Do you ever feel like you are so close to where you need to be but are in a situation that is not ideal? So did Jacob in Genesis…
Watch and be encouraged!
Where are you at that you didn’t plan to be? How has God shown His presence to you there?
I haven’t done a nugget in a long time, but the thing about nuggets is that they don’t have to be an all the time thing. Nuggets are sweet little God drops that hit your spirit for such a time as this. I like to share my nuggets with you all because the other thing about nuggets is most of the time, they are just what someone is needing to hear.
As I was driving the other day I saw a newly planted tree. It wasn’t yet big or strong enough to support itself so it had stakes around it with strings wrapped around the trunk for extra support. Eventually the tree will grow stronger, it’s trunk will be thicker, and it will be able to weather any wind or storm that comes along all on its own.
I realized that newly planted Christians are the same way. These brothers and sisters in Christ are fresh and weak and most of the time can’t stand on their own. For the first little while, they will need extra support and strength from older, wiser, “been there/done that” men and women of God. With the prayers and guidance from “tough, sturdy, mighty oaks,” new Christians will begin to flourish and thrive. Then they’ll be able to turn around and do the same thing —– offer extra support to yet another fresh “tree” in the kingdom.
If you’re a little bit of a weaker Christian needing to become established and firmly planted, surround yourself with Godly saints who not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. And if you’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, then step up and be an encourager to those who are young in the Lord.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Clickety clack, clickety clack – that’s usually the sound of the shopping cart I select every time I shop. Don’t know why I always get that one cart that wobbles and clicks with every rotation of the bumpy wheels. It is a very irritating and distracting noise and people look at you funny when you continue to utilize the thing rather than selecting another. If there’s a crowd behind you waiting for a cart, you tend to seize the first one and get on with your foray into the wonderful world of Wal-Mart. Generally, I try each cart until I find a nice, quiet one, wipe off the handles with the anti-bacterial sheets provided and begin my adventure.
A few days ago I found myself at the usual “get a quiet cart” frame of mind as I entered the hallowed halls of Wal-Mart. Barring the cart line was a small number of residents from the local group home – I love those people and make it a point to speak to them. One gentleman pulled out a cart for me and smiled, “I will pull out your cart – here lady I got your cart for you!” I smiled and thanked him and began my journey. Not only did the cart sound clickety clack so that people stared – it made a clickety, CLANG, clack clack. Loudest cart I ever did hear in my life – it should have been retired. And – not only that – it was rolling crooked at a slight angle. About ten feet away from the generous, kind little gentleman, I decided to return the cart and get another. However, an afterthought came through loud and clear!
“No. keep the cart. If the man sees you he will be hurt that you returned it.”
I argued with myself and said to me, “Well, surely he will understand.”
I replied to me, “No he won’t. Keep this cart. He will consider it a rebuke. Keep the cart.” I kept the cart.
clickety, CLANG, clack clack
With every amused stare from the general public, I stood up straight and tall, held my head high and smiled sweetly knowing a sweet little guy from the group home felt good about giving his shopping cart away. I also sensed a little nudge of ENcouragement from the Lord that gave enough courage to endure the remainder of my loud, clickety, CLANG, clack, clack, sidewinder cart adventure. Jesus probably had a little laugh about this one.
Last Summer, I had a hysterectomy. When I went in for my 6 week check up, I was feeling rather discouraged. I wasn’t sleeping very well and my anxiety was through the roof. I was sure that this was due to my recovery, but quickly my OB/GYN gave me a word of encouragement that he said was from God.
He stopped me as I was
talking er… complaining… and asked how things were going in my spiritual life. He saw me pray while in labor before, but in general, he and I had never discussed spirituality or anything related. I had no idea he was even a Christian!
I. Was. In. Complete. Shock. Who goes to the gynecologist and expects spiritual counseling?
My response, “Everything’s great!” The Doctor just looked at me. He’d known me too long to know if I was confident in what I was saying or not. He had seen me through 2 full term pregnancies, a miscarriage, and many other ordeals. He knew that I just gave a quick generic answer instead of a truthful one.
