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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17 NKJV
This calling is a rather obvious one… but I would like to still touch on the topic of friendship.
What does it mean to be a true friend? Is it just a social thing? Obviously, it is not. If it were, we would not become so emotional when a friend is lost. Does it mean to be dependable? How about caring? Being a good listener? Offering advice when requested? Understanding and compassionate? I think all of those things and so much more are what make a good friend.
How many times have you been having a bad day, but a good friend called and you instantly cheered right up? I know for me, personally, I have just a few friends that I can vent to. Isn’t it nice to have someone who you can rant to and know that they won’t think differently of you for it? How about knowing you have someone praying for you when you need it? Or a friend who will be honest when your hair color washes you out and you’re jeans make you look great? And of course, it’s great to know you can turn to someone, pour your heart out, and know that anything you tell them won’t be passed on to someone else.
We should always strive to be a good friend, not a mediocre one. We can’t be perfect, but we should try to not be flaky, negative, or distant. Reliable, uplifting, close, and available as much as possible.
What are some ways you can minister to a friend though?
Remember, you can’t choose your family… You CAN choose your friends… CHOOSE WISELY!!! Never let anyone walk all over you in the name of “friendship.” Show God’s love, yes. Be a door mat, no.
And now, in honor of Karen and her love for nostalgic television, I leave you with this… Get the cheesecake!