A New Year’s resolution is a tradition in which a person resolves to start a good practice, change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their behavior for the year ahead. You may have already set yours in place and have begun your new diet, workout routine, behavior modification, or planned your trips.
A few years ago mine was to be a better listener than talker. I put it on a note card and put it where I could see it daily. I was intentional about it and thought of it often when I was in conversation with people. It worked! I made some headway and liked it so much that I made it my resolution for the next year and the next. I want it to be a permanent part of who I am.
This year, I’m going to be intentional about using the Steps of Living-Connected. And, I’m focusing on Step 5: Be Encouraging.
For those of you who met Lee (our son), you know he was always looking to find something unique about everyone he talked to and compliment them on it. Whether it was something they were wearing, the way they looked, or something they said, he would make sure they knew he noticed. This was just who he was. It was natural for him to make them feel that he noticed them and it encouraged them.
Recently, Susan was listening to one of her favorite podcasts: Back Porch Theology with Lisa Harper. It was her Jan 2 podcast and the story that I was drawn to was about Red Shoes. It starts about 20 minutes into the podcast. She has her friend Bell Johnson who tells a story about a pastor friend, Will Randolph, who led a Chapel Service at a women’s prison. And, there was this woman that was on death row who was coming to the study just so she could get some time out of solitary confinement.
Understandably she didn’t have much self-care, looked unkept and tattered, and was downright mean most of the time. Well, on one occasion Pastor Randolph saw her coming down the hall and he prayed for God to give him something to say to her. The closer she got, the pastor noticed that she had on a pair of new red high-top tennis shoes. He greeted her and said how much he loved the new red shoes! Immediately, her countenance changed. She looked at her shoes and then at him, smiled, and said, “yes, they are new”. After that, every time she came he told her how much he liked her shoes. It changed her and brought joy to her soul. Someone had finally found something of value with her. He noticed!
What a testament to the power of “being noticed and made to feel valuable.” That’s what encouragement does. This year I’m going to find something to compliment everyone I connect with!
Want to join me? Let’s do it together and share our experiences with each other in the comments.
Tim & Susan Taylor
Coming Next Month: New Book: “Love-Connects: How Our Son’s Life Teaches The Power of Living-Connected”