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Wednesday, February 19

I Want To #BEaNOTICER With My Words

Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

We live in a day and time where our rights sometimes take precedence over our pursuit of righteousness.

I can be quick to offer a complaint when things don’t go right. I can be forgetful with my “thank yous” when things go well.

And I am challenged by this.

My husband owns a restaurant. If there was ever a man who cared to the depth of his being about serving his customers well, it’s my man. To him it’s not just about serving a great chicken sandwich. It’s about serving a life. It’s his opportunity to hand them a sandwich with a smile, a kind word, some kind of second mile gesture and, for that brief moment, make their day a little brighter, a little better.

And he never qualifies his kindness.

The grumpy customer gets the same kindness as the happy one.

He inspires me.

He is a man of the rare word.

It’s so easy to extend pleasantries to the person who is treating me right. But what about that moment when things aren’t so right? Might I see even that as an opportunity? An opportunity to reach past my feelings, my comfort zone, my rights and pursue righteousness in that moment?

Might I dare to be a woman of the rare word?

And might I even be so bold as to not just make kindness come out of my mouth but also be the meditation of my heart?

It’s not easy. But it is good.

My rights – make me feel accepted, good, and treated fairly.

My righteousness – my choice to make right choices that honor God daily.

So here’s the challenge I’ve issued myself – find the good.

In every situation, in every interaction, in every day – be a noticer of the good.

In every situation, in every interaction… be a noticed of the good.

Even when the good has nothing to do with the circumstances and everything to do with how God will teach me through them – find the good.

And be a woman who is lavishly expressive of that good… who rarely, rarely, rarely utters the complaint.

This week I’m challenging myself and you, my blog friends, to #BEaNOTICER. (If you missed my first post, click here.) Today’s focus is to be a noticer of others and how we can bring happiness to the lives around us. Who could you lift up today? Maybe it’s simply thanking your cashier at Target by name, sending an encouraging text to a friend, or writing out Scriptures to pray your child through a tough time. Leave your ideas in the comments below.

Whatever you’re doing today to be a noticer, I want to hear about it! If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, post a picture and tag me @LysaTerKeurst using the hashtag… #BEaNOTICER.

Discussion

  1. 1
    Luhida Grossmann says:

    BEaNOTICER: i will be a noticer by starting to say thank you for the small thing that my husband and children do… we are so eacy to only see what they do not do and forget about the small thing. Like this moring i was so mad just because my husband did not want to drive the kids to school , but when i read your post i notice the small thing that he did do this moring which i did not say thank you for … like when he opened his eyes he said good morning with a big smal like it was the first time he has seen me…. he made me coffeen , made breackfeast for the kids things that we donet always notice .

    We all ways look past the small things that mean so much more then the big in life…

    thank you for your post.

    • 2

      My husband, Ron Smith and I are trying so hard not to allw the separation/divorce of his step mom and dad get to us. Unfortunately, I can tell when my awesome hubby is sad, eve…n if he happens to make the effort to act as though nothing is bothering him whatsoever. I know how he feells better than he actually knows himself. Because we’ve known on anothr for so lung, I’ve learned just what makes my hubby tick. Nevertheless, I’m trying to keep his mind off of this current mess by listening to WCIC with him daily, even try to pray with him regularly. Both of us are also trying t keep our minds off his family mess by participating in the wii bowling tournament. Thus far, our scores are good. I kno that this is what he needs- to be kept busy, even get into Gods presence asoften as he possible will want to. “In every situation, in every interaction, in every day- BE A NOTICER OF THE GOOD.”~BeANOTICER No matter what we may be doing, we can notice the good that may come out of various situations that we may actually find ourselves in. Just like seeing the good in people, we also need to realize that there are good things about the situations that we may be experiencing. Although this is difficult to do, we need to try really hard to see the positive side to whatever problems that we may be dealing with in life. Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
      In this particular verse, we are asking that whatever we say would be pleasing to God. He has redeemed us from our sins. God also is our shield against any problems that we may be having to try to deal with. God wants to remind us of this because e wants us to realize that we may not be able to do it all totally on our own.
      “We live in a day and time where our rights sometimes take precedence over our pursuit of righteousness.

