To Encourage, Be Encouraged, Feel Encouraged...
When I began writing here, my sole purpose was to share pictures, small moments, and daily happenings with our family far away. It was also an outlet for me to explore and tweak my blogging skills. Then, it became a place to share our journey to a shining star, named Sarah. While it continues with those messages, encouragement and gratitude are common themes. That's why I write. I want you to feel encouraged, inspired, uplifted, and motivated to pass it on.
My parents are the BEST encouragers. My mother has this AMAZING gift of sending out encouraging cards weekly. I"ve asked her how she keeps up with it because I barely can keep birthdays straight. But, she has this gift. Every Sunday afternoon, she sits down with her calendar and church bulletin and makes a list of all the cards she needs to send out. Birthday, anniversary, get well, thinking of you...one by one, she writes them out and sends them on the appropriate day. AMAZING! My father will listen, like no other. Never offering his opinion unless asked. Many have used his ear as a sounding board. Both gifts take time, no money, no power, only time. They learned this gift from my grandparents, who even this week sent me a newspaper clipping in the mail about encouragement (By the way, they have over 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren and they continue to encourage, each and everyone!)
Driving home, I was thinking about my friends who are hurting. They are traveling a path, I've never walked, nor experienced. I have wept with them, encouraged them, written notes, but I can't take the pain or uncertainty away. It's there gripping every part of their being. I wrote the other day on Compassion and graceful is the tear of the sympathy. It is necessary to feel the compassion for those hurting. We should never be at a place where we stop feeling these emotions. Those hurting need encouragement the most.
But, it is an absolute MUST to continually be filled with gratitude for what we see, what we are given, and what we have. There are so many things to be filled with gratitude. Waking up daily, thankful the sun is shining, your kids are smiling and happy, you are loved, the vibrant hues of the falling leaves, the holidays approaching, an extra hour sleep this weekend, ...
Stuff happens and will happen. It's inevitable. But, take time to encourage someone. Lift someone up. Embrace your journey. I hope when you stop by, you are encouraged. Your demeanor is a little brighter. You are uplifted.
Adversity is like a strong wind.
It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn,
so that we see ourselves as we really are.