I never thought I’d publicly thank Ashton Kutcher or begin following him, but today is the day.
Ashton, thank you for giving me clarity around a message I’ve been wanting to say for months.
I believe we are faced with opportunities every day and often every hour to speak into the lives of other people. Every person is looking for affirmation, love, support and hope. Each person comes from backgrounds – some shared often and some never spoken. Some so dark and deep, but well covered by their smiles. Some so quiet, but hurting immensely. Some friends are perfectly pleasant but will just whisper a hint of their ache.
We have a choice.
To go for bravery and courage – and just SPEAK. AFFIRM. ENCOURAGE.
Or, we can let fear, insecurities and doubt lead us to unknown – the land of never knowing. The WHAT IF.
Ashton, you are brave and courageous. You could’ve gone 100 different routes with your Teen Choice speech. However, you chose well. You realized your chance and your opportunity. How many times would you be able to SPEAK into the lives of teens and they would listen? Bravo.
We don’t have to be a celebrity to take that chance. Thousands don’t have to find us so sexy. Today, my babysitter was saying goodbye for college. I saw in her eyes the fear and the anxiety. I took just 3 minutes and spoke boldly. I wrote a list of prayer requests for her. I told her I would pray on Friday as she flew there. I didn’t shove her out the door. I don’t care if she thinks I’m that bible-beating family. I took the chance. I want her to know she isn’t alone at college and our family cares for her.
People along my path have stopped long enough to speak into me – words, simple words, have put wind in my career sail, marriage sail, entrepreneur sail. I am just paying it forward and I’m also just copying what I saw in my mother. We have that chance to role model encouragement for our kids. When the grocery clerk mentions a rough day, don’t just nod – show compassion and take a minute to hear her.
You may not feel your influence is large, but IT IS! And, I pray God will show you how big even in the midst of motherhood. And you might feel you have nothing to share with another, but your life experience or your compassionate, tender ear is enough. You just be there and offer hope and love for the next person. Here are some ideas.
- The next time you see a friend, ask “How are you REALLY doing?” and really stop to listen
- If a message or a blog post by a “famous person” or author really moves you – let them know. I can’t tell you how often I have done this (with pure motives of gratitude) and I’m shocked at how often they respond. I think because these names are “big” we assume they know they are great. Tell some big names specifically how they impacted you.
- Find a young person in your church or neighborhood and help them dream or be sure of themselves. Remember how hard it was at that stage? Believe in them!
- Go through Facebook and encourage/affirm photos or status updates.
- Take on babysitters as sweet mentees. “How can I pray for you?” is a great start.
- Next time you are with a mom, affirm her really specifically – “You’re a great mom, I love the way you..”
How to create little encouragers? Be encouraging.
Who is the most encouraging person in your life?
How has encouragement helped you as a mom?