Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A meaningful challenge

It's not hard, it's not revolutionary, it's just something Jesus shared with me.

I want to challenge you to do something you probably already do, but I want you to take it to another level and go above and beyond the "norm." I want to live outside the norm in really all that I do. I have had some experiences this past week that have been far from thrilling.....they have actually been down right horrible.

Let me explain some...not much because I might get totally depressed and find myself just sobbing all over my keyboard and that is not the point of this post. So....

I have had a very hard week. Just a week of great spiritual attack. This is something I've never been through before. Its been a place of just sadness and feeling every negative emotion under the sun about what I'm doing on planet Earth.

In my work, I wonder "what am I doing on planet Earth?" I've taken on the lives of others. Whew!! That can be scary sometimes. Am I making a difference in any of this? I'm exhuasted. I don't want to do this anymore kind of thing. It has just been a sad, sad week. I thought I was out of it, but BAM! it has hit me again and I can't get out of this pit. And by the way, I will read so many parts of "Get out of that Pit" again...again....and again. Isn't it funny how I just finished the book and then BAM! it all came crashing down and I have found myself in a pit. Never saw it coming.

Ok, enough of me falling into this pit. I have had two HUGE things revealed to me today and it's not brain surgery or rocket science info, but its HUGE to me and its caused me to be more intentional in one specific area of my life towards others. And, therefore, I will share the one hugemongo lesson from Jesus just for me for today.

Its all about gratitude girls. Its all about the gratitude.

Really??? That is the HUGE thing you have to tell us??!! Yes, it is. My challenge is this for you...I want us to really thank people who do something for us on a consistent basis...a very regular basis. I want you to go out of your way to thank the people who teach your children...write them notes and often....let them know you pray for them and their families...they have lives outside of the school! I want you to thank your Sunday school teachers who teach you and your children. And, again, thank them often. I want you to thank your pastors and your church staff who take their jobs so seriously that they love you beyond words...and thank them often. I want you to thank the people who invest in you and your families and I want you to thank them often. I want you to go beyond the norm and begin to show thanks and gratitude just because. Don't wait for special days or moments. Make it a habit and let it become the norm that you thank the people in your life who do such great things for your own personal growth and for the growth of your kids.

There are many people out there who give so much to us and we never really take the time to show our gratitude and appreciation for them. some old fashion things and write some notes, give them words of encouragement face to face, and let them know how much you truly appreciate what they do to build up your kids and your family. They need to know.

I will spend some time tomorrow doing just that. Forget the emails and pull out some favorite stationary and write some notes of appreciation and love. I'm so grateful to the people who love me, teach me, hold me up, and are there for me. I want others to know how I feel about them. I will also do these things on my childrens behalf for those adults who teach them and then let them do the same at a later date. That is an important thing to teach our children. Teach them how to show gratitude to others. We lead, they follow.

One of my favorite scriptures is this: Hebrews 3:13

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today......"

Encourage someone today, tomorrow, the next day, the next day and the next and the next. I'm sure gonna try to go above beyond what I've been doing. Are you up for the challenge?

I love ya'll. You encourage me tons by what you write on your blogs. You are my many devotions that have kept me going.


He Knows My Name said...

thanks fran i will take the challenge. excellent. thank you.

you know, and this is no blog bologne, when i read your comments all over the bloggisphere (word?) i say in my head she writes the nicest most encouraging comments. they truly are so sweet. i always feel good reading your nice words. you just have a sweet way.

thank you for your gift of encouragement. it sure is nice to know you.


BethAnne said...

Encouragement comes easily to me for some reason, although I am better at encouraging others than I am my husband, so I think I will make that my goal - to encourage him - I love to be an encourager- I set out to encourage others, but I am always the one who gets the blessing.

Jen said...


What a wonderful reminder! You are SO right, we are very blessed by our cloud of witnesses. You never know when one of THOSE people needs a "pick-me-up". Thank you for your challenge!

