Encouraging Words

United Church of the Valley Christmas Cantata 2010
Pleasing my Father
My dad’s approval is important to me. As a child, I would have rather endured a spanking than heard him quietly say, “I’m disappointed in you.”
My dad has also encouraged me to write since I was a small child.
So when I blogged about his church’s Christmas Cantata last week, I took a deep breath when I sent him an email:
Hi Dad,

My blog post today is about our visit to your church on Sunday. There’s a link beneath my signature if you’d like to read it.
We really enjoyed it. Thanks again for inviting us.

It had been a long time since I had offered up my writing for him to read.

He responded, later that day, writing that he hoped we’d enjoyed the performance.

I was crushed. Where was my approval? Why wasn’t my daddy proud of me? I was seven years old all over again. I mentioned my hurt to Rich, who wisely commented that I hadn’t asked Dad to comment on the blog; I’d simply invited him to read it.

A few hours later my dad sent me another message. Tears stung beneath my eyelids as I read it: 

I under spoke; your blog is beautiful!
Love, Pop

Later, the tears welled again as I suddenly realized that my post contained not a single word of appreciation for the choir’s performance. The bitter taste of selfishness rose in my throat.

I edited my post to reflect our enjoyment of the cantata. And I felt like a grownup as I realized that when I bestow praise, it pleases my father. And my Father.

11 Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)


  1. Thank you for sharing so transparently here. It's difficult to admit our times of selfishness and our need for others' approval. I'm certain both father and Father are well pleased.