Creating Space for Encouragement

cafe tableI sat across the table from her, wondering how to subtly wipe my nose. I knew I didn’t have any Kleenex along. I didn’t expect to cry this much.  

It was a holy conversation. The kind that digs deep and hits at what is underneath the layer that is underneath the other layer that is way underneath what is showing on top.

 

I walked away feeling more encouraged than I had in a long time.

 

The encouragement didn’t come from the words that were spoken, but the space that was made.

 

She asked me the kind of questions that demonstrated how much she was listening. Not just to the words I said, but to what was behind the words I said.

 

She saw me. And she created space for me to see God.

 

Being the kind of person that brings encouragement to others runs so much deeper than saying nice words. It means being a person who sees others, listens to others, communicates with others, and walks beside others towards God’s loving embrace.

 

Five Minute FridayThis post is linking up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. A weekly prompt with strict instructions: write for 5 minutes and post. No over-editing. No do-overs. An practice of freedom. A way to let go of perfectionism. An exercise for some not often used writing muscles. Read more posts or link up over there. Today’s prompt was: ENCOURAGEMENT. (Note: I spend only 5 minutes on the writing, but I do take a little extra time to put together the image. I can't help myself.)

Our Desire to Be Seen

few greater gifts than being seenWhen I was younger, almost every summer I fantasized about the start of the new school year. This was going to be the year. The year I was finally noticed. The year people would finally see me and want to be with me.  

I like to think I grew out of those feelings, but if I’m honest with myself, I never did.

 

I carry around those hopes of “this time, it’s going to be different” and “this time I’m going to be noticed” almost every time I do something public. Before speaking, writing, leading meetings, and so many other things, I daydream about the conversations that will happen afterwards, when everyone tells me how gifted I am and how glad they are that I shared with them that day.

 

I feel a little childish admitting that, but I’m hoping I’m not alone. I think many of us still carry around the daydreams of adolescence as we go about our everyday lives as adults.

 

We so desperately want to be noticed.

 

There are few greater gifts than being truly seen.

 

The truth is, even though we can find that kind of encouragement from God, it’s difficult to feel like it's enough. It’s abstract to place our significance in a God we can’t see or touch.

 

Yet, I will keep making space to feel His eyes upon me, for I know they are there.

 

 

Five Minute FridayThis post is linking up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. A weekly prompt with strict instructions: write for 5 minutes and post. No over-editing. No do-overs. An practice of freedom. A way to let go of perfectionism. An exercise for some not often used writing muscles. Read more posts or link up over there. Today’s prompt was: SEE. (Note: I spend only 5 minutes on the writing, but I do take a little extra time to put together the image. I can't help myself.)

The Word that Means Everything

graceHow do you define a word that is beyond comprehension?  

I’ve heard it described as a free gift we don’t deserve.

 

That may be technically correct, but it doesn’t seem to capture the heart and the breadth and the life-changing force of the word.

 

Grace.

 

It is the green light when we are running late that clears our stress just enough to see again.

 

Grace.

 

It is the smiles from our kiddos that snaps us back to the present moment when our minds are running fast into the future.

 

Grace.

 

It is a love beyond reason, from a God beyond understanding, who never stops pursuing those who have rejected Him.

 

Grace.

 

It is water for a parched soul.

 

Grace.

 

It is a deep breath to a suffocating life.

 

Grace.

 

It is what we all need most, but often find the most difficult to give away. Especially to ourselves.

 

Grace.

 

(Looking for a Grace printable? Click here for a simple black and white pdf full of verses about grace that I created a few years ago.)

 

 

Five Minute FridayThis post is linking up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. A weekly prompt with strict instructions: write for 5 minutes and post. No over-editing. No do-overs. An practice of freedom. A way to let go of perfectionism. An exercise for some not often used writing muscles. Read more posts or link up over there. Today’s prompt was: GRACE. (Note: I spend only 5 minutes on the writing, but I do take a little extra time to put together the image. I can't help myself.)

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