Encouragement is a noun, which means it is a “thing.” An actual “thing.” It may not be physical like a table or a ping pong ball or a cupcake; but it is felt. Isn’t it?
It is not an idea. Or a philosophy. Or something ethereal.
It is a noun. A thing.
An actual thing.
Remember the last time you were the benefactor of encouragement? Ahhhhhh…. nice, wasn’t it? It felt like a thing, didn’t it?
What about the last time you dished out a batch of encouragement? It feels nice, too. It is one of the things that is great for both parties.
Sometimes one dose of hearty encouragement can last us the length of the current struggle, race, game, trial, learning curve, etc. Continue reading
We moved a lot when I was growing up. I didn’t establish any long-term friendships. That did not keep me from having friend therapy wherever we were. As often as possible. Driving my mother crazy. Repeatedly.
As an adult, we have stayed put (perhaps for too long), and I have friendships that track back for decades.
There are few substitutes for the uplift of a group of fun-loving, kind and supportive friends. Laughing together. Crying together. Sharing life together. (I know I talked about that in this post.)
So often, however, when people are down or struggling or depressed; they hole themselves up. Alone. I think that is a dreadful trick of the enemy. Because we are supposed to share life. And sharing life can perk you up in ways nothing else can.
I am such an avid knitter that it should be included on my About Me page. Perhaps I’ll edit that soon. I learned to knit when I was 8 years old. My aunt taught me. Aunt Jean was a purposeful lady. If she thought a thing should be done, it would be done. She was a no nonsense lady, too. Got a job? Tackle it and get on with it.
Her grandchildren called her Heidi. Her name wasn’t Heidi, it was Jean. But they called her Heidi because every time she went to see them or vice versa she would greet them with a rambunctious “Hidy!!” So that’s what they called her. I thought that was adorable. My grandkids call me Grammie or Nana. Not as exciting as “Hidy” now that I think about it. I love hearing “Nana!” just the same. Continue reading
Isn’t that the truth?? I mean, really! Why do we keep trying to change ourselves into somebody else when we already are somebody??
Sure, I want to lose weight (I really do. And I am working on it.) And I would like to write better (working on that, too). And I would like a more organized house (yup, working on it). Continue reading
Lately I have been pondering the loveliness of sharing life together. Not just with your spouse, but with lots of people. I am going to assume the obviousness of sharing life with one’s spouse, daily and as long as there is breath.
But I speak of friends. So many heart connections there. One of my friends has been with me through life for the past 35 years. We have seen the ups and downs. Way ups and way downs. And we’ve shared them together. I’ve sat across from her at her kitchen table while she cried and comforted and listened and prayed. She’s been with me in the hospital, made meals for my family, listened, comforted and prayed. I laid on the floor staring up at her while she had to lay on a massage table face down for DAYS after eye surgery. She opened her door at 1:00 am to my two older children when I went into labor with my third. We talk about God, His Word, His plan. We talk about spouses and children and cooking and politics. Continue reading
Everyone has their own style of comforting. Some people hug. Some make tea. Some listen then send a card. Some offer advice. Some offer too much advice. (smile)
Some compare whatever you are grieving about or struggling about with something they struggled with hoping they are being sympathetic.
Some take you out for ice cream. Or dinner. Or pie.
Some people go for a run, or a walk, or a massage, or a cookie.
And there are the comfort clichés: It will all work out. When God closes a door, He opens a window. There are other fish in the sea. Etc.
You never know what is going on in someone’s life. Even someone you are close to. Even someone you live with.
You cannot know what they are struggling with in their heart or mind. Everyone faces a storm at some time.
Remember that on that day when they don’t seem themselves.
Or they don’t respond in their usual way.
Or they forgot something you deemed important.
Of course, there is no excuse for rudeness.
All of us.
And it’s okay.
Instead of frustration, let’s offer understanding and extend grace.
For we all need it.
One Who Needs Grace
And One Who Wants to Give It
Part 1b of a 3 part short, helpful series.
Ready for the second half of the 16? Here they are! I’m excited to hear what you can add to the list:
8. Think outside the box. I know there are a few “regular” meals everyone thinks are meals you take to those in need. But what does your family like? Make that. Don’t worry about recipes everyone else says are a good idea, make what you like. If you have a family favorite, it is probably something you cook well. That’s always fun for the recipient. And include the recipe. That would be an extra nice touch.
9. How about, instead of signing up to make a main meal, bringing muffins and cookies and chips and cereal and crackers and juice and tea? That will be a fun thing when the caregiver or bed-ridden friend wants a munch or a snack. It’s not all about the main dinner.
10. And what about breakfast? Or breakfast for dinner? That would be a welcome change of pace. Or, in addition to a simple dinner, add a breakfast casserole that only needs to be put in the oven in the morning. Boy, would you come out looking like a hero.
11. Go by mid day and throw a meal in their crock pot (make sure they have one) so it will be ready for the dinner hour. They get a hot meal and – BONUS –they get to enjoy their house smelling awesome all afternoon. Continue reading
Part 1 in a short, helpful series
(Well, part 1 had to be broken into two parts, so I guess this is Part 1a)
What is meal gifting? You know, gifting a meal to someone who is in need of one.
There are so many people that have helpful hints about bringing meals to those in need. Why do I want to do one more?
Because it is a BIG deal!
When someone falls ill, or has a baby, or loses a loved one, or is caring for a loved one with an extended illness, or is placed on bed rest; there are so many areas of need. One blessing that can eliminate a large headache is having meals brought in for a while.
It cannot bring back a loved one, make cancer go away, or cause bed rest to be a pleasure. But it does help. It really does.
Some illness situations can carry on for a while. The need is extensive. Just having people care and understand that their family is under tremendous stress brings comfort. Continue reading