Build each other up

So continue encouraging each other and building each other up, just like you are doing already.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 CEB

Recently a mom and dad came to me in the hopes that I could help them figure out what to do.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I had a few ideas, offered a couple of options.  But honestly, I didn’t know.

What I did know was that I could encourage them.  For real, not just patronize them with platitudes or false confidence.  Certainty is not all it is cracked up to be, because it isn’t real.  Nothing is certain.  There is no one right way.  

Here are a few ways that I find encouraging:

* I am encouraged when someone is willing to listen to my endless need to verbally process.  I can tell the difference between someone listening and being humored - I bet you can too.  Not everyone is equipped for such hard work as presence, active listening and such.  It’s ok.  We all bring different gifts to relationships.  
* I am encouraged when I witness joy and curiosity and playfulness in others.  This is not my strong suit and when I am able to see how it is done, it provides me a good example to follow.
* I am encouraged when I am on a team that cooperates, appreciates, respects and laughs together.  I love working and playing with people who sincerely love one another.  In our community, we are exceedingly blessed to have a lot of love among us.
* I am encouraged when I get a good night’s sleep.
* I am encouraged when I have time in nature.
* I am encouraged by the resilience and courage and hope I see in families who work recovery.
* I am encouraged by people who hold fast to faith in a world where having faith is no longer cool.

What encourages you?