Monday, February 21, 2011

The Act of Encouraging

by Desirea Packard
Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
—Isaiah 35:3
Encouragement is often a hard thing for some. Here are a few things that I do sometimes that are fast and easy and simple when you need to send encouragements.

Once a week send a letter, an email or even a text letting the person know how much they mean to you. Whether it be a spouse, or a best friend a sibling or even a parent. I often send little texts to my husband to let him know how much I appreciate his hard work and that he provides for us daily so that I can stay home and do what I love to do, which is be a mom. Now I am not saying that I don’t contribute, because I do. But he does work hard long hours away from his family every day. I appreciate that. There are some spouses that are away for weeks at a time. My husband often tells me he appreciates these texts especially when he has had a rough day. It’s encouraging. I try and never miss a chance to let someone I know how much I appreciate them. Plus, it’s also a pay it forward kind of thing. Because of this, I have seen him do the same for me or to other people he cares about.

Anticipate someone’s need. I have always believed if you ask someone how you can help, it doesn’t usually mean you really want to help you are just being polite. (I realize this isn’t always the case.) For example, this past week I was sitting in the ER after I had been up all night with a crying sick baby. When I realized he wasn’t getting better, we went to the hospital. I texted my best friend and told her I am heading there, for no reason other than she’s my best friend. Half way through the visit a nurse comes into the room with two hot cups of good coffee (not hospital coffee.) She said these were delivered for you. I knew immediately who the culprit was, and I appreciated it. This was exactly what I needed after being up all night. She knew that I probably didn’t have coffee made at home and I needed a coffee fix. This is what I mean when you try to anticipate someone’s needs. This was exactly what I needed and I was very thankful for the encouragement.

There are also the obvious forms of encouragement that can be done. Sending a card, or flowers, etc. There is nothing wrong with these traditional ways and I still use them from time to time depending on the person and the reason. Sometimes when I can’t think of something to say or do, going this route is the best option because cards have a good way of saying exactly what I want to say when I don’t know how to word it. These are a great idea.

Friends are a great source to tell you what you want to hear or need to hear rather you want to hear it or not. When I am having a bad day being a mom, stepmom, or a wife, etc. My friends are the ones I usually turn to. They usually know exactly what I need.

Pray- This may not be for everyone, but God is the giver of all things so if you are finding you need encouragement, or are struggling with something or just need a boost in your step to help you make it through wherever you’re going, pray. It’s as simple as that. I pray without ceasing. I pray for my spouse, my children, my friends, my finances. (Everything.) I am asking God to send them what they need when I don’t know what they need and I can’t help.

This is just a few things that I do or have done to help those that need encouragement when it comes to great things and the not so great things. I hope that this helps.


  1. Maybe that's why no one seems to take me up on the question "What can I do for you?" Maybe they think I'm just being polite.

    And prayer as an act of encouragement is something I should do more often. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. What I got from this, is that we underestimate the myriad of things that qualify as encouragement! When you give someone a cup of coffee, you don't have to say "you're doing a great job, this too shall pass." It's the act of kindness that puts a smile on their face or lets them take a much needed deep breath and therefore helps them to power on. We get more and more impersonal with social networking and electronic communication, so speaking encouraging words is hard for some. Nice to know those are not the only ways!~

  3. What great little ideas. I'm going to try to be more faithful at writing cards with notes of encouragement.

  4. i love the note idea. i'm always so encouraged when someone takes time out of their day to write me. thanks for this reminder.

  5. Being encouraging is a hard one because most of the time we all need it one way or another. Its hard to put our own needs aside to realize that someone else might need in spite of your own things. I find that the little notes are the easiest. I am glad that you guys find this blog helpful.