January 27, 2010

The influence of encouragement - part 2

When we make a lifestyle of encouragement, we are not just telling people what they want to hear. Encouragement is not just flattery; it is an effort to agree with God's best for that person. At home and at work and at school, we spend a lot of time with the same people each day. We need to determine what kind of influence we will have. Will we build or will we tear down?

My teen years were filled with dating disappointments and stress about grades. I wanted to grow up but tried not to grow out of my place in my family. My mother was an encourager. She reminded me that God had a plan for me. She focused on my place in our family rather than harping on every mistake that I made. She was quick to send me to "get it straight with the Lord." But morning greeted me with mercy and lunch bag literature. This bag said:

April 18, 1988

Fifteen years ago,

God gave me a special gift;

He answered a prayer I'd prayed

Years ago, that went like this:

I need a girl, Heavenly Father,

Whose heart would love You,

She needs to be sweet and smart,

And she needs to love me too.

She'll make my day with her pretty smile

And try real hard to keep me in style.

She'll be the perfect daughter,

A special blend You see;

She'll be like her dad and her Jesus

And just a little like me.

Now she's here

And to my delight,

God, you made her

Absolutely right."

Love, Mom

I may not have met all of that criteria all of the time, but that was her prayer for me. ahhhhh


  1. Oh my gosh, that is so sweet!!! That one line..."She focused on my place in our family rather than harping on every mistake that I made."... really convicted me and ministered to me too about my experiences growing up.

    Thanks for sharing this...what an eye opener to an area that I shall NOT pass down to the next generation in Jesus name! Lord, help me to build and not tear down...strengthen me, Oh God!

  2. My darling LeLe, what a joy it has been to be your mother. Thank you for caring what I wrote on your lunch bags since what I put in your bags fell short of the Mothers' Handbook for Nutrious Noonday Meals! I love you and seek your Godly encouragement.