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Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Random Encourager

Have you ever had an experience that you feel so blessed just to witness a spectacular moment?

Perhaps it comes as a guest at a wedding or the birth of a child. Or maybe just finding love and beauty in an ordinary event.

This past Sunday I was blessed to have had a glimpse at many spectacular moments for random strangers.

I showed up to cheer on my childhood chums Lori and Tracy as they participated in the Tinkerbell Marathon. The moment that they began their journey in the wee hours before dawn I was SO excited for my friends. 

As I waited for them at the 6 mile mark something else rose up in me.

I saw the heavily pregnant woman running the marathon.

I watched the overweight man attempting to speed walk the marathon.

I viewed the group of middle aged ladies struggling to jog with their hands clasped together in unity.

I saw Peter Pan fall and rip his tights.

The Captain lost his hook.

Ariel’s seashells fell somewhere around her waist.

Snow White’s cape kept getting tangled.

In that moment I knew I was at Disneyland to be the encourager for perfect strangers.

So I began cheering:

“You can do it!”

“Looking Good”

“You’re almost there.”

“Pixie Dust Power”

It became my sole mission.

I could spot the people who were struggling. It cost me nothing to shout out:

“Eeyore, you have this race by the tail!”

“John and Michael keep running to Neverland!”

Spotting Tigger I sang out “Eye of the Tiger!”

A quarter mile from the finish line I was privileged to witness a new mother whose husband and baby were waiting for her. You could see in her eyes that she was done. The husband placed the baby in her arms and said “You can do it!”

I shouted out “Go Mama Go!”

Then there was the elderly couple that stopped in front of me. She had on pale blue running shirt and shorts. A black velvet ribbon at her throat and a tiara nestled into her gray hair. Her aging running companion had on red running shorts and a white shirt that had gold epaulets sewn onto the shoulders and a red ribbon sash. She had stopped and said “I can’t do it. You go on.” He refused. He grabbed her hand and said “We are going to finish this together.”

I said, “You’ve almost reached happily ever after. Do it for your Prince Charming.” She nodded and began running once more.

I was there when Lori crossed the finish line and ran into her husband and daughters  arms. She said “I did it!” and burst into tears.

I was there when Tracy, who didn’t think she could do it, did. 

I have never been more proud of these women who have blessed my life for more than 30 years.

Later, I saw the Three Good Fairies who I had encouraged at two separate marks during the race in a bathroom. They said, “Thank you so much! We were torn between giving up and wondering what you would say to us at the next station. So we finished.”

It was a privilege I will never forget. It also got me thinking:

“How many random people could I encourage on a daily basis?”

Laura

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:” ~ 1 Peter 4:8-10

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” ~ Hebrews 10:24

21 comments :

Nancy's Notes said...

What a heartwarming post to read on this early Sunday morning! What a dear blessing it was for you to see so many make it to the finish line! And you were a big part of them making it, how wonderful is that! Great post.
Have a wonderful Sunday.
Nancy

Dawna Motz said...

I agree with nancy's comment above! What an encouragement you must have been.... No training required, just a soft heart for others....a gift God has blessed you with and one you are obedient to use! Have a great day!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

What a wonderful thing you did by encouraging these strangers ... I am sure they will never forget your words!!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such a great post and this is so typically you. You are definitely one of the most encouraging people I have ever met. These people were all blessed to have you there. Hugs, Marty

openid said...

Laura,
You encourage runners in the 'human race' every day with your blog.
So happy you were able to cheer on and share in Tracy's accomplishment!
Your Friend,
Deborah
FairfieldHouseNJ.com

Rita C. said...

I love your inspirational posts! So glad your trip turned out well - for you and all the others you encouraged.

Cindy said...

You are such an inspiration -- I love all of your words of Disney encouragement!!! You have also encouraged me in my caregiving of my mom -- now I need to work on gracefully accepting such encouragement and pay it forward! Love the pictures, too -- you look great!

GSGreatEscaper said...

I'm so glad it all worked out for Lori and Tracy - and for you! We know that you made sacrifices to be there but you helped so many others than you set out to...and the photos are great, especially the bibbidi-bobbidi-bo crew!

Rhonda said...

There is such beauty in cheering on the marathon runners. What an accomplishment!! Your story brought tears to my eyes.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You are so sweet and beautiful my friend. I feel like we have that on our blogs, too. Good friends that encourage and support us all along the way. What a difference it makes! I know you are blessed too for all the joy your spread! Sweet hugs!

Di said...

How awesome, you brought teas to my eyes. Such a sweet story. Thank you for being a sweet encourager. Di@Cottage-Wishes

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Congrats to your friends....and no greater love!!

KaseyQ said...

Ahh! You got me all weepy! I too have been both an encourager at a race and a runner, and both times I have felt so uplifted and inspired by the atmosphere. I was once at a race where I saw a man start out with his young son, and later on at the finish line he was carrying the boy on his back because he had been too tired to go on. So many amazing and beautiful examples of determination, and even more examples of the bond of humanity that makes us want to cheer each other on to the finish. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

That's wonderful!

Laura Santos said...

I agree with the other commenters...Tears! So true that we can be an encouragement whenever and wherever. Better than the common trend to complain. God bless you.

Maureen Wyatt said...

I'm not sure why but this post has me crying. Tomorrow I will remind myself to be more like Laura and give encouragement to everyone I can. It was a wonderful thing you did!

Debbie said...

What an excellent post!

Kelley said...

'At's m' girl! You're SO a winner, too!

Happy trails,
Kelley~

April Dunlap said...

Laura, you ALWAYS encourage ME. I think you sprinkle encouragement out of your BEING YOU just like Tink sprinkles her fairydust. :) You're such a blessing to so many people. Thank you for sharing JOY!
~april

Auntie Em said...

We just never know what that kind word or smile might mean to a stranger.
Congrats to your friends and how wonderful you were able to go and cheer so many people on. Yea for you too!!! :)

Cindy Nettles said...

I loved reading your post! You made the day for so many!