Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to send a joy filled text message to one person in your contact list.
Welcome to the beginning of a six week series I am calling Mission: Encouragement!
I am going to offer up some suggestions or missions to help us be more encouraging in our daily lives. Each week I will give one practical challenge that you can choose to partake in. My hope is that by accepting and completing these missions we can foster new joy in the world around us.
Each mission will be simple when it comes to planning, execution and the supplies needed. A little goes a long way.
This week’s challenge: send a joy filled text message to 1 person in your contact list.
One Person: Just one person. Each mission is going to focus on one person. If you want to challenge yourself to repeat the mission with a different person each day of the week, great! But, it is not about quantity, it is about quality.
So how do you pick this person? Start by getting your phone out. Go into your contacts. Scroll through the list. Is there anyone’s name that just pops out at you? Great! Go with that person.
Did you scroll to the end and are still unsure? Perhaps you are the type who needs to marinate in this thought for a while. Let it simmer in your mind. It is not a race and you have all week. Put a reminder in your calendar for a good time tomorrow and see if you have a name by then.
Once you have your name, then you can start thinking about what to send them.
What will bring this person Joy?
This is the key question. What will bring joy to this person? Take a few moments to think about what this person is facing in life. What are their challenges currently? What are their recent victories? Size does not matter. Even little challenges or little victories can be poured into.
What is unique about the relationship that you share with this person? How did it start? What is precious about them to you? What kinds of stories are in your shared history together? What are your inside jokes and catch phrases?
What are their favorite things? What are their quirky personality traits? What do they delight in? What frustrates them?
All of these things can be used to form the right message.
Keeping it Simple
Now, it can be tempting to pour forth all of our incredible feelings and gush over our recipient for pages and pages. But, chances are that none of us really have time in our schedules to write ballads and sonnets to someone in our contact list. Striving for too much out of the gate can leave us sitting in our good intentions, but not executing anything. I can only say that because I am guilty of exactly that on multiple counts.
Mission Encouragement is about taking purposeful action to offer encouragement and spread joy. So we are going to try to keep it simple.
Take Advantage of Multimedia
These computers we carry around in our pockets and purses are wonderful gadgets. They give us access to so many different tools to enrich our encouragement all with a couple of taps of our fingers.
Emoji’s, famous quotes, pictures, audio, videos, memes, cartoons, links and stickers can go a long way in brightening someones day.
Real Life Examples:
Theory only helps us so much. We need a bridge to what this looks like in application. So here are some examples from my own life.
Send a Compliment: My brother, Mike, is great at this. He sends me so many messages to thank me for the things I have done or to compliment me on my gifts or talents. They usually arrive at the perfect times, like bursts of sunshine breaking through cloudy thoughts of doubt floating through my mind.
Text of Prayer. On December 13, 2012 my sweet friend MarShondria (who is an expert in texts of joy) sent me this message. “I prayed for you today on the Holy Steps! Love you!!!” Not a lot of words, but tremendous meaning. So much so that I made a note of it for future reference. My dear friend was on an incredible trip to Rome and not only took the time to pray for me, but took the time to send me a message too. Isn’t it awesome to know that someone is offering prayer up for you?
Reassurance. Help them remember. Sometimes when we are facing challenging times or are struggling, we intensely focus on that struggle. A reassuring word of comfort, a reminder of love or hope or faith or of past successes may be just the right prescription for a text message. There is a lot of power in a text that says, “You are not alone in this. I am with you and am here for you.”
Otter Madness. Last week my sweet husband, a man of very few words, sent me a text message with a picture of an otter, its paw in the air, (I love otters by the way) with the caption “I have had it up to here with this otter madness.” Absolutely silly. But my husband is a very punny man, who initiates very few messages. The text was so timely in its arrival that it just paused my day and made me smile. Mission accomplished.
Serious or silly, heartfelt or heart warming, with compliment or reassurance or just a reminder of that joke that made you both laugh, all can be a source of joy.
Lord, I pray a blessing over our mission to encourage others. Help us to consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds like it says in Hebrews 10:24. Lord, help us to use our phones to share some joy with others. Thank You for giving us so many tools to connect to others. May we use them purposefully and wisely. May we trust You to do more with these little messages than we could ever imagine. In the encouraging name of Jesus, amen.