..."popsicles on the porch"...what a great afternoon treat and our favorite way to spend time together! These are simple and precious moments! Princess #1 and Princess #2 along with Little Man #1 and #2 are my inspiration for most of these writings.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

MomTime: Giving and Receiving Appreciation

We had a great time at MomTime last night! It was an Italian themed night followed by a sweet Tiramisu pie...yummy!

Dessert Discussion:
A sweet little boy surprised his grandmother one morning and brought her a cup of coffee. He made it himself and was so proud. He anxiously waited to hear the verdict on the quality of the coffee. As she forced down the last sip she noticed three of those little green army guys in the bottom of the cup.
She asked, "Honey, why would three little green army guys be in the bottom of my cup?" Her grandson replied, "You know grandma it's like on TV, "The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup!"

We all have similar stories from our children and it was neat to hear everyone share their unique experiences. Some were funny and lighthearted and even slightly embarrassing! But the stories left us all with a smile on our face!

Let’s face it motherhood is a tough job. At many times it can be thankless, overwhelming, challenging, and it is certainly not esteemed by our world. This can often leave us feeling very discouraged.

“Nothing else so inspires and heartens people as words of appreciation. You and I may soon forget the words of encouragement and appreciation that we utter now, but the person to whom we have spoken them may treasure them and repeat them
to themselves over a lifetime.” - Dale Carnegie

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says – “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

Last night we got to put that into practice!

Group Discussion:
Our group discussion was centered on giving and receiving appreciation. We did a great exercise together in which we actually practiced the act of both giving and receiving encouragement.

Each person was given an index card with the name of every person in attendance. We all took the time to identify one personality trait or characteristic about EACH person that has stood out to us. Then we backed it up with evidence that supported how we have seen that characteristic or quality displayed. One at a time, each person was encouraged by every other person in the group.

Not only can it take intentionality to encourage others, but it can also be difficult to be the person on the receiving end. Ever wonder why that is? I can recall a few times when I have told someone that I was blessed by his or her message or was really moved by a song that was sung. Instead of responding with a simple “Thank You” for the encouraging words, they say something like, "praise the Lord."

At times this has caused me to feel a little awkward, as if my words of encouragement were actually rejected instead of received. Sometimes it’s hard for us to be on that receiving end of encouragement.

So last night, the person who was receiving encouragement simply had to respond with a simple "thank you.”

For example: Person giving the encouragement might say something like this: "Sue you are a person of great strength. It takes courage to share your faith and yet you are able to do so without fear of rejection. This greatly encourages me to step out in faith and take more risks!" Receiver says: Thank You

After everyone had an opportunity to give and receive appreciation, we discussed the following questions:

1. What is the value in showing sincere appreciation?

2. Applying this in our life, what is one specific area where you can offer encouragement to your husband? How about your children?

Just practicing the act of giving and receiving made for a very refreshing evening. Let's face it; we all need (and at times hunger for) encouragement! In addition, we had a great thought-provoking discussion that allowed us the opportunity to identify one specific area that we could encourage our husband/children and how we would actually go about implementing that!!

Thanks for such a great evening ladies!

If you’d like to be a part of our next MomTime group, feel free to shoot me an email – mbarosh@gmail.com.

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