Monday, October 27, 2008

On the receiving end

This weekend I received a basket of encouragement. It is put together by the mom’s group at my church, Reston Bible. The basket is filled with goodies and thoughtful notes. It is such a treat and true gift of encouragement. Before going on, I have to say thank you everyone who contributed. It is appreciated, especially after a few rough days for Brayden.

To be honest, I never thought I would be on the receiving end of an encouragement basket. I never thought of myself needing encouragement or help the way that I really do. I was actually a social work major in college. I assumed that I would be out there helping people, working with them to encourage and find ways to improve their situations.

Now here I am, with social workers in my house helping me, applying for medical and respite care, asking friends for help and receiving encouragement baskets.

Encouragement is sometimes difficult to receive. Reading through the notes that people send, it stirs up emotions. I find myself teary eyed. Being on the receiving end of someone’s thoughfulness is a wonderful feeling. Some people are so gifted with words, the perfect present and some with their hands (one gift was a hand painted clip board to help keep track of appointments and such).
So why is encouragement hard to receive?
o It is hard when you find it difficult to reciprocate. I feel like I get so busy with my life that I forget that others need encouragement as well.
o It becomes clear that encouragement is so helpful for me and makes me wonder what times I passed by the thought or opportunity to be an encouragement for someone else.
o “Encouragement is the kind of expression that helps someone want to be a better Christian, even when life is rough.” -Dr. Larry Crab. Encouragement is there to help us push on and become better. Sometimes I just don’t want to when I am tired and grouchy.

Encouragement brings on some self reflection. What am I doing right? How can I do it better? Am I really trusting the Lord the way I need to? How can I do this for someone else?

Encouragement is a special treat that is sometimes taken for granted. I want everyone to know that each thing sent our way is saved and cherished. I save each email, letter and gift; pull them out sometimes just to read and reflect. I may not have the chance to respond to each note but know that it is an encouragement. I thank you for that.

For being on the receiving end of such things, I am grateful.


Stacey Cannon said...

You are such an encouragement and wonderful example of love and faith. I'm so happy that you were blessed with the basket; it was such a precious gift. Enjoy it!!

Debbie said...

Hi Carrie. I don't know if I have ever told you this, but you are a daily encouragement to me...I don't mean that lightly...your bright smile every time I see you, even when you've had a rough day, always inspires me. It always give me pause to step back and reflect that in the midst of all you have to handle daily, you always seem to have a genuine smile. And I realize that it is Christ's light shining through is His grace through this trial. So you my friend, encourage me....