The shoe lady did it for me, and it meant everything.
Somebody is DESPERATE for you to do it for them. In fact, somebody's day, week, or month is hanging on whether or not you'll do it.
Someone needs you to ENCOURAGE them.
Last week we took our son to get some new shoes for the upcoming school year. As we were leaving, the shoe saleswoman took me aside and said, "Your children are really polite. I don't see enough of that and I just wanted to tell you you're doing a great job with them."
I almost hugged her in the middle of LLBean. Like, we're talking a hug with a leg wrap. With those simple words, Nancy the shoe lady was pretty much my favorite person ever!
Why did a comment like that mean so much?
Because I was DESPERATE for a word of encouragement--specifically in regards to parenting. A day or two earlier I was up at night sobbing my eyes out, feeling like I was failing as a mom. Feeling like I was getting it wrong. Feeling worthless and ineffective in the very area I want more than anything to get right.
I needed those words. I mean, I really really needed them. But it required a woman taking an extra 30 seconds out of her life to share them with me for me to have what meant so much to me that day.
When did you last go out of your way to encourage someone?
To let someone know how much you look up to them/respect them/love them/appreciate them/get them?
To pass along a compliment you heard about them? I mean, let's be honest: A lot of times people will say great things ABOUT someone but never get around to saying great things TO them. And that just means that the ones who most need to hear, often never do. What a loss!
Will you do it today? Pick up the phone, send a tweet or Facebook message, drop a card in the mail, fill out a comment card for that great employee at the store, let a manager know of exceptional service, drop off a treat and kind note to the grumpy neighbor, or just let someone know they came to mind. And, last but certainly not least, it's pretty important to be lavish in encouraging the ones under our same roof!
So are you in? Let me know how you encouraged someone! Can't wait to read what encouragement looked like in your life today. :)
* Many thanks to my stepmother Peggy, who is ridiculously good at encouraging and an amazing role model in this area, and Christine Niles, an awesome woman and friend who goes out of her way to serve others in encouragement!
Encourage one another DAILY,
as long as it is still called today,
so that none of you may be hardened
by sin's deceitfulness.