Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

This week I am prepping and preparing for a speaking opportunity in May, and so the posts this week may be more the contribution of others rather than of myself.

Today, I want to introduce you to Nicole Johnson.

I ‘met’ Nicole at a Women of Faith Conference. She was the dramatist, and she weaved her own experiences into her personal learning of Biblical truths that made me giggle, sigh and sob.

If you ever get the opportunity to attend a Women of Faith Conference, GO! I promise you will leave energized with encouragement, thought-provoking learning and a sense that you have a purpose … and couldn’t we all utilize that?!

Please, please, please … check out the video of Nicole Johnson, learning about the building of cathedrals.

“Because God sees …”

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At the end of each year WordPress send me an annual report for this blog, and again this year I thought I would share it with you who read what I write.

I cannot believe that there were approximately 14,000 views of this blog, last year.

I cannot believe that views came from 103 countries from around the world (some days a view from a country I had not previously heard of will be listed).

Honestly, I cannot believe that there are any readers, because, although I do dream of being ‘discovered’ by Oprah, and offered a great book deal, I sit at my computer and click at the keyboard for very selfish reasons.

This screen that I face each day has provided for me:
therapy for my woes,
a stage for my praises,
and a voice by which to be heard …

I need to tell my stories, to share my life’s successes and failures, and to be ‘real’ with myself like I need air to breath.

Thanks to any and all who read each day or who are reading for the very first time. It really is a Wonderfilledlife!


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 14,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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As I write this post hubby and our son are off on a two day trip to watch the Apple Cup (the trophy given to the university football team in the state of Washington – Cougars or Huskies). It will be male bonding at it’s best … football, cheap hotels, road trip, and the over-ingestion of flatulence-causing foods … I am so glad that I am not invited!

This trip is part of a plan that hubby and I adopted many years ago, when our kids were much younger. It all started one day as I was listening to a radio program that discussed the concept of a mother-daughter or father-son time away to discuss the years to come, and to provide opportunity to have ‘the talk’ in a less stressful, more relaxed environment. There were materials available, called Passport2Purity that provided a schedule, suggestions of what to do with your son/daughter, as well as audio and visual materials to guide discussions.

For me, the materials provided a springboard for conversations. Some of the illustrations used have been forever etched into the minds of my daughters and I simply because they were so … corny. That said, if you can use them as a guide their benefit will outweigh some of the uniqueness of their presentation (which provides shared humor, so all is good).

The structure of the program provides time for ‘learning’ but also has a strong focus on having fun together as well.

With our older daughter, I took her to Seattle for shopping.

With our second daughter, it was Disneyland.

With our daughters I was able to open the lines of communication broadly in areas such as money and time (stewardship), substance abuses and sexual experimentation (self respect), relationships (honoring one another) and future planning (using their gifts and passions with purpose), and we were able to have these important conversations before they became real issues in their lives. That premature timing, I feel, is key. Rather than waiting until your child is in a stressful, peer pressure filled situation, they can think about and even plan their decision making before it is an issue.

With both girls the trip home was the icing on the cake, with both saying over and over, “thanks for taking me away, Mom.”

Then, once back home, I got to give them a beautiful box full of letters from important people (mostly females, other than their dad) in their lives. They are the people who have been cheering them on for a year, or all of their lives. They are from women who vary in age from about ten (one is a drawing) to seventy. They are from women who share blood … or not, share faith … or not, share location … or not. These boxes of letters hold words of encouragement, words of hope, words of love to read, and re-read again as the tough stuff of the teen years comes their way. These boxes rarely gather dust, as they are places of refuge, of safely of remembering. These letters are the gifts that keep on giving.

And now it is the turn of father and son. Neither one of them knows what a great weekend they are both in for!

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Two weeks from today summer will really be over. There will be great mourning and gnashing of teeth in our home. It will be with great regret that our alarms will be set, lunches will be made, and the trek to school will be taken.

As I contemplate all that this day means, I also think back …  w  a  y  back  … to when I was school student. I remember the new clothes (brand new fall/winter sweaters when the temperatures are often still reflecting the summer season), the new shoes (which always came home not so white, and feet requiring bandages for the new shoe blisters), the crisp clean lined Hilroy notebooks, the line-up at the pencil sharpener (because we all had new pencils), and the revelation of who would be our classroom teacher for the school year.

Just one month ago I was driving down a highway in Oregon, listening to a radio station, and they started talking about back to school. I just about drove into a light standard! Back to school was not something that I wanted to hear about in late July. But what they were saying about returning to school stopped me from doing anything too radical. They were encouraging people, parents, to print off a teacher appreciation certificate and take it to the school on the first day, as an act of supporting and encouraging the teachers of their children.

