Have you ever felt the pure gift of specific encouragement? When someone takes the time to affirm and lift you up? Specifically for WHO you are and WHY you make a difference on this earth?
Specific encouragement is the biggest gift we can give to another human.
When we express our gratitude through heartfelt encouragement, hearts mend, confidence builds, wounds restore and days brighten.
Let me tell you about my friend Linda. She is 60 with five grown kids and her 10th grandbaby on the way. She runs a Christian School for more than 500 homeschool families, mentors hundreds of women and she’s not even close to dialing it down. She’s my next-door neighbor and my dear friend.
I was struck deeply with her latest project. Through many events and God promptings – she decided she wanted to go on a serious journey of gratitude. She had enough with the simple list of “thanks God” – and want to experience and express gratitude. Go above and beyond to make sure loved ones KNEW how much they impacted her life.
She is traveling to states and countries – back to the person that brought her to know Christ – to authors that rocked her thinking – to speakers that changed her heart – to women that inspired her – and she is thanking them in person. A letter would have been neat, but she wants to be with them – and tell them specifically how they impacted her life.
She is just beginning this journey of gratitude. We sat on my porch the other night to catch up. This one story struck me deeply. She met one of her many mentors and a giant speaker/author and spoke with him about his impact. He said, “Are you terminally ill?” He was so struck with her efforts to thank him – he thought she must be sick. Wow. He’s so right.
So few people take the time to truly encourage and affirm those around them until it’s almost too late or too late.
I have always loved encouraging others, but her project has inspired me. I wrote my college PR professor and simply thanked him – but very specifically. I told him why he left a mark on my life.
I don’t ever want it to be too late for me. What if I was gone tomorrow? What if my kids or those I cherish were gone too soon? Take today and tell those you love what you’ve wanted to say. Go find those people that made a difference – the Sunday school teacher, the volunteer, the friend in high school – and tell them.
Tell the ones closest to you what you really feel. We always assume they know. However you feel led – an email, a text, a letter or a visit with flowers.
Let’s never forget to be specific. I love to watch a mom in action and tell her what I noticed. Don’t we all feel we are failing? Don’t we always wonder if we are enough? Think of one mom today that you have seen in action and tell her specifically why she’s doing a great job.
Sarah – I watched you in action this weekend at my house with Claire and Drew. You are gentle and kind and patient. You are a calm, confident, sweet mother and those kids adore you. They are simply precious. Respectful and wonderful children with individual and endearing personalities. I loved having each of you in my home. Keep up the great work. I can tell the love and time you invest in them at home. I know it’s exhausting – but it’s paying off. Stay the course!