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Dark to Dazzling

Lately, I feel like the sky is falling.

Maybe because it has been- at least in the sense of rain, the lake that has appeared in my front yard that grows larger by the day is a visible testament.

It seems like the rain will never stop and the dark damp has seeped into my soul impacting my disposition.

Rainy days are dark and depressing for me.

I can’t physically stop the rain, but I can still spread some sunshine.

How do you ask?

Be an Encourager!

“Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” ~ Proverbs 12:25

Speaking love and words of encouragement into someone else’s life can chase the clouds away and bring a ray of sunshine.

Don’t underestimate the power of your words.

Words can change the world.

They can invigorate a weary soul.

They can infuse joy and hope into a defeated spirit.

They can cover someone with the warmth of love and gratitude.

They can turn the dark into dazzling.

(And guess what, being an encourager changes you in the process. It’s hard to be depressed and be an encourager too!)

Here are a few "tips" on how to spread the sunshine of encouragement:

1. Be Old-Fashioned- If someone you haven’t seen in a long time comes to mind, send them a note letting them know you are thinking of them and share a compliment or word of praise. Mailing the note is preferred.

2. Send a Surprise- A surprise delivery of anything (flowers, a basket of goodies, book, or even a favorite product) makes an occasion or accomplishment more momentous.

3. Praise in Public- When introducing someone add a word of praise telling about a particular ability, accomplishment or nature of your relationship- recognizing someone’s importance in front of others speaks volumes.

4. Love Notes- Leave a little post-it-note for a family member or loved one expressing an encouraging thought. Who doesn’t like getting a love note? (I recently saw a commercial that demonstrated this so well- mom sends a fruit cup in a school lunch with a dinosaur drawn on the top telling her child how dyno-mite they are!) Tell your friends and family that you love them- do it often and be intentional!

5. Commend- If you receive excellent service from someone, go the extra mile and write a letter of commendation and send it to that person’s boss.

6. Recognize Change- Make a point of recognizing and affirming others that you see are trying to make positive changes in their life. Weight loss, healthier lifestyle, etc. Let them know you've noticed and be supportive. If your spouse is trying to lose weight- don't bring home a box of donuts to share!

7. Be Thankful- Don’t be shy and hesitate to tell others how they have impacted your life and been an encouragement to you! Do you have a great boss? Ever think about sending them a note of appreciation?

8. Be Present- Be willing to be present and listen. Sometimes a person needs to know they aren't alone and that someone cares enough to just be with them and willing to lend a supportive ear.

9. Care Package- Know someone is struggling? Maybe they are experiencing sickness or just having a hard time. Send a care package – a tangible box of love to brighten their day.

10. Compliment- Give a sincere compliment. Receiving a compliment from a stranger can make a powerful impact.

Encouragement is a selfless act of love that comes from a generous heart.

Those that master the art of encouragement are “changers” that can turn the darkest day into radiance.

Be a dazzling encourager today!

Father, you are compassionate and merciful, slow to anger and filled with unfailing love. It is because of your great love that we can share love with others. Help us to be encouragers to be game changers in a world that can be overflowing with darkness and despair. You are the light of the world.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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