Zach and I attend + volunteer at our church, Hillsong NYC. It's been a huge part of our relationship— it's the connection of how we met, it's where we've found so many of our amazing friends, and it's where we've chosen to give a lot of our time + resources. Recently one the pastors was talking a lot about encouragement and how vital it is to humanity. It's had me thinking ever since... whether you believe the same things that I do, I'm pretty sure we can all agree that when someone encourages you, it does something to you on the inside. Your heart starts beating a little bit faster, you may even get a little red in the face, but most of all it makes you feel good.

Sometimes a little bit of encouragement is all the motivation we need to get going on those dream that we've been putting off. I don't know about you, but I am totally a 'words of affirmation' person. ((Have any of you ever read Gary Chapman's book about the 5 love languages? Well I basically tied on my first three, haha... sorry Zach!)) But the older I get, the more I realize how much words affect me. It could be someone speaking negatively that really discourages me and sets me back, or the opposite-- when someone speaks words of encouragement into my life I feel like I can do anything! 

Recently I've really been trying to be more intentional about encouraging others. We've all heard the golden rule, "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you"... so why not give it a shot? If you're someone who thrives off of encouragement like I do, why not start to become the best encourager to your friends + family-- and hey while you're at it, why not encourage a random stranger too?! One of my favorite things to do is to encourage my cashier. Whether I'm at the pharmacy, the grocery store, or a retail store, I love seeing the reaction of whoever is checking me out when I say something nice to them. You never know what kind of day they've been having or what's going on in their world, and there's nothing better than seeing someone's face light up after you compliment their smile, or what they're wearing, or even something as simple as the color of their nail polish.

Let's make 2017 a year of encouragement. You never know who will come back and encourage you-- and it could be at the time that you need it the most!

Xo- Tara