I am thankful for YOU today, for speaking truth and inspiring me!

I hope your week gets better!


Teri said...

I'm in. I'll start with you.

Thanks Fran, your gift of encouragement comes through in each comment you leave! You do not grasp the enormity of how special you are...and I only "know" you through blogland...I am SURE in "real life" you are even that much MORE incredible! So, THANK YOU!

Now I will grab some note cards and get down to business!

Ang baylis said...


I will get my note cards out tomorrow and thank a few people. Thanks for the challenge! It's easy, really but I just get lazy! Thanks for the reminder!

THANKS FOR your ALWAYS encouraging words! I don't have your home address, but consider this note a real one...that came in the mail...delivered by your mailman... just for you! ...along with a bunch of gerber daisies from your favorite florist with a box of Godiva chocolates in the most beautiful wrapping you have ever seen!

Much love,
angie xoxo

jennyhope said...

Hey Fran! I couldnt agree with you more! I need to be more diligent about encouraging others. Also Read psalm 42 and 62 they are such an encouragement to me. Love you girl!!! Also you are a huge encourager seriously!!

Psalm 42
BOOK II : Psalms 42-72
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah. [a]
[b] As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.
My [c] soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Charity said...

Fran, you are right! I know I enjoy getting those words of encouragement and thanks from my family and friends. It means the world to me! And as they say, it is much better to give than to receive!! We should give out quadruple the encouragement that we receive if not more!! Thanks for the challenge!! I am up for the task!!

Abby said...

mmm...we have been learning about this in bible study too...about being "strangers in the world" and that we are not supposed to be normal...but WEIRD :) Jesus weird. :D

Lindsee said...


I love it!! And you know what else I love doing...writing notes, and thank you notes. Simply because I know that I love getting "snail mail", I love sending it too!!!!!

Thanks for the reminder. And I am thankful for you and all your sweet comments!!!

Have a better week...enjoy cleaning...IT'S FRIDAY!!!


Alana said...


I've been catching up on your blog.

Like Bethanne, I have been making it my goal to be more encouraging to my husband. I've been somewhat successful, but I have a way to go.

There are so many times I feel led by the Spirit to write a note, or make a call, or hug a neck and I don't always do it. I could kick myself for that.

Thanks for the challenge!

Jackie said...

THANK YOU for encouraging others- you are WONDERFUL! It never fails that you have a kind word to say to all of us!! Thanks for reminding us of this, too often we take people and the things they do, for granted. Think about how good it makes us feel when WE are encouraged by others...motivation to pass it on!! Love you..and thanks for the sweet e-mail, you really are an encouragement to us all!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Hi Fran!
Thanks for your comment on my blog. It's nice to "meet" you. And I accept this challenge! I love nothing more than to receive a handwritten note and you've put me in the mood to pull out the stationary.

I'm praying that this week God showers you with unexpected blessings.

Anticipating Him,

Bev Brandon said...

hey fran, thanks for the comment --- so good to meet you but i have been hearing your heart for quite a while cause i see your comments all over the blogs i read and you are one faithful friend so full of passion and life and let me live today trying to give out a word of encouragement but how easily i can start with you---you are a very genuine person---the kind people want to sit next i read you blog this a.m. waiting to go to our cross country meet, deut 33:26-27 was fresh on my mind from reading it earlier this a.m. and i wonder if it's for you as i read your last post too...i can just see your God on High riding on the heavens to help you. Your Eternal God is your refuge. Underneath you are His everlasting Arms and that's so obvious from seeing your words over and over. You are blessed for He is your Shield and your Helper. So very nice to meet you! Come again...

thouartloosed said...

Thank you, Fran.

Bev Brandon said...

just had to comment on this one again cause i thought about this post several times over the is more blessed to give than to receive----give our words...this post stayed with me!

Denise said...

Fran, this was just what I needed to hear today! Thanks ... now I know why I felt led to your blog!!

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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