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Happy New Year!
It's great to be able to greet you!

We're already discovering that changing the calendar doesn't change much else. Unless we are intentional about making those changes.

We won't suddenly get healthier unless something is changed, even something small. 

We won't suddenly feel motivated, unless we start having a series of small wins.

We won't suddenly feel more loving of God and others, unless we start making small acts of love. 

I'm a fan of small steps, days in a row. 

I'm cheering for you. 

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Each month, I send you an email with resources I’ve discovered that are helpful for people giving care to other people in times of hospital and grief. It's a mix of things to help you, for you to share, and for you to reflect about. If you have suggestions of resources, I'd love to hear about them. 

And if you know someone who would find these resources helpful, please forward this to them so they can subscribe. 

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Recent writing I've done

Sometimes all we need to start the words flowing is a good question to answer. I came up with 10 writing prompts that can be helpful. (and I wrote "how to start writing" as I got back to the keyboard following my mother's death.)

"The most important lesson for a funeral service" is an excerpt from the book I'm writing to help people lead funerals and memorial services. You can read more of the book at Giving a Life Meaning: How to Lead Funerals, Memorial Services, and Celebrations of Life. And I'd love your feedback. 

I had the opportunity to talk with a long-time colleague about pain, grief, prayer and meditation, and hope. This is a chance for me to share conversations I have regularly in patient rooms and hallways. We shot three videos:
A conversation about grief and pain
A conversation about prayer and meditation. 
A conversation on Hope

What I'm reading
Javier and Annette Mondragon are pastors and community leaders in the city where I live. He was named Citizen of the Year in 2019. What's powerful about their story is the power of starting with the block where you live. That's a pretty powerful challenge for the beginning of a new year. 

My friends, Patrick and Kristen Riecke, are working on a book about infant loss. They are telling stories in the book, and are asking for people to read and respond to drafts. Here's their most recent request: Emmaline's story.

Conversations with the Moon by [Flory, Diana]My friend Diana Flory works weekends overnight as a chaplain. As you might guess, that can lead to some long silences and some interesting conversations. For Diana, it led to some conversations with the moon. (I have no reason to doubt. I'm the one who talked with Nehemiah and Saint John). Her story about her journey to the book is compelling. The book itself is a delight. Imagine what you might ask the moon in the middle of hospital nights. And what the answers might be. Conversations with the Moon.

"Is This Your Last Christmas to Do That?" That's the question Sheila Scarborough asks. She's a travel writer who is realizing that we often don't get around to buying the tickets, to visiting people and places around us. It's worth a read, and then it's worth making the reservations. 

In closing. . .
Thanks for your participation in this project. And thanks for the work you do helping people. I'm more aware than ever of the value of simple, thoughtful, deliberate conversations. 

Again, if you know this is helpful for someone else, please forward this email to them with your endorsement. I'd love to be able to help more people doing what you are doing. 

If you'd like a sticker like the one in the picture, let me know.  

And, if you'd like to know more about supporting this project and 300wordsADay.com please read "sustaining". 

Thanks!

See you next month!

Jon 

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