Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine.
- Kathleen Norris
My kids and I have been working on an Advent project the past couple of weeks. It’s very simple: We’re focusing on being encouraging to others.
We look for opportunities each day to live out 1 Thessalonians 5:11, and the easiest way to do that is to notice things aloud. It’s as quick as saying, “You must’ve worked hard this week on memorizing those lines!” to someone who’s gotten better at play rehearsal or “I appreciated how kind you were to that woman” about a store clerk. We started by aiming for five encouraging things a day, and are inching our way up to ten.
The odd part about this is that we benefit, too. It’s as if our devotion to God increases a notch when we begin to build them up. Funny how that works. Try it!
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.