I started a new job several weeks ago. During my training, co-workers not only provided constructive criticism to help me do my job better, but they also took time to acknowledge what I did well. Those compliments caused me to be excited about my job and kept me from being discouraged.
It got me thinking about other times in my life when encouraging words served a great purpose. When I graduated from college and was unemployed for what felt like forever, I found encouragement looking at appreciative notes I received from editors and staff members over the years.
Sometimes God uses our words of appreciation and encouragement to speak to others in ways we may never know. If you ever have an inkling to encourage someone, act on it.
I remember questioning whether or not God wanted me in journalism after I came back from completing my first internship in Washington, D.C. Shortly after praying about whether it was God’s will for me, I received a certificate of appreciation from an organization I’d been writing about weekly for the newspaper and a thank you card from a woman I interviewed for a profile.
Those notes confirmed that I was in God’s will. When I’ve questioned my career path since then, I always remember those notes. If people hadn’t taken the time to send them to me, I would have had a harder time pressing onward when discouraged. Even if I might not always feel like it, thank you cards and encouraging notes remind me my work is making a difference and that I am where God wants me.
When I worked for my college newspaper, our editor-in-chief asked us to write an encouraging note to a staff member during our weekly budget meeting. It was always such a blessing and a sweet surprise to find one of those notes when I was having a rough week.
As a writer, I treasure written words. They can last a lifetime as opposed to a spoken compliment that took five seconds to give. Spoken words eventually might become forgotten or misquoted, but I love that I can read an uplifting note over and over again when I need encouragement. Sending people a written note lets them know they are worth the time and effort it takes to find a card, write the note and send it.
One of my spiritual gifts is encouragement, and I love sending people encouraging notes to spread joy. I am one of those people who writes personalized messages inside birthday and Christmas cards. Sometimes I send cards or letters to people for no reason. When I worked as an editor for my college newspaper, I wrote notes to staff members who helped me out during busy times to let them know I appreciated them.
Be a blessing to someone this week by taking the time to write him or her an encouraging note. Send a letter to a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time just to let them know you are thinking of them and wishing them well. You never know what kind of difference it will make not only in their day, but in their life.