Are we encouraging and empowering others?

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
I trust that as long as I am healthy enough to write and have the mental facilities to do so, I will be led of the Spirit of God and be willing to write what I honestly believe He puts on my heart rather than to follow trends or causes that would earn me points among my peers. The reason this is on my mind today is that I originally had drafted (in my mind, anyway) my column for today. I find that once a thought or idea takes root, I nourish it while doing other work, driving, cooking, cleaning up the kitchen, doing laundry, or whatever else I am involved in at the time. I find time to read, verify facts, do the necessary research, make calls if necessary, and gather photos and illustrations.

I confess I liked the column idea that came to me, and I thought it was a helpful subject and that our readers would get good from it. But, guess what? I am not writing that column this week.

Instead, three different matters have come to my attention and I cannot get away from the thought of encouragement or a drastic failure to encourage the people with whom we come into contact in our daily lives. I learned many years ago to try to follow the leading of the Lord and it always works out better for me and for others in the end. So, today, take a moment, sit down, think about this article, give me the consideration of reading it slowly and carefully, and determine if you see yourself in it — either in a positive or negative way. Are we capable of real encouragement or are we selfish and centered only on our own beings and perhaps those in our immediate circle? All I ask is that we be as honest as we can be about the matter.

A kind and intelligent friend of mine has written a wonderful adoption story in the past few days about how and when she came to receive her little one, and I have read every word of it with great interest. There were a lot of special circumstances and this woman wanted a child so badly. After some time, her dream came true and she got her baby.

If there were ever an encourager on this earth, this lady is one. This blessed baby has no idea of how different her little life would have been had she gone home with the woman who gave birth to her. She may never truly fully realize how God smiled on her life by placing her with my friend. The mom sets goals, meets those goals, and encourages others to do the same. And, she is a great champion of encouragement to others. She has encouraged my own heart.

The reason I can write this thought with assurance today is that I have found myself in recent weeks on the needing end of some of this encouragement. It has come to me in different ways and from different folks — Some I did not even know. Folks, let’s look around and determine who might need an uplifting word, small gesture, little gift, even a smile, and be willing to be the giver for a change rather than the receiver. The trickle down effect is absolutely amazing.

Opening my computer screen, I read, “Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” The thought follows is that they simply need encouragement to be their best selves. Adults are the same I believe. I also witnessed an ugly scene where a supposedly grown man was so ugly and belittling to a really good kid. I wanted to smack him, but I knew I could not. What we say, how we act, what we give of ourselves, and how we treat others is either good or bad, positive or negative.

How can we encourage others and especially children? Tell those you are around that you love them every single day or point out something that they do well. Express this verbally, make a call, send a note or an email if appropriate, or visit to carry out this deed. In this busy world we live in, take time to talk to others. Really listen. Ask for opinions. Discuss options. Make plans. And, did I mention listen? If you see a child or an adult, for that matter, attempting to do something that might be out of their skill level, offer to help, but don’t take over the project. Just help. Encourage a child or adult to grow in an area where they have talent or interest. Be honest.

Assure folks they can call on you if needs arise and that you are willing to help. I saw a neighbor help a neighbor the other afternoon and it blessed my heart. While we are busy about encouraging, let’s help others to learn and teach respect. In many families and neighborhoods, respect is a thing of the past. We must respect each other, property, abilities, personalities, and needs. Each of us can be that one caring individual mentioned in our quote and we can help to change lives.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or
[email protected]


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