Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to pick up your phone, call one person and offer them encouragement for their day.
This is the third week in a six week challenge called Mission: Encouragement.
I am challenging my readers to join me in the mission of encouraging with love, passion and enthusiasm. Each week I offer one challenge that is practical for completing in the course of our every day lives. I am trying to keep it simple when it comes to planning, execution and the supplies needed for each mission. A little goes a long way.
In case you missed out on the previous challenges here are the missions:
Week One: Text Some Joy Week Two: Joy of an Unexpected Card
This week’s challenge: call one person and offer them encouragement for their day.
You have a delightful voice! I know there are people out there who would like to pick up their phones and hear you on the other end.
One Person: One person, just one. I am not challenging you to call every person in your contact list. If that is what you feel prompted to do this week, by all means go for it! But for most of us, that is too big of a bite to chew and will likely cause us to choke.
Whenever I have time to make a phone call, one of the first questions I ask myself is “who am I missing?” Who do I wish I could hear on the other end of my phone? Who is in my contact list that I have not connected with in a while? Who has had been going through changes or challenges? Who is in the middle of a big project or undertaking?
Asking these questions while you scroll through your contact list may help determine the one person you decide to call.
Using Our Phones As Telephones: Our phones can do so much, in so many ways, that it can be easy to forget they were originally designed to get the sounds of our voices into the ears of others. Talking is a rich form of communication filled with tones, inflections and emotions. Conversations are dynamic, giving and taking along the way.
In this week’s mission we are going to pick up the phone, dial a number (or click a contact), hear the ringing on the other end and then delight someone with our voice.
What if I get Voicemail? My suggestion is to leave an uplifting voicemail for them. They still get to hear the sound of your voice, a message in your own words. Some of the most uplifting messages of joy I have been blessed to receive were left on my voicemail. The cool thing about voice messages, recipients can listen to them over and over again.
When I leave a voicemail, I often picture the person I am calling listening to it. I try to keep my voicemails, especially to family & friends, upbeat and filled with joy.
I’m Not a Phone Person
For all of the tenderhearted introverts out there, I know there is a tendency to want to avoid making random phone calls, perhaps as much as receiving random phone calls. The uncertainty of the conversation and demands for making small talk may seem excruciating. Trust me, you can do this.
Perhaps your call is not out of the blue and random, but begins with a simple text message. Tell them you miss them and just want to chat for a few minutes. When you do get on the phone be upfront about the time that you have available.
For instance, I may call up a friend and let them know at the beginning of the call that I only have 10 minutes available but I just wanted to let them know that I was thinking about them and hoping things were going well. I may have an open ended question ready to get them talking. “How is the new job going?” “Are you settling into your new house?” “What adventure are you planning to go on this year?” “Are you reading any good books?” “How’s the work on your mission going?” “How is your family?”
If you listen to the spoken responses, open ended questions create large opportunities to offer encouragement. Many times being uplifting to someone is by using an example to connect a past success to a present challenge. Shared memories can really make a moment to put some PEP in someone’s step.
Real Life Example:
I was feeling down one day about my writing. I had just received a rejection letter on one article submission and a deadline passed on another article acceptance date where no news means no interest. A friend calls me on the phone and I have the opportunity to answer. What does she ask about…“How’s your writing going?”
Since she is a good friend, I fill her in on my recent rejections and I know she’s going to pick up on the disappointment and doubt in my voice. Being an awesome listener and encourager, she reminds me of the joy that my words bring.
She tells me even if my writing is not currently being read by the masses, my words bless hearts with encouragement. My friend then talks about the card I wrote her that she has stuffed in the front of her Bible so she can look at it often. She then says that writing words is what makes a writer, as long as I keep putting words on paper, I am a writer.
All of which gives me enough strength to pull out the draft I was working on and return to honing the skill of the craft instead of giving up. My friend instilled me with courage, she encouraged me to continue.
Today we can offer encouragement to those in our lives in the same way, by picking up the phone and making one call.
Thank You for listening when we call out to You. Thank You for hearing us. Thank You for offering comfort and encouragement. Lord, please help us to do the same this week; offer comfort and encouragement.
Help us to pick up the phone and make a call to a friend. Help us to not overthink the call before we make it. Help us to be more focused on listening and encouraging than speaking about ourselves. Through it all may we find we have been refreshed in return. When the call ends, may we all be smiling because we took the opportunity to connect.
In the name of Jesus, who always takes our calls, amen.