Sisterhood….Encourage

After we begin to accept the differences in others, we need to come alongside of one another and encourage one another.  We need to be willing to reach out and speak love to one another.

Ephesians 5:19-21, “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord: always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father, and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

I have seen this happen so many times, sisters encouraging sisters, and it is a beautiful thing.  But what if we stepped it up a notch? What if we as a group of women actively pursued encouraging and promoting one another? Look around and ask yourself, Who could use a little encouragement? A little help? A little boost? Maybe there is someone who is struggling and we are so busy taking care of ourselves that we cannot even see it. “Let us not look only to our own interests but also to the interests of others.”  Stef wrote a great post on this very topic!

In the blog world, what if, rather than focusing on our ourselves, our blog, our numbers, we go about the business of promoting others?  Their blogs, their posts, their endeavors?  And when others “succeed”, what if we truly rejoice with them?

While I was at the Relevant conference I was overwhelmed to receive a package from some of my friends and co-workers in Indonesia.  They had taken the time to write me encouraging letters to be given to me on the day of my keynote (and mailed them all the way to the US prior to me going to speak!).

Talk about rejoicing with someone else.  I am sure that they would have gladly traded me places and enjoyed some beautiful fellowship at the Relevant conference instead of staying in Indonesia and helped watch my kids…but no, they chose to rejoice with me and encourage me.  That is a beautiful picture of true sisterhood….wow!

And this beautiful sign arrived for me at the hotel at Relevant.

Monica from The Homespun Heart saw something I had pinned on Pinterest and made it for me to encourage me on the day I was speaking! Now, Monica and I have never met in real life, but she is a true picture of a dear blog encourager.

So I want to challenge you:

Who can you reach out and encourage today? 

Here are the previous posts in this series:

Sisterhood…The Call

Sisterhood…Embrace

Sisterhood….Get Real

Sisterhood…Accepting Differences

If this post has encouraged you, might you be willing to share it with a friend and encourage them as well? I’d love to have you subscribe and join me here every day!

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  • http://carriethinkstoomuch.blogspot.com/ Carrie

    Loving this!

    I’m trying to reach out a little more… most times I complain inside about not fitting in, but I choose to sit outside instead of walking through the door and pulling up a chair. How can others get to know me if I never give them the chance?

    Today I’m going to strive to encourage a few… either through email, phone, facebook, or blog.

    Thanks for the reminder! And how sweet of your team to send you those things. So precious!

    • Joy

      Awesome Carrie, I am so glad to hear that this has motivated you on to action!! That is awesome!!

  • Thehomespunheart

    Love you, Joy!

    • Joy

      Back at you sweet friend!

  • http://twitter.com/stacey29lincoln Stacey29lincoln

    Love this. “Who can I encourage today?”

    What would the blogging world look like if we lived that? If we were the ones who were different?

    What a testimony that would be!

    • Joy

      Well, what are we waiting for?! :) Love ya girl!!

  • http://thepoorganiclife.com Katrina Ryder

    I totally agree! One thing that Relevant (and your “Bloggy Skin” workshop) inspired me to do is start promoting OTHER blogs instead of being jealous of them. I’ve started a daily share on my Facebook page where, each day, I try to share great blog posts from my sisters that I want to encourage. I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m floating my own boat, but it has really been a fun way to stop looking at myself and really think “Who could I encourage today by sharing her post?”

    • Joy

      Love this Katrina and love your heart for encouraging others! You are just the prettiest girl with the prettiest smile and I’m sure you encourage everyone you know in real life too!

  • http://www.gracetags.com Janelle@GraceTags

    Great post, Joy. I am an encourager but this post has challenged me to be even more so. God bless you.

    Janelle
    GraceTags

    • Joy

      Awesome Janelle!!

  • http://joyfilleddays.wordpress.com/ sarah beals

    Beautiful examples of Christ’s love. A love that loves another as they love themselves. Thx for sharing. I am sure you’ll treasure your sign for years to come.

    • Joy

      I will treasure that precious sign. It is now hanging in my kitchen where I can see it every day!! Thanks Sarah for being an encourager in my comments every day!! That is a huge boost!!

  • Jenifer

    Love this!

    • Joy

      I’m glad Jenifer! Thanks for saying hello!!

