Give Them Encouragement.
My first year in High School my best friend was Mike Jones.
At the end of the school year, he asked me to sign his yearbook. I simply wrote my name. I had never heard of signing an annual. I didn’t know you were supposed to write something cute, clever, and/or touching.
Now I do.
Last week was the last week of school for our grandkids. Our daughter Lindsey asked Carey, me, our friends Megan and Chandler, their kids, and their grandparents to come to her house the night of the last day of school so we could help them celebrate. We had a great time.
Lindsey shared how she had shared with the kids the best song ever for that day: “School’s Out” – the 1972 Alice Cooper classic.
It bothered me a little that she was sharing something that wasn’t hers – the song was released ten years before she was born! I was there when it happened. I was in my junior year of high school when the song came out and I have seen Alice Cooper in concert a few times.
But I let that go when Lindsey brought out a stack of school folders with blank loose-leaf pages. She had prepared a folder for each of the grandkids and asked each of the adults to “sign the yearbook” for each kid.
Each adult wrote their thoughts and comments for each child – even the children who weren’t in school yet. I only read the comments that were written before me as I received each folder for writing, but it seemed everyone got in the Spirit, encouraging each child and telling them how proud they are of the child – and how happy they are to be in their lives.
I don’t remember everything I wrote, but among other things, I told Japeth (9) how I admire his athleticism, and, more important, his fun attitude on the soccer field; Isaac (8) how I love his passion for learning and the joy that he shares with everyone; Lilly (6) how I love her freedom, her dimpled smile, and the joy that both bring to everyone who sees her; Ethan (3) how much he has taught me this year, especially about playing and loving; Trevor (8) how I enjoy watching him take his ease of school learning into an ease of God learning; Caleb (6) how his stepping into the pool and sinking like a rock is symbolic of his being a rock of stability for his siblings; and Sadie (4) how everyone calls her beautiful now and how much fun it will be to see that beauty manifest even more on the inside as she grows.
Lindsey said she plans to put these “annuals” in the closet and bring them out next year about this time for us to do it again. But you never know. God may give her something even better to do next year.
You can’t remove all the need in the world today but there are lots of ways you can help. Ask God how He wants you to encourage someone today.