Monday, April 6, 2020

Be An En-, Not A Dis-

Entering Week 2 in the April A to Z Blog Challenge and we're moving right along. 100 meaningless bonus points to anyone who gets this title. Perhaps if you read on...

I'm trying not to make every post in this thirty day challenge relate back to the virus, but a fair chunk of the words I was given do send my brain in that direction. For now, our everyday life is impacted by restrictions to our actions and our interactions, which makes it hard to avoid referencing every once in a a while.

These are strange times and my blog is a journal of sorts, so while I'm not intentionally dedicating these challenge posts to the current public health crisis, it will very likely get more than a mention now and then.

Day 5-E is for Encourage

Okay, on with the show. Today's word is brought to you courtesy of my mother-in-law, encourager extraordinaire. Everybody needs one in their life and she has the gift of encourgement. She is always telling you you're appreciated...loved...better than you think you are, and for that I'm grateful.

I'm realizing that while I didn't start out with the idea of giving a shout out to the person in my life who provided the day's word, it is turning out that way. As I write each post I think of the sender and our shared history with so much affection. An unexpected happy little bonus to my theme this year.

Before I start one of these alphabet posts I always like to look up the definition of the word, along with any synonyms or antonyms. Synonyms for this one include hearten, cheer, uplift, inspire, motivate. In this present age of social distancing where do you find encouragement?

When I stop and think about it I realize I'm finding encouragement in all the places I normally find it-

From family who call-text-zoom to say I love you and you matter to me.
They bring joy to my heart.

From the kindness of strangers on display all around the globe.
Inspiring me to be kind too.

From people in all sorts of professions figuring out new and creative ways of moving forward.
Motivating me to be flexible and to keep trying new things.

From friends who make me laugh when we hang out 'together' albeit online.
Bringing cheer and lifting my spirits.

From people who show restraint and resist complaining when yes, there is plenty to complain about. Who look for the good and find it, and then tell us about that.  
Encouraging me to remain optimistic.

From the quiet stillness of the early morning hours.
My heart remembers peace is possible.

From the beauty of the sunrise.
New mercies are mine for the taking, come rain or shine or Coronavirus.

From reading God's word and mediating on this holy season of extraordinary love and sacrifice.
I have hope. What's more heartening-cheering-motivating-inspiring-encouraging than that?

Let's all resolve in this upside down season of life to be encouragers, not discouragers.
We can do it, and I'm encouraging us to try.


  1. What is encouraging me at the moment is that, despite often being a glass half full kind of person, I'm managing to stay quite positive during these difficult times. I guess that's helped by being used to spending a lot of time at home, mostly in my own company. Of course I miss the family but our social media interactions have increased and also widened out to more extended family.

  2. Encouragement breeds life, motivation, & forward movement. Enjoyed reading this inspiring blog post.

  3. Thank you for saying this so eloquently, Joyce! We all need to stay positive and look forward to putting all of this behind us, hopefully before summer sets in!

  4. Encouragement is so important. I'm so thankful for the encouragers in my life. I think it's important to remember to encourage the gifted encouragers out there.