31 Days · Intentional Living

Bravely Encourage {#write31days}

This world we live in is hard, isn’t it? Every day we face things that strive to bring us down, and sometimes we wander through whole seasons of life where it feels like everyone is taking, but nobody is giving. I daresay we could all use a little more encouragement, right?

At the same time, offering up encouragement to those around us can be hard. It can be scary. We all need it, but sometimes offering it up takes bravery.

Simply because it’s so contrary to the culture we’re now living in.

Bravely Encourage

Frankly, our culture is self-centered. Too often, everyone is too busy focused on building themselves up that there’s no time left for building up others.

And there’s just something wrong with that. But you know what, I’ve been there. Some days,-more than I’d like to admit-I dwell there, in that me-focused place. And I’m tired of it.

In the last year or so, I’ve focused on intentionally offering up encouragement. It’s not always easy, and it’s definitely not the natural choice. Sometimes I wonder if reaching out to a Facebook friend that I haven’t talked to in years is creepy or not.

But not once has anyone said, “Dude, bug off. You’re creeping me out.”

In fact, every time I’ve mustered up the courage to reach out, encourage, offer prayers, and just say a kind word, I’ve seen gratitude. Joy. Something ignite. And I’ve seen relationships between me and distant (and not so distant) friends change. And while I know my words have encouraged others, those same words have also encouraged me. Because by encouraging others, my own spirit is lifted up.

I’m not tooting my own horn here. I hope you understand that. And what I hope you take away from this is the power of your words. The tiniest action on our part can make a world of difference to someone else.

And sometimes that little action takes a lot of bravery. Because reaching out often puts us outside our comfort zones…outside the norm.

Today I had a delightful call with a lady from the local water works office. I called, expecting to deal with a grumpy city employee, as seems common. Instead I talked with a women whose joy seeped through the telephone and into my soul. And today I’m sending her an anonymous thank you card, because I’m guessing she doesn’t get thanked too often. The idea of sending it makes me excited, knowing that I can return a little of the joy she unknowingly gave me today.

Normal is tearing down. Gossiping. Complaining. Encouraging is definitely weird, and being weird takes bravery.

Don’t shrink back. Don’t step down.

[bctt tweet=”Let those words that are battling to come out free, and see their power.”]

Watch those words change a situation. In your brave moment, you’ll start a ripple effect that will travel farther than you’ll know.

Step out today and encourage bravely.

Because someday you’ll need someone to do the same for you. Remember, brave inspires brave, so start the chain reaction today.

Who can you encourage today?

-Jen


This post is part of my #write31days series for 2015: Living Brave. Each day in October, I will be posting about living brave and what that looks like in everyday life. Curious about 31 Days? Check out the website and the hundreds of other bloggers joining in this year: 31 Days.

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