Success: Encourage

When a student turns the corner to my hallway, makes eye contact with me and excitedly gushes “Miss Gillikin I ….”

– made a 100 on my driving test  – got an interview – made an A for the semester – scored points in a game – got a job – beat my personal best – got  a car – got new shoes – made the video announcements

and, even the not so exciting updates ….

– we got beat for the Xth time – I am grounded – I have a punishment workout for wearing opposing team logo – failed a class and am ineligible

I remember.  It’s hard to be a teenager.  I remember despite the fact it was a LONG time ago.  It’s fresh to me because some days it’s hard to be an adult. 

There are times you just need to know that someone is for you, cheering you on and notices the little victories and the big accomplishments. 

It’s hard to be a girl.  From little girls to grown-up girls.  It is amazing to me how young and how quickly girls learn the art of comparison.  The language to best themselves over someone else.  It carries with us through to adults. 

Often I think we don’t really think anyone notices our words. 
Or maybe even that anyone cares what we say. 
But, someone does.  I’ve noticed, having had discouraging things said to me.  And, I’ve noticed myself, having said discouraging things.  I just did it recently.  It has been on my mind over and over again., “just keep your mouth shut”. 
Didn’t we all learn, “if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all”? 
Why won’t it stick?! 
We are human.  We fail. 
But, we can try again, and maybe one day we won’t mess up 100 times, only 99 and maybe 1 person will be encouraged by our words and actions.  And, maybe another day 2 people will be.  Maybe you’ll be the one that is encouraged on the day you need it most.  And, together we will celebrate the victories. 
I love teaching teenagers, I love being able to encourage them in victory and trials.  But, my heart is for my peers, we leave a legacy to the generation(s) that comes behind us. We have a responsibility to encourage each other on in this life.
Before you write this off as “just for girls” … guys need encouragement too.  I can’t say how guys encourage one another, (aside from “iron sharpens iron” – Prov 27:17)  but women, encourage the guys in your life… from the youngest to the oldest. 
Make encouragement a priority.  Most of all be encouraged by the One who loves us the most and gives us grace and mercy new every morning to get up and try all over again with a clean slate. 
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13
So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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