1. Join your kids in the front yard to build a snowman and have a rousing snowball fight. Don’t forget the hot chocolate afterward.
2. Declare your mouth a “no-whine” zone. Any time you want to complain about something, find at least one positive thing about the “whiny” area and say the positive thing instead. You’ll be surprised how focusing on the positive will change your attitude.
3. Take the time to listen to a good friend. Time spent giving to a friend is a great encourager to you. Share your troubles over a special cup of tea.
4. Keep a sense of humor. Allow yourself to laugh at you and the funny things that happen in life.
5. I love to fill my office with pictures of my family at special times and children who have been a blessing. These pictures help put what I’m doing back into perspective.
6. Have you ever noticed how there’s always room for ice cream…or Oreo cookies and milk? Just get out of the office and take a walk while you lick that chocolate cone. (Sometimes, even a lollipop will do!)
7. Nothing beats a good “Smile File.” Save notes of encouragement from friends, parents, or kids. Pull out the file when you need a smile. These notes will continually deliver encouragement from the senders to you.
8. A good laugh brings great joy and loosens up those tight muscles. I have a friend who’s an avid Far Side fan. Her collection of cartoons comes out often during discouraging times!
9. Take a trip to a local card shop with a friend or co-worker. Pick out cards to exchange. Read them, share them…but don’t buy! This is a quick half hour to lift your frown lines and your spirits.
10. Always remember you’re not alone in God’s work. Keep special coffee blends in your office area. Make any day special when you invite staff in for a “Praise and Pamper Party!” Celebrate the positive happenings in each other’s ministry and life.
11. A “Scripture a Day” calendar is a quick lift to keep close. Devotional calendars with quotes, quips, and verses can fit easily on a desk corner, a bathroom or kitchen counter, or even in the car. It always amazes me how God will draw my attention to a verse at just the moment I need it.
12. Retreat to the backyard swing or a local park to watch the sunset. Take that sunset personally. God’s glory revealed in his power and majesty is a powerful reminder of his ability to care for you.
13. Always carry a pocket book of encouragement. My favorites are the works of Max Lucado: God Came Near and He Still Moves Stones. These books often reveal a Scripture that I need to set me straight. Many authors have published great works of encouragement (some are now made small enough to fit in a pocket or purse), but the best is found in God’s work. Read through Psalm 139 when the world gets you down, and know that God cares for you.
14. Do you have a prayer journal or praise list? Keep track of needs, jotting down dates and prayer requests. Note answers to prayer. Go back over these answered prayers days, weeks, or months later to see proof of God’s faithfulness to you.
15. Above all, talk to God. He longs to hear from you…and he will always listen and respond. Remember: Don’t pray by heart, but with the heart. Be open and honest with your Lord. God knows your every need, and he will bring encouragement from unexpected places.In Firefox or Chrome browsers, right-click the link and select "Save Link As." In Internet Explore select "Save target as." In Safari right-click or ctrl+click and select "Download Linked File As."