Dr. Leah Riddick Cunningham


Can I take the liberty to define the root word–affirm? This is not to insult our intelligence of understanding its meaning, but rather to lead you in to understanding my purpose for highlighting this word. “Affirm” in its simplest form is ‘to validate, to confirm’.

I know as I get ready for the work week, I begin by taking a minute to think about the wardrobe, what kind of reports & meetings I need to prepare for also staff engagements and office demands I may need to meet. I’m sure many of you do similar preparation–in fact we probably just got tired just thinking about our week—right? Oh but, we’re not done…. don’t forget our after-work schedules! You know the one—-the one that involves family, after work children sports clubs, civic meetings, personal pursuits and don’t forget our church events.

So, what does all of that have to do with ‘affirmation”—-it’s simple, with all that we do, and many of it all in a one (24 hour) day, let’s make sure WE DON”T WAIT for someone to validate us in how well we did it. I encourage us to learn how to be our own best cheerleader and affirm ourselves. If we are accomplishing between 8, 10, 12–16-hour days of activities on a regular basis, and the majority of those activities are to please other people and their agendas, we can’t always wait for someone to say to us “thank you, you did a great job, I appreciate what you did today, I don’t know how we would have done the job without you.” Are you kidding me, should we honestly wait to hear that from other people before we know how good of job we’ve done—– I vote NOT!!!! I can tell myself that. I know when I did a good job, I know how much time I put into a project, I know how much of a sacrifice the job physically or mentally cost me, I know how much of an effort I had to put into preparing a meal, how many miles I drove to attend an after-work meeting, dodging traffic to get to my child’s sports club or even how much I had to budget in order to get to that extra church meeting or service. I mean let’s be real it’s all good, but let’s not base our performance on someone else’s commentary.

Therefore, as we go into this week, I encourage us to highlight our own selves. With every assignment we get this week, every extra task after 5pm, with every opportunity to say no, but we said yes and it puts us past that “extra mile”——when it’s all said and done, and we look to see who appreciated us, let us be the first one on the list—– make sure you “affirm” yourself this week. Why, because as defined by you —- ‘You did an excellent job!

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