What does it mean to be an Encourager?
For some reason I can't stop thinking about this tonight. Perhaps it's because the last few months have been tough for me, and with Christmas just around the corner, our lives are in hyper-drive.
Or maybe it's all the mashed potatoes I ate for dinner talking...
Tonight I was remembering the words of a fellow mom. Not someone I know well at all. Barely an acquaintance really. I think it was about a year ago when she stopped me in the hall at Annie's preschool. I had just dropped off Annie, and Ellie and Austin were already at school, so I was alone as I hurried out of the building. This woman called out my name, and I turned around with my "always a friendly face" smile on and greeted her. She smiled sweetly and seemed a little nervous as she said, "I just want to tell you something..."
You are a wonderful mother. I watch you, and I just really felt like today I was supposed to tell you that. I've been meaning to say it for awhile. You really are. You are doing a great job.
I thanked her, gave her a hug, told her how sweet she was, and thanked her again. That day I walked a little taller, and had a little more patience.
She was an Encourager.
And today as I remember that, tears fill my eyes, because...Wow, it still touches me that she told me that.
So many times as a mother of some really great, but sometimes really difficult kids, it's the negative stuff that gets my attention.
The nasty look from a stranger at the grocery store, the loudly spoken comment from a shopper at Target, the direct condemnation from an old lady at McDonald's, the glances and whispers from acquaintances at the pool, the disappointed face of a once loved teacher...When you add that all up, it's crushing.
But she was an Encourager.
She's not the only one. There was the kind old lady at Bass Pro who told me she'd survived, and I would too. The man at Wal-Mart who reminded me to be thankful even in the midst of a tantrum. And of course, there are the kind, uplifting words of my family and friends. Without them I don't know how I would survive sometimes.
I guess what I'm trying to say is Be an Encourager. Make someones day. Smile at the exhausted mother, hold the door open for the older man, or even tell someone how great they are. Speak kind words, and watch someones face light up.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you."
2 Corinthians 13:10-12