Five Little Words That Shaped My Life

Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man? The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. 
Proverbs 20:6-7

When I was a child, there were many days I worked alongside my Dad. I was an only child so when he needed a helper, it was me. He taught me how to put shingles on a house, change my own oil and how to change a flat tire {that was accompanied by a lesson on not ever depending on a man to do these things for me}.  He taught me how to drive a 1946 John Deere H, and how to not get the narrow front wheels down in the furrow.  He taught me how to sharpen mower blades, how to replace a universal joint on a '69 Chevy and how to put on a exhaust myself {that was accompanied by a lesson on ability...I woke to the parts and a note on the table "have the exhaust on the car when I get home"}.  He taught me how to mix bondo and how to braze.  He taught me my hands will always wash off, so don't be afraid to get them dirty.

During all my days of helping him, there were five little words he would always tell me. Better than I could do. Regardless of the job, how I did it, what my performance or attitude was his answer was always the same...that was better than I could do. It was always accompanied by a pat on the back and a huge smile. 

And I assure you, there were days my attitude was less than stellar.  Especially the nights I had to hold the treble light at 9 pm and pump the grease gun.  Oh, how I wanted to be inside snuggled up with a book.  And I always gave that grease gun one extra pump after he said "that's good".  Thinking back now, I probably needed a switchin' for having a bad attitude.  But I would still hear those same familiar words...that was better than I could do.  

There was so much power in those few spoken words.

From those words...I've always believed I could do anything. I've always believed if a guy could do it, I could do it too. I've never once doubted my ability to complete any task given me. I've never been afraid to jump into a job headfirst, no matter the size.  I've never felt I had to have a man by my side to start a job, I just go buy the parts and do it.  Those words shaped and molded me into the strong, confident woman I am today.

Oh parents, please don't be afraid to praise your littles.  A sweet, gentle and kind spirit from a parent makes such a huge impact in a child's life.  Believe me, it's not going to spoil them. The purpose of encouragement and praise is to increase positive behavior with the child's knowledge. Everybody responds well to praise, even adults.

Words of encouragement are so so important to our littles. We see a perfect picture of an encouraging parent in Matthew 3:17, after Jesus is baptized, His Father makes it clear to all of us, just how He feels about His precious son. “And a voice from Heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.’”

I try to make a point to tell my children how precious they are to me, always. Even if they make mistakes, I encourage them still. No matter how old my children are, from time to time I will just tell them how proud I am of them, how great of a job they did and that I'm so thankful I'm their Mama.

Take a moment today and praise your child.  If you see an area where they're struggling, offer them some life-giving praise.  Speak those words out loud, speak them when you're alone or in front of the rest of the family. Then watch your child grow!  Even five little words can change a child's life.