Reece Gardner: Encouragement is key to a successful life

Reece Gardner: Encouragement is key to a successful life

Today I want to write about encouragement and the wonderful motivation it can instill in the hearts and minds of all of us.

I will start with an illustration of a group of frogs traveling through the woods. Two of them fell into a deep pit. The other frogs peeked in and told those two they were as good as dead as it was impossible to get out. Ignoring the words of discouragement, the two frogs tried to jump out anyway.

A while later, one of the frogs lost its spirit as a result of the constant discouragement, gave up and died. The second frog kept on jumping. The more the others commented, the harder he tried. Finally, he jumped out.

The frogs asked, "Didn't you hear us telling you that you couldn't get out?"

"I'm a little deaf. I thought you were cheering me on," the frog answered.

Yes, encouraging words can make the difference between life and death, success and failure. When he was a young boy, Benjamin West attempted to draw a picture of Sally, his sister, but he succeeded only in making a mess.

His mother saw his creation, kissed him and remarked, "Why, it's Sally!"

He would later say it was that kiss and those positive words that made him an artist and the great American painter he would become. It's all about believing in ourselves and in others, as these thoughts proclaim: I believe in the sun even if it isn't shining; I believe in love even when I am alone; I believe in God even when He is silent.

That's powerful. It is so wonderful to love and be loved. I will always be thankful for the encouragement My Emma gave me during all the years of our wonderful life together. She was a living example of how important it is to make the best of each day, to recognize and be thankful for our many blessings and to reach out to others with compassion and understanding.

She had a wonderful sense of humor that always lifted me up, even in times of disappointment and sadness. She was a wonderful mother to our children, Jessica, Reece and Jason. She loved them unconditionally and she rejoiced as she saw that love being passed on to our grandchildren.

I miss her more each day, but it comforts me to know she is at rest now and that I will be with her again one wonderful day. How beautiful Heaven must be!

Now to close with a couple of "age" jokes: A guy walked into a bar and ordered a drink. The bartender asked for his ID.

"You've got to be kidding," he said , "I'm almost 60 years old."

The bartender apologized but said he had to see the ID.

The guy showed his ID, paid and told the bartender to keep the change.

"The tip is for carding me," he said.

The bartender put the change into the tip cup.

"Thanks," he said. "Works every time."

And this: The farmer's wife prayed to the Lord and asked Him, "How old will I be when I die?"

His reply was 96 years old.

She said, "That's wonderful. I will have myself fixed up."

She had everything lifted and tucked, and was in the doctor's office making the last payment on her reconstruction. She walked out of the doctor's office, started across the street and was hit by a car and killed.

She gets to Heaven, and asks the Lord, "What happened? You told me that I would live to be 96."

The Lord replied, "I just didn't recognize you!"

Have a really great day!

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