Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dealing with Disappointments

Are you the encourager for your family?

It seems to me that being an encourager is definitely a part of what we do for our families. We have both the privilege and responsibility of encouraging our husbands and children as they struggle through the daily disappointments and trials of life. Fortunately for me, I feel that I have the spiritual gift of encouragement/edification, so it comes naturally to me.

And yet, at times it seems that every ounce of encouragement is drained out of me! There are so many needs just in my own family.

I seem to have been in a "listening" and "encouraging" mode lately, as my husband and two adult daughters and three high school sons have all shared various disappointments and challenges. There are problems associated with jobs, and also fears of losing a job, and concerns about not being able to get a job due to the extremely sluggish economy. There are definitely financial concerns and budgetary woes. There was a cancelled trip and the resulting disappointment. There are major decisions to be wrestled with. There are concerns with school and work loads and "teacher troubles" and disappointments over grades. There was the crushing defeat in a state play off basketball game Saturday by just 2 points, and the disappointment of not getting any playing time after the coach gave reason to hope . . . There was disappointment over not getting as much scholarship money as we had hoped and wondering how we will ever make up the gap . . . And, I could go on and on . . .

I want to "fix" every problem faced by those I love. I want to listen and offer encouragement and practical suggestions. And, I'm so very glad my family comes to me when they need to talk. I always want to be there for them!

And yet, it just seems that every ounce of encouragement has been wrung out of me, until there is none left to encourage my own soul. Ever been there? How do you find the strength to continue encouraging??

I love Psalm 61:1-2 -- "Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

And Psalm 25:17 -- "The troubles of my heart are enlarged; O bring thou me out of my distresses." (My troubles are enlarged, because I take on all the troubles of my large family!)

And Psalm 55:22 (Amplified) -- "Cast your burden on the Lord (releasing the weight of it) and He will sustain you. . ."

Do you have any favorite verses that encourage and strengthen you?

How do you encourage your husband and children, while staying encouraged yourself??


Jules said...

I think you're close to the answer yourself: you need to care for yourself by getting as much SPIRITUAL food as possible. Keep meditating on those verses and other promises from the Bible. I know this is hard. My family is going through similar disappointments and concerns but I can't encourage them unless I first let the Holy Spirit encourage me.

Eszti said...

In those times, I just pour out my heart before the Lord. I let go everything- I don't care of how others might feel about it, and duties and so on- I just let go everything. Many times even the thought of permiting myself to let go- even this thought fills me with hope.:)

I've learned that in the hard times (when family and others I care for drain all the encouragement out of me) I lost the passionate love of God. I mean I start to think or feel that God no longer loves me, I am the black sheep who was not created to learn the love of Christ and the Father but to be a worthless robot who's sole job is to satisfy every need...

My solution in those times is to start to listen to worsip music through which God can speak His love into my heart. When I have God's love- I am prepared to satisfy the emotional needs of others.

Ashlyn said...

I love you Mom. Thanks for being our family's encourager and my personal support system. I know that you get tired ... but thank you for the way that you bless each one of us and that we can always go to you with everything. I hope God blesses you today and encourages you EVEN more than you always encourage us!

busymomof10 said...

Thank you, Ashlyn, for leaving that SWEET comment!!! It made me cry! I hope you don't think that I begrudge listening to you and offering encouragement. Actually, I love it! It has just been one of those weekends where as soon as I left off with one listening and encouraging session, I had to begin another one with another member of our family. So, after awhile, I was running on empty. It is a challenge when it is like that, but I'm grateful that you all come to me with your problems! :)
love you,

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