I mentioned yesterday that my virtue for 2013 is 

For me, developing this virtue means intentionally seeking out opportunities to be empathetic to the plight of others. I don't want to limit this to the single mom I know... or the expecting mother. But the people in my day to day that simply need to be encouraged.

This may sound a little tacky to some, but I have decided to put a reminder in my phone for each day of the week for someone to encourage... whether by text or email.

When I googled the synonyms for encourage, one of them was fortify.

Fortify: to give physical strength, courage, endurance.

I want to fortify those around me. I want to be known as someone who fortifies. And I want to be listening to those around me so I know specifically what area needs fortifying... because I don't want to just check the box of my daily encouragement by sending the same vague text to each individual.

To help with my gossip tendency to overshare, I memorized Ephesians 4:29. I won't quote it all here... but it ends with (discussing speech)

but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion

So what I say does matter. I don't want to waste my encouragement. I want to be intentional with it.

When we fortify things structurally, we have to choose specifically what to fortify with... not just any old material will do.

Praying today for the compassion to truly listen to those around me... so that I really know how to encourage and fortify them.


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