Friday, August 1, 2014

Encouragement

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  1. en·cour·age·ment
    enˈkərijmənt/
    noun
    1. the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
We have been studying James in our Bible study, and therefore, I've been reminded of the power of my speech. Ironically, since having a child my words have changed for the worse. I'm saying nice things here and there, and obviously chatting up sweet words with Will. But unfortunately my talk with the rest of the world, or even when I'm alone, has not been as uplifting on a consistent basis (vulnerability alert!). As I reflected on this, I was surprised how less careful I was with the words I chose after having a baby. I mean, aren't you supposed to be more conscious of what comes out of your mouth?! There are multiple reasons why this shift occurred, but one of the biggest is being a mom can be all-consuming if I let it be.

So back to small group. I appreciate meeting with them every week because it helps me refocus, process, and apply what I've learned or been thinking about in other settings. From group conversations I am able to set weekly goals or areas to focus on. You know how I love goals. These goals are more than just something to check off my to-do list though. The areas I want to work on are disciplines that help me to live a more Christ-like life.

Typically encouraging others would be a strength for me, but since it hasn't been on my radar like it used to be, I gave myself the challenge of using more encouraging words with others this week. It's only been five days, but it has been more encouraging of an experience for me than I anticipated! It's like I had forgotten what it felt like to give someone a surprise of sweet words or meet an emotional need for that moment.

It feels good to be obedient.

Each day I've been able to encourage multiple people, and it was a reminder of how quick and easy it is to live out this holy practice. It has been enriching to support more people this way rather than focusing on myself and Will all the time (although there are times when he needs all my attention...and he is pretty spectacular ;)). I find it funny that something so little, something that is usually so natural to me, can quickly be pushed aside and change my outlook. So here's to finding more ways (and not just with words) to encourage those around me.

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