Monday, April 18, 2011

Cultivating Encouragement

By Doula Brandi

Spring is here and it’s time to think about tilling, planting and keeping a garden. Cultivating a garden is no small task. The rewards in summer & fall more than outweigh the work involved. The same can be said about our personal lives, planting and keeping the right attitude makes all the difference in our families.

Encouragement is one area that I need to sow more seeds! I remember hearing my Grandmother’s admonishment that I would “reap what I sowed”. We’ve all heard or read it hundreds of times through our lives usually in a negative connotation. But the idea applies positively as well or even more so! The principle still remains, as rock solid as the law of gravity. Sowing seeds of encouragement is a wonderful way of reaping a bountiful crop when times get tough for you.

To get started we must prepare our spiritual ‘garden’ by preparing the soil and planting those seeds. We have to have a good foundation of what encouragement is in order to develop those qualities. Merriam-Webster defines “encourage” as to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope. In the case of a follower of the Messiah, that means reading His words and using the principles found within the Bible as our foundation, or fertilizer you could say. I like to print our encouraging Scriptures or ideas on paper and post them around the house. These are tangible reminders to me and the children about treating each others in an uplifting and encouraging manner.

Simple ways to sow seed are to share encouraging words with others. I have a friend who likes to send me messages wishing me a great day or sharing how she admires something that I have done. This is so uplifting to me! Her words have made the difference to me on more than one occasion! The best soil to sow into would be that of our children. Children are like a freshly plowed virgin field, fertile, without being packed down by the world. Sharing encouraging words, Scripture, and acts of love go a long way in sowing a lifelong crop in our little ones.

The best way to be encouraged yourself is to help encourage another. Another old adage “give and you shall receive” applies here! Listening with a compassionate ear, offering an understanding hug, without trying to “fix” the person can all fit under the umbrella of encouragement. It’s called giving hope. We all go through dark times and having the right sort of uplifting friends and family members can make all the difference in the world in the duration and outcome of those dark times. Work at home moms are no exception. Sometimes we may be in the position to need more encouragement if we are not interacting with others on a daily basis.

Everyone needs encouragement; your friend who seems to always have it together, a family member who lost a job, and the check-out person at the local store. That’s one of the best things about encouragement; you can give it away, even to total strangers!

Be encouraged; sow some seeds into the lives of those you meet today.
Join Dancing Again's Blog and Share event!



  1. Such a good article on encouragement, Doula Brandi. And a good reminder that every day is a good day to "sow some seeds" of encouragement in another's life. Blessed Holy Week to everyone.

  2. Thank you Sally. This time of year is one of the most encouraging to me! Knowing the Hope that is offered through the Messiah, encouragement at it's best.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Brandi. It's a wonderful time to talk about sowing seeds, is it not? My hubby has a bunch of seeds sprouting in our guest bedroom right now, just waiting to be planted outside in another month or so.

  4. beautiful reminder, Brandi. I love this time of year--it's filled with SO much hope and life. It's a wonderful reminder to pass on that hope to others.

    Have a blessed Easter!

  5. Thanks Ladies. Hope springs forth eternal and this season is a tangible reminder of that!

  6. Well this post encouraged me...and just reinforces what I already knew...blogging can be a ministry!!!

    God Bless You!

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

  7. Thanks for sharing! I agree, encouragement is such a blessing, there's been many times where a kind word, or email of encouragement has made me able to pick up and keep going. I want my blog to be an encouragement and blessing to those who read it.