Friday, September 5, 2008

They are indispensable.


Today, as she walked by me while I was busy in the kitchen, Mom told me I was being diligent.

Usually, if you browse through a book on raising little children, the author will tell you to build them up with praise, be careful to notice everything they do, be encouraging, etc.

But who says we ever outgrow that desire to be encouraged? I know that too much praise and not enough correction will harm a child, but building one another up is certainly Biblical - and it sure feels good when you're on the receiving end!

"You're being so diligent."

Four little words.

When I heard them, I instantly thought back in time to certain journal entries I made as a young teen. In them, I tearfully complained about my lack of home-making skills. "I'm never going to be as good as Mom! I'm too lazy. I never work hard enough. I'm always too tempted to sit here and read or write. How will I ever run a household?"

It was a worry that plagued me constantly. And no matter how hard I tried to conquer bad habits, I was never satisfied with the results. Mom still was a better worker than I. (And no surprise!)

I don't know if Mom was even aware of how I felt. I'm certain she had no idea how much pleasure her four little words caused this morning.

Mom is generous. Her praise is easily earned, by showing her something new we've done or created. Praises centered around our character, however, are more carefully bestowed. We're not commended as faithful, kind, loving, or truthful unless we really are such. I like that.

So Mom made my heart sing today, with her small comment. I needed it at the moment, because I'm not feeling well today, and certainly didn't feel diligent. I felt like I hadn't accomplished much at all.

But you know what? After she left the kitchen, something inside of me wanted to work twice as hard - to be sure I had honestly earned that compliment.


They sure know how to capture your heart and make your day.

P.S. It also makes me wonder how often I make someone's heart sing. Can I find a good character trait to commend today? How 'bout you?


Alethea Jordan said...

That is certainly true. I still love to get complements(although not so much on what i am wearing). If I don't get any, I feel very discouraged. Let your Mother know how you feel! She will also be encouraged.

Amber said...

Don't worry - she knows. :) And if she didn't, she would soon find out, since she reads my blog a lot. :)

Amanda said...

Again, I have to thank you for your encouragement! The area of praising character in other people's lives is one that I struggle with. Quite often I'll notice someone doing something good, but I don't take the time to stop and tell them what a good job their doing. And it's a good reminder to know that anyone, old or young, likes to be complimented about their character! :)