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Month in Review: Take the Encouragement Quiz

Month in Review: February 2021

When February started the way January ended I was somewhat apprehensive, not in the least bit encouraged that February would go any differently than January did. In fact, we spent the first three weeks in a chilly house, relying on space heaters to keep us warm and sleep comfortably because our furnace was on the blink, and our water heater decided to join the furnace, so part of our time was also spent with the activity of boiling water until we could get a new heater put in. And I should not forget that once the heater arrived and was installed it was too large for our space so we needed to have it removed and a new one put in. One would think as the activity increased my spirit would have spiraled down but surprisingly it did not. I even found my initial apprehension began to turn into confidence. It was nearing the season of Lent after all and for some reason our family has a history of living Job’s life during Lent. Once we decided we must be on a “Job” journey for 2021—and during a pandemic—our spirit’s lifted and we determined to not only endure this unusual season but come through victoriously.

Some days we can feel the intensity of a season as trials and problems pile up. Our most natural inclination would be to go into deep depression and lose whatever hope we were hanging onto, but God has a different outcome he is pulling for us to not only persevere and stay spiritually grounded in these times: he is pulling for us to experience personally what it means to be encouraged—filled up with courage—and exploding with hopefulness that becomes contagious to others.

January and February have reminded me that we are never too old to learn and grow and expand, not only in biblical knowledge but in trust of the character and promises of God. Each testing is an opportunity for testament and testimony about God’s goodness. Although by the end of February our checkbook had fewer checks, and our bank balance was considerably lower than it started out, our outlook and hopefulness and encouragement was on solid ground. It was not about how many trials we endured in the span of a few weeks, but the fact that God showed up for every one of them.

I’m not banking on March being trouble free—for there is always some kind of trouble awaiting all of us—but that God has 31 more days to show up and prove his promises are true. 31 days to prove his love is not only eternal but means we are cared for in every way needed. 31 days to remind us that he will never leave us nor forsake us.

If I need to rate February and put it on the scale of encouragement I would rate it a 10!                  

As you look back over February 2021 how would you answer the following questions:

1). What’s the best thing that happened to you in February?

2). The worst?

3). What did you do to celebrate the good things?

4). How did you respond to your disappointments?

5). What was your most discouraging moment or event?

6). How did you handle it?

7). If you could do February over again, what would you repeat?

8). What would you like to forget and gladly move on?

9). During your discouraging moments what did you do to pull yourself out of it?

10). What part of God’s word (if any) kept you encouraged?

Write it out if you are able.   

Encouragement Scale:

On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate yourself when it came to staying encouraged?                  

 1= I really took the devils’ discouragement bait hook, line, and sinker

3= Don’t worry about setbacks; you will get there, just keep pressing

5= You’re doing great! Keep praying and treasuring God’s word and promises in your heart. It will pay off! 

7= So far, so good! Can you see improvement in yourself for staying encouraged more and more regardless of what happens to you? 

9= Good Job! You should be so proud of yourself! I told you, you can do this!

10= High five yourself! You’re doing great at staying encouraged even in tough circumstances, that’s no little feat!  

Month in Review: January 2021

January proved to be a month full of surprises for my husband and me. How about you? First, I was surprised at how quickly it went—mostly because I have always felt January and February to be the longest months of the entire year, and it was anything but. Second because we seemed to have one thing after another happen to us; the month nothing wanted to go right:

My computer crashed (Well, that should have not been a surprise at, all since it was threatening for quite sometime!)

Our furnace decided to stop working during the coldest week of the month and even when the new part arrived two days later, another part went out while the technician was putting in the first part!

My phone decided to kick me out of text privileges, and I learned how much joy I get out of sending those early morning texts to others.    

And if these were not enough, we discovered a gas leak which meant our gas needed to be turned off until the problem could be resolved.   

As bad as these things were, especially because they happened so closely together, they were not the surprises I came away with. More like the unplanned, unpleasant, unpredictable realities of life on earth. The surprises were the moments God gave us to laugh about and in spite of our circumstances. In spite of the pricy quotes we got for needed repairs, in spite of the challenge to stay warm or be innovative at meal time.

The gift of levity and inner peace can be wonderful gifts that break up and break into the middle of dark times, sad times, terrible times. The surprise of holding on to what we knew to be true: that we are all stronger and more resilient than we give ourselves credit for; that God indwells us for a reason and is always at work within us, making us more and more like himself: strong and victorious.       

As I review my January, I can put all things in perspective: January is not the entire year, just one-twelfth of it and there is still more year to come. That means many more surprising events, including disappointments, but also many more wonderful things beyond my highest expectations still waiting for us to get there. That makes me encouraged to keep going and be open to whatever the year has in store. Surprisingly, if I had to rate January on a scale of 1-10 I’d give it a strong 8! It wasn’t perfect, there was lot’s of room for improvement, but overall it was good and I have no regrets.

How Would you Answer the Following Questions:

1). What’s the best thing that happened to you in January?

2). The worst?

3). What did you do to celebrate the good things?

4). How did you respond to your disappointments?

5). What was your most discouraging moment or event?

6). How did you handle it?

7). If you could do January over again, what would you repeat?

8). What would you like to forget and gladly move on?

9). During your discouraging moments what did you do to pull yourself out of it?

10). What part of God’s word (if any) kept you encouraged?

Write it out if you are able.    

Encouragement Scale:

On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate yourself when it came to staying encouraged?                  

 1= I really took the devils’ discouragement bait hook, line, and sinker

3= Don’t worry about setbacks; you will get there, just keep pressing

5= You’re doing great! Keep praying and treasuring God’s word and promises in your heart. It will pay off!  

7= So far, so good! Can you see improvement in yourself for staying encouraged more and more regardless of what happens to you?  

9= Good Job! You should be so proud of yourself! I told you, you can do this!

10= High five yourself! You’re doing great at staying encouraged even in tough circumstances, that’s no little feat!   

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