Wednesday, January 12, 2011

#124 - Be Liberal with your Praise

Hello! I pray this finds you having a blessed day thus far! Columbia is still partially shut down due to the snow. Kids are still out playing, sledding & building snowmen. The sun has finally come back out and graced us with pretty blue skies. I would anticipate the snow is on it's way out. As for us...Tyler & I went OUT last night to dinner while "the boy" went to his normal babysitter. Yippee! The occasion? We were celebrating my finishing my first book. 

Anyways... let's get started. Let me put out a reminder of the reading schedule and let you know again how I do my reading. You are obviously welcome to do whatever works for you! I typically am reading with the expectation that the Lord will reveal something to me. I usually start with the Proverbs for the day (ie: today is January 12th, so I read Proverbs 12), then I either go to the daily Proverbs 31:10-31, and may continue with the Psalms schedule (ie: for today, Psalm 12, 42, 72, 102, 132 - basically starting with the day "12" and adding 30). Well... sometimes I don't get all the way through Psalms. Like today, I didn't even get to Psalms. I got to Proverbs 12 and 31, and that was all. The Holy Spirit revealed to me what I needed to hear today out of just reading that. So... I say all that to say this, don't feel pressured or condemned if you don't read "everything"! We do not walk or operate in a spirit of condemnation, and that includes when you read the word. Some days, you may only have time to read ONE verse.... that is OK too. You do what YOU need to do. God can use one verse to change a persons life. If you do only read one verse, choose to meditate on it throughout the day. While you drive, allow your brain to go over the verse. Think about it. Ask the Holy Spirit for insight into the verse. Allow it to churn. As you meditate on the Word, the Holy Spirit will give you insight. Will remind you of a story that may relate to the verse. Maybe make one word jump out to you, and you later look that word up in the dictionary to get a deeper meaning or clarification on the verse. Maybe you look up the verse in the Greek or Hebrew, to get it's original context. I'm just saying there are multiple ways to "skin a cat".... (yikes... hopefully none of us are really literally doing that!) .... there are multiple ways to get in the Word... and THIS way works for me. I read until the Holy Spirit flags a verse for me to meditate on. Then... that verse usually is the key verse in the devotion I write. So... without further ado, let's get in the Word.
Proverbs 12:25 - Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.
Proverbs 31:12 -  She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.
In the King James Version, Proverbs 12:25 substitutes the word anxiety for "heaviness." Having a heavy heart. Have you ever had a heavy heart? Well, last night as Tyler and I sat at one of our favorite restaurants, Carrabba's, talking about my book, and talking about our year. I have officially been out of Corporate America for a FULL year. Due to God, and the income we derive from our business we have had on the side of our jobs for the last 7-8 years, I was able to resign. Retire. Choose to do something else. Whatever you want to call it, I have now been home raising our son, and doing whatever I want EVERYDAY! Tyler pointed out something pretty neat. He said, "Amy, do you realize in the last year you have really only had 2-3 bad days?" He was absolutely right. Really, almost every day over the last 365 has been AWESOME! Blessed! Where I have just loved the day! Quite different than my experience in Corporate America.... where sometimes people I worked with, bankers would make me cry. On a few occasions clients made me cry. They would say things so mean or expect so much, that I just broke down. Some people were just mean. Or the constant flow of emails, voicemails, phone calls, appointments, price comparisons, rate reviews, servicing calls, DEMANDS, DEMANDS, DEMANDS. "Amy, I need this! Amy do that! Amy, get this done! Amy, I need this ASAP! Amy, I need equipment and I want you to GIVE it to me. Amy, I want this for free, I deserve it!" AHHHHHHHHHHH! People expecting something for nothing. Or MANY times people expecting me to make an emergency out of their poor preparation. Since they didn't plan well enough, their problem was now suppose to be my emergency where I DROP everything else I was doing to accommodate them and get them out of the BIND they put themselves in. One word. STRESS! 

Well.... I went from a constant state of frustration, to a world of bliss! I never knew that every day could really be awesome! Well... yesterday was ONE of the few days that was a kind of bad day. For no real major reasons... it was just a day that I felt I was in a "funk." Part of it was that I was re-reading a part of my book that was re-living some bad things. It's the part in any "Cinderella" story that had the baggage. It was hard for me to "go back there." Relive. Remember. And... it put me in a funk, my heart was most definitely heavy. I couldn't put my finger on it until we were at dinner. 

With all that said, the point is, Be Liberal with Praise! Be Liberal with Encouragement! Just when I needed it... when I needed a little help, a little boost getting back to my "happy place," I got a FaceBook message from a friend of mine who lives in Charleston. She didn't know I needed encouraged, but she just told me how much she has enjoyed reading this blog. She told me it was funny, witty & refreshing. Words that I really needed to hear, that really refreshed me. Thank you Carmen! :-)  

Liberal with Praise. Any time I have a good thought run through my mind about someone, I try to tell them immediately. The other day I was at Dick's Sporting Goods, I saw a woman who was very pretty. I didn't know her, had never seen her. I just opened my mouth and said, "You are so beautiful. You have such a pretty face, you could be a model." She smiled and blushed a little, and thanked me. I would bet those words made her day. Maybe she had gained a few pounds over the holidays and was feeling frumpy. Or maybe she had a frustrating conversation with her daughter. Maybe she was stressed out because she spent too much money on Christmas gifts and was now having to scrimp. Or maybe she was JUST FINE and happy. I have no idea! But, I do know that it is Biblical to encourage people. It may have been just the words she needed to pick herself back up and feel good about herself, to turn a corner and begin back on the path of being productive.

That's what Carmen's words did for me last night. They were encouraging and really helpful to me! I woke up this morning feeling great! No funk! Just great.

So today.... who can you be encourage? Who do you have kind words for? A stranger? A friend? Family? You may think they "have it all together." You may think, "Oh, they do not need encouragement, they already think they have it together. I don't want to make their head big." Well, you never know, but they may be the VERY person that needs some kind words. 

Food for thought. Who can you encourage today? If you think something kind, SAY IT! Be Liberal! 

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