The Macs

Sunday, September 12, 2010

hope and encouragement {(in)courage}

I can't tell you how many times God has used people just like you to encourage me. Sometimes friends, sometimes family, and sometimes complete strangers. It seemed like on some of my darkest days after Cora died I would walk down our driveway to check the mail and there sitting in the mailbox would be a card. Of course a card didn't change my circumstances or make my heart hurt any less, but it was a reminder. A reminder that someone loved and cared for my family. A reminder that my family was continually being prayed for. A reminder of a God who was working mightily in the lives of those around me. And a reminder of a God who offers us HOPE in our darkest hours.

Not only have I been so encouraged by the countless cards sent to me and my husband, but I have been also challenged to encourage people around me in response. I am not very good at that. In fact, sometimes I really stink at sending cards and encouraging others. I think about what a good idea it would be to send a card, and then I get busy and time goes by. I put it off and the card never gets sent. So, I am working on that. I want to become a vessel that God can use to pour encouragement into the lives of those around me. I want to be an encourager.

So, when I clicked over to (in)courage the other day and saw the free pack of cards being offered from Day Spring's Hope and Encouragement line I signed up. This was the perfect opportunity for me to start working on encouraging others.
My cards came in the mail this week. They are awesome. I would love to receive each and every one of them in the mail. I know you would too. I love the words. I love the verses. 

I sent my first card off this week. I can't wait to send off my next one. And I am praying that this becomes a natural response for me. When I see people with needs and hurts around me I want to respond with encouragement. I want others to sense God's deep love because I took the time to encourage.

Today is the National Day of Encouragement.
Thanks for encouraging me.
I know so many of you have.
Who would be encouraged to hear from you today?

Encourage one another and build each other up.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

17 Comments:

Blogger Wendy said...

Wow....what an amazing idea!!!

Thanks for sharing.

September 13, 2010 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

They're gorgeous!! And don't you worry, even though we don't get individual notes from you, you inspire and encourage so many people every day with your faith and strength!!

Sue X

September 13, 2010 at 5:08 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I'm with Sue. I have been so inspired by your faith and your family's journey. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea with us!

September 13, 2010 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

Those are beautiful, Jess.

If there's anyone who's encouraging, it's you.

September 13, 2010 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU encourage me, a total complete stranger, daily...after finding your blog when your Cora was first in the hospital..YOU made me take a look at my faith, my love of God, my life...I look forward to your post..can't put into words how much. How creepy it must be for you to have a blog stalker like me, reading and responding to your family blog BUT oh how you inspired and still inspire me.

Thank you
Kim

September 13, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Mindy M. Harris said...

I am a stationery-aholic! Love sending notes.

September 13, 2010 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Kimberley said...

you have encouraged me to encourage others! thank you! have a blessed day!

September 13, 2010 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger MFuglseth said...

I love reading your blog! Reading your blog makes me feel inspired. Your words give people hope and encouragement.
Keep it up!
Molly :)

September 13, 2010 at 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kim said it very well-- by your example and faith, you and Joel have challenged my faith, and have been so hopeful and encouraging. A keep my Cora block next to my alarm clock to remind me that every single day is precious and a gift for me to use for His glory.

Thank you for sharing your walk in such an open way with all of us. I consider each new post like getting a card in the mailbox.

September 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess,

I am Lauren Byrne's friend. I would love to find a group who sends love notes to people who are hurting or who have lost someone. Let me know if you know of one!

jennagudalis@hotmail.com

September 13, 2010 at 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess, your blog gives me hope and encouragement EVERY DAY! I can't tell you how many times I have read and re-read your entries.....each time with a smile on my face. God Bless You!

Melanie Martini
Rochester, MN

September 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I love being positive in a sometimes negative world! It lifts me up to send a card...what a great idea!
Love your blog!

September 13, 2010 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

This is a lovely idea. I don't even know you personally and I think of you often, and find encouragement from you. I like the idea of cards, just a little note to say "I'm thinking of you" really can be a huge thing.

September 14, 2010 at 12:37 AM  
Blogger Mum2twopreciousgifts said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Kim. Jess, you encourage me in so many ways but particularly to be more patient with my daughter's life challenges.

When Levi arrived, I just had to send you something. You must have thought it odd getting clothes from a stranger in Australia!! But I just wanted to know how extraordinary excited our family was that Levi had arrived safely.

Thank you for sharing your life with those who read your blog. I feel richer for 'knowing' you.

September 14, 2010 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger danielle said...

love these :)

calebdanielle.blogspot.com

September 14, 2010 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Along with so many others, you have inspired me because of your faith. I found a link to your blog when Cora was sick and was amazed at the praises you were still able to give. I have kept up with you, Joel and give thanks to God for your sweet blessing, Levi. I think sending someone a card is a wonderful way to send hope, courage and love.

September 15, 2010 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I went to their site after I read this and ordered some. I asked in my email if it was too late to sign up. I never heard back, but got a box in the mail this week. Weird though, mine was 25 of the same card?? It is a great card, but not sure I needed 25 of them. :) Were yours all different?

September 25, 2010 at 10:19 PM  

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