Thursday, September 20, 2007


At our Mom's Day Out training, I won a door prize. I never win anything, and I was sitting there thinking to myself "I never win." So, imagine my surprise when I won. Yeah. I got a Women of Faith study guide series journal called Encouraging One Another with foreword by Nicole Johnson. I think that God knew I needed to read this. Here is an excerpt from the journal by Nicole Johnson:

"Sometimes we plod through life with our head down and our back bent under the weight of our load. We feel unimpressive, unkempt, unappreciated, and unneeded. We've put our hands to the plow, but the same theme song that runs through our mind is, "The old gray mare, she aint what she used to be." ... God doesn't want to leave us staggering under such weight of discouragement. It's quite the opposite, really. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much He does His best to cheer us up and cheer us on. Do you know God planned ahead for all of your gloomy days? He knows just when you'll need a little lift, and has arranged for encouragement to be right there, waiting for you to discover it!"

And here's what she says about encouragement:

"Encouragement is to a relationship what confetti is to a party. It's light, refreshing, and fun. It's cheer you can throw someone's way. But even deeper, it is the assurance you are there, that you are standing behind them and supporting them. The time it takes to gather little pieces of love, grace, strength, and hope is well worth it when you see what happens as you shower those gifts on someone else. It's like spiritual confetti, and it's the ultimate encouragement."

I read this and remembered how I would feel sad that we moved here, and a friend from back home would call and just see how we were doing. Even the simplest gestures sometimes lift your heart. My friend Kristi sent me the sweetest birthday gift, and it means so much that she took the time to do that for me even though I am not there to do things with her. It encouraged me that although I have not really had the chance to meet people here, I know that I am blessed with great friends I have made along the way. The friends that I have made will stay with me forever. New friendships cannot replace them, and I wouldn't want them to. God wants us to have a vertical relationship with him and a horizontal relationship with others. This horizontal and vertical picture that I imagine in my mind leads me to think of another symbol...the cross.