To Be An Encourager

So often the most important lessons we learn come from having to face the opposite of what we want to be. Being faced with a constant barrage of “You’ll never be able to do that!” and only the occasional “I’m sure you’ll do great!” has taught me how very important it is to be an encourager.

You know the type…you call so-and-so to tell them some fantastic bit of news and they have only bad things to say. “Oh, that’s so hard. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to do it” or “I can’t believe you’re happy about that! I knew someone who did the same thing and failed miserably!” You dread calling these people with your good news because you know that they’re going to rain on your proverbial parade.

Then there are those that are a constant ray of sunshine. You could call these people and tell them that you’ve joined the Communist party and plan to blow up the universe and they’ll say “That’s fantastic! I’m sure you’ll be the best Communist bomber this world has ever seen!” I love those people. And I want to be one (the encourager – not the Communist bomber… 😉 )

It’s not easy to always see the bright side, to instantly have faith that those you love are going to succeed, but I think it’s a quality to be admired. I want to be the type of person that my family loves to come home to and share a bit of good news, knowing that I’ll have only positive things to say. I don’t want to be sunshiny in a false sort of way, but I do want my family and friends to know that I have faith in them.

I’m working on being Mrs. Sunshiny Support to my husband, which is much harder than one might expect. He comes home and tells me that he’s thinking about spending $100 to join some sort of gun club and I think, “You want to spend how much on what?!?” I say, however, “That sounds like fun, dear! Tell me about it.” The more we talk the more I discover that he knows that $100 is a lot to spend on joining a gun club, but that he has saved money by driving a car with better gas mileage and using his phone as an MP3 player rather than buying an IPOD…I realize that by expecting the best I usually get it! Plus, I get to talk to my husband more because I’m no longer the wet-blanket that poo-poos all his exciting news. What a treat!

Then I think of my son. I want to be the kind of mom that he looks forward to talking to. I want him to run home to tell me all of his exciting news, knowing that I will offer him the utmost support. I don’t ever want him to dread telling me some bit of exciting news for fear that I’ll only have the worst to say.

So, I’m thankful (sort of) for the wet blankets in my life. I appreciate those people who have taught me how to be the type of person that I want to be, simply by being an example of what I don’t want to be.