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Posted on 5.23.2013 by Jody Noland

 

 

The language of encouragement and affirmation does not come naturally to most of us. It’s far easier to say nothing...or even, to point out another’s faults and weaknesses than it is to tell someone what’s “right” about them. Often, we feel awkward or insincere, or fear that our motives will be misunderstood. 

And yet, there’s nothing quite so energizing for most people than to be told what someone special really values about their character. It’s like a B-12 vitamin for the soul.

Posted on 5.11.2013 by Jody Noland

 

Doesn’t motherhood give a woman the God-given right to worry? Once you hold that baby in your arms for the first time and realize the weight of your new responsibility, worry seems to bubble up as a natural by-product.

Posted on 5.04.2013 by Jody Noland

 

Prepare to be bombarded. The ads will be coming from every direction over the next week with the things that Mom just “can’t live without.” Really?

What does a mother really long for? It’s not more “stuff.” It’s knowing that she is making a positive difference in the lives of those she loves. Moms don’t do it for the thanks. But every mother I knows is encouraged when her family takes the time to express their gratitude. 

Posted on 5.02.2013 by Jody Noland

What is it about a mother that equips her to give and give and give? Nearly every mom I know consistently puts her family’s needs ahead of her own. Yes, there are a few self-centered moms out there, but they are the exception and not the rule.

Posted on 4.24.2013 by Jody Noland

The A-Word I’m talking about is AFFIRMATION.

And why is it so important? For most people, receiving words of affirmation has the same impact as pouring water on a thirsty plant. People stand up taller, smile more broadly and often project a greater sense of confidence when they hear affirming words.

There’s an important, but subtle, distinction between AFFIRMATION and another A-Word: APPRECIATION.

We tend to appreciate what someone does for us:

-Cooks a good meal

-Runs an errand

-Gives a gift

-Makes a sale

Posted on 4.20.2013 by Jody Noland

Question: What kind of difference can one person’s encouragement make? 

Answer: Immense. The ripple effect can literally impact thousands of lives.

Recently, I’ve been asking the question: “Who encouraged you? And how did they do it?” The answers are inspiring, and are a great reminder of the positive influence we can have on others’ lives. I’ll be sharing these stories in a series of posts entitled “Profiles in Encouragement.” My hope is that you will be inspired and challenged to accept the high calling of being “an encourager.”

Posted on 4.17.2013 by Jody Noland

This week has provided us all with a jarring reminder of the fragility of life. What began as a day of celebration and athletic accomplishment ended in horror as another cowardly act of terrorism pierced our bubble and destroyed lives. We’re reminded once again that we are all vulnerable. 

Posted on 4.10.2013 by Jody Noland

Sometimes, I think that God is using a megaphone to speak to me. It happened again last week. Over the course of several days, I heard a message repeated through several friends: stop saying “if”. When I hear a theme like that over and over, I know it’s something I am meant to hear. And probably also meant to share.

Here are some of my conclusions:

Posted on 4.05.2013 by Jody Noland

Oh, the impact that our words can make. Positively. And negatively. There's even a proverb that says "the tongue has the power of life and death." All of us...young and old...have experienced both encouragement and pain from another's words. And we've all wished we could take back words of our own.

This poem, written by Michael Bright and published in the book Silver Boxes, by Florence Littauer, provides an invaluable picture of the impact our words can make. I hope this will inspire you to wrap up some "silver boxes" of your own this weekend!

 

 

Posted on 3.27.2013 by Jody Noland

Growing up is hard. Maybe I was just a particularly insecure kid, but I remember how painful life could be even back in elementary school. “Does my friend still like me, will there be room for me at the lunch table, will I be the last one picked for the team”… those type of thoughts constantly running through my mind. And I think that if we’re honest, most of us have struggled with those type of feelings at some point along the way. (And maybe we still do!)

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