One year. It seems impossible that it has been a full year since I heard the first voice I ever heard in this life. One year since I got an encouraging text message from her. One year since I got a hug from my mother. One year since she met her Jesus face to face.
The week Mom died I had in the hundreds of text messages, voicemails, Facebook messages, and emails. The last line remained overwhelmingly the same. “If there’s anything I can do…” So with that in the back of my head and approaching the one-year anniversary of Mom’s death, I’ve decided to try a little something. There is something you can do.
During my fundraising travels I have heard countless stories of Mom’s kindness and encouragement.
“She told me it was the cutest necklace she’d ever seen!”
“I was fixing their fuse box in their house and she talked to me the whole time. After that she always sought me out to say hello!”
“She prayed with me and encouraged me when no one else saw me.”
My mom made it a priority in her life to lift others up. She loved being an encourager. She loved making people feel great about themselves and feel great about how God saw them. She sometimes went out of her way to love extravagantly, but most often she seized everyday opportunities to be an encourager and a blessing to all whose paths she crossed. And she didn’t do it to be seen – whether you were a child or a granny, whether you had a recognizable name or came from nothing – she wanted to “love on you.”
So as we approach the 17th of November, I want to honor her by filling her shoes, in a way. I want to be an encourager. I want to do little acts of kindness, not because I need to be appreciated, but just because it’s so stinkin’ fun.
Will you join me? This week leading up to the 17th, will you take an hour, or even 10 seconds, to encourage someone in your life? A text message, a cup of coffee, a bouquet of flowers, or an encouraging word? Not to me or my family, but to someone who most needs to see a glimpse of Jesus through you. I know these things are somewhat more common this time of year, but if my mom impacted your life in a big or a small way, will you join me in passing that on to others this week? If you want to share your stories, feel free to do so, but mostly when you get that little warm glow inside that comes from doing something selfless, think of my mom and her life that she lived for others. But more than that, think of Jesus who transformed her life and gave her a joy that was too large to contain in her own self – it had no choice but to spill out around her.
November 17 will be a day of sorrow and grief and longing. But I want it to be a day for us to continue the legacy that my Mom left – a legacy of selfless encouragement and grace. If my mom ever spoke into your life or encouraged you or prayed with you – will you show that same love to someone to honor her, with me? Will you join me in celebrating Joyce Day?