Friday, July 20, 2012

A dose of encouragement

I love how God's will always offers a rainbow of  lessons.
 I would say that I am generally shy in nature. I walk most of the time with my head facing downward.
The other day though, I was out with my family in Ohio and my niece happened to be walking right behind me. An elderly woman approached me and caught my eye and smiled at me. I could have just smiled back but I said hello and how are you? She said "fine, thank you" in the most excited voice as if we were old friends. My niece asked me "who is that" and I replied  "I don't know, but she smiled at me and I was compelled to say more than just hello."  A small thing, I know but she sounded sooo happy in that moment that I spoke to her, that it made me happy too.
Then tonight, as I watched Joel Osteen with my Mom, I was struck by his words. "Are you building people up or bringing them down", " are you depositing, or withdrawing?"
Joel Osteen spoke of a young man named Carl who had down syndrome and worked as a bagger in a grocery store. One evening he came up with an idea... he typed a positive message on a sheet of paper over and over and called it his "thought of the day." His father lovingly helped him cut the pieces of paper until he had hundreds of copies. He started putting his lovely "thought of the day" in the bags of groceries the customers carried away. Word got out and before long, whatever lane that Carl was bagging, all the customers flocked. The manager would come over the PA system and let the customers know that t other lanes were open, but everyone wanted that special note in their grocery sack. So, they patiently waited in the lane where this precious young man was lovingly bagging their groceries. Inspiring? Yes!
This all has me thinking about my own attitude, my perception, and my participation in encouraging others. If I walk with my head down, I am missing so many opportunities to be friendly and encouraging. I hide behind the fear of being rejected. Gulp.
So, how much do I really encourage others?  I mean, I certainly encourage my children, but do I go out of my way to be an encouragement to others, my family, my friends, strangers?
Our words are so powerful. We can do such amazing things and also devastate.
I don't want to miss on opportunity to make a difference or miss making someone smile. It is as simple as a "hello, how is your day, or you look really pretty today."
 I think that is one of the reasons that blogging has become such a love of mine. You bloggers out there are some of the friendliest and kindest people, and we have never even actually met. That is something, isn't it?!  Even in my dark times, surely I can  find a kind and encouraging word to offer, a smile to share. Even if it means stepping outside my comfort zone. Do you know someone who could use an encouraging word today?
 Have a lovely weekend friends!


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jenshank said...

I sure do and I will, beautifully written as always!

Michele Marriott said...

God is always on time...what great advice about making someone's day. It's an especially important post for woman. I think we could do so much good work by building others up rather than tearing them down. Thanks for your positive post.

alicia said...

We are always learning aren't we. It's something so simple Neenee but something we don't often think
nk of as we go about our day. I'm glad u made a connection w that woman. Funny, being brought up in Brooklyn where no one looks at each other, u are finally getting it!!!!!!!


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