  • Zanetta

    Joy, I am writing from Jerusalem where I am attending the first academy for Goodwill Ambassadors to Israel. This is a great stretch even though I came with no expectations.
    I am challenged as I learn to encourage those with whom I have great differences. the Lord sent me “one” friend who is like minded for my own comfort and encouragement. I’d be lost without her. I’m having to “get real” with being able to relate, learn, give, and a multitude of other things. And most of all, I have answered a “call” to come to the Holy Land and be trained to be a Goodwill Ambassador and take the information to my blog and that of others. Can’t wait to post when I get back to the states. So, from Israel, thank you for this post. Shalom

  • Beth Stone

    This is a refreshing post…. It’s so easy for us bloggers to get caught up in self-promotion while only promoting the work and ideas of others if we get something from it in return. I have a “Delicious” widget in my sidebar where I share links from others on my blog, but I don’t think people notice it very much (or not at all if they’re using a reader…). I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a weekly post sharing all of my favorite links from the past week. I think you’ve just inspired me to do that… so thank you! And what sweet gifts you got from your friends…. the sign is beautiful. God bless!

  • http://www.facebook.com/AngieTolpin Angie Tolpin

    YES! YES! YES! This is showing the World the Body of Christ when we are working together. “If God is for us, who can be against us.” Great POst!

    • Joy

      Thanks Ang!

  • http://www.deniseinbloom.com Denise In Bloom

    You’re talking my language sweet sister. Can’t wait to see what will happen when sisterhood and community get “kicked up a notch”! Love you!

    • Joy

      You are definitely taking this to heart for sure girl!! I love it!!

  • http://www.bountifulmom.com Lori

    Beautifully put Joy!

    • Joy

      Thank you Lori.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Joy, how beautiful this is. Your heart and love for your sisters in Christ is a testament of the work of Christ in you! Thank you for reminding us to love and serve eachother, through encouragement and support! This was so timely~ Bless you, sweet sister-friend! ;)

    • Joy

      You are so welcome. Thank you for being such a great encourager and such a warm, bright spirit in this blogosphere!! I loved your story at Peak313 today!!

  • Susan Pardoe

    Wonderful! I was just thinking about this very topic during quiet time the other day. I truly need to get my focus on J-O-Y (Jesus, Others, You) – the “You” in this case being “me”.

    Well spoken Joy!

    • Joy

      Love it Susan! Thanks for sharing! I love the focus on Jesus Others and You! Love it!!

  • Niki

    Is everyone on the same page or what? I have been kind of thinking about this for some time – to share w/others. Not being one to step outside the box but no better time than the present. So stepping out in faith. Thank you for sharing w/us how your co-workers did something so thoughtful for you! WOW!

    • Joy

      Thanks Niki! I’m so glad that we are on the same page! I love your heart in this!

  • Ann Franklin

    One trend I have noticed and I am guilty of it too, is only commenting at the blogs that we get something from, be that inspirational writing, superb photography, a great recipe or home design ideas. There are quite a number of bloggers who write about their family and everyday life who only have a small number of followers who never receive comments and my heart goes out to them. I’m sure lots give up their blog who feel very lonely in the blogosphere because they think no one ever visits them. One way we could encourage them is when we do have the time to comment is rather than leaving another comment at our favourite blog where there are already a heap of comments, is to go to someone who has not received a comment on a post and leave some words of encouragement. We don’t have to comment at their every post – just drop by once in a while to say hi. If we were all to leave a comment next week at the blog of someone who has less than 50 followers imagine how much encouragement we could share around the globe!

    • Joy

      Love that Ann!! Where do you want to start?! I’ll join you! Let’s go!

      • Ann Franklin

        Well I am going to go and visit Washington State first – there’s a mom blogger there who visits me who does not get many comments. Then I might pop over to Indiana! Love that I can do this from Australia! Next week I am going to start to make a concerted effort to leave comments at the blogs of those who have only a small number of followers – each time I am tempted to leave a comment at a popular blog I will remind myself to go and visit someone who really needs a comment to cheer them up! I am super busy at the moment coordinating the Courageous screening for my region but it only takes a couple of minutes to leave a comment. One comment each week day = five individuals encouraged! I’ll let you know the places I visited!

  • Penelopelephew

    I love that I watched Monica making this on her blog, and then just happened upon your blog about having received it. And of course I was inspired to write a note to a dear friend with a complicated pregnancy. Thanks for the inspiration, and thanks to both of you for letting God use you for good.

