Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 32: Encouragement

Confession: Escalators freak me out. When I was young (maybe 8?) I tripped and fell on the escalator in the airport with my Grandma. She yelled at me. I scraped up my shin something fierce. I've never forgotten that moment. Every time I'm exiting an escalator, I freeze up until the LAST second and I jump, no wait, I LEAP off the escalator to my safety. PHEW. I feel much better now that that's off my chest :)

Something really cool happened to me yesterday; a friend of mine (whom I greatly respect) called me a writer. Not only did he call me a writer, he said I'm a great writer! I was totally shocked by this comment. I felt like a stuttering fool. I was stumbling over myself, trying to explain that this is just something I do for fun, and that I'm in NO way taking myself seriously (obviously!!) and that I'm not really that great, he must have just misread one of my posts. I couldn't get the excuses out there fast enough.
I'm not a writer
I'm for SURE not a GOOD writer
This is a blog
It was someone else's idea to begin with
I don't even think people read it
I usually just ramble about unimportant things like kids and my various pet peeves

Once all of these things had run through my mind, I didn't feel any less shocked. I think I was expecting to feel a bit relieved when I got all the excuses out there. Like they would change his mind. Why was I trying to change his mind? Did I think he was saying it just to make me feel good? Very doubtful, not his style. I think what it comes down to is that I never expected anyone to actually read my blogs. Don't get me wrong, they're here for JUST that purpose! I announce them on Facebook and Tweet about them so that others will read them, and hopefully take something away from my various non-insightful postings. But when, later that day, TWO OTHER PEOPLE told me the exact same thing, I began to wonder.... What is it about my thankfulness that has people hooked? I'm not sure the answer to that, but today, when that same friend again told me how much he enjoyed my writing, I simply said "Thank you".

Today I am thankful for simple words of encouragement. I'm thankful for the way encouragement brings people to life. Don't believe me? Encourage a child. Compliment them on their new shoes or their pretty skirt or their sweet new hat. They will light up right in front of you. They come to life. There's something about encouragement that is just so life-giving! It washes away all of the self-doubt, and all of the lies that we begin to believe about ourselves and replaces it with truth. With courage. In Romans 12:8 it says "If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging."
So simple!
I think we are ALL gifted in encouragement.
It's one of the simplest gifts you can give.
And it goes a lot farther than you think.


Mimi said...

Emily, you ARE a good writer! As one, I see the path God has taken you has allowed you to express your your heart in words. Often, those with heaviness in their lives, God puts a special gift of writing into. You got it! So proud of you.

Emily Branca said...

Mimi, you're such an encourager to me :) THANK YOU

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