The Power of Encouragement


Kids excited to leave for a swim session were like Indians participating in a joyful tribal dance all while I sat frozen, staring at the phone. Had that really happened? Did she really just say that or was I just fantasizing?

The little girl, the teen and the present adult I’ve grown into conferred deep in my heart. The only sound was silence.

“You’re a good mom,” she had said. She did say those words, right?

The land of parenting is a place of uncertainty, vulnerability and insecurity. These early years of being a mom have revealed how desperately I long for the affirming words only a mother can breath into her child, the words I searched for from my mom. The words I just heard.

But it’s not just parenting that’s unstable and uncomfortable, its life. And it’s not just words of approval from mom we’re searching for. We grasp for any thread of encouragement that will pull us from the quicksand called life. Words that will reassure us the steps we’re taking are indeed the best.

We make excuses.

         We wait for the right moment to say the words.

We’re silent.


What if we weren’t?

As it is, we expect the driver we just cut-off to raise a fist or give a scowl; there’s nothing alarming about negative reactions. They are to be expected. I suppose that’s why spoken kindness is more of a slap-in-the-face. What if we gave ourselves permission to speak authentic encouragement?

“Kind words are like honey-

sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Proverbs 16:24

As we wind down the school year, head to baseball games, dance rehearsals, swim parties and graduations let’s live on the wild side! Let’s encourage the mom with the uncooperative child, cheer with our parenting peers for their kids, and show up wholeheartedly to the most tedious events.

Let’s step into a day of Technicolor and kiss the grey goodbye one kind word at a time!


4 responses to “The Power of Encouragement

  1. Yes, and the need for words of affirmation never goes away. Not in your 30’s, not in your 40’s, not in your 50’s, and, I can tell you from first-hand experience that it does not go away in your 60’s. Maybe it’s because I didn’t hear many of those words as I was growing up, but I know the value of a word of encouragement. “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 One day after viewing way too many postings on Facebook of my very brave family – many who flew their own airplanes, women who tiled their own house, (my daugher, Amy!) I mentioned to my family that the courageous gene went straight to my children, by passing me completely. My sweet Uncle David told me that we Doneys all have our own special gifts, and I was the encourager and the cheerleader in our family. I’m still floating along on the cloud to which his comments sent me!

    • I was just messaging with a friend older than I about this! Life, struggle etc. do not discriminate based on age! I love that your Uncle David’s words continue to breathe life into your heart! precious!

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