      I can be quick to offer a complaint when things don’t go right. I can be forgetful with my “thank yous” when things go well.

      And I am …challenged by this. So I’m determined to find the good – in every situation, in every interaction, in every day.~”Lysa TerKeurst I ♥ this quote. It’s awesome to challenge ourselves to see the good in situations and people we may encounter throughout our lives. Only God can control these situations, and we need to allow Him to assist us in overcoming the challenges we often face in life. It’s not always going to be pleasant and sunny. Dark days of stress and sadness are a normal part of life, and we shouldn’t try to be perfect all the time. Only God is totally perfect. Humans can occasionally make mistakes; however, we do learn from our messes. What other people say to us about what we do and how we do it shouldn’t worry us. God’s the only one we should be wanting to please.See More

  2. 3

    It has been a rough 11 days of hospitalization, but today I finally got to go home. When I arrived, my 19 year old son had swept and disinfected the whole house, my daughter had a warm dinner on the table, and my husband and youngest son had attempted to make sense of the laundry monster. They looked at me anxiously for approval, and boy did they get it. This was a more wonderful expression of love and welcome than all of the cards and flowers. Everything isn’t always this picture perfect in our home, but now I can focus on the heart and intent of my family rather than on their level of perfection.
    God has blessed me big time directly through his presence as well as through the support of my family and church family.
    Some ways that I intend to be encouragers to my children: pray for them and with them, tell them thank you, comment on character rather than just achievement and say “I love you” more frequently. The same goes for encouraging my husband. He has been very afraid during my illness and not only can I point him to God’s faithfulness, but I can encourage him to find a Godly man to spend some time “decompressing” with.
    For my church family – some thank you cards are in order as are verbal words of appreciation – people stopped by to encourage me and pray with me and they also looked after my family while I was unable to. Some of these people don’t think they have much to offer, but it isn’t always the elaborate or the profound that is the beacon of God’s love. I am a noticer :)

  3. 5

    #BEaNOTICER Lysa I will continue to notice how hard my daughter is trying to stay on track. I will continue to pray the scriptures I searched for that are just for her and some I borrowed from you. I will continue to pray for my son who has gotten off track and I won’t nag him for change I will continue to notice and look for the change that God continues to bring and I will appreciate and notice every great smoothie he makes for me on his way to work as well as pray the scriptures I copied from your blogs. I will continue to pray for my son’s father as he faces tragedy yet I will continue to believe for he and his families salvation, healing and wholeness and when I send him player’s and he acknowledges with an Amen and a thank you I will praise God all the more because I notice He is working it out fir his good. Lysa you always I mean always make me think, reflect and appreciate. I will continue to notice and be thankful for you, your ministry and the Proverbs 31 Ministry.

  4. 6

    I want to #BeANoticer too! I have been really looking for the brighter side of things over the last few weeks since getting closer to God. Reality is this, we are blessed in this life and I am tired of being a complainer!
    Instead of getting aggravated when my husband leaves his clothes on the floor or the dishes are left out dirty for me to clean. I want to be happy because I have such a wonderful husband in my life and he is here with me RIGHT NOW. So, for him to leave around this stuff that is okay, that means he is still on this earth with me.
    Another change is I want to be more positive at work. Instead of complaining about something at work that means nothing, start looking at how my job makes my life easy and blessed. Love these posts Lysa!

    • 7

      Amen to that. I spent the majority of my life complaining and realized in my walk with God, as it too becomes closer, how self absorbed I was in the things, desires and dreams I wanted. Not sure about you but everything I wanted, needed, health, desired; well you name it and it turned cold and south. Praise God for changing me, us!

  5. 8

    Why is it easier to notice the bad things and not the good? Thanks for reminding me I can be a noticer of the good, even in the midst of the not so good! And most times it’s all about how I choose to view the situation…thank you for this, Lysa!

