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PostHeaderIcon Affirming Others


This past Spring, I went on an amazing retreat with my LifeTeen friends. We were located at a camp with multiple cabins, all kinds of sports fields and courts, a lake with a boat dock, and a balcony on the ‘mess hall’. It was beautiful.

But even more beautiful was how we ended our time at the camp before going to celebrate Mass: we affirmed each other.

While all of our favorite Christian songs played, we each were given a poster to wear on our backs. (I kind of felt like a little turtle walking around.) Once we all chose a marker, (in our favorite colors of course!) we all began to write little messages on each other’s posters. The messages could be a short complement, or a longer note, and they could be signed or anonymous.

I had a blast doing it.

I wrote on all of my friends’ posters, posters of new people I had met, people I didn’t get a chance to meet, and all of the CORE members. Of course, they all wrote on my poster too. After maybe 45 minutes, we were told to find a quiet place and read our posters.

I chose to sit on my cabin’s steps, overlooking the landscaping leading to the beach. My first thought was, “This is beautiful.” The second thought was, “Wow, I think I have a writers’ cramp.” I then buried myself in reading my poster. Here are just a few of the messages written on my poster. (I wish I could type them all, because I was touched by each and every one of them, but I won’t put you through that! Also, I must say, I feel a little silly quoting such nice things people said about me, but they are great examples of affirmations.)

“Alexis, having you in my group and getting to know you was awesome. You inspired others to enter more fully into retreat with your spirit!”

“Hey, you’re really amazing. I’m glad you’re on retreat.”

“You’re so nice and sweet, and your smile is contagious. Keep it up and keep coming back.”

“Alexis, you are such a great kid. I still find it incredible that you are homeschooled…think it’s the coolest thing ever. You have a great sense of humor with a smile that is contagious. Never change.”

“Alexis, I love your enthusiasm and love for Lifeteen. You are so sweet and have a wonderful spirit!”

“Alexis, ever since we played basketball at CC, you impressed me. Your poise and kindness are evident in all that you do. Keep being the beautiful young woman that you are.”

By the time I had finished reading all my affirmations, I was trying not to cry. (Mostly because, I hate crying. But also because, runny mascara is not fun to deal with. Even when it *says* it’s waterproof.) I was so humbled. Moved even, by what everyone had written, and my heart was full of so much joy.

As I was sitting there, on the steps of Cabin 4, looking at the lake and watching my friends, I was filled with a feeling of happiness and gratitude, and a high that only the Holy Spirit can give. But even then, a realization struck me: I should affirm others more often. We all should affirm others more often, on a daily basis, everywhere we go, and with all who we interact with, whether we know them or not. Especially since it’s so easy to do!

To affirm someone, you don’t have to do anything big for them.

The gift of a smile, a simple complement, and even just being there for them in a time of need are all ways of affirming others. Thanking the bagger at a store, or maybe holding the door open for a stranger, (even if you have to wait for them to get there,) can show that you value them as someone made in the image of God. Even though it’s not the same as writing on a poster, you are writing on their hearts. Not only does it make us feel good to do so, and them as well, but God (through the apostle Paul,) actually commanded it, when He said, “Therefore, encourage one another, and build up one another…”  in 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Have you recently affirmed someone? Has there been an instance where someone made a big impact on you through a small affirmation, that just mattered to you? Tell me about it the comments below, and for fun, (and practicing what I preach,) I will leave an affirmation for you!

~Alexis Grace

♫ LISTEN/WATCH: ‘Words’ by Hawk Nelson

3 Responses to “Affirming Others”

  • Megan says:

    Retreat was definitely a wonderful experience 🙂 and I agree, we should all affirm each other more often!

    • Alexis Grace says:

      @Megan: This is my affirmation for you:
      You are so much fun to hang out with! I love your sense of humor, and how thoughtful you are of everyone around you. I feel blessed to count you as one of my friends! <3
      Thanks for your support and thoughts!

  • Megan says:

    @Alexis I’m so glad we became friends through lifeteen. Your smile truly is contagious and I greatly admire the strength of your faith. You are a true inspiration! Keep shining on! 😉

I would love for you to share your thoughts.

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