Imagine what was going through my head and heart at this point: I started crying. As he gave me the word that God had just for me, I realized that I hadn’t been listening to my Savior. The Lord had to use my doctor, someone I would have never considered, to get my attention. Shame came over me, but I felt so thankful that He cared enough to use a completely strange way to snap my focus back to where it should have been.
As my doctor took my hand and started to pray with me, I felt a peace come over me. I knew that God had used this man to give me a message, and felt the Holy Spirit confirm it in my heart.
Driving home from my appointment that day was rather interesting. I laughed and cried. The laughter was from the awkward moment right after our discussion that my doctor started naming girly body parts as he asked as I was healing and then did an exam. I thought back to what was going on in my mind at that time, “Is this really happening? Am I really experiencing a spiritual awakening while naked from the waist down and talking about my va-jay-jay with my gyno?” (Admit it, you’d laugh too. In fact, you’re probably laughing now.) God has a sense of humor, obviously. But the tears were from pure joy. I had indeed felt the love that God has for me that day. All I had to do was learn to put my trust FULLY in Him instead of worrying about what was going on around me. The Lord would take care of it all, and my worry was unnecessary. My feelings were those of refreshment and relief.
Has God ever reached out to you in an unconventional way to get your attention? I’d love to hear about it!
August of 2011, God began to speak to me about encouragement. He began to pour into my spirit about the need for encouragement, especially among women. All of sudden there it was–Encouragement Party! He had given me a fresh, new idea to spread encouragement. I grabbed a pen and paper and my brain was going so fast that my hand could barely keep up! Some of you may remember me writing about the Encouragement Party. If not, please check it out here.
God had given me an outline for the purpose of the Encouragement Party (which you can also view by clicking the link above) and I threw an Encouragement Party for my church ladies on September 8th of last year. We had a wonderful time! As I spent the week getting things together, I came across an advertisement in the mail that let me know the National Day of Encouragement was coming up on September 12th. Something I didn’t even know existed. Don’t you love how God works?
You may be wondering how we were able incorporate encouragement into our festive night of fellowship and food. Here are just a few examples:
*Each lady got to take home a paper with their name written at the top. Underneath their name, every other person there had written something positive and uplifting about that particular lady.
*Each lady was given a piece of Dove chocolate. Why? #1, it’s chocolate! #2, every Dove chocolate wrapper has a fun, cute saying. My favorite is “You look good in red!” I decided to hang that one on the fridge for a while. Who doesn’t love a compliment?!
*We had door prizes to give away and guess what–we ended up with just enough door prizes for each lady that was there to get one. God is always prepared.
*Each lady wrote their name/address/phone number/email on an index card and we put them in a stack. They then took turns drawing an index card out of the stack. They were asked to send a card to the woman whose name was on the index card they drew, or maybe give her a quick call just to see how her day is going, sometime in that coming week.
I know these seem to be simple things, but when it comes to encouragement, simple is BIG. Nothing is too small for encouragement!
This was when I became so crazy about encouragement and becoming an encourager. Our Week of Encouragement (we celebrated from September 10-14 this year, if you missed it, please go back through our blogs!) came to me this year to help celebrate the National Day of Encouragement. I hope and pray that it wasn’t for just me, and that you all enjoyed/needed it, too.
Something else I added this year was a name/number/email/address exchange with all the ladies in my Sunday School class. I sent a card to the woman whose name I got. The woman who got my name called me one afternoon and we had a long chat that was such a blessing to me and really put some light into my day. We all enjoyed it so much that we decided we would exchange again several times and not celebrate only once a year.
If you celebrated, or are still celebrating (like we all should be!), please feel free to let us know how. We’d love to know what encouraging ideas you have so please, please, please share!
Just because Encouragement Week is over on Sticky Hands doesn’t mean encouragement is over for good. Encouragement is a necessary tool, as a giver and receiver, to get through life. I’m definitely going to continue on in this uplifting movement, and I hope you plan to do the same.
Think of something special (big or small) that someone has done for you in your life. Remember how amazing it made you feel to know that someone cared? That’s why this is so important. I know how great it feels when someone shares encouragement with me, and that’s why I have been so adamant about sharing it with all of you.
I pray you have enjoyed this week as much as I have. Stay tuned— I’ll be writing a follow-up blog to let you know how I celebrated this week with my family. I can’t wait to hear about the many different ways you have all celebrated, so please be sure to share with us!