  6. 9

    My dear friend, Susan called me right when she got off work last night. She had a challenging day and was feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated. I tried to offer some words of encouragement which seemed to help some. This morning I’m dropping off a “care package” at her work. A jar of homemade porcupine meatballs for her dinner tonight and a small box of chocolate turtles (her favorite dessert)! Oh, and I stuck an encouraging card inside telling her she is loved and that I am praying about her work situation!

  7. 10

    Thanks so much for reminding us to be grateful! I’ve found myself lately having critical thoughts. My husband called yesterday & commented ‘When I got out of the car this morning, stepped on an icy patch & slipped but didn’t fall. Realized I needed to thank God for holding me up! I don’t think of His hand being in those times as quickly as you, but I’m learning!’ Ouch – I appreciated the compliment but realized my heart was becoming harsh & judgmental; did some repenting & am again being a ‘noticer’. We are blessed abundantly & my prayer is ‘that the words of my mouth & the meditations of my heart would be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock & my redeemer!”

    • 11

      Amen Deb – is it so ironic that as Paul says “the things I shouldn’t do I do – the things I should do I don’t”. But thanks be to God – we’re growing in Grace. We’re keeping our eyes on Jesus “the author and finisher of our faith”.
      I appreciate your honesty – it’s always encouraging to know I’m not the only one struggling. I too try to pray that prayer daily because my tongue sometimes makes me cringe with the things I allow to come out of my mouth. So I’ll be praying for you us. May you continue to be Grateful and blessed!

  8. 12
    Suzanne R. says:

    I just invited a girlfriend to lunch, she is going through a difficult a time, and I’d like to just “be there” with her.
    Thank you for inviting us to come up a little higher in our walk today, what an encouragement you are to us all, Lysa!
    Love,
    Suzanne

  9. 13

    I am not a morning person. I do my best about middle of the day. I don’t do late nights and mornings are just a challenge. I’m usually dragging myself out of bed wishing for a few more minutes/hours of sleep then rushing to get my son to school. But today I got to be a noticer. My daughter away at college started texting me about yogurt before my first snooze alarm went off. Moments even via text are treasured now that she isn’t home. Even mundane moments about yogurt. Then after I got up I discovered my fifteeen year old son, who has my feelings about mornings, was awake and dressed. I took the time to compliment him and was blessed as he took the time to make his own breakfast. I noticed – and complimented him on his ability to provide for himself. You see he is my baby and at 6’3″ he towers over me but will always be my baby and seeing him take care of himself reassures this momma’s heart that in a just a few years when he is away from home I know he has the skills necessary to feed himself. And that deserves noticing. So today I was a morning person and noticed two of my most incredible blessings.

  10. 14

    This is so encouraging!! In fact early this am between 2 and 3:30 am I sent an encouraging message to my client’s daughter as God is continuing to heal her and be a letter/Epistle written on all our hearts! I recently made a blanket for her to match her Mommy’s, I had made for her last year and I felt the Lord wanted to use it as a reminder when she is not able to visit her Mommy the blanket would serve as a reminder of their love and bond for each other in their hearts! So I wrote this and other encouraging words in the note!! But I also wanted to encourage others who are reading her blog that whatever you do in word or deed do all of it in the name of the Lord!! Let love and His Spirit guide us and obey!! Thank you for sharing this!! :-) :-)

  11. 15

    Lysa, loved both your posts! I want to BEaNOTICER#! I almost always take the time to initiate conversations and/or thank all who help me, but it is more challenging in difficult circumstances, even simple ones, like when my daughter’s boyfriend does the dishes and puts them away still we’re and maybe not as clean as I like…lol! But I am improving in this area and am thanking God for it all…especially when I am faced with something that begins to stir up a little fire in me…I have been biting my tongue and asking God for the “righteous” way to respond. This past week, the Lord brought the word “righteousness” to my heart and I have been journaling and praying about it, so thank you for the way you have added another perspective – through God’s Word and His Eyes! God bless!

