3 Effective Ways to Encourage Others

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Everyone needs a good word now and then. Like sunshine breaking through the clouds on a dreary day, so a bright ray of encouragement can bring hope to someone’s darkness. Certainly we must be sensitive to those who are going through deep sadness. Sometimes the best way to be an encouragement is to “weep with those who weep.” But there are many opportunities in our daily routine to provide a glimpse of joy for the people around us.

Here are three effective ways to offer a healthy dose of encouragement to family, friends, co-workers and even strangers.

Be Sincere: No one likes insincere flattery. If you are going to offer a kind acknowledgement, be truthful. You may need to look a little deeper to find a way to sincerely speak an honest word of encouragement. For example, if your child’s piano recital was a bit rough around the edges, instead of insincerely telling them that they did a fantastic job, consider the factors you can compliment. “It takes a lot of courage to get up there and preform. You were able to hit some tough notes under pressure. I’m proud of you.”

Be Specific: When we offer specific accolades we are not only offering a gift to the other person, but we are tying it up with a bow and putting a note on it that says, “This gift is just for you.” For instance, simply saying “Great job!” is nice. But saying, “Great work on the Simons account today. I liked your creative presentation and the way you spoke directly to the client’s needs,” is better! Look for specific words and phrases you can offer others to help them know you paid attention and focused on what they did well.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Smile: A smile speaks a thousand words. It says, “I see you. I believe in you. I know you can do it. I care.” Just as words of encouragement are a precious gift we give to others, so a smile can lift up those around us and help them along their way. Think about when someone takes the opportunity to smile at you – it makes you feel a little stronger. A smile is that non-verbal expression that gives you the sense that you are noticed and appreciated. Offering an encouraging glance seems simple, but it may be a day-brightner to someone who desperately needs to know you care.

The word encourage actually means “to give strength.” The root word cour comes from the Latin word heart. Sincere, specific encouragement with the added blessing of a smile can literally strengthen another person’s heart and turn their mediocre day into a monumental one. May our words and actions be used to build up, rather than tear down. Let’s bring glimpses of sunshine to the people God puts in our path each day.

What is Your Mission in Life?

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Sometimes in the day to day minutia of life, we lose sight of the bigger picture of why we are here on this earth. Have you ever stopped to ponder the question, “How does God want me to use the unique gifts and talents He has given me?” I’m not talking about a job or career, or being a mom or a wife, but rather an overall mission in life that reflects who you are and why you were created.

Lately, I’ve been thinking and praying about my own personal mission statement. Here’s what I’ve put together so far:

My personal mission in life is to reflect the light of Biblical Truth as I encourage the hearts of others through writing, speaking and serving.

Now, I may adjust it or tweak it, but generally speaking, that’s what I’m all about. I encourage you to create your own personal mission statement. Think about the spiritual gifts you have, and prayerfully consider the passion God has placed in your heart to use those gifts to bless others.

As you create your mission statement, don’t be afraid to share it with others who can encourage you along your path. Your statement also helps you in making decisions, so that you are not saying “Yes” to every little activity that comes your way. Instead, your mission helps you stay focused and on track, keeping the bigger picture in mind.

Let me know your personal mission statement. I’d love to encourage you too!

 

Photo by Martin Sattler on Unsplash

Looking Up This Week

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Many Americans are turning their eyes toward the heavens this week as we experience one of the most unique solar eclipses since 1979. This is the perfect opportunity to stop and consider God’s creation and observe His amazing and ordered universe. I marvel at the work of His hands in creating the cosmos. Take some time this week to reflect on His handiwork and thank Him for all He has made. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 19. It’s a great passage to meditate on and memorize. Allow its truths to permeate your thinking this week.

 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.

 Yet their voice  goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

 

Here’s some websites to check out if you want to find out more about the eclipse:

https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive-info

http://time.com/4882923/total-solar-eclipse-map-places-view/

https://www.space.com/33797-total-solar-eclipse-2017-guide.html

Looking for fun space ideas to do with the kids? Check out www.positivemom.com

Photo by Michael on Unsplash

Prayer Risk

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There are times when we may feel as thought the riskiest thing we can do is pray and leave the results up to God. Praying is risky in human terms, because it is stepping out in faith and leaning in on God to accomplish far more than we could simply try to accomplish on our own. Prayer is an everyday risk. A person who devotes the early morning hour(s) in prayer is taking a risk – a risk that the hour could have been spent sleeping, working, striving or trying to make things happen on their own. Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Now that’s a risk taker and a praise maker. Luther had such strong faith in a great God who desires to answer prayer, that he risked three hours of his busy day on his knees!

When we look at some of the women in the Old Testament, we find several women who prayed and listened to God’s direction. Take Deborah for instance. You can find her story in Judges 4 & 5. Deborah had an extraordinary faith and ability to lead. Her giftedness seemed to stem from a woman who had an intimate relationship with God. She heard Him. She recognized His voice. God told her to go into battle, and He told her how to do it. We don’t know exactly how God spoke to Deborah, but we do know that she listened to Him. Her risk was not based on her own crazy ideas. The risk she took was based on the very words of God. There’s a lot of crazy opportunities in our world to take big risks, but let us be wise and move on the foundation of God’s word as well as looking to Him for direction.

Recently, a friend of mine struggled with some family members and their unwise choices. She wanted to fix them and change them, but she also realized her limitations to do so. As she prayed about the issues, she began to realize she was powerless to make a difference in her family member’s lives. She also realized that although she was powerless, God was powerful and able to do what she could not do. Instead of trying to fix the broken parts of their lives, she took the risk of pulling her hands off the situation and instead putting her hands together in prayer. She prayed consistently and emphatically that God would do the work and fight the battle.

Where do you need to take the risk of listening to God and praying for His direction instead of trying to fix things on your own?

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This is an excerpt from Positive Leadership Principles for Women.

 

Photo by Myles Tan on Unsplash

Truly Positive

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Over the last three weeks, we have examined a variety of qualities which positive people exhibit in their lives. These are simple and genuine characteristics of people who tend to look at the brighter side of life and also bring joy into the lives of others.

It’s easy to assume that positive people are insincere or fake, but my hope is that after joining me on this True Positive journey, you will discover that anyone (even the cup-half-empty people) can become sincerely positive. I want to encourage you over the next few months to take each of these 21 qualities and examine them. Choose one or two that you recognize you need to apply to your life, and be deliberate about living it out each day. Below, you will find a list of all the qualities for quick reference. Let me know which ones have impacted you personally. Stay positive my friend!

  • Focus
  • Being Real
  • Hope
  • Health
  • Thankfulness
  • Faith
  • Prayer
  • Growth
  • Courage
  • Perseverance
  • Purpose
  • Work
  • Stop complaining
  • Laughter
  • Happy List
  • Helping Others
  • Forgiveness
  • Patience
  • Refreshing Relationships
  • Big Picture
  • Encouragement

 

Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash