Never a Discouraging Word…
I donâ€™t know about you, but I am so tired of bad newsâ€¦
It seems like there is more bad news than â€œnormalâ€ lately, doesnâ€™t it?Â Maybe there isnâ€™t and I am just focused on it, I am not sure. Â New diagnoses of cancer, more funerals to go to, friends who are sick (and I mean really sick), car accidents, divorces, lost jobs.Â These are all actual events that I have been privy to in the last week alone; I am not even thinking about the crises going on in the Middle East or the American economy.
I think of the song â€˜Home on the Rangeâ€ and I donâ€™t really think I would care if the home I was given had buffalo roaming or deer and antelope playing, but I can say I would love to be in a place without many (if any) discouraging words!!Â I guess that is why we long for heaven!
I think we all get to choose how we see lifeâ€¦the glass is either half empty or half full.Â I also know that if the Israelites in Mosesâ€™ day(not the current ones) were here they would tell us that grumbling only makes the journey longer. Complaining is contagious.Â It is also a very bad habit.Â They say that â€œgood news travels fast, but bad news travels faster.â€ Do you think that is because bad news has shorter wave lengths?!Â Complaining is like bad breath, you notice it when it comes out of somebody else’s mouth, but not your own. No one likes to be around someone who is negative, whining, critical.Â Yuck!Â But for some reason we are so quick to join in!
You are probably familiar with Thumperâ€™s law: â€œIf you canâ€™t say something nice, donâ€™t say nothinâ€™ at all!â€Â Perhaps that is why my words have been silent lately!!! Â Â Life has been hard, but God stays faithful.Â I actually think I have had enough.Â Really.Â My plate is full.
And today I am in need of encouragement.Â I really want to hear good news. I want to see the glass as half-full â€“ to be positive.Â Â One of the MANY things I miss about Jim was his upbeat temperament.Â He always had an encouraging word.Â He was like Barnabas in the book of Acts.Â I want to take up that banner and make it my “home”Â (the place where I live every day)Â I want to hear whatever you want to share that is good, right, pure, admirable, fun, joyful , silly, encouraging tooâ€¦
So here is the challenge for myself and any who want to join meâ€¦Â “Give us a home…where often are heard encouraging words and the blessings are seen everyday”.Â Let the words begin!
Focus on the positive:Â For me this does not mean that I deny reality, rather I ignore the tendency to start with the negative and stop upon its expression.Â Instead I want to recognize the contributions, to give praise, to grow a garden of cheer,Â to bring out the best in others and make the positive my emphasis
Express gratitude:Â â€œA thankful heart is a happy heartâ€â€¦ Mme Blueberry Â Â Saying thank you, giving a compliment, Â counting blessings, sowing seeds of kindness.
Save energy:Â It actually expends less energy and destresses life to be optimistic.Â It is a wiser use of time and energy to live in the moment rather than rearranging the furniture of the past, or worrying about the future. When you think or say something positive, you use less energy understanding and being understood. The brain is said to use 48% less energy to understand a positive statement than a negative one.Â When you smile it uses less muscles.Â Cheerful words are healing! Prayers work!
For example:Â Today Emily and Clayton were in an accident on the way to school.Â They were not hurt and the car can be repaired.Â I am thankful for Laquetta Minnix who came and stayed with Emily until I could get there from work.
Another example:Â Jimâ€™s dad is now in heaven .Â I am thankful for the son he raised to be a man of integrity and humor. Â Â I am also glad that he had made things right with God and is now in his right mind.