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Creative Encouragement

The word encouragement is a noun, but it is an action word. It's the act of giving support, confidence, or hope. We can't think an encouragement. We have to DO an encouragement. If there ever was a time for this - it's now!

Everyone needs regular encouragement. Simply saying, "Thank you, you've done a good job," can brighten someone's whole day. Hugs and handshakes are discouraged these days with COVID, so we have to get creative.

Sometimes, it's the simplest of things that carry the greatest impact.

- A phone call, "I've been thinking about you."

- A pretty note in the mail.

- A little gift "just because".

Just a hand on someone's shoulder, or sharing a shawl with a friend who's chilly, can bring God's kindness when you least expect it. It's the little things.

Encouragement is like God's manna in the wilderness. Yesterday's encouragement doesn't always fill today's needs.

We first have to learn how to draw on the Lord's encouragement. We can't always depend on people. Besides, God's goal is to transform us into being His encouragers.

It was a real turning point in my life as a widow when I stopped waiting for people to encourage ME and looked for those I could reach out to.

I needed to buffer loneliness so I started an art group. A few of us gather weekly to work on our individual projects. My studio is big enough so we can spread out. (It's hard to hold back the hugs, so we do a lot of fist bumping!)

Maybe a recipe group is something to try. Each gal brings something to taste and a copy of the recipe to pass out. Writer's critique groups, book clubs, Bible studies, and prayer groups. There are so many creative ways to encourage one another AND chase away the winter blues and loneliness. Like I said, "Get Creative!"

Why not make a creative encouragement plan? Perhaps list three people, you don't normally talk with, to call and encourage.

Here are a few guidelines for being a good encourager.

1. Keep the focus of your conversation on the person you want to bless.

2. Sharing God's Word is always the best ingredient.

3. Try to be a good listener.

4. End with a simple prayer.

Bonus: top off your phone conversation with a note in the mail.

"I enjoyed visiting with you. You are in my prayers."

Happy creative encouragement . . . please share your ideas!


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