Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gift of Encouragement

Last Saturday I participated and helped to plan a brunch for the women of Life Church. I was hesitant to get involved because I still don't have too many relationships at church even though we've been going there for nearly a year. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and just do it. I signed up for the planning committee and actually knew at least half of the other women from the small group we joined in the fall. I breathed a quiet sigh of relief. The actual brunch was amazing and I put myself out there and had a good time. I talked with some people I hadn't met before and thanked God that He made us to be in relationship, even when it's hard.

One of the most beneficial parts was the little talk that Mindy, our pastor's wife, gave. The topic was on encouragement and influence - neither are things that I regularly think about. But as women, we have an innate, God-given ability to encourage those in our lives. Some key points that stood out to me where:
  • Our ability to encourage others starts with a solid understanding of how God made us just the way we are. We need to embrace ourselves and our gifts before we can encourage others. Sometimes our insecurities stop us from being in relationship with other women because of jealous issues. Let's not allow our hang ups about ourselves get in the way of godly friendships.
  • We can and should be setting visions for those in our lives. Through encouraging the talents and gifts of others, we can help them see their worth in God and this world. It's amazing how quickly people can flourish when they are noticed and encouraged. This came as an exciting challenge to me. I want to be someone in Miles' life who sees what he can do and who he can be because of God. 
  • We need to notice others. I realized that I can't encourage anyone until I notice when people are struggling or when they are excelling at something difficult. Selfishness is a huge barrier to allowing our words and actions to bless others. If we never look away from ourselves, we can't possibly let someone know that we are praying for them or tell them that they are gifted at something.
I'm so glad that I took the time to get to know some new faces and to serve God through helping plan the event. I also got to design the visuals for the event! Being an introvert and creating new relationships is tricky but I'm learning.

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