A number of years ago, I was our church’s laity member to our state conference. During one of those conferences, the bishop at the time purchases wrist band for all in attendance with a simple message: Be Encouraged. While I don’t remember the sermon, that simple wrist band message has stuck with me for a long time.

Be encouraged, for me, mean view life with a sense of hope and wonder. Look for small positives that take place every day. As I think about my middle schoolers, I think about the student who doesn’t have reliable Internet, but is 7 for 7 in their blogs. I think about the student on my basketball team who has worked and worked and worked, with results finally starting to show as we ended our season. I think about my struggling readers, those who “hate school” and how little by little, they improve.

Be encourage means just that, look at all the stuff around you, and find the good. We made a mad dash to Ames Friday night, coming home Saturday night. While there, I found some great books at a local bookstore for cheap! Then, we made it home before the snow hit. While we missed two days, I felt rested for the first time in weeks. Tonight, we had a Korean dinner at our church, and we felt tired and rushed, almost not going. However, we ate WONDERFUL food, talked with some community members we’ve not seen in a while, and came home feeling good.

Be encouraged. So much of life is hard, but if you stop and look around, there’s so much good out there, little things, but good things. Writing this slice has made my day because there’s so much I miss rushing from meeting to meeting, place to place.

Be encouraged, my friends.