?”


“Grandma, can I have my yogurt in the green bowl, not the yellow bowl?”


When I told Austin that his new baby had been born, he looked at me excitedly and asked, “Now can we go to your house and get my birthday presents?” remembering he’d been told that Baby Cameron was coming first and then it would be his birthday. Yep.

Long, Difficult Conversations and Short, Exciting Conversations

In this past week there were harder conversations that were long and difficult, also short, exciting ones. There were moments of celebration and others for reflection. Words of loving kindness were included in them all.

Driving home after some harder conversations with my mother-in-law, I actually said out loud, “It’s not about you, Deanna.”

It wasn’t. It’s usually not.

W.O.L.K. Conversations

When we “walk the WOLK,” when we walk God’s words of loving kindness, we have the opportunity to step into the harder conversations with God’s love, God’s kindness. We step away from our own personal agendas (last week’s message) and step into someone else’s pain, concern, fear, and confusion, someone else’s joy and excitement, someone else’s moment.

God needed me away from my computer on a snowy weekend to just sit and listen, to just be in my mother-in-law’s time of transition, to be in my grandson’s time of transition, to have some harder conversations.

Neither of them really knows what changes are ahead, how life will look in the days ahead, but as I told my mother-in-law, we will all love her through it.

At one point last weekend, my husband, Kurt, asked how I was doing, knowing my time is pretty blocked out each day, each week, and my weekends have been my time to begin thinking about my next “Morning WOLK with God.”

I’m not sure he could even remember me being away from my computer for two whole days (I know! That’s its own episode!), but without knowing where the words came from, I replied, “It’s OK. I’ve got to believe that doing the right thing this weekend will bring the right words on Friday”— not in a quid pro quo kind of thing, but in a walk of faith kind of thing.

Godly Conversations

I love God. I love His patience with us. I love how He insists on walking with us through each and every day, through each and every experience, through those harder conversations. And I marvel at this very special walk—of faith—that we get to take together.

Earlier this week I shared a verse on my author page at Facebook. It’s from Psalm 63:

“…for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.”

At breakfast last weekend my mother-in-law watched with great interest the comings and goings of the birds outside her kitchen window. They gather throughout the day at her bird feeders, especially on cold, wintry, snowy mornings.

In her own way, my mother-in-law will be the first to tell you of God’s love and faithfulness, His help in ages past, especially during the harder conversations. I heard her as she sang with joy the hymns in her online church service.

Yes, God is our help and in the shadow of His wings we sing for joy.

Where will God walk with God today? This week?

Who needs you to love them through a time of transition?

Where will you find God’s help?

Where will you find the shadow of His great wings?

My prayer is that we will all sing for joy, knowing God is our help for the harder conversations and the exciting ones. He really does have us in the shadow of His great wings.

Deanna Nowadnick author

Hi, I'm Deanna

I am a writer and speaker who loves helping women of faith connect our delightfully ordinary stories to God’s extraordinary love and faithfulness, so we can be encouraged and empowered knowing God’s been in the details–always has been, always will be.

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