A couple months ago I started to learn how to paint. No, not walls and ceilings and such but painting on canvas with oils. It has been a dream of mine for some years now. And finally, I am doing it. And for me, I love doing it.  You find some techniques easy and some hard but you keep going. Then you get to that one place where you can’t quite make it look the same as the instructor’s. You try and try. And try again. If you’re like me, about this time I start to get discouraged. If I let myself stay discouraged, it is an easy spiral down. Then you feel like you can’t do this painting or any other thing as well.

Discouragement hits everyone. I have a missionary friend who even got discouraged and felt all alone. It’s easy, too easy, for us to hop on the discouragement train. So instead of that, make a point to be on the upside of things. Be an encourager. Share a smile and an uplifting word. It will change your life as well as those around you.

There are some ways to conquer discouragement. I have learned not to let myself linger there. And maybe I am just a little more stubborn. I expect a lot out of me. I know I can learn anything. Some things take longer than others. My artist has been painting for thirty years or more. What she can do with a brush is miraculous. She did put in lots of practice. She started painting and would paint for hours into the night as she was learning. I am nowhere near that good yet. Notice the word YET. I have told myself that I will learn to do this.  That is my goal. And I will achieve it. So whenever you think you can’t, be stubborn. Set your mind to it.

Taking a break and letting your mind rest a bit can also be a good thing. Just relax. Maybe that’s the real secret. Stubbornly relax. You have the goal, the stubborn part, and then do the relax part. Just refocus yourself. Relaxing comes in many different forms for each of us. For some of us, it’s talking to a friend. For others maybe quiet meditation.  Some of us may even like to sweat it out with some exercise.

There is always talking to God. Prayer in a way. I think we make prayer to formal of a word. Maybe God needs to be closer and more intimate. But you can talk to Him anytime, anywhere. And He always listens. Don’t forget to stop talking long enough to listen to God too. Conversation is a two-way street.

Then dive right back into it. Try it again.  This time you can do it!

2 thoughts on “Encourage

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