Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Uncommon Friend: Encouragement

I was watching my friend's girls last week. Ellie, 6, came up to me as I handed her snack of homemade chocolate chip cookies and a banana and said, "You're a good mom." At first I thought, oh this is awkward--I'm not trying to act like her mom. So I said, "Well, thank you. Moms like to hear that kind of stuff." Ellie replied, "I know. I listen to how my mommy talks to other moms." That's when I realized, Ellie was only repeating what she hears her mom say to others. You see, her mom, Libby is one of the  most encouraging women I know. I could totally hear Libby saying to me (or someone else) after a tough mommy day, "Oh, Janine, you are a good mom."

I Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to "encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." We need encouragement in this life! So let's give it to each other! When  I was in the most difficult times in my marriage, when friends asked what they could do for me, I said two things: Pray and encourage me to not give up. When my closest friend broke off our friendship and I thought it was because I was the worst person/friend in the world, I let go of all my pride and humbly crawled to the feet of my other friends and begged them to encourage me and tell me I was a good person and a good friend.

It also does good for us to give encouragement to others. When we look around us at who needs encouragement we open our eyes to the pain and strife around us. We start to see the world as God sees it. Check out one of my favorite songs is "Give me your eyes" by Brandon Heath.

"Give me your eyes" Video

Encouragement can take many forms. It might be in the form of a card. My friend Heather is great at picking out just the right one for the occasion. It might be a phone call. My friend, Katie, seems to get a sense every time I need someone to talk to. It might be a text. My friend Sarah is great at these quick and painless messages. It might be just sitting with someone who is at their bottommost point and saying, "It will be okay...someday." It could be as simple as hitting "Like" on a facebook status. Encouragement is easy, cheap, and it comes naturally because we all have a craving for it--we know what we would want to hear. Yet we are so slow and hesitant to hand it out.

Who around you needs encouragement? What little thing could you do TODAY to lift their spirit?

1 comment:

  1. this post is gonna make me go home and send out a couple cards. Today when there is so much online and social network presence, people forget how nice it can be to get a card or a letter in the mail. thanks for this..


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