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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Encouragement Dare

It seems that on the most challenging days, one of the feelings that overcomes me is the thought that I am invisible.  Isolated.  No one sees how hard I'm trying.  No one knows how much I'm working or how much I have sacrificed.  The results don't show the depth of my effort and in the moment, it just feels like none of the effort is worth it.

Then, just when I can't muster the energy to continue what I know I must do, encouragement comes like a breath of fresh air.  I am lifted by when someone notices and validates my striving.  So great is the power of encouragement, that I am determined to offer the same boost to others.  I can name the great encouragers in my life, and I want to be named in that list for others.

The joy and return of positive energy is so worth the small effort to notice and lift up others.  Some ideas that I have found to encourage others are:

Smile!  It's my favorite and it costs me nothing.  But comments from my son's third grade buddy to the frustrated woman in the grocery checkout cashier have let me know that it's uncommon and welcome, especially in difficult circumstances.

Delivery!  When our family friend experienced a life-saving kidney donation...and his wife accepted a new job within the same week...they needed support.  As working woman, wife, mother and home manager, I didn't have the extra time to prepare a gourmet meal.  Instead, I ordered take-out and spent the time I would have cooked delivering the restaurant meal with paper goods and baked goods.  Win for both of us.

Surprise!  Perhaps the best, most needed encouragement comes when we don't overthink it, but just do something.  Send a card for no reason.  It's always a bonus to have "real mail" in with all the junk. Drop off your friend's favorite drink or milkshake at their work.  Bring surprise donuts to class.  Leave a note in the mailbox or with the teacher of your child.  What we often call Random Acts of Kindness are really intentional acts of encouragement.

Join a Conspiracy! Dayspring is hosting the first ever Encouragement Dare centered around September 12.  For the next two weeks, we are reminded to look beyond ourselves and notice who might need an extra dose of inspiration and comaraderie.  Everyone benefits from encouragement, some are desperate for the soul satisfying gift of encouragement.  Who might you encourage today?

Other ways to "Join a Conspiracy" might be to get together with a friend, small group, class, etc. and decide to encourage someone: pastor, family in need, public servants or other persons.  Joining together may allow a greater impact with greater resources.

To help you spread the love, Dayspring has created free e-cards.  Of course, they offer delightful cards in real life, too, along with little gifts and pick-me-ups.  But you don't have to spend money or think overly hard.  Just take notice, use what you have and go for it!

I can immediately name the Great Encouragers in my life: Mother, Daddy. Anita, Alice and more who intentionally refresh me - It means more than you will every know.

Please share if you do, I'd love to hear how encouraging others affected you.

Called to Encourage

Disclosure: This post is done in connection with Dayspring and does contain affiliate links.  Nothing was given to me in exchange for this post, however, if you purchase through a link here, this site will receive a commission.  Your cost is not affected.  

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