I am…An Encourager

I am Fun

I have 2 pretty “active” gifts.  One is mercy.  One is encouragement.   I am a habitual encourager.  My mercy gift means I am sympathetic.  If I see you are crying, I want to know what’s wrong and I will be there to hold your hand and cry with you.  That’s a pretty nice gift to have…helping others in need.  Thanks God!

My encouraging many times goes hand in hand with the mercy gift.  But it also means I’m a “fixer”.  You know, some of us are married to fixers.  I realized Steve was a fixer a long time before I recognized it in myself.  Many, many moons ago, I remember where we were when I was telling him all about my desire for another child.  Up until that point, God had not opened that door and Steve’s heart was not yet open to adoption.  And I remember him giving me all these “tips” on working through the desires.  And I was like, “Hey, I’m not asking you to fix this for me.  I just want you to listen and be sympathetic.”  That conversation stuck with him and he does listen more than he tries to fix now days.

But I am SO much the same way.  As any of my semi-close friends will tell you, do NOT come to me with a problem unless you want me to try and fix it.  Katelyn probably has to endure this more than anyone I am around because unfortunately for her, she likes to tell me her problems from time to time.  I guess by now, she’s figured out that if she’s going to share, I’m going to fix.

However, along with being a fixer, comes encouragement.  My friend, Julie, said to me recently, “You really take your encouraging gift seriously!”.  But most times, I have no idea I’m doing it.  I am just a perpetual cheerleader which can definitely be annoying sometimes.  Because yeah, sometimes you just want to vent and not have someone try to fix it or encourage you.  Sometimes a gift just needs to wallow.  Smile

Having the gifts of mercy and encouragement means you can walk someone all the way through a crisis.  You can be sympathetic and a shoulder to cry on, but then you can also work with them through it.  The truth is, I tend to draw people who are in crisis to me.  I’m not talking about my close friends.  They know me and we share our troubles and sorrows.  I’m talking about truly random people…like one day at work, I had to track down a work acquaintance in another line of business whom I hadn’t talked to in several years.  She ended up being out of the office and had to return my call.  We talked about 20 minutes of which 5 was work related.  The other 15 was her telling me about her elderly parents who were both sick and hard being an adult child to aging parents is (can I get an amen?!).  And she wasn’t being a weirdo telling a virtual stranger her problems…but somehow I just drew her in.

Most times I dig getting into someone else’s problem (I was a psychology major, originally hoping to go into private practice) and helping them feel better make me happy.  But sometimes…only sometimes…it gets hard.  And tiring.   And I don’t wanna.  I don’t want to hear another problem.  I don’t want to come up with another solution.  I don’t want to feel sad for a friend who has a problem I simply CAN’T FIX.

Because sometimes you can’t fix them.  Sometimes all you can do is listen to them cry.  And that’s hard.  It’s hard for a fixer.  It’s hard to have no encouraging words for a habitual encourager.

But I’m forever thankful for these gifts God has given me.  So, if you need a shoulder to lean on or an encouraging word…you know where to find me.  Smile


More on Created For Care

I’m delinquent in posting the REAL reason why I went to Created for Care…my roommates were of course, the best part of the trip socially, but I did learn tons.

Here are Jennifer and I…

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I was so thrilled to have this view from our room…2013-03-08 07.51.55

And during one of the main sessions, the showed photo after photo of adoptive families represented there and I could barely hold back the tears…

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The first break out session I went to was about finding creative times with God.  Back when I was young, single and then married without kids, I had no trouble setting aside a quiet time.  It was usually some prayer time and a devotional reading.  But since then, it has become a struggle to find any time alone with God.  And when I say a struggle, I mean, a REAL struggle.  It’s like I can read the Bible, do a Bible study  or pray, but I can’t manage to get them all done.  So when I saw this was a break out option, I jumped at the chance!  And it was OH SO GOOD.   I picked up some awesome tips on finding time when and where you can in the midst of life.  But the best thing I heard was that this might just be a season where setting aside even 30 minutes isn’t going to happen at the same time every day.  Or even several days.  Or maybe EVER.  But she gave us several ways that we can meditate on the word and prayer even during crazy life.

After the leader spoke, there were different stations to go to.  One was to pray over the world…any particular area you felt called.  I prayed over China and Russia.  And then I prayed over all the orphan children.  There was a cross in which you could read scripture and just pray.  Then a tent of rest where you just sat and did nothing. 

There was a station where you created what you thought love looked like.  Here’s my creation.

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We also had to paint a picture of how we thought God saw us.  I brought my painting back to the room, but not sure if it made it home.  They were all just very good exercises.

The second breakout I did had to do with keeping your marriage alive after adoption.  I have a fabulous marriage and I am thankful every day that God gave me Steve.  But our marriage could be so much better.  I won’t go into detail, but again, got several good tips to help make things better.

The last session I picked was on spending time with God and man oh man did it rock my socks off.  It was just a culmination of all the things I needed to hear.  In the session, she played this song.  I’d never heard it before, but if the words don’t speak to you, then I don’t know what would.

I knew what I was getting into…

It was such a good weekend on all accounts and after so many months of waiting for the days to pass and for it to arrive, poof!  It was here and gone so fast.  I miss my roommates.  I miss being in a room with 450 women who KNEW what it was like to live your life.  I miss seeing nearly 450 different adoption t-shirts on those moms.  I miss it all.  But I look forward to putting what I learned into practice.  And for that, it was ALL worth it.


April Fools!!!

Well, I really wanted to come on here and write a long post about how we are adopting again.  But I just can’t bring myself to do that to you all.

Instead, I’ll leave you with this sweet picture of my girl… 2013-03-16 15.29.05