  12. 16

    Lysa, this is one reason that I love to be the greeter at church. You never know when a smile, hug, and/or friendly gesture is the only friendly thing someone experiences that day. Being a greeter at church sometimes means that I am the first person that some people speak to that morning. I love greeting and sharing God’s love with others. :-)

  13. 17

    I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear this today. Dealing with a husband who is covering from a serious hospital stay. I hoped for him it would be life changing but it has not in the way I had hoped. A person who is normally upbeat and joking around is now short with his words, his temper, and his patience, mainly due to the meds. I need to remember when I continue to say nice things and don’t fight back it is what God would want me to do. To be kind to the grumpy. It is a god thing. I thank you for this message. God will bless us through this and this too shall pass.

  14. 18

    I loved your post today. It’s such a great reminder of how our words and or actions might make or break someone else’s day. Last week I attended a meeting that I wasn’t all that excited about going to. When I got there someone I barely knew told me how glad they were that I made it to the meeting. I felt so wanted and welcome! I can’t wait to say that to someone else today when I attend this meeting again.

  15. 19

    Amen! Just this morning I prayed to God that He would continue to teach me to use my words with greater wisdom.

    Last years challenge for me was to learn greater gratitude and looking for the good in every situation. As I continue my gratitude list I’m learning more and more to look for the good in everything.

    Thanks for the blog!!

  16. 20

    Lysa, thank you for your post! I am a new middle school teacher (I hear you live in the area where I teach) and I often get so overwhelmed with all my duties…lessons to be planned and taught, papers to be graded, parent emails to respond to, and meetings to attend that sometimes I don’t always recognize the emotional needs of my students. Middle school is such a hard time and God has recently challenged me to look past the behaviors of my students that frustrate me in order to reach out to this group of kids who is so desperately looking for acceptance, love, and attention. Watching my relationships with my students grow — and some new ones today — has been such a blessing!! I came home today feeling like I finally made a small difference in a student’s life..all because I chose to notice their true need for today! Thank you for the reminder and the challenge to look past our own needs and attitudes to serve someone else!

  17. 21

    Hi Lysa,

    May I please say that you, ma’am, are a huge blessing. Thank you for answering your God call to write and influence. I appreciate you very, very much. I pray that the Lord continues to bring you those ‘ah ha’ moments that speak to heart of a woman so deeply and easily. You are wonderful. Your words and Proverbs 31 ministries has been absolutely essential to my full submission to Christ. I could not be more thankful.

    Many blessings,

    Shayla

  18. 22
    Annette D. says:

    I wish I had read this in the morning. There is so much negativity going on at work. I need to stay out of the “mix” and not be pulled in and add to the “junk”. Thank you for the great post.

  19. 23

    Thank you for what you have shared, Lysa. I have been praying to be a better noticer of those around me and more attentive to Holy Spirit so He might use me as He desires.

    Yesterday, (2/19/14), before reading this – as I have just read this, I met a woman at Dollar General. She just started to talk to me after I said, “Hi!” She was dealing with Bronchitis. We chatted for a bit and I said, “I pray for your wholeness by the stripes Jesus bore.” This lead to a conversation about her having God in her heart/life. Praise God for that opportunity for us to share. I was encouraged. :) I pray it was an encouragement to her and more seeds were planted in her life leading her to a closer relationship with our heavenly Father.

  20. 24
    Kara Mills says:

    I spent many years self-absorbed and self centered around myself. As I learn more about my Savior and how wonderful He was and is to “listen” and “love” unconditionally and how he did so even on the Cross as He cried out “God forgive them for they know not what they do”. . How then could I take for granted those moments when someone needs that encouraging smile, or a hello, or an ear that is listening not to jump in with my thoughts but just to listen and to love. #BEaNOTICER this I want to be and do for the rest of my life here on earth.

  21. 25
    Phyllis Nichols Gutierrez says:

    To everyone I meet, I say “good morning,” “hello” whatever the occasion calls for. I always make it a point to tell anyone I deal with, whether on the phone or in person, to have a blessed day.
    This is a way to extend Christian hospitality. I remember I did this in Nashville a couple of years ago and the store clerk cried. She said no one had ever wished her a blessed day and that it really made a difference.
    We can never tell what people are going through and I feel that we should always show kindness, now matter what our interaction with them may have been.
    Have a blessed day Ladies.

