When I was in my teens a pastor friend sat and patiently talked to me about heaven. I was full of questions and remember asking, “What do you think heaven is like?” He answered me with another question. “Do you love watermelon?” (He knew that I did.) Then he went on to say, “Enjoying a watermelon reminds you of how much you’ll love heaven.”

I’ve never forgotten what he said that day. He believed that I would “get it.”

Each Thursday, my husband, our forty-year-old daughter and I wake up early to coordinate our calendars for the upcoming week. At the end of the session, we each share three positive things we have noticed in the past week about each one in the group (including ourselves.) At first we laughed a lot and made jokes to cover our discomfort, but over time we each realized how much we looked forward to that affirmation each week.

Here’s something to think about: A person’s life can be significantly impacted by just one person who believes or notices the good in them.

A few things that I’ve noticed about encouragement:

  1. Encouragement is important to all God’s children: parents, grandparents, children, leaders, followers or whatever category one might fall into. One never becomes immune to encouragement.
  1. Look at a person’s gifts when God leads you to encourage. Look for the good. Remember that what might appear to be true at first glance may be only a small part of their story. Find out who they really are.
  1. Ask God for help. Trust that He will guide both of you.
  1. Help those entrusted to you feel safe. Be careful about sharing without permission.
  1. Live gratefully.
  1. Live in hope.

As I write this, the words from the movie The Help ring in my head.

“You is kind; you is smart; you is important!”

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