Now that I could get into!

I have tried over the years to be supportive to the classroom teachers of my kids. Working within the school system gives me an even more intimate understanding of just how appreciated (and, for those teaching high school, rare) words, acts and gifts of encouragement are to these teachers who spend more time with our kids each day than we do.

I think all of us can think back to at least one teacher who inspired us to live better, think differently, and who encouraged us in who we are.

Immediately I think back to my grade four teacher, Mrs. Kavanaugh, who was so kind … to everyone in the class. The thing I remember most about her is how she treated the ‘underdogs’ of the classroom. She was more patient with them than any other teacher. She gave them extra words of encouragement. She did not favor the smartest, the prettiest, the richest. You know, I do not remember one academic thing she taught us, but I think I took away something better, because she gave me the tools to be a better person.

She was not the only teacher that I think of, but she is the one who comes to my mind first.

How about you? Do you remember a special teacher? How about taking the challenge to encourage a teacher as your children return to classrooms, gymnasiums, and libraries? How about starting the parent-teacher relationship off with an act of  encouragement, of love?

It just might set the stage for a great year for your son or daughter, for their teacher, and for you.

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I read many different blogs each week, and have been enriched by many. Although I subscribe to many blogs, I do not read them all (I do have a life), nor do I agree all the time with the ones I subscribe to. Heck, sometimes when I re-read my own I do not agree with what I have written!

Today I wanted to share with you readers a lady, by the name of April Cassidy, whose blog I am subscribed to.

She is a woman on a mission to encourage women in marriage.

This particular post was so beautiful to me, and I believe that the words of her prayer can enrich and encourage all wives. After all, in the words of a sweet young woman only two years into marriage, “marriage is hard! And I am married to someone who is such a great husband. But it is so hard.”

Just click the link below. I hope this encourages you married women out there.

Peaceful Wife

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It all started with a picture …

As I was perusing the website Pinterest, the photo to the right popped up, and it just made me smile. I admit, the romantic in me loves pictures of older couples showing outward signs of affection. For me I feel a sense of hope, an understanding of the finish line that I hope to one day cross with the hubby.

So, I clicked on the picture, and found that it led me to a website with “60 Tiny Love Stories to Make You Smile“.

I thought I would only read one or two, but I quickly got hooked, and read them all. They are amazing!

Since it is Friday, I thought we could all use a smile, encouragement, something to make us feel that there is hope and love in our world, to start our weekend.

But, be warned, tissues will be needed.


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We women (remember, I cannot speak for ANY male, being female and all), hear voices.

Not only do we hear them, but we actually have conversations going on in our heads every waking hour! That is why when we respond with any of the following, there is more going on in our heads than the one or two word response we give to the men in our lives.

For example:
This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
This is the calm before the storm. This means “something” and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with “nothing” usually end in “fine”.
Go Ahead
This is a dare, not permission, DON’T DO IT!
Loud Sigh
Although not actually a word, the loud sigh is often misunderstood by men. A “Loud Sigh” means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over “Nothing”.

Men, if you could only ‘hear’ what is going on in our minds when we use any of those words, in response to what you might have said to us … (for more understanding check out “What Women Want” starring Mel Gibson … I say this very guardedly, as some of it’s content is beyond the ‘PG’ rating of my blog posts 😉 ).

It is said that it takes anywhere from five positive things to cancel one negative to two positive things to cancel that same negative. No matter what the stat is, it takes more positive messages than negative to break even.

For a woman there are so many voices that are heard that can cause self-doubt, frustration, discouragement and embarrassment.

The voices stay there, in our heads, forever.

Most women can remember something that someone said to them when they were still a preschooler, that still speaks to them.

Most women will struggle to truly believe “I love you” from anyone who spoke hurtful words to them … and when “I love you” is said, they immediately hear the hurtful words in their heads.

Most women who have heard someone say something about a part of their body, will immediately look to that body part in a mirror, and hear it said again.

Most women who struggle with issues related to weight (either too much or too little) are still struggling with a message that was conveyed to them as a child.

Most women who hate men, feel that way because a male in their life (usually a father, sadly) has spoken words that have torn her down in the past, instead of built her up.

Most women who have been hurt by words, have been hurt by the words of other women.

With all of this in mind, whenever you are in the presence of a woman who you care for (whether you are male or female), speak words of affirmation, encouragement, appreciation … help tip the balance in the direction of building a woman up, and giving her new voices to hear.

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