Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Fling: Practicing the Art of Encouragement

On Saturday the women's ministry at my church put on a conference.  It was attended by 165 women, many dressed in our color theme of pink, black and white. We were there to learn "The Power of Positive Linking: Practicing the Art of Encouragement" with international fashion designer and speaker Martha Fellure. It was such a blessing!

Getting ready for such an event is a monumental task that requires months of preparation. It truly is a labor of love for the conference team and volunteers who helped (45 in all) with pulling of such an event, but we all agree that it is well worth it.  My role was to plan the theme/decor and destop publishing/marketing. I'm still pretty achy and exhausted and am learning
some lessons about my limitations and do plan to delegate more next time. I'm good at the creative part, but my body doesn't cooperate very well.  I'm so thankful for good friends who work so well together.  At 9:30 pm the night before the conference (second night of set up, after most of us worked during the day) and we were still at it. A friend came in to give us who were still there a much needed boost of help.  She even brought some cookies and therapeutic neck rolls to ease some of our achy necks and shoulders.  That was a true encourager!

Martha's message had to do with how we encourage others - sometimes with the use of words, and sometimes refraining from using words. She shared that she is a person who always tries to find the right words , after all, she is a public speaker, but some of the times that have been most meaningful to others have been the times when she was just there for them.  As a writer that got my attention. It is not always finding the right words to say, but discerning when to say them, or if to say them at all - however justified we feel we are or desire to say something. Are we speaking to make us feel better or to benefit the hearer.  Have you ever had well meant words backfire? I know I have.  Yet there are times when words that have been shared with me have been like apples of gold.In times when we sense someone is in need of encouraging we should be sure to pray first.

We had a word-play fashion show which was absolutely hysterical!  There I am in all my sillyness donning my "tea dress" - complete with tea hat and tea length dress decorated with tea bags, tea strainers, tea spoons, a tea cup bracelet, and tea kettle purse. My hat and dress where purchased at Good Will for a total of $3.50.  The other ladies in our funny fashion show were dressed in a "recycled green outfit", a "cotton dress", "dinner wear", "evening dress", "last fall's fashion", and a "bathing suit".

Our conference was a great encouragement to me and a wonderful way to usher in the spring!

 What special ways have you been encouraged?


  1. Carla you guys look like you had an amazing time. Wish I could have been there :) One way that I get really encouraged is by spending time with my girl friends. It's something that I don't get to do often so when it happens its like I am so thirsty for it that I just drink it all in. I am now in the process of planning a get together 'cause I need it so badly.

    have a blessed day!

  2. So much fun!

    I love encouraging people--and really appreciate it when people do the same for me. We really need it. The best times for me is when it's unexpected. That really lets me know the person cares.

  3. Carla, Wonderful pics and theme! I so love giving encouragement and getting it. And I'm getting it again here from you:) Bless you.

  4. Hi Carla -

    What fun! One of these days, I'm going to invite some friends for a fancy women's tea. I love pretty dishes, dainty pastries, and, of course, tea.

    Girls need serious girl time. :)


  5. Carla, looks like a seriously girlie day. Until you've worked on something like this, you just can't know how much planning and prep goes into it. I've never been charge of anything like it, but I've been a worker bee. I don't think my body would cooperate these days either, though! Bless you for doing all that to help bless a bunch of lovely sisters.

  6. It was fun sharing my day with you! And yes, it was such a girlie day! If you ever get a chance to go to a women's event it is such a treat. I can't tell you how many times I have almost not gone to something and then been so glad that I did.

    Being encouraged as a suprise is great. And when we need it, like Vickie and Susan suggested, don't hesitate to plan something! It doesn't have to be a major production, just getting together face to face with a friend or two can do wonders!

  7. I agree with you on this one. Encouragement is my passion, because I know it makes a difference for me! I believe if we could learn to say encouraging words to each other, we could change the world one person at a time.
    How to encourage

  8. Carla, sounds like a good and inspirational time. :) Your "tea dress" was awesome!

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Sounds like a wonderful day, Carla. And I love the fashions!

    We had our annual women's retreat in February. This year about 470 women attended, and it was fabulous. There's always an English tea party followed by a praise and worship session, a formal luncheon, and a guest speaker. This year's theme was on God's Grace, and it was very encouraging.


  10. I love sending cards to those who need encouragement. Please let me know if you know of anyone needing some cards of encouragement


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