This week has been fairly eventful. Disaster struck on Tuesday night when I was out walking our puppy Lamar and another dog chased him onto the road and into the path of oncoming traffic. In a split second, a peaceful evening walk turned into a horror scene for poor Lamar being struck by a car on the carriageway, the very shocked driver and for me taking in the scene, helpless. Instantly I knew Lamar’s injuries were bad. I ran into the road to pick him up and there was blood coming from below his body, and very obvious damage to his back end. In a panic, I started crying, thinking he was dying. I was hyperventilating, I couldn’t think straight, all I could manage was to beg my dog not to die on me at the side of the road.
Thankfully other drivers stopped, as well as the driver who had hit him and pulled in to help me. They all quickly jumped into action to help make the dog comfortable, they talked to me to calm me down, made phone calls and googled vets to get me the right contacts to get Lamar seen to and get us to the vets. Not sure how I would have managed without these three strangers who quickly worked together to help me at the side of the road.
I was still in a bit of a state by the time I arrived back at the house and didn’t want to alarm my youngest son Joshua. I called Carter downstairs and discreetly said I needed him to get dressed and go out for me as I needed him to go ahead of me with Lamar to the on-call vet as I had to go collect my other son Ethan from the cinema. Very quickly Carter assessed the situation and very calmly went about getting sorted to leave for the emergency vet with Lamar.
After he left I had to break the news to Joshua and we cried together and prayed that God would help Lamar and us to stay calm. We collected Ethan from the cinema and followed on to the vets to meet up with Carter.
On the way home from the vets both younger boys were very upset and in tears. I was driving and unable to comfort them. Carter again quickly snapped into action to comfort his brothers.
Later that night as I lay in bed playing over the evening’s events in my head, I was thinking about how well Carter copes in the situation of extreme stress and how calm and level headed he can remain under pressure, compared to the hyperventilating, panicking mess I was on the side of the road.
Lamar, on cage arrest, as he awaits his femur surgery.
This isn’t the first time Carter has snapped into action when faced with sudden stress. He was the same the night that his brother slipped and badly broke his arm. And the time the clutch went in my car in the middle lane of traffic on a busy junction, and the time we got lost in Portugal in the middle of the day as our skin roasted with no shade or suncream. All situations where I panicked he stayed level headed and calm.
My son has this really desirable characteristic and I wondered if he was even aware that he has this special quality.
The next day as we discussed our pup’s broken femur with the boys, I brought up Carter’s ability to remain calm while Joshua and Mum quickly turned to basket cases. Carter always stayed calm. Carter quickly shrugged it off like it was no big deal. So I repeated what I had said with a little more emphasis on the comparison between my reaction and his. I told him that I believed God made him with that unique ability and had given him it with a purpose and plan for his life.
I was surprised to see how quickly he dismissed this. In a way, because it wasn’t a talent like singing or dancing or football skill it didn’t matter; to me, this particular life skill would be much more beneficial than having ball skills but that’s not how he saw it.
I thought about how often I miss opportunities to praise people or point out their distinctive abilities, but I can compliment talent or praise a mastered skill.
I believe there is a big gap in the market for compliments and I want to fill it.
My favourite Psalm is 139. I don’t think I could ever get bored reading it.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
Psalms 139:13-16 NLT
God knit us together in our mother’s womb.. he made all our delicate inner parts. God has crafted us all individually. We are not carbon copies of our parents. God had hand designed us and crafted us each individually with plans and purpose
I believe God also crafted our abilities and skills and talents within us each personally to suit all our individual needs and purpose in life.
Throughout our life, we get opportunities to develop and grow these gifts and abilities but they are there since we were formed in utter seclusion of our mother’s womb.
God knew about Carter before I did. He had a plan for his life and knew then what Carter was going to need to fulfil these plans, just as he did for you and me and everyone else on the planet.
What a shame it would be for any of those custom-made traits go undiscovered because they are hidden under a veil of doubt or lack of self-belief.
What does it cost us to speak out and tell someone that does something well?
Who has ever dropped dead from a word of encouragement?
Somehow it’s more natural to praise and give feedback when someone sings, or plays an instrument, or performs on stage or wins an award. And we can stay stuff like oh you are amazing, you are so talented or gifted or you are special. We want them to believe in themselves.
What about when someone’s gifting is hospitality, when someone serves others with a lot of thought and consideration and planning, they have the heart to make others always feel welcome and loved. Would you be as quick to acknowledge their special gift for hospitality as you would to praise the guy who played the amazing guitar solo during the offering?
What about Carter? The person who can remain calm in the midst of trauma and disaster, who, in his shyness, didn’t think that was an ability worth acknowledging. How would people know that what they have is remarkable unless we remark on it? No one ever wants to have to deal trauma but isn’t this the type of person we want to help us? Yet how would he ever know this is helpful to people if he wasn’t told.
Do you see someone with a compassion heart? Tell them, encourage that.
Do you see someone who is a quick thinking problem solver? Point it out.
Do you see someone who is able to consider possible problems before jumping in? Encourage that,
Do you see someone with good healthy boundaries?
Someone who only ever speaks kindly of others?
Someone who’s first reaction is the see the positive?
Someone who after a set back can dust off and retry?
Speak up, point out good qualities, encourage abilities and positive personalities, people’s strengths. I know it’s awkward as! You feel wick. What’s all this brown nosing about. Will they think I’m like hero-worshipping them? I don’t want to give them a big head? What if they think I fancy them, they will think I’m a crazy stalker! Ok ok, be wise. Do it in company if need be to have someone with you when you talk to them. DO NOT call to someone’s house you barely know at 11 o’clock at night to tell them you saw them stop to help an elderly man cross the road, You think that this a really great quality, yes, but that would be weird, but next time you bump into them you could TELL THEM..
I promise you won’t spontaneously combust, but it could make the difference between someone believing in herself or not, the difference between someone walking into their purpose or not.
“Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 TPT
have a better week
love T x