Thursday, March 10, 2011

Encouraging Others Is Powerful

Yesterday I mentioned the power of encouragement and I was thinking about the importance of encouraging those around us, not just those in our family.  Most days I work really hard to encourage those who are working with Adam, his therapists, nurses, aides, anyone who has contact with Adam.  It lets them know that what they do matters, and that it's a blessing to us that they work so hard for my man.  I came across this story and had to share it... it shows the power of encouragement.... it's a long story, but worth the read...

The Power of Encouragement!
by: Bill Bratt

Jean Thompson stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the first day of school in the fall and she told her students a lie. She looked at her pupils and told them that she loved them all the same, and that she would treat them all alike. And that was impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the third row, was a little boy named: Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed he didn't play well with the other children, his clothes were wrinkled and he constantly needed a bath.

It got to the point during the first few months that she would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, marking bold X's and marking the 'F' at the top of the paper biggest of all. Teddy was a sullen little boy, and nobody seemed to enjoy him.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's records and - because of things - she put Teddy's off until the last. But when she opened his file, she was in for a SURPRISE. His first-grade teacher had written: "Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a ready laugh. He does work neatly and has good manners.... he is a joy to be around." His second-grade teacher wrote: "Teddy is an excellent student and is well-liked by his classmates - but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

His third-grade teacher recorded: "Teddy continues to work hard but his mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth-grade teacher wrote: "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class. He is tardy and could become a problem."
By now Mrs. Thompson realized the problem, but Christmas was coming quickly. It was all she could do, with the school play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus on Teddy Stoddard on that last day before the Christmas break.

Her students brought her presents, all in gay ribbon and bright paper, except for Teddy's, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper of a scissored cut grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents and some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet, with some of the stones missing, and a bottle of cologne that was one quarter full. She stifled the laughter. Then she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and she dabbled some of the perfume behind the other wrist.

At the end of the day, as the other children joyously raced from the room, Teddy Stoddard stayed behind, just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my mom used to." As soon as Teddy left, Mrs. Thompson knelt at her desk and cried for a least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and spelling. Instead she began to teach children.

Jean Thompson paid particular attention to one they all called Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she ENCOURAGED him, the faster he responded and, on days that there would be an important test, Mrs. Thompson would remember the cologne that Teddy had given her. By the end of the year Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class. He had also become the "pet" of the teacher who had once vowed she loved of her students exactly the same.

A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that of all the teachers he'd had in elementary school, she was his favorite. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He wrote that as he finished high school, third in his class, and that she was still his favorite teacher. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, that he'd stayed in school, and would graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still his favorite teacher. Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. He told her that she was still his favorite teacher but that now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, "Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D."

The story doesn't end yet. There was another letter that spring. Teddy said that he had met a girl and was to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually reserved for the mother of the groom. From this story you can see how encouragement can affect other people. Mrs. Thompson's first impression was wrong about Teddy. Once she knew more about him she changed her attitude toward him. Her words and actions changed from discouragement to encouragement. That encouragement changed the life of a little boy named Teddy. It gave him a challenge, something to live for.

This story reallys shows the power and influence that we have when we encourage those around us.  Hebrews 3:13 says   But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today" I challenge you all to find someone and reach out to encourage them... ask God to show you someone in your life that needs encouragement, be obedient and do as you have been commanded to do by God's Holy Word, blessings await you and those you will encourage.

Today was another day of encouraging Adam through his day.  He did really well today!  His day started with speech therapy, Adam didn't seem to excited about speech therapy today, but Brooke was doing her best to find someting that interested Adam.  Please keep praying for Adam to stay engaged with Brooke and to work with her.  Pray that he will not shut her out.  Adam also has a lot of numbness, tingling in his face so he tends to get distracted to itch his face, please pray for this to subside and for it not to interefere with his therapy sessions.

In physical therapy Adam did awesome and stayed busy with Anne the whole sessions.  He walked several laps in the hallway and then Anne took him into the gym and they worked together on climbing the stairs.  He is getting so strong and gaining so much muscle back, he looks amazing!  In occupational therapy, Adam continued to work on his sitting balance.  While he was sitting on his own he worked on this board that had bolts sticking up from it, he had to screw on the washers and the nuts onto the bolts, he did great!   He was able to screw them on and off!  GO ADAM!!!  I am so proud of him and how hard he worked today!  Can't wait to see what tomorrow will hold for us... believing that God will provide more miracles and blessings!


Mary Strynar said...

Are you kidding me, Amy?! How can I start my day with tears in my eyes. Love you. Keep working hard. You are an amazing wife, mother and friend!

Anonymous said...

I have heard that story before. I love it so. Thank you for the reminder. Yes, I continue to trust Father for Adam, his tharepies, his Full restoration. I love you, Marion

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