Precious Gifts

gifts, heartfelt, affirmingOver the years, I’ve received many lovely gifts. Some were beautiful and extravagant. Others were practical items I’ve used and enjoyed. Still others filled an unspoken desire.

Among those I count the most precious are words straight from the heart. I still have a letter written to me several years ago by my employer. In it she expressed her appreciation for me not only as an employee but also for my personal traits. This was a rare gift and I treasure it.

Recently I received a simple card with You Are written on the inside.affirming words Underneath, in various handwritings, were words like loving, understanding, compassionate, funny and caring. For me, this was priceless.

Many years ago, a man I respected told me he kept a file folder labeled “encouragement.” In it were placed encouraging letters, notes, and cards he’d received over the years. Words of praise, admiration, thanks and support were saved in this file. He would reread these when he was feeling down and they would always give him the boost he needed.

After hearing this, I started a similar folder. The messages contained inside come from various areas of my life. They are precious gifts, reminders of times my heart has touched that of another. Rereading them is like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold winter day.

Encouraging, affirming words can bring hope. They have the power to change a life. Spoken words are wonderful but I believe those written are even more important. Because they can be reread at any time, their impact can continue many years after they were written.

It’s been a while since I sent a note to let someone know I appreciate them. Every day is a good day to send or receive encouragement. In fact, I have a few people in mind to reach out to today. How about you? Can you think of someone to share the precious gift of encouragement with?

Encouragement

#inspiration, encourage, supportWords 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

Preparing to Fly

#God, #inspiration, encouragement, practice
picture from images.search.yahoo.com

Do you hear that sound? The Canadian Geese are doing practice runs and we seem to be in their flight path. Maybe you are, too.

They spend weeks practicing before they actually attempt their long distance flight. On occasion, we have witnessed a gaggle of geese on a nearby pond start to honk as two or three were landing. It was like they were cheering the others on.

Did you know that the reason geese honk from behind is to encourage the ones in front of them? Also, when the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back and another takes its place as the lead.

I could learn from their teamwork. It makes sense to take turns doing the hard jobs and to encourage those who are taking the lead.

The V formation geese fly in allows the whole flock to have a much longer flying range than if one bird flew alone.

Again, this can apply to us. When we share a common direction, we can get there faster and easier if we travel with others. Not only can we learn from those we travel with, I find it more pleasant than travelling alone.

A flock of geese is like a family. They look out for each other. As part of the family of God, I am instructed to do the same. What a wonderful world it would be if we took our cue from the geese and everyone worked together and encouraged each other.

“Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other.” (Romans 12:10 GWT)

Help carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings.” (Galatians 6:2 GWT)