Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

Encouragement through friendship

We just finished a week of VBS at church. Vacation Bible School. It’s a highly energetic, very entertaining, potentially life-changing week for kids.

This year Chloe was the only one who participated. Elliot, Zippy, and I were volunteers. This particular type of volunteering proves to be extremely exhausting! But oh so worthwhile an endeavor!

On the last night of VBS, the leaders were instructed to give encouraging words to each of the kids in our group. As we spoke the words, we gave each child a glow stick as a symbol of the encouragement spoken. It was a very special experience for leaders and kids!

It was during this activity that I was surprised by a fellow adult leader on my team. She grabbed me as I went by. And with tears in her eyes she spoke an amazing encouragement to me.

She didn’t say the usual: “I don’t know how you do it.”   She didn’t say the overused and sometimes painful: “You are a saint,”  or the eye-roll-inducing: “God will only give you what you can handle.”

She simply said that she knows my life is at times a difficult one. But she also said that my life is a blessed one. And she said that I was a blessing to people watching me live my life. And as she handed me my glow stick, she told me that I was a shining star … or light … or whatever it was that she said.

The truth is I don’t remember her exact words. But I remember the sentiment. And I remember how loved and encouraged and appreciated and noticed I felt. I felt validated and worthy. I felt a deep-heart emotion that I don’t usually let myself feel. I felt like I had a friend and that that friend understood and appreciated me.

My eyes brimmed with tears as we hugged, and I let myself receive those words. I breathed in a deep breath and accepted those words as truth.

I sometimes have a difficult time accepting close-to-the-heart, intimate, emotional words from people — especially from a new(ish) friend like this one. But I purposely let myself receive those words and be encouraged.

I felt full. Full of blessing and happiness.

And truth be known, I could’ve bawled right then and there…. But, of course, I didn’t allow that to happen!

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  (1 Thessalonians 4:18)



I have been wanting to share this song for several weeks.  I have been so moved by this song on several occasions.

The first time I heard it, it was for me.  It was a reminder that I am beautiful in the eyes of God, my Maker, my Savior, and my King.  None of this life even matters in comparison to how much He loves me.  He sings it over me everyday, “You are Beautiful!”  He means it.  And if I take the time to listen to His voice, I start to believe that I am, indeed, beautiful.  Yes, the song was especially for me the first time I heard it.

The second time I heard it, I was in my van heading to a doctor’s appointment with Chloe.  As soon as the song came on, I was powerfully moved to tears as I realized this song was for Ainsley Rae.  I’ve never met Ainsley, but I follow the blog that her mom writes about her life and about her struggles.  I have fallen in love with Ainsley over the past year or so.  She reminds me in lots of ways of Chloe.  The words, “You were made for so much more than all of this . . . ” struck me deeply.  It was a huge reminder to me again that this life that’s so hard and so filled with struggles doesn’t really matter in the end.  What matters is God’s love for us and His plan for us.  And specifically for Ainsley and Chloe and so many of our other little friends who live difficult lives, God thinks they are beautiful just exactly the way they are!  But His plan is to make each of them whole after this life!  It’s their eternal beings and their eternal souls that are even more beautiful than their broken bodies!  Ainsley, you are beautiful!  You are so beautiful that it brings tears to my eyes.  Oh, I was so moved as I drove and listened to the words of this song.

Each time I hear the song, it’s almost like God whispers someone else’s name in my ear.  “This is for Jennifer.”  Or “This is for Heather.”  Or “This is for Alicia.”  Or “This is for Katie.”  I am moved every time at the amazing love God has for his children.

He loves us.  And He thinks we are beautiful.  And if we listen — really listen with our hearts — then we can hear Him singing over us . . . “You are beautiful!  You are treasured!  You are sacred!  You are Mine!  You’re beautiful!”

My Redeemer Lives

This song moves me to tears each and every time I hear it.  It is powerful!  And this video moves me quickly to tears!

Nicole C. Mullen is beautiful!  And she sings like an angel!  Her voice is amazing!  When you watch this video, just know that this is how I sing in my dreams!  🙂  Seriously!  In my mind and heart, I have a voice just like Nicole C. Mullen!  🙂

In this video, Nicole C. Mullen sings the first verse and chorus in Spanish.  She also sings the song in sign language.  And then she sings some of it in English, too.  At the end, she sings in English, Spanish, and sign language all at the same time — just mixing and mingling it beautifully and skillfully.  It is so powerful and touching.  I will put the lyrics in English below.

If you’ve never heard the song in all English, you can find it here.

The words and feeling of this song are amazing to me.  It’s the thought that the very same God who created the universe and keeps the planets in orbit is the very same God who holds me and comforts me when I’m sad.  The same God who controls the oceans and the seas is the very same God who loves and cares for my daughter when she stumbles and falls and scrapes her knee.  The very same God who raised Jesus from the dead after 3 days is the very same God who hears me every time I pray.

Wow!  Enjoy this today.  And let its meaning and power move you today.  And be blessed.


My Redeemer Lives

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide till evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star? 

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testifies
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

The very same God
That spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know, my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I-I-I know
My Redeemer

He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives
Forever I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sins
Was the precious life He gave
And now He’s alive and
There’s an empty

And I know
My Redeemer lives
He lives
I know
My Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I-I-I know my Redeemer

I know
My Redeemer lives
*I know my Redeemer lives*

*I know, That I know, that I know, that I know, that I know
He lives
*my redeemer lives*
*Because He lives I can face tomorrow
He lives
*I know, I know*
He lives
*I spoke with Him this morning!*
He lives
*The tomb is empty*
He lives
*He Lives! I’m going to tell everybody!!*

More lyrics:

Love Came Down

This calm, quiet song sure spoke to me.  I hope you like it.  Listen and be encouraged.

“I’ll remind myself of what You’ve done!”

You Are God Alone

My friend at Keeping up with the Joneses has this song on her phone.  It has blessed me like crazy the last couple of days when I’ve called her a few times.  By the time she answers her phone, I’m lost in worship and singing my guts out.  Her “Hello,” has surprised me in the midst of my worship, and I have a hard time remembering why I called her!  So I’m posting the song here for you today — and it won’t be interrupted by a Hello from my good friend.  Enjoy!


Here is another great song to encourage you today.

No matter what you’re going through — you are not alone.

Even though your dreams did not come true — you are not alone.

Even if everything is falling apart — you are not alone.

And the promise is:  you will be safe in His arms.  Trust Him.

Sweet, sweet sound . . .

Ever heard a song and thought, “Wow.  That is SO my song!  That is so me!” ??

I experienced that feeling just last night on my way home.

This song is amazing.  And it communicates for me the fact that I live my life — everything, the good, the bad, the big things and the small things — to glorify God.

I want everything I do — changing diapers, cooking dinner, adopting children, teaching on Sundays, volunteering at the school, being a friend, being a wife — everything I do to be a song to God, glorifying Him.  And I want my song to be a sweet, sweet sound to Him when He hears it!

I may even start listening to this song every morning to remind myself that my life is a song.  To remind myself that it’s not just the worship songs I sing to the top of my lungs in the car, or the praise songs I sing at church on Sunday . . . but it’s the things I do everyday that are my song to Him.

Enjoy “Sweet Sweet Sound” by Sarah Reeves.

Any “everyday things” you are doing as your sweet, sweet song?

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