To all of you that participated this week, no matter how much or how little, from the bottom of my heart I thank you!
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.”
I have a small gift for you today— two printables! One printable I created for you so you can have a few encouraging scriptures on hand. Use these scriptures, but don’t stop there! God’s word is absolutely full of encouragement for us and He meant for us to USE it. We need to dig deep into His word for ourselves and for those around us.
The second printable I created simply to use as a reminder. A reminder of what encouragement is, a reminder that God wants to use us to uplift others, and a reminder that He has sent people into our lives to uplift us. We can’t forget the little blessings!
I know it isn’t much, but I hope you can use these once in a while to make a difference. Have a happy and joyful day!
Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win Conversation Starters for Girlfriends by DaySpring!
Click the following links to download:
Today is the actual day for the National Day of Encouragement. Today is the day that inspired me to make it a week long celebration! How was it founded? Wikipedia says,
“The National Day of Encouragement in the United States was announced in 2007 and occurs each year on September 12.The Encouragement Foundation at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas launched an effort to get Americans to participate in this Day of Encouragement. The first proclamation for the Day of Encouragement was made by Mayor Belinda LaForce of Searcy, Arkansas on August 22, 2007. In September Mike Beebe, the Governor of Arkansas, signed a proclamation making September 12, 2007 the “State Day of Encouragement” for Arkansas. Later, President George W. Bush also signed a message making September 12 the official “National Day of Encouragement.””
Whatever the founding details, I sure am glad we have this day to celebrate! And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m doing my very best to spread the word about the National Day of Encouragement. I know each and everyone of you are helping me and I honestly appreciate that. And to show my appreciation for your help and support (and encouragement!), we’re having a giveaway!!!
One of you will win your very own Conversation Starters For Girlfriends from DaySpring. It comes with 31 adorable Question & Verse Cards to help start faith conversations with your girlfriends. These are great for hanging out with the girls, your Bible study group, Sunday school class, or women’s meetings.
Make sure you all enter for chance to win below! And thanks so much for being a part of our Encouragement Week! 🙂
a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you couldn’t tell by my earlier posts, let me just put this out there….I’m a super big fan of snail mail! Any time I get a card or letter in the mail, my entire day gets ten times better and my smile becomes about a foot wide. I don’t assume that I am the only one with a snail mail obsession, so from time to time, I try to be sure I send a card or letter to others. I love, love, love buying cards to keep on hand. I have tons on standby, just waiting for me to get hit with the urge to send.
In keeping with the celebration of Encouragement Week, I have decided to bring the cards out and start sending…….to you! If you love snail mail and uplifting moments as much as I do, send an email with your name and address to email@example.com along with the words “Seeking Encouragement” in the subject line. If I receive an email from you, then get ready– your snail mail is on the way! It may be the same week or it may be the next month, but if you aren’t watching and waiting, it just might pop up and surprise you!
I’m looking forward to hearing from you and I’m really looking forward to using my cards! Have a blessed and encouraged week!
Today is the kickoff to our Week of Encouragement. The world we’re living in is a place full of hate and discouragement. That being said, a little word or gesture of encouragement goes a long way. We all love to be encouraged, and we all need to be encouraged. There’s no better way to start a move of encouragement when you need encouragement than by becoming an encourager yourself.
What does it mean to encourage? By definition, encourage is a verb, meaning to inspire with courage, spirit, confidence or hope. A verb implies action, therefore, you cannot be an encourager without DOING. I hope all of our readers will become involved and active with us as we celebrate this week.
Chances are, you already have someone in mind that you feel could use an extra dose of encouragement. Maybe even more than one someone. You now know what it means to encourage and since you have that down, let me add some simple tips on how you can be an encourager this week (and in the future):
For more ideas, you can also check out a previous blog of mine entitled Uplift Someone.
Once you’ve read this blog, you won’t have any excuses when it comes to uplifting others. Use this How-To and have a fun-filled week encouraging the people in your life. Do you have any ideas to add to our list? Be sure and share them with us on the comment section below. I’d love to hear about how you became an encourager or how someone else encouraged you!