Words of encouragement have great power. Recently I learned something that helps me understand this more fully.
The word encourage is made up of the prefix en and the word courage. En means to put into. Therefore when you encourage someone you put courage into them. I loved this thought!
Personally, there have been many times when I didn’t have the confidence to take on a task or responsibility. All it took was someone to believe in me and offer encouragement and I felt equipped to move forward.
I hadn’t thought about this giving me courage, but that is exactly what it did. When others showed they believed in me, it was easier to believe in myself. That confidence allowed me to accomplish things I never thought I could.
As the year draws to a close, I reflect on all those who took the time to offer me encouragement this year. You kept me going when I felt I had nothing left to offer. Your support allowed me to blossom. My life is richer because of you. Thank you for making a difference in my life.
At the same time, I hope my words or actions have encouraged you in one way or another.
Moving forward, may we each put courage into those around us by recognizing their gifts and talents and expressing our belief in them.
“Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.” Dave Willis
“Squat down like you’re going to sit in a chair,” the exercise instructor told us. “When you are almost there, change your mind and stand up again. Now repeat, and again.”
The exercise was effective but I couldn’t help laughing at the thought that came to mind. If changing my mind is exercise, I should be way more fit for all the years of practice I’ve had!
Do you ever second-guess your decisions and keep changing your mind? Questions such as; What if I made a mistake? Why did I agree to do something so challenging? Will I look like a fool? go through my mind.
These would either paralyze me or turn me into someone who only made decisions to please others. It all came down to a lack of confidence. I wanted you to like me and thought I had to be and say who you wanted me to be in order for that to happen. In other words, I didn’t believe in myself.
Moments like this still occur in my life, but not to the same extent. It wasn’t easy but I have learned to voice my opinions. Just because someone doesn’t agree with me doesn’t mean they reject me. The more I practice this, the more confidence I gain.
This allows me to make a decision and stick with it. It looks like changing my mind will no longer be enough exercise for me!
Have you ever tucked away mementos for safe-keeping and then forgotten about them? I have. Recently I opened a drawer to place something else inside and knew it was time to sort through the over-stuffed contents.
Everything was removed as I considered whether to keep or discard the items. A large stack of cards from a milestone birthday took up half the drawer. I enjoyed reading them before they went to recycling. Assorted family photos brought back many happy memories. Those went back in the drawer.
Photo ID cards for my husband and me from Expo 86 in Vancouver showed that time hasn’t been standing still. In my mind, I look the same, but the mirror tells a different story!
Most of the items were familiar but one caught me by surprise. I don’t remember it and have no idea who gave it to me. Since it was with items more than ten years old, I’m assuming this bookmark has been tucked away quite some time.
The words You Are a Lover of Words . . . One Day, You Will Write a Book” are printed at the top. A lovely sentiment is below. Today you know me as a writer, but what you may not know, is I only started writing five years ago. Three years ago, my first book was released.
Someone saw a gift in me many years before I had the confidence to believe in myself. Now, reading this bookmark brings tears to my eyes. I was meant to be a writer. Pretending it wasn’t possible didn’t stop the process, only delayed it. The voice in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough was lying.
I’m telling you this because I believe many of you have also let this critical voice stop you from going after your dreams. Don’t believe the lies. Tell it to STOP and then go and do what you were born to do.
I’m living my dream. What’s yours?
School is officially out for the summer. The graduation ceremonies have come to an end for this year. Ceremonies are an important way to honour the achievements of those moving on to new areas in their lives.
What used to be exclusive to those leaving high school and university has now been extended to many other levels as well. My husband and I recently attended ceremonies for grandchildren leaving both pre-school and kindergarten. One of them invited us to come to her “Congratulation Day”.
This seemed to me to be a very appropriate term. The purpose behind the ceremony is to present certificates, awards and offer congratulations to those that have reached this milestone in their lives.
Thinking about congratulations, I realize how important it is to recognize and celebrate achievements. What may seem insignificant to one person may be a milestone to another. The milestones in my life will not look the same as they do in the life of someone else. I have learned that each small step forward enables me to take another one. As these steps accumulate, I am able to reach goals and dreams that wouldn’t be possible if I stood still. Therefore, each step is one to be celebrated.
Jesus is the one who celebrates each step with me. He gives me the confidence to move forward. With his guidance I will achieve greater things for him that I ever thought possible.
Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord. The Lord will be his confidence. Jeremiah 17:7 GWT
A person’s steps are directed by the Lord, and the Lord delights in his way. Psalm 37:23 GWT