Let's Talk

Posts Categorized: Featured

Of Course I’m Listening: 5 Tips for Better Communication

Every day I observe the difficulties people have in communicating with one another.

We struggle to listen with the purpose of understanding.

We jump to conclusions instead of getting the whole picture.

We often don’t consider what may be happening in the other person’s life that might make it difficult for them to ask for what they want or need or share what they are experiencing.

We all struggle to understand where the other person is coming from and to share our own needs and wants.

Good relationships require honest listening. Today on my podcast and blog, I’ll show you 5 ways to improve your listening skills.

The Art of Relaxed Conversation

Have you ever sat down with an elderly parent and tried to have a conversation?

It can be difficult to find common things to talk about, because both of you are in a different world space. Most often what is needed is the art of listening. But it also requires knowing how to start a conversation.  

Today on my blog and podcast, we’ll discuss the art of relaxed conversation.

Common Communication Breakdowns

Communication is a process. It is circular, both verbal and non-verbal, and it is continuous. You cannot not communicate.

Today on my blog and podcast, we’ll explore why breakdowns in communication usually occur. I’ll also introduce you to 7 common communication problems:
-Self-summarizing syndrome
-Mind reading
-Kitchen sinking
-Yes, but…

Communication Basics

Communication breakdown is nothing new.

How often are the messages we send received with the same objective we had in mind? How often do we hear something other than what was intended?

Our messages go through a filtering system that can color and distort. We speak and hear from our own experiences, from how we feel in the moment, from our perceptions, and from our interpretations of life.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll help you develop your skills of listening, validating, and providing feedback, so you can become a more effective communicator.

Learning to Communicate: 12 Tips

Learning to Communicate: 12 Tips | focuswithmarlene.com

I want to continue this new year with the overall theme, “Change Your Focus – Change your Life.”

To develop a new focus that will enrich and empower your life, it is important to examine the patterns you have established over time and identify what is working and what is not.

With insight and understanding, you can change ineffective or even destructive patterns, one step at a time. These new patterns become new life tools you can use successfully every day.

Today on my blog and podcast, we’ll examine whether our communication is working for or against us. I’ll walk you through 12 tips to improve your communication skills.

8 Qualities of Hope


When everything around us seems to be crashing, and we think nothing else could possibly happen, it invariably does.

Problems have a domino effect – one problem creates another and so on. At such times, we cry out to God for strength and hope.

Throughout scripture, we read stories of God gracing His people with faith, hope and trust. It says something good and desirable can happen, even in the worst of times.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll share eight qualities of hope.

Peace: A Gift We are Given

Peace | focuswithmarlene.com

Peace. One moment our spirits are dejected and depressed – the next we are feeling at peace.

What changes have occurred to create this difference?

When losses run deep and grief has a longer time frame to complete, we may find ourselves feeling okay one moment and down in the dumps the next.

I have found my spirit and soul fed by the statements of faith, assurance and love I find in the scriptures. It is where I experience God reaching out to me and where I find peace in the midst of any turmoil or tragedy.

What if…

"What If?... Questions I Ask

What if

We stopped trying to live the perfect life.

Would we become real?

What if

We stopped pretending we had it all together.

Would we fall apart, or would we finally recognize our need for help?

What if

We saw the Ten Commandments as a gift from a loving Father trying to teach us how to live non-destructive lives.

Would we follow more of them?

Lord, Teach Me to Pray

woman praying

As a young mother, I attended a Bible study group of women from all faiths and denominations. Listening to the women talk about their prayer life, I felt inadequate in my own.

I asked myself, How do I establish a meaningful prayer life?

Every day, I sent heavenward a constant stream of doubts and concerns as I chased after an ADHD son, tried to meet the needs of my daughter while helping my physically handicapped son learn to walk.

When I “prayed,” it was with the formality of praying to a stern father who listened only when you had cleaned up your act.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll reveal how I learned to talk with God in a way that feels real and freeing.

How to Reduce Stress During the Holidays and Throughout the Year

women singing in the car

Holidays often create high levels of stress and tension. Last-minute shopping, forgotten items on our to-do list, planning get-togethers, last-minute invitations, etc.

When under pressure to get everything done, we constantly work without taking breaks. However, unless we take purposeful breaks, that constant tension will soon exhaust us.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll introduce you to five 5 quick-and-easy stress reduction techniques you can use any time — especially during the hectic holidays!