Thursday, January 14, 2016

What did you bring me?

My husband and I don't go on many trips and when we do we've tried to avoid starting the tradition of always bringing something back for the kids. For the most part the kids don't expect it, which is good. Joy and I just returned from a trip to Myrtle Beach and she did bring back some shells and lots of chocolate. This pleased the J Crew!

Honestly, none of my kids asked this question, but today I found myself thinking about it. Today was our 3rd morning back home and I think the adrenaline was wearing off and reality set in...I was no longer at the resort, people needed me, laundry demanded my attention and my people were hungry. We gathered around the breakfast table and I was in a bit of a daze.

I said to Job, "I'm coming down from the spiritual high." He repeats words that were spoken at the retreat I had attended - "Just do the next thing." I gave him a little smile that said, "Thanks, I know, but..." He spoke up again with a grin of his own and said, "I'm just trying to encourage you."

To add an important detail, the reason for my leave was the Encouragement Cafe - an amazing ministry, I'm blessed to be a part of. I believe in what they stand for and am grateful to be encouraged by them and encourage others with them.

My husband's words had me as I glanced around our table - 2 girls, 3 boys and my hubby. Then I had a response for him, "Guess we should have our own little "encouragement cafe" right here.

I spoke those words early this morning and the thought has been with me all day. Friend, our kids need things from us...things that are more important than a shell from the beach or souvenir from the airport. The same is true for our husbands and all those we love.

It was a joy and pleasure to spend time with 30 of my new friends this past weekend. We shared, we laughed, we cried, and we prayed. We encouraged one another and took time for each other. It's an honor to point others to Christ with the devotionals I share on the Encouragement Cafe website. Lifting others up and using my words is something I have a passion to do, but today has served as an important reminder.

My kids didn't ask me what I brought them, but God has shown me what I need to give them and all who enter my home. The "Encouragement Cafe" doesn't simply need to be a ministry that hosts a radio show, coordinates women's events and has a can happen in my house. It needs to happen in my house.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, "And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."

Friend, life is hard and we need encouragement. We need people who will speak truth, share love and point us to Christ. It can be easier to do this outside the walls of our home, but this is where it matters most.

Chances are you are not involved with "Encouragement Cafe" ministries, but friend I want to encourage you to make your home a place of encouragement. Speak words of life, support one another and share your confidence with them. Be the wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend who builds others up.

Some day I hope my kids realize the treasure we brought home from the beach and I pray our home is never the same. I no longer just write for "Encouragement Cafe", I live in it too!!

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)


  1. Love this, Jill! What a beautiful revelation and wonderful outgrowth of Encouragement Cafe!

  2. Jill, you have no idea (I will call you to share soon)... God used you and He ESPECIALLY used JOY to show me how to bring Encouragement Cafe to my home. I love you. Tell my buddy Joy that I miss dancing with her... I miss the feeling of her hands in mine... I miss talking basketball with my point guard... And thank her for me. God has used this little angel in Eph 3:20 ways in my life... Xoxo

  3. Such a great reminder! I LOVE turning each home into an Encouragement Cafe! After our weekend I had to go away again to our radio station's Vision Week. Coming home was the best! Today is catch up day with my kids. Even though they are grown, they need mom to touch base and know THEY are my first ministry always. Love you more than words, Mama Lu