Last week I smiled big and blinked back tears as a woman very dear to me received “The Young Influencer Award” at a national conference in front of several thousand people. (Go, Amy!)
At that same conference, my palms were often reddened and my voice a little hoarse from the utter joy of cheering on women and men, both younger and older than me, who are showing up, overcoming obstacles, and bringing their best God-given gifts to make the world better, healthier, safer, more alive with hope.
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Let’s keep it real, though. There have been moments when that longing to be the one being applauded, the one receiving the awards and the cheers, has battled against any sincere celebration of those around me. It’s ridiculously easy to paste on a smile and do a reluctant slow-clap while thinking, “If only I had that opportunity…that role…that platform…” Yikes.
Maybe it’s being more at home in my ‘seasoned skin’ (which insists on sketching in a few more wrinkles every time I look away) these days, or perhaps the growing realization that neither approval nor animosity determines my value–the knowing that affection trumps applause over the long haul–which has increased my skills as a confetti thrower.
Besides, this whole cheering-others-on thing?? It’s SO MUCH FUN, ya’ll!!
Here’s what I’ve learned about confetti throwing:
When you toss out your handful, some of it is sure to land on you and those nearest the one being celebrated.
There is always more than enough affirmation to go around. And the fragrance of honor, freely given, has a way of lingering on the hands of the giver.
Even though it feels too light-weight to make a real difference, confetti changes the atmosphere and makes even an ordinary day a celebration.
Those little, but colorful, words of praise you pitch out may seem small to you, but they have the capacity to change a dispirited soul into a heartened, “I-can-do-this” one.
Samuel Coleridge said, “The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions–the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or a heartfelt compliment.” Yes. It is.
Confetti is meant to be used lavishly, maybe even wasted–and it’s always a bit messy.
I sometimes wonder at those who are so stingy with a word of praise–who vet every recipient of their rare, must-be-earned compliment to make double-dog sure they are truly worthy.
So what if that person doesn’t deserve your kind words? Maybe your kind words will inspire them to live a confetti-deserving life.
Proverbs 12:25 (NLT) says it so well: Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Here’s my challenge for you:
Go into each day on the watch for that person you can cheer up and cheer on.
Determine to go to sleep each night knowing you have no confetti left because you lavishly tossed that day’s allotment on those around you.
Don’t worry. God will make sure you have a new pocketful for tomorrow’s celebrations–and it’s very likely a few pieces will drift down from heaven’s balcony and land on your heart while you sleep.
I’d love to hear from you! Leave your comments below!
When did someone who cheered you on make all the difference?
What’s your best “confetti-throwing” tip? (How do you combine creativity with encouragement?)
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