The other night my 14 year old boy came into the kitchen where I was putting away the last bit of clean dishes from the dishwasher. He surprised me with these words, "Thanks for all you do Mom. Thanks for taking care of us and working full time too. I don't say that enough." I was so appreciative of his words. Did I mention that he is 14? Did I also mention that he gave me a hug and a kiss? I wish that I could put that moment into an envelope and save it forever.
Those words from my son help me every day. I need those words. Encouraging words keep me going. My husband is very encouraging too. He often tells me that he is crazy about me and often lets me know that I am appreciated. I need to know that what I do matters. We need to raise kids who are encouraging. This is important.
I try to make a point to say what I am thinking. By that I mean, after the social filter kicks in and something kind comes to my mind like, "That lady has cute shoes" I make sure to tell the person. If I walk into the room where my daughter is doing homework and think, "Wow, Maddi's room looks clean," I make a point to say it out loud to her instead of keeping it inside my mind.
If I notice that one of the boys put did well on a school paper or a teacher sends me an e-mail regarding their good behavior, I like to make a huge deal about it and remind them that they are smart and capable. I text my big boy and tell him that I am proud of his good choices.
When I remember, I tell my husband how much I appreciate his taking the boys to school each morning or how nice the yard looks after he grooms and mows the grass. I also like to thank him for working hard for our family.
Our children, spouses, co-workers, friends, neighbors, family members, and even strangers, need encouraging words from us. A great way to know if someone needs encouragement is to check to see if they are breathing. If they are breathing, they need encouragement. Although I don't always remember to say encouraging things to people, I try. I know that the simplest words and get people though the worst of days.
Who can you encourage today?