March 17, 2015

Open for 2015 {Week 10}

To get the low down on what this series is all about click here.

Some really affirming things happened or were said to me in the last week, and it just plain felt good.  Sometimes a girl just needs a little encouragement, not because she is down or weary, but because she is human and loves to be noticed, appreciated, and uplifted now and then.

Oddly enough, for as much as I crave such things, I don't know what to do with them when they come.  I think, Is it too trite to say a simple thank you?  Can I think of a not-too-cheesy way to give God the glory?  I also quickly try to discredit them: Oh dear, if they only knew these other things about me, they would want to take back those kind words!

So this week with, a well-received blog post last Thursday, a really kind note from a friend on Facebook, and a sincere and loving email from my mom, and words that were spoken to me at our book study by a friend, I have been thinking about being OPEN to affirmation and encouragement.  Too often I crave it, and make it the ultimate thing.  (I over-check to see if people have 'liked' my Facebook posts; and I can get real grumpy if no one takes notice of what I'm doing for the family.  I'm selfish, y'all!)  Then if I don't get what I'm hoping for, I do get down.

But if I press on in what I know God is calling me to in a given moment, day, or year, with my eyes fixed on him and my heart determined to love Him and love others - something I have light-years to go to master - then when affirmation and encouragement come, I can thank the Lord for the gift!  And I can tell the messenger how God used them to touch my life.  Isn't it neat when someone shares with you how God used you to help, motivate, or encourage them?

Thankful is how I feel about this past week.  Outta no where when I least expected it, those words were a burst of wind in my sails, a warm breeze of love blowing over me from the Lord through the encouragers.  I have renewed energy to keep writing, to keep opening up our home, to keep reaching out, to believe that maybe God is doing something in and through me, to press on past the ever-present guilt prefectionism pours on me.

If you shared a word with me or liked or commented one of my blog posts this past week.  Thank you!  The Lord used to to uplift me and I am grateful.

Time to take action:

Early last week I sent a note to thank a friend who had said some things at our Own Your Life book discussion that were a huge blessing to me.  I felt a little dorky sending it, because it required revealing some of my insecurities.  But wouldn't you know it, she was as encouraged by my email as I had been about her remarks!  All that to say if you have something nice to say to someone or an observation to make about them, open up your lips and let it out.  This world, the flesh, and the devil bombard us with messages about how we are not measuring up, how useless we are, how we are one step away from being found out and ruined.  People are as desperate for kind words of encouragement and hope as you are.  This week, let's be messengers of hope, speaking words of life to the people we encounter inside our homes and out.

My friend, Sally, wrote a great post about kindness's power to give hope.  I encourage you to read that for further inspiration.

Press on in His way this week, friends, being OPEN to opportunities to give and receive affirmation.

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