  • http://www.girlsetfree.com Girl Set Free

    This is a worthy call – to look beyond ourselves, to see how we can encourage others. I have learned that I must be very careful in the online world; blogging, in particular, to not become so self-absorbed, so focused on sharing my “self,” that I don’t see the needs, emotions, and hearts of others. This blogosphere is such a great place to share our hearts but sometimes, we do so at the sacrifice of really valuing and appreciating what is on the hearts of others. What a true test of our characters, to truly serve and reach out to those who appear to have nothing to offer us. Thanks so much for this very real and relevant challenge – I pray I can keep it steadfastly tucked in my heart.

  • http://www.formissionarymoms.com Ashley @ Missionary Moms

    This post encouraged me to action! I had fun delivering flowers and a card to a couple of friends yesterday just to encourage them. Thank you for this !

  • http://www.abideathome.com Rhonda @ Abide at Home

    Enjoyed this post! God has really been dealing with me about being intentional in my relationships – going the extra mile. I don’t always find the time to be crafty and do gifts, but I’ve really been working at texting and sending cards to let people know I’m thinking of them/praying for them/whatever. Sometimes it’s hard because we get so caught up in our own life that we forget that we are to be other-minded!! :( Thanks for this post – I may try to make something for someone this week while we are all home together.

  • John h. cowanl

    Dear Joy and Dave Forney. I am a 78 year old former wycliffe Bible translator from the Mexico branch. I went to jungle camp in southern Mexico just before the communist and gurillows began to roam the jungle an it was feared that one or two rebels with auto weapons could come into jungle camp and wipe out all of the misionaries and staff, so jungle training camp was moved to south texas. It was designed to help make the adjustment to a village or jungle culture both physically and sociaaally. I translated the gospel of mark into Huajuapan, Oaxica, Mexico Mixteco after reducing the language to writing and producing some literacy materials. Then it was detearmined that my dialect was close enough to the next one that I could be un-assigned. I soon resigned from Wycliffe, (I should have taken a leave of absence) and got into the watchman nee churches(one church in one city) and they sent me and another brother to Brazil.. My sister translated the new testament into three dialects of Aztec and wrote a grammer that will help any one any where in the world to learn aztec. Her husband did the dictionaries and kept the equipment running. She died a while beck of a brain tumor(before we came in contact with mms).pray for her husband DICK
    Listen very carefully: Satan hates you . you must learn how to having done all to stand.. how to use and plead the Blood. “They overcame Him by the Blood of the lamb and by the word of their testaimony..” I stumbled onto Dave’s blog and spent hours reading a lot of the old ones(try to make things as simple asp oossibe compuator wise for those of us who are not so cpu orientated)) I won a pilots licence course out of a subdivision in Denver where houses had a hanger behind them and I have 25 hours of instruction but my instructor nnever menationed rudder pedals and I am no beetter a pilot than when I started
    Now HEAR this. this is the motive for my comment. MMS Miracle mineral solution or what ever you want to call it is a miracle disacovery. Satan is clearly opposed to it. It will cure nearly everything a cold in two to four hours the flu in one day malaria in one or two days and maybe terminal HIV/aids in a few days and so forth. the human body makes this stuf but you can super fortify the immine system with it. Listen there are about four or more web sites explaining it on the net. go there and read all of them. I am up to the bloggs where joy seems to have lymes desease. I think mms would have made short work of that. My son is a doctor (anesthesiaologist- he works 10 days per month and makes abouat $300 k per year and loves money) Do you think that the medical and pharmacutical establishmmenat will welcome a discovery that wil wipe out many of their jobs?? take some of this stuff to the field with you or better still buy the book and learn to make it yoursely. I try to take a drop or two per day. I am never sick. I just moved and my mms is packed who knows where and I have the flu and am helpless before it. Check at least these read the book at we love you guys and spend a lot of time praying , and will now for you keep the bloggs coming. I was nearly a millionare a few yesars ago but am now temparily on food stamps . I am praying every day that the Lord will replace every missionary aircraft with a tirbine powered kodiac ora better.. I am john cowanmail@yahoo.com (Norman Oklahoma 1.405.819.9593 your prayers are appreciated. I need a praying helpmate who knows how to destroy spiritual strongholds of the enemy,.john

  • http://www.day2dayjoys.com Rachel @ day2day joys

    What an uplifting post! I am in a small blogging group with 6 other lovely ladies where we encourage eachother, pray for one another, can ask for advice, give advice, share funny tidbits, concerns, anything that has to do with mothering or simply asking to go comment on so & so’s blog bc they need encouragement and much more. It’s been awesome for me, not only spiritually reaching out to others, but also made a difference in my blogging and helping to get the right mindset of “why” I blog.

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