Serene Sunday - you can find serenity by knowing when to encourage.
Throughout the month of October, Serene Sundays have been devoted to encouragement. The articles have dealt with why you should encourage, who to encourage and how to encourage. This, the last of the Serene Sunday encouragement series, will deal with when to encourage.
As I have stated in the previous articles on encouragement, most forms of encouragement are free. So there is no reason not to spread it lavishly. I am a bread and butter girl. It is a huge indulgence and even though I am trying to lose weight and get into better shape, I have not kicked the bread and butter habit. I like a piece of warm bread covered with soft, creamy, sweet butter. That is how I think of encouragement, as something you spread so that it covers the subject with its warm, soft deliciousness.
Here is a list of when it is proper to encourage people:
1. all day
2. every day
2. every day
I think that you will find my short list to be quite inclusive.
Encourage your children to have a good day of learning at school. Encourage your spouse to have a good day at work making the money. Encourage your friends to have a good shopping trip and not to forget to pick up the eggs. Encourage your office mates to meet deadlines and go for promotions. Encourage your social media contacts to go for the next opportunity, to start that new series. Encourage your friend to write that novel she has been threatening to write for the past two years. Encourage an old classmate to go get the Ph.D., she knows she wants to earn. Encourage everyone, all day, every day.
I believe this with all my heart. I try to encourage people. When my teenie bopper was three, she said she wanted to build a time machine. I believed she could do it and encouraged her. When my husband shut down one business enterprise and started another, I told him that I believed in him and that he could do it with his hands behind his back and his calculator in his briefcase. When my son asks me if I think he will beat the levels on one of those crazy video games he plays, I tell him. Of course, he will figure it out and that I believe in him. When the big twin asked me, "Mommy do you think I will do good in kindergarten?" I told her of course she would. She responded that since I believed in her, she knew she could do it. One of the funniest and cutest things you will ever see is my youngest twin, the author of the blog The Famous Camille, when she says, "I am Camille Davis. I am small but I am mighty. I am a Davis woman, I can do anything." I asked her why she thought that and she said, "Mommy, you gave me wings, now I can fly." I have encouraged heart into her. It is one of my greatest joys as a mother. Encourage everyone, all day, every day.
Little kids learning to walk need encouragement. Senior citizens facing retirement and moving from their homes to retirement centers need encouragement. All the people between those groups can benefit from encouragement as well. No one is too young to receive encouragement. No one is to old to benefit from encouragement. Encourage all day, everyday.
It is important to provide encouragement at the start of an adventure. The encouragement you provide someone at the start of something may provide them with the fuel they need to get to the next leg of the race. Encouragement is also needed in the middle of an adventure. Sometimes in the middle of an adventure people get tired and think about quitting. The encouragement you provide at this point, may help them make it to the end. At the end of the adventure, encouragement is needed to help the person enjoy reaching the finish line and have the stamina to prepare for what is ahead. Encourage all day, everyday.
Encouragement is not fattening, so do it early and often. So, the question for you this Serene Sunday is when do you think encouragement should be given?
First published 10/28/12 at www.janeanesworld.com