Monday, November 5, 2012



In preparation for Thanskgiving, I've been thinking about the blessings that have come to me this year and I've been trying to think about one thing in particular that has meant a lot to mewhich brought me to the idea of affirmations.  I'm so incredibly grateful for the little notes or texts emails or facebook comments I receive on an almost daily basis, even when nothing particularly traumatic is happening.  It’s just so nice to know that people care and it’s nice to know they think of me every once in a while and that they are willing to share a little moment of their time telling me about their day or asking me about mine.  :)

I find it particularly wonderful to hear the words “I’m proud of you...” every so often.  That simple little phrase makes my heart melt and brings tears to my eyes instantly.

It’s so comforting and fulfilling to hear that someone I admire thinks highly of me... or thinks of me at all, really. I have to admit, it is one of the few things that truly helps me feel ‘on track’ in life. When I can't hear a direct, "good job" from God, it's sure nice to hear it from those seek wisdom and advice from.

When Jed and I did our pre-marital counseling (either for counseling or on our own… I can’t remember) we read the book The 5 Love Languages again.  I think I ranked ‘Words of Affirmation’ second to last.  For me, quality time, physical touch and acts of service took the cake as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in the love language department.  I guess I never realized how much I really do need to actually hear loving things though.  

After years of trying to convince myself that I didn't need affirmation, confirmation, or recognition from those I looked up to... I'm beginning to realize just how heavily those comments weigh on my heart.  This recent realization came from my endeavors to work through some of the negative self-talk in my head. It's amazing how we can remember exact comments from so long ago and how deeply they can impact us.   I think it's really important to understand just how detrimental and hurtful words can be   ...and also how important and wonderful positive words can be too!

When I stop hearing ‘little praises’ here and there, it becomes more apparent how truly encouraging those little praises are.  I know that it helps my heart to hear when someone is happy with me.  All I want to do, after all, is please people. *An attitude that I have been  working on tweaking a bit in recent years …and a discussion/post for another time*  But truly, I love when people are pleased. I love it when I feel as though God is pleased. 

All that to say that I have been trying to remind myself how much I love to be encouraged an how I should, in turn, encourage others.  Everyone has their own unique 'love language' (and it may not always match mine) ...but I've been trying to do little things here and there  in hopes of loving others in the best way I can.

I encourage you to do the same! You probably already do... but just in case you need a little inspiration…

Words of Affirmation
Let someone know that you care with little, but meaningful, things like note or cards.  Share "little praises". Tell them when you are pleased, appreciative, honored, impressed. Check in over the phone, send a brief email or text just to say hi. Send encouraging verses or stories ...or just chat about life.

*If you know of someone who is particularly kind or attentive at their job,  take time to let their manager know how pleased you are with their service.
* If you see a child that is well-behaved or helpful (at the grocery store, for instance) compliment them in front of their parents.

Words of affirmation can be wonderful, especially in the work place. You could help someone, who deserves it, get a raise...who knows.  And kids need all the encouragement they can get. Who knows if they get any at home.
Quality Time
Take the time to sit down over dinner or coffee and talk with someone. Share prayer requests, disappointments, silly stories, history, and hopes.  Teach someone something new.  Find a common interest or new hobby. Give someone attention when they are busy getting on your last nerve ;)

Physical Touch
Give a hearty hug and a smile or even a little wink and nudge.

Receiving Gifts 
Send a little care package, a card or gift certificate. Tip above and beyond the regular guidelines when eating out.  Buy a meal or coffee for someone else the next time you go out.  Share your coupons or make something special for someone... like a craft or a meal.

Acts of Service
Help a loved one with the dishes, the laundry, a craft project, homework or cooking.  Help build, fix or move something. Bring them a drink or offer to take over a chore for them.

Let those that are struggling know that you are available, that you’re sorry they are hurting, that you empathize, that you’ll pray. Encourage service, outreach, rest, and prayer when things get tough and when things get easier too. Participate in fellowship, in outreach and be a shepherd who tends to the needs of those around you, whether they are emotional, spiritual or physical.

I so admire those who use their valuable time, energy and money to serve others and show them that someone cares! You are the little bit of sunshine is someone’s day… so keep shining!  Don’t get burnt out.  Do what you can, spend quality time with God, have some fun, laugh a little and spend some quality time relaxing too.

Thank you for all you do and thank you for being such an excellent example of Christ’s love to those around you! <3

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