en•cour•age = Adjective: give support, confidence, or hope to (someone)
I consider myself someone who encourages people. I actually believe that is one the gifts God has given me…the gift of encouragement. I had an incident last week, with my daughter, in which I was far from encouraging. After it happened, I realized that I need some encouragement with my gift of encouragement. That is my focus this week. Being encouraging so I don’t repeat what happened last week.
One morning last week I came downstairs to find our daughter feeding our 2 year old son breakfast. He likes Raisin Bran Crunch (like his daddy), and she had him sitting at the table while she fed him. This was rare because she normally fixes and eats her own breakfast; maybe fixing something for him when done. I have come down many times to find him walking around not eating, while she is enjoying her breakfast and reading.
This particular day her cereal was getting soggy, while she was feeding baby bro. I come down and the first thing I noticed was his cereal bowl had a ton of milk. My first words were “that is too much milk! He doesn’t need that much milk…he’ll make a mess.” Yep, go ahead and say it, “BIG DUMMY“! She immediately broke down. I can’t recall exactly what she said, but she was hurt because she did what I asked her to do, and she even sacrificed eating her own food. Yet, she received no praise, no encouragement, no hope. Huge fail!
Of course, I wish I had a “do over”. I wish I could rewind the tape, and say something encouraging, which she deserved. I could have told her, “great job”, “thanks”, “that was nice of you to feed your brother!”, almost anything except what I said. After saying something encouraging, I then could have taken the bowl of cereal and poured out the excess milk, then finished feeding him myself, while she got back to eating her breakfast. I do not get a “do over” of that incident, but fortunately I can learn from that mistake and choose encouraging words the next time.
Look for Opportunities
I am now looking for that next opportunity. I encourage you to do the same. Although we don’t get do overs, and we can’t go back in time to change the past, we can choose to make better choices and use encouraging words in future situations. That is the choice I am making. To not be that guy mentioned above, but to be encouraging.
Question: Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of a situation like that? Please share your thoughts and feelings on that in the comment section below.