By Pastor Lisa Holliday
I recently attended a church event designed for children and families. I enjoyed seeing the many children learning and serving together alongside their parents, grandparents and friends. At one point, I happened to walk by a table where an eight or nine-year old boy was serving with his grandma.
I overheard him say, “Grandma, thanks so much for bringing me here. I really like this place and I really like doing this!” (They were creating crafts for kids in a residential treatment center.) I lingered a bit longer and listened in to a brief conversation about how he wanted to invite his friends next year. He and his grandma enthusiastically agreed they would and they moved on to the next activity.
A little while later, I saw Grandma standing by herself. I decided I would let her know I had overheard their conversation and encourage her in the time and effort she was investing in her grandson. I said, “I heard what your grandson said to you earlier about being here and how he thanked you for bring him here. Good job, Grandma.” And I patted her on the shoulder.
She smiled and shook her head and expressed gratitude for my comment. I thought about how often I encourage children and how that compares to how often I encourage the adults in their lives. I thought of friends, neighbors, colleagues and even those I see in the grocery store whose names I don’t know. I know how much it has lifted my spirits when someone has noticed my attempts at loving and caring for my own kids and I decided I would work more intentionally to notice and acknowledge the positive efforts of others.
Would you join me in encouraging your fellow parents along this challenging and blessed journey of raising kids? Can we come together and support and lift each other and each other’s children up no matter what the circumstances may be? God has given us numerous verses in the Bible about encouraging one another, and not only will it bless the other person, but it will bless us, too.