Last year I choose a word for the year instead of a resolution. I love how that worked out last year. The Lord taught me many things through the study and focus on the word ‘Courage’. I think I will write up a recap of my courageous year perhaps later in the week.
I have been pondering and praying over what my word for 2010 should be.
I choose ‘encourage’ because it occurred to me how encouraging words are like a balm to my soul, like food to the starving or water to the thirsty.
When I’ve had, for instance, another mother tell me something positive about my children it makes up for an entire day of hard parenting. When I have someone complement me on my writing or parenting or cooking (rare!) or whatever it may be, when it is specific and sincere it fills me up. It occurred to me that I’m probably not the only one who feels this way.
I think encouraging things all the time. I think the complements and the kind thoughts all the time but I don’t often verbalize them. I’m not sure why but I’ve given it some thought.
I think part of the reason I often don’t express encouragement is because I don’t want to seem arrogant. Like I’m the expert on parenting and I am deigning to offer you a token of praise for a job well done from the master. I don’t want to seem patronizing or like I have it all together myself. I don’t want to appear that I think myself the expert in whatever field I am encouraging someone else in. But as I was praying over this word I realized that I have never once been encouraged myself and taken it this way.
So this year I choose to be actively, verbally, encouraging; to my children, to my husband, to my extended family, to friends and acquaintances, and even to strangers on the street. I’m asking God to show me circumstances where I can use the courage he taught me about last year and do His work by speaking life into others with encouraging words.