Cultivate encouragement 4

“When you see something beautiful in someone, speak it”

Ruthie Lindsey

At the beginning of the year I wrote a manifesto, a list of principles I want to remember and try to live by this year. It says things like “Be flexible with your days” and “Hold thing lightly” which have been even more important than I expected in this year of upheaval and change.

But one of the principles that I have been drawn back to recently is “Encourage always.” This was a reminder to me that when I see something beautiful in someone, I need to let them know.

We have been called to social distance. To be apart from people, and in some ways the fear of getting sick, means that we fear people. When someone sneezes in a carpark the response is less “bless you”, and more, “I hope I don’t get it!”

In this time of isolation and social distancing, words are even more important than ever.

What does this mean practically? It means I let my daughters know when they have been incredibly kind or helpful. It means when I think of someone, I send a card or short text.

It means when scrolling through social media, I pause not just long enough to double tap, but to send a message or write a comment. To let others know that I love what they are doing and encourage them.

I also have friends who have had to change their goals and dreams for this year and so many are stepping out into trying something new. People like my friend Klara who has started a new Facebook page encouraging mums, or my friend Delilah who has a song-writing retreat coming up. They are uncertain and unsure if what they are trying will work but they are trying anyway. And, when I see these people bravely stepping into new endeavours, I get so excited I have to send them a message.

It doesn’t cost me anything, to encourage, really, it takes less than a minute to type a message. If I send a letter or a gift, maybe there is the cost of a stamp every now and again. But, as the proverbs say:

 A well-spoken word at just the right moment
    is like golden apples in settings of silver.

Proverbs 25:11

The gift of an encouraging word can be as beautiful as well-crafted jewellery to the receiver. Who can you encourage today? Let’s be a group of women who encourage always and see how that changes the world.

Peace be with you,

About Jodie McCarthy

Jodie is a writer, speaker, poet and mother. An unashamed words girl who writes to process the myriad of experiences of life. In her writing and on her blog she investigates the journey of life: the beautiful; the painful; the everyday; and the mundane. She has a heart for encouraging women on their life journey, particularly when that journey traverses the harder places of grief and pain. On the days when she is not writing you will find her in her kitchen, usually licking the beaters from a chocolate cake. You can find her books and follow her journey at

4 thoughts on “Cultivate encouragement

  • Craig Laffin

    Hey Jodie
    Thank you for your words of wisdom about being positive and sharing words of encouragement. You are right. it costs nothing and makes the giver and receiver of words experience a warm glow inside. I learnt this lesson years ago but still sometimes fail to give encouraging feedback. I chair or have chaired many organisations and make a point of thanking people for their contributions. I adopt the same pattern with children. Encouragement is more likely to lead to wellbeing.So, thank you again for your pearls of wisdom.

    • Jodie McCarthy Post author

      Hi Craig, thanks for your message. I love what you have to say about encouraging children. I am really trying to make this a big thing for my girls, as often I am good at encouraging others but tend to focus on ‘teaching’ with my own kids. Your reminder is timely.

  • Lucy

    Yes yes yes Jodie…sooo sooo important❣ I too encourage people to do just this and with the gracious grace of Jesus, endeavour to practice it myself each day? We desperately need a real encouragement “movement”?
    May He bless your encouraging writings

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