  22. 26
    Charlotte Orth says:

    I am no longer married to my son’s father but he has lung cancer. I want to help my grown son with his father’s illness and death. Writing out scriptures would be a good way for me to do this. Can you suggest some for me?

  23. 27

    I have a technique for helping me transform my thinking. I use post-it notes. Right now I have one on my computer monitor that reads “See the good – make deposits”. If I haven’t learned something or need to unlearn something I write it on a sticky note so I can see it everyday. Something about the visual that reminds me. It’s harder when I don’t mesh with another person personality-wise, like my supervisor or even a close relative. But I am called to love those who are “unlovely” even if they’re only “unlovely” in my own mind. We are all God’s children and I need to see them through His eyes and not my own. Thanks for the reminder, Lysa.

  24. 28
    Katrina Roy says:

    I am going through a long divorce of 19 months after a marriage to a man, raising my stepson, for 14 years. He is vindictive and making every effort to punish me instread of being decent. Now I clearly see his arrogance and self-centered ways, as well as my own need to be loved which motivated me to spend my entire savings on supporting our household, and remodeling two homes. I’ve learned many lessons along the way. The biggest was to stand in my truth, that’s all I have. Now I’ve developed a Noticer mindset. Instead of complaining over what I’ve lost I can focus and thank God for all the gifts I’ve received…our family farmhouse so I have a roof over my head, my sister who gave me a room to stay in for a year, and so many more. I also have come to appreciate and notice the gifts God has put into me to give this world. I’d been controlled and been criticized for so long that I naturally believed it as truth. It was not. Gid’s given me the strength to go through this trial and is making me stronger in the process. I am grateful for the lessons this divorce is giving me. I don’t know why it is all happening this way , yet I trust that God will use it for good. I want to Notice where God wants to use my gifts for his glory. I pray for that every day.

    At 59 I am taking 2 online courses for running our soon-to-be-open wine tasting room and growing with those techie lessons as well. God has blessed me with a good sense of humor so even when things go awry online, I still can laugh about it and myself.

    Life is about love and laughter.

  25. 29
    Nancy Silvers says:

    I love to acknowledge the cashiers in the store with a smile and encouraging word. Ask how their day is going. Sometimes you can see the stress leave their bodies. My husband and I have limited finances but love to use our gifts to help others.There is no better way to get out of a bad attitude then by noticing someone else struggling an offering them an encouraging word and smile!

  26. 30

    You said is perfectly, “It’s so easy to extend pleasantries to the person who is treating me right. But what about that moment when things aren’t so right?” This is something I experience (not being treating right) more often than I’d like, but it is a good reminder to shine Jesus and be the branch of the true vine! Thank you for the reminder.

  27. 31

    Words of encouragement are so easy to give and mean so much!

  28. 32
    Terri Satterwhite says:

    The book club I belong to is reading a book about a man who wrote 365 thank you notes in a year. This was so he could become more grateful for the things in his life. I have started writing thank you notes starting with those I need to let know how grateful I am for their friendship, etc. I am even planning one for my son. This is a great challenge and I hope to reign in my “road rage” tendencies!

  29. 33
    terri nicholson says:

    I want to be a noticer…especially at work. I see the wrong and unjust so easily, yet the good is not front and center in my mind. My goal this week is to notice the good, the effort, the small things that make people smile, and share it with everyone I can.

  30. 34

    I love this post because we all face issues where being a NOTICER goes unnoticed, if that makes ANY sense. I want to look through the lens of love and laughter. I just split from my boyfriend recently and well….felt down. I actually relocated for Him, but through it, I found more connections for my ministry and met wonderful people at the job I’m at. I work at a group home for teen moms and it has been so rewarding. I have learned a lot. I have always thought that God puts us in crazy situations for a reason and that all happens for a reason. What is my purpose? To notice that life is what you make it. To notice that with Jesus, I can get through anything. To notice that I have wonderful family and friends that have supported me through the midst of it. I from now on will BE A NOTICER :) Thx Lysa.

  31. 35
    Rita Presser says:

    OH Lysa, THANK YOU for this and you two other BE a NOTICER posts. Psalm 19:14 is one of the verses I recently committed to memory; however, during MY excruciatingly tough times that I am currently experiencing, I tend to forget Scripture.

