Hi friends! Savanna here. Today we’re thrilled to welcome author Kathleen Denly to The Engrafted Word. She’s a great writer and friend. I hope you’ll enjoy her post below and join us in celebrating her new release, Sing in the Sunlight!
Kathleen Denly writes historical romance stories to entertain, encourage, and inspire readers toward a better understanding of our amazing God and how He sees us. Award winning author of the Chaparral Hearts series, she also shares history tidbits, thoughts on writing, books reviews and more at KathleenDenly.com.
Miscommunication – From Minor Inconvenience to Life Altering Tragedy
Have you ever given instructions to someone, they reply that they understand, then they come back and they’ve done whatever you asked them to do completely wrong? I think most of us have been there. We’re left wondering what happened. You thought you communicated clearly. They thought they fully understood. Yet the end result is not what was desired.
This can be a minor inconvenience if you’re talking about something as simple as telling your child where to put a book on a shelf. But when it involves something far more important—when it involves strong emotions and life decisions—things can get messy quickly. They can even alter the course of someone’s life. Miscommunication is something I’ve experienced in my own life on more than one occasion and with consequences of varying severity. Yet even the most horrible mistakes can be used by God to bring about incredible beauty.
That’s one aspect of what happens in my novel Sing in the Sunlight. Well-meaning, though flawed, characters suffer a tragic misunderstanding that leads to incredible pain and life-altering choices. Yet God finds a way to bring joy amid the sorrow—to shine light through the storm—and eventually, to bring healing.
Here are three things I’ve found to be useful in avoiding miscommunication of the emotional kind:
2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (emphasis added)
- Take a deep breath before you speak. It is far too easy to open our mouths and shoot back a hurtful or angry remark at someone we think has just wronged us. But before we use our tongues as weapons (even defensive ones), we need to pause and get our emotions under control.
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (emphasis added)
- Choose to believe the best until proven otherwise. I think part of the love we are meant to show one another includes giving someone the benefit of the doubt until we are certain they intended to offend us. Even if we can’t see any way that what they did/said could be interpreted differently, it’s important to straight-up ask them, “Did you mean to offend me?” or “Are you trying to be hurtful?” That way there is no room for misunderstanding because it gives the other person a chance to explain if the hurt/offense was unintentional.
Proverbs 18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
- Repeat back to them what you heard them say. Sometimes we mishear someone in the literal sense—like when we’re caught singing the wrong lyrics to a popular song. Sometimes the way someone phrases something or the word they chose means one thing to them and something different to you. For example, when you say “next week” do you mean this coming Monday or the Monday after that? So it’s important to rephrase what you heard and say it back to whomever is speaking to you. For example, if someone says, “Put that on the top shelf of the bookcase,” you might repeat back, “Okay, so you want it on the highest shelf, but not on top of the bookshelf, right?” See how that could go two different ways if clarity isn’t purposely sought? The same is true of situations involving high emotions.
In my novel, Sing in the Sunlight, one person says something with a loving intention, but the listening character hears something tragically hurtful. The listening character doesn’t repeat back what she thinks the other person says so the misunderstanding does incredible damage to their relationship. To avoid damaging your own relationships, always seek clarification.
Have you ever suffered a miscommunication with someone? How did you resolve it? Do you have any advice to share on this topic? Let me know in the comments!
To celebrate the upcoming release of Sing in the Sunlight, the second book in her Chaparral Hearts series, Kathleen is offering a giveaway!
Enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win a digital copy of Waltz in the Wilderness (book 1 in the Chaparral Hearts series), 2 Chaparral Hearts stickers, 1 Chaparral Hearts pen, and 1 custom bookmark made and signed by Kathleen Denly. Open to U.S. and International winners, void where prohibited. Entries open until midnight on March 9, 2021. Winner will be announced on Kathleen’s Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram accounts and must contact Kathleen with your mailing address within seven days of announcement.
CLICK HERE TO ENTER: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a61ba5d915/?
About the Book
Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.
Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.
Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.
Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?
YouTube link to audio recording of Kathleen reading the first scene from Sing in the Sunlight: https://youtu.be/t8ZqDYJIjDA