bENCOURAGEd to: Put a Stamp on It!

Tuesday's Tip to bENCOURAGEd...

The sliding doors open as a young business women carts her belongings into a hotel lobby. She waits patiently as the other patrons in front of her are handed their entry cards to their rooms. “I can help who is next!” an eager employee waves at her to move forward. With courteous introductions she begins the process of checking into a room that she will call home for the next two weeks. “You are all checked in - oh by the way, a letter was delivered the other day for you.” The employee opens a drawer, pulls an envelope out, and hands it to the customer. The business woman smiles - “Thank you, I have been expecting this.”

In my twenties I learned how to bENCOURAGEd out of necessity. At the age of twenty-three I took a position with my company to travel exclusively. I sold my vehicle, packed all my things into storage, rerouted my mail to family, and took off on a three year adventure. My career rocketed. In a short time span I rose to the youngest person in my company to oversee opening stores for thirteen franchises across the U.S. and coordinating training for the whole state of Texas. In doing so I had chosen a business life with no peers and little supervision, because the seven of us who took on this role traveled to opposing areas and met with our boss via phone or rare meetings at our home office. Part of my role was to develop teams, managers, and business owners - and I used the power of encouragement often. Early on I discovered that I needed encouragement too in order to keep the pace of my position.

Communication is a powerful tool of encouragement no matter who delivers it. Growing up I was blessed with a Dad who encouraged me with words. Once I left for college - a state away from my home town - I knew that I needed to be proactive and feed myself encouragement. I began sticking little notes in my socks, purse, backpack, glove compartment, and any place I might frequent. Notes like: “You are going to have a great day!” “Wow, I am proud of you for pursuing dreams!” “No matter what anyone said today you can do this!”. These notes picked me up each time I found them. Even though I knew that I was writing it to myself I was still encouraged ever time I read them.

As I began to travel it became more challenging to be creative where I would hide these self encouraging notes - then I thought, “Why not put a stamp on it!”. So, I did. I bought a book of stamps and envelopes that I kept them in my purse. This way wherever I was I could write a note to myself (or someone else) and easily drop it off at the post office. There were many times when I had long layovers at airports or I was delayed by traffic, which caused me to forget about my little notes waiting on me at the front desk of my next destination - but often I began to expect it. In my proactive behavior of sending notes weeks in advance I noticed that I enjoyed the journey more and looked for more opportunities to bless myself and others.

Did these notes make a difference?

It makes sense that these notes encouraged me, but the amazing part is that they encouraged others. At first, I collected my mail quietly and went about my unpacking, but one time I opened my mail right there at the check-in desk. I had a particularly challenging trip and needed a word of encouragement. After I opened it I began to giggle. A local person I had chatted with in the lobby asked me, “Who sent you a letter?”- amazed and taken back by the thoughtfulness of someone writing to me. I began to explain my approach to bENCOURAGEd. Our conversation that day led to an interview and she was hired at one of my company's local stores!

Am I telling you to write yourself letters of encouragement - SURE! Whatever it takes to get encouragement moving in your life - text yourself, call yourself, and yes even handwrite a note to yourself. If not for yourself, do it for others.

The power of encouragement is not wasted on one person - it multiples if we are willing-

to let go of it - to mobilize it - to Put a Stamp on It!

It first begins with encouraging ourselves. Then when we choose to take action to bENCOURAGEd, we can encourage others!

“But do not forget to do good and to share (communicate) for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Heb. 13:16 NKJV

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