An early evening; long wEncouragement2ork day, extra hours, short staffed I was tired. Home now and needing fresh air I stepped outside and walked my lawn. Picking up random twigs I noted leaves to be raked, grass that needed re-seeding (probably should have done that last fall) and bushes requiring a trim. Mentally marking the list in my mind I headed inside to send out cards.

The patio door was open and music played as I penned a note. Stretching my legs and now relaxed with coffee in hand I listened to muted conversation and laughter. Curious I grabbed my mug and stood at my screen door observing the scene across my back lawn; women gathering to share an evening.

My thoughts drifted back several months before to a conversation with my neighbor. Weather was unseasonably warm and we greeted each other over the fence, catching up, thankful ice and snow were soon to be past. I commented on her weight loss and she shared that a cancer diagnosis had greatly changed her eating habits and lifestyle. I expressed my feelings and her positive response was that she was retiring to focus on her health, dive into home projects and work on landscaping and gardening. Even though she is “across the way”, I sent a card off to her (as I am prone to do). Jump ahead to the present and when I last visited she truly was doing better, had more energy and proudly showed me her new stone pathway and bricked borders, soon to be filled with flowers and plants. She expressed her thanks for the card saying “Such a nice reminder of caring Doneta.”

Now I took in the group “across the way”. What a joy and blessing to see my neighbor sharing with her fellow sisters. I have seen these women before and even participated in a conversation or two. All of them have had struggles and challenges, but here they were once again enjoying the twilight, supporting each other with their presence laced with laughter. It was a reminder of what defines a friendship; not just sharing the happy moments, but by being present in the tough – the not so great and to be honest the really awful circumstances that can drain the spirit.

The darkness of the night crept in and they soon retreated inside; a short amount of time outside shared, but the measure gained – priceless.

God asks us to share encouragement and love. It doesn’t have to be monumental. It can be as simple as laughter over food on a back deck on a spring evening.Encouragement

Lord, thank you for each day you give me. Help me to observe my blessings and share your love with others. Amen.

Blessings as you make a difference in your world. Doneta

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thess 5:11


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