being an encourager
“Be an encourager” someone said in Sunday School yesterday.
Oh, how that word resonated with me as soon as it was said. To be someone who encourages, someone who brings sunshine instead of gloom. The word “encourager” is like a big breath of fresh air to me. I love the idea of being an encourager in this world where so many are discouragers. As I first thought of this word, I thought of motherhood. To be our children’s biggest encouragers. There is so much hate in the world and just so many trials that come simply from being on Earth. Life is hard sometimes, okay, a lot of times. We all face trials. And to think that we can help our children through these trials by being an encourager is so, well, encouraging to me. That instead of the hurried, harsh words of the world that they will eventually hear on a regular basis, we can be a soft place to land. We can be the gentle, quiet voice that whispers “you can do this. You have got this. You are amazing and you can work hard and you are good and you are enough. YOU are enough.” As moms, as human beings, WE have the power to do this. We can encourage, uplift, and strengthen our kids, our neighbors, our friends, our family, through our words, smiles, and actions. WE have got this.
As I started to think about this idea even more, I realized that not only do I want to be an encourager for all those around me, I want to be an encourager for myself too. To tell myself “you can do this. You have got this. You are amazing and you can work hard and you are good and you are enough. YOU are enough.” Because so often, especially as moms, we put other’s needs before our own. Which is good and selfless and amazing. But if we are always telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc. then are we really able to encourage others to the best of our abilities? When we feel good, we do good. And so to do more good, let’s believe in our own good. Because you are good, you do matter. I matter. We matter. We are children of the Most High. He loves us and we are amazing. We all have things to work on. We all have struggles. We all need the Savior. But He also loves us with an unconditional love and we should love ourselves that way too. He loves us even though we are imperfect. We should love ourselves through our imperfections too. You can do this. You have got this. You are amazing and you can work hard and you are good and you are enough. He will help us. He loves us. Let’s love ourselves and others as He does. Let’s be encouragers. Let’s go out and encourage everyone we meet. Nurture everyone we meet. Because, as women, that is one of our divine roles, to be nurturers. And when I think nurture, I think encourage.
I made rolls today. Because when you are planning on having rolls for dinner but you forget to check the freezer and you actually don’t have enough Rhodes roll dough like you thought you did, but you’ve been watching the Great British Baking Show like every night on Netflix, what else is there to do but bake your own rolls? So, I was baking rolls and my daughter pulled her chair to the counter and climbed up and wanted to help. I wanted to say “no, let Mommy do this, I need to get this done so they have time to rise.” But then I remembered “be an encourager.” I so let her help me even though this kind of cooking I would usually prefer to do on my own. But I wanted to encourage her, not discourage her. I want her to like cooking and baking, we do a lot of that together, I want her to enjoy it and have fond memories of it. And so, she used the rolling pin and rolled out the dough and helped me roll up the dough into little crescents and put them on the pan. And you know what? She did beautifully. She learned and she helped and it turned out to be a wonderful experience. No, the dough was not rolled as flat as it should have been. And there may have been little handprints all over the dough, and a little brother who kept trying to eat it (ay yi yi!) but it was good and it was enough. It was her and she is mine and she is more important than perfectly, well made, on time rolls. It gave me a chance to be an encourager and to nurture the cute little side of her that loves to help and bake.
And so, as we head into a new week, I challenge us all, especially myself, to be encouragers. To encourage our children, ourselves, and all those around us. To be smilers instead of frowners. To use encouraging, rather than discouraging, words. To lift rather than demean. We got this, we are enough. We are encouragers.