encouragement over time (fmf).

Today, just for kicks, I’m linking up with a group of online folks who participate in what’s called Five Minute Friday – you write for five minutes only, saying no to the backspace key and editing altogether, and you see what comes out on the other end of your timer.  I kind of like it.  Join in, will you?

The word?  ENCOURAGEMENT.  

Not my kid - but still cute.
Not my kid – but still cute.

Remember when the book The Five Love Languages hit Christian air waves, so to speak?  Although without a spouse at the time, I took seriously the overall premise of the book: there are five main love language every human speaks – and in order to more fully know yourself and those you love, we need to know each other’s love language.

Like the suction cup my son now sticks to the walls of the bathtub, I sucked up the book. I read and I underlined my crinkled rose-colored copy; I scribbled in the margins, and when I finally found my chapter, the one with the greatest number of asterisks and exclamation points, I declared my language official: I was an encourager.

So I quickly learned to dish out encouragement, because, I mean, naturally, I was so good at it – but I also learned to seek out encouragement in my relationships with others, because these empowering words meant everything to me.

But as time has gone by, I think my mode of encouragement has changed a bit: because sometimes encouragement isn’t found in writing the perfect card or in coming up with the exquisitely-formed sentence of exhorting delight, but it’s simply found in saying, “I get it.”  “I understand.”  “I’ve been there.”

And sometimes the greatest encouragement we can offer is a knowing glance, an understanding smile, a hearing heart.

STOP.  

Five Minute Friday

What about you?  When you think of the word, “encouragement,” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind?  How then do you best receive encouragement these days?  

19 thoughts on “encouragement over time (fmf).

  1. You are so right about just saying “I get it” or “I’ve been there” – reminds me of a quote by Henri Nouwen: “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” – it’s so true!

    1. What a fabulous, perfect quote by Nouwen – we share in the pains and the wounds are touched with warm and tender hand. Mmm, that’s just edible. PS: I love that we were both on each other’s sites at the same time!

  2. My friend Dave is the master of that knowing-glance-encouragement, Cara. reading your post here made me think of him, and that put a smile on my face.

    Thanks for the smile.

    Tim

    1. Ooh, the knowing glance encouragement – I forgot about that one. That too is one of my faves these days {she says with a knowing glance encouragement.}

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be. carameredith.com

  3. Yes! I have been learning how valuable it is to have(and to be) someone who listens and acknowledges the other persons pain or feelings. To encourage by simply being there! I need to pull out my copy of this book. It has been a long time!

    1. Jhona, to listen and to acknowledge – that is powerful simplicity, isn’t it? I’m afraid my copy is long gone, but there are certain nuggets of it I won’t soon forget!

  4. Encouragement makes me think of my mom — my biggest fan and so supportive! That’s such a wonderful love language — I don’t even remember that chapter. Mine is acts of service, I think.

  5. Sometimes encouragement isn’t found in writing the perfect card or in coming up with the exquisitely-formed sentence of exhorting delight, but it’s simply found in saying, “I get it.” ”I understand.” ”I’ve been there.” And sometimes the greatest encouragement we can offer is a knowing glance, an understanding smile, a hearing heart.

    Amen, Sister!

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