{day thirty-one}

{day thirty-one}

Today is the final post of 31 days of encouragement.

31 days doesn’t seem very long…today.

On day 9, it seemed a lifetime away.

Last night, Carl drove  Courtney back to campus

after a visit, I found Caleb at the dining room table.

He had his school lunch menu calendar and a calculator.

He was figuring out how many days before Thanksgiving break.

How long would Courtney be home for Christmas.

It was at once adorable and heartbreaking.

Adorable as I reflected on the hugs hello and goodbye that

he gave her that just had no endpoint.

They were of a clinging variety…in the best possible way.

It was heartbreaking because I don’t want him or any of us

to put living on hold because we are just waiting.

God doesn’t call us to a “grin and bear it” life.

He calls us to an abundant overflowing one.

It is easy to try to look out over the horizon and believe

that whatever is just out of sight must be easier than

what resides in today.

There is that gnawing ache for what we don’t have or

long to possess.

A month from now all will be fixed.

A year from now, this pain will end.

What if the other side isn’t  different or

even harder?

6 years ago, I stood  behind a pulpit and declared

that it had been the hardest year of our lives.

Yet the unthinkable  happened, as quickly as I

had ascended and descended those stairs,

life got even harder.

I had looked out to an envisioned point that was called

better and  was blindsided when I couldn’t conjure up its appearance.

I didn’t allow myself to live in the middle ground.

I clung to  perceived ease of the past and the prospect of a neatly 

paved road  in the future.

In the midst of shambles, God didn’t change.

God stayed.

God comforted.

God protected.

God came near.

Loved ones stayed.

Loved ones comforted.

Loved ones encouraged.

In this cycle of life, we are always in need of

encouragement or we know one who needs to

be encouraged.

My prayer for this past 31 days has been that God

would give you new eyes to see those that hover in

and around your lives who need encouragement.

It can be so simple but it can ministry immensely.

I also prayed that if you were in need of encouragement,

that you would go to the Source first.

Let Him comfort.

Let His Word sustain you.

Also let yourself be known and loved.

Seek and deepen friendships so you can share

this stretch of road together.

We desperately need each other.

Most of all,

be brave.

Be honest before God.

Your friendships will grow.

Be willing to be vulnerable with others.

Your closeness will deepen.

Your bravery to connect with another person,

infuses them with courage to keep taking each

hesitant step.

Be brave enough to offer the gifts He has graciously

given so they can be sown in the lives of others.

I guarantee when you encourage, you will be

encouraged as well.

It is the ultimate win-win situation.

Encouragement truly  is a boomerang blessing.

Be brave and live fully in today.

Thank you so much for reading this past month.

I am honored by your presence.

How were you encouraged during these last 31 days?

You can read the entire 31 days series here.

May I suggest subscribing to A Work of Heart

at the sidebar to the right

and never miss a post?

Welcome to all you new subscribers during this last month,

you encouraged me right back…a boomerang!

Be encouraged my friends!

4 thoughts on “{day thirty-one}

  1. Helen:
    Sorry I am late, but better late than never. This has been a wonderful series of marvelously written examples of your love for God and your faith. I have enjoyed each day immensely. Each one is a blessing that is a testimony not only to encourage but also to inspire us in our journey of faith. Thank you for the encouragement and the love you shared with all of us.
    Mom and Dad


  2. Helen, thanks for 31 days of encouragement. You blessed each reader with an abundance of encouragement!I pray that you have been encouraged too!


  3. Thank you Helen for 31 days of encouragment! It has been perfect timing for me to receive it. I pray that God boomerangs an overflowing amount of encouragment back to you today (and the days ahead).
    Love you my dear friend.


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