    I work on the IT Help Desk with the IMB of the Southern Baptist Convention. No one ever calls me to say, “Hey, I just wanted to say that everything is going wonderfully!” There is always a problem, challenge, opportunity to make someone’s day. We never know what’s going to hit us in the face when we answer the phone. So, no matter how bad MY situation is, I SMILE before and when I answer the phone. The call could be, “Hey, I locked my account. Could you unlock it for me?” OR it could be, “I was working on my computer and all of a sudden, I now have this blue screen with all of this white writing on it.” (We in IT call that the BSOD, Blue Screen of Death.) Also, no matter how panicked the caller is, I have to be one of their sources of calm.

    A couple of decades ago when I was in my first IT job, I was assisting a customer and I said, “Now hit Enter.” Our trainer happened to be walking by at the moment. She came back to me after my call and reminded me, “By the time the caller calls you, they have probably tried to solve the problem on their own, getting themselves into deeper trouble and they may even be angry. When you tell them to ‘Hit Enter,’ they may do just that. Tell them to PRESS Enter.” I have never forgotten that.

    I covet your prayers because my situation is going to be long and tough. Thank you.

  32. 36
    Rita Presser says:

    Thankfully I work in a Christian environment, where people are kind no matter what, even if they are in panic mode.

  33. 37
    Karla Webb says:

    After a week of not sleeping much due to the side effects of medicines and the pain from lupus, I finally reached the end of my rope. Oklahoma had severe weather by the end of the week and I wasn’t able to get to my home church (Lifechurch.tv) and their website was down (odd), so I pulled up Elevation church and watched Steven Furtick talk about our fears and how he had to deal with his biggest fear of losing his father to suicide. That sleepless night–for the first time in 12 years–I let go of it all. It took me being so physically and emotionally exhausted to realize and let go of all my biggest fears. I didn’t even know they were haunting me. I really had no idea how many underlying fears had been plaguing me and how they had a white-knuckle grip on my life: my husband’s career, my health, worry about keeping the house, grown kids’ needs, life savings, retirement, health insurance and even our marriage. I had to let it go. It took God allowing me to be so exhausted that I no longer cared if I lost it all. As strange as it sounds, I am so thankful that I was brought to this place because I could never have been so desperate to just trust God for tomorrow, no matter what it held and now I don’t have to live with those fears. Will they happen? Maybe. Maybe not. But they no longer control me and it’s because I have a God who loves me enough to not let me stay in a place of torment. I am so thankful my all-powerful and all-knowing God can get to the parts of me I don’t even know exist and help me even when I didn’t know I needed it. I love you, Father.

  34. 39
    Rita Presser says:

    Is there a reason that my comments have not posted almost 8 hours later?

  35. 40
    Sherrin Larson says:

    I love the title of your book “UNGLUED!” Oh, how my life seems to get that way too often. Yet, somehow, I know that is how My Lord would have me. I have to be “unglued” in order for Him to be the Glue that is holding me together. I am battling lifelong addictions including heroin, meth, pretty much anything that keeps me from feeling myself in my own skin. If not for answering God’s Call, I would not be among the living today. And on top of that, yesterday I got the news that my first husband (he is now remarried) and father of my 3 beautiful children and several grandchildren, has 6 months to live due to a very progressive cancer found in his brain. Immediately I sought a quiet (yet cold) perch on a hunters stand (blind), climbed up and sat down to have an open conversation with God. He gave me marching orders and with it the strength and willingness to follow through. A few bible stories came to mind and I thank God for them. This is my first contact with you but somehow I feel a strong connection and do believe you could be the mentor God intended and look forward to meeting you in person soon! There is much more I wish to discuss with you but for now, GOD BLESS YOU!!!

  36. 41
    Feelingbetrayed says:

    Hello,

    Please pray for our marriage. We are separated and we have not even been married a year! I love my wife -but she thinks it won’t work. We are both Christians. Please pray for reconciliation, restoration and most of all -for God to be glorified in our marriage. I know God hates divorce and HE joined us together.