Saturday, October 6, 2007

encouragement

My Grandpa is an encourager. Even as a kid, I remember feeling safe and protected in his home. He and Grandma were always on my side, even when I was screwing things up. The other day he sent me a short email, “Great blog post today! Keep looking for similar opportunities to write.”

It made my day. Over the course of my life, these short bursts of encouragement have had a huge impact on me. When the voices in my head tell me I’m no good, the soft, kind words from the encouragers in my life whisper the truth.

Do you build people up with your words, or tear them down? Do you actively look for opportunities to encourage your children? And not just a blanket, “Great job, kid,” but a specific word of truth spoken into the heart of your child?

“I was proud of you today out on the soccer field. You worked really hard and did a great job following your coach’s directions.”

“You have a fantastic sense of humor. I enjoy spending time with you.”

Our words have the power to build our kids up or tear them down. I'm not an advocate of the constant "great job eating those cheerios" pseudo-praise that's so popular today, but truthful, specific words of kindness will build into them a true sense of worth, rooted in the love of Christ shown through us. Speak the truth to your child today, and watch his or her face as you say it. The effect is immediate.

“Thoughtless words cut like a sword. But the tongue of wise people brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)

4 comments:

Marmot Mom said...

LM your post brought tears to my eyes. I've never had grandparents--or parents for that matter--who would write a note like your grandfather did. What a treasure! I hope he reads this and sees the legacy of encouragement he is building in you. Hope I'll be that grandparent some day:)

Jenny from Chicago said...

I love that your grandfather reads your blog. I think that says a lot about him right there. We should all aspire to be an "encourager" to the people around us. You've inspired me.

Llama Momma said...

Marmot Mom -- You will be that grandparent someday. :-)

jenny -- I love that he reads my blog too! He's a special man.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I think that reading your grandaughter's blog AND taking the time to write her an email encouragement is priceless beyond measure - way to go Grandpa.

And of course, LM, you realize that if you weren't willing to be vulnerable and write the things you do, he wouldn't be able to actually know this side of you, nor would we be able to see this side of him. It takes some courage to be that vulnerable - so continue to "only be strong and courageous!"