Brightening someones day. . .
I have been reading "Small Acts of Grace" by Alice Gray (a favourite author of mine) and she covers a chapter on encouragement. Being there to support a friend, offering that kind word, sending a note that might make a difference - to give a little lift and extra encouragement to those that need it - to brighten someones day.
Alice Gray reminds her readers not to forget people on those "ordinary days' when life is just plodding along - those ordinary days that we all have that need to be brighten up. Alice suggests using notes, they are cheap and cheerful and can really make a differences (and often much nicer than electronic notes as they can be displayed and treasured because of their personal touch). Here is a list of ways of encouraging people through note writing:
- Send notes to children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews with words of kindness and encouragement - telling them something wonderful that you have noticed eg showing respect for an older person. Make the notes fun with stickers and glitter.
- Send notes of encouragement to teenagers who live in such a negative world. Sometimes just a few words can make a differences. Make it fun and colourful. Perhaps add a "voucher" for an outing or afternoon tea together (these are great for any age).
- Send a note to someone who is feeling down or heard bad news, a simple note can provide the courage they need to keep on going.
- Send a note to someone you haven't heard from in years, perhaps thanking them for the impact they have had on your life.
- Send a note to someone who rarely ever gets mail (except for bills) - it will make their day and be such a nice surprise.
- Send someone a favourite recipe that you think they might like. Or perhaps a text, a book, a poem, some stickers - it doesn't need to be expensive, it is the care that is put into the note that matters.
It doesn't take long but it will mean so much for the person receiving it. I am off to send a note to someone who I know needs cheering up.
She also makes a very important point - often when someone is suffering, people rally around and help, but then they go off and carry on with their own lives - however the ongoing support is often needed and Alice Gray reminds her readers to remember these people for the long term. I think this is so important - after a disaster we all tend to "do things', but a couple of months later, it all seems to be forgotten, and we have moved on - they haven't. Don't forget them.
In all of these situations, it's important to remember we're not on our own when it comes to encouragement. We can trust God to bring to our minds people who could use an encouraging word or action. But it's up to us to act on those little "nudges" and obey.
Alice Grays ends the chapter with this:
Dear Lord . . . Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to wave pompoms, and now You have chosen me to be on Your cheerleading squad. No tryouts or competitions or synchronized dance steps - You only ask that I humble my heart before you, pray, and then unwrap Your gifts and give them away.. Thank You for choosing me to do this.
The beauty of the written word is that it can be held close to the heart and read over and over again.