Rejoice with Those Who Rejoice.

This weekend my soccer-loving, college son Daniel came home for a quick visit – for one night actually, but whose counting. Here’s the proof.


Oops. What I meant to say was actually this.

Thank you Daniel. What a blessing you are. I looked out the window and saw you mowing the yard…when no one asked. You just saw a need, wanted to bless your dad, and lightened his load. Thank you.


I love it when he comes home. We hang out in the kitchen and talk…while he makes continual trips to the refrigerator, you understand. I love me some Daniel! We talked about college, his classes, Navigators (a wonderful college ministry), his housemates (16 of them), and life. With two minds easily distracted, we…squirrel.

All of a sudden he remembered something exciting about his roommate.  “Mom, Nick found out today that he got accepted into the Masters of Science in Finance program.” He didn’t stop there. “It’s a BIG deal. Only 25 or so students were accepted and Nick, being a Junior,  is one of the earliest to be accepted. It’s very impressive!” He was genuinely so happy for his friend.

When You Hear Something Nice, Pass it On.

I’ve long had this motto and truly have tried to make this be part of the culture in our home.

“When you think something nice, say it.”

“When you hear something nice, pass it on.”

I desire that each of our children be able to freely express sincere praise to others and rejoice with them.

My first thought…I must tell Nick’s mom, Lisa, that Daniel was bragging on her son. So, I may have sneaked in a text to Lisa while Daniel was still talking.  “Congratulations to Nick! Wow! Daniel said this is super impressive. He’s telling me all about it right now” or something like that.

The next day, BOOM! an idea came. Make Nick a congrats banner with signatures from the family and the housemates and have Daniel take it back to college to rejoice with Nick.


I’m not sure if this was the Lord speaking to me or not, but I am quite sure I heard and obeyed this, “Forge famous people’s signatures.”

Father forgive me if I have sinned.





So, with a paint-not-yet-dried banner, his little sister snapped this photo and then off he went to head back to college. (So fast, in fact, that this picture will have to do. He’s still cute, though, even with his eyes closed.)


When he arrived back at collegeville, he had his housemates sign it…and then they rejoiced with Nick and took this picture.


Rejoice With Those Who Rejoice.

The Bible is really clear that we are to come alongside each other and walk with them, celebrating with them, rejoicing with them, and mourning with them if they are mourning. Basically, this means to see their event through their eyes and feel the emotions with them.

Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn.”


I Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”


Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”


Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

Defer Praise.

Here’s one more compliment to both Nick and his mother, who has a blog. Each said thank you, but deferred the praise to others, recognizing that there have been many along the way who have invested into Nick’s life. Nick did not get there on his own accord. Yes, hard work and goal setting were a big part of this accomplishment. But, no one gets anywhere without the influence of others.

Their deferral of praise is such a beautiful picture of humility and leadership. Leaders don’t feel the need to keep praise for themselves. They don’t fear others being better or raised higher. They notice strengths in others and freely compliment them. They give credit where credit is due.

Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Is there someone today with whom you can rejoice?

Rhonda whatarewaysthatyourfamilycelebratesthesuccessofothers? ellis

  1. Kaitlin Little

    I remember you teaching us girls this at camp my senior year! It completely changed my interactions with other people… I still think back to that lesson all the time.
    Love you Mrs. Rhonda- and thanks for always sharing wisdom!

    • Hi Kaitlin, I miss you! Thanks for encouraging me today.I remember that class so well. Love you!

  2. Nancy Smith

    Love this post! Hurrah for Nick! And I’m sure if those famous folks were available they WOULD have signed your sign….. with your enthusiasm and thoughtfulness being contagious!

    • Hi Nancy, glad you got a chuckle out of the signatures. I’m so glad we’re friends.

  3. Laura

    Good stuff Mrs Rhonda…love your fun silly nature.. Famous signatures.. Ha.. Yet another good lesson/idea to practice in our homes.. Love the line about good leaders don’t need to “keep” praise for themselves.. Good word… Thanks for continuing to sharpen us and encourage us!

    • Laura, thank you. I’m glad you liked the famous signature part.

  4. You have once again modeled encouragement, graciousness and fun, all wrapped up in discipling your kids as well. Thank you for the link as well Rhonda!

    • Lisa, make no mistake…I know you’re behind teaching your kids to defer praise and to acknowledge when someone has given advice. I recall you telling me that Nick was told some books to read by someone well-respected in the finance industry. Nick took seriously his suggestion and followed up with a thank you to him. Very wise. Mama Like.

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