Sweet friend, the act of encouraging others is a like a muscle you have to use and build up over time. It may look messy or awkward at first, but the more you do it, the better you'll become and the more natural it will feel. I promise!
Especially in this year of uncertainty and unexpected change, we are all feeling a bit more anxious, stressed, and down. But instead of becoming numb, distracting ourselves or turning inward, we can choose to reach out and encourage someone else instead.
There are so many ways we are constantly bombarded and burdened today. Most people would appreciate even the most feeble attempts of another reaching out to them in a genuine, thoughtful way.
Here's a few ideas how:
1. Make a phone call (or Facetime, send a Marco Polo, or even a text). This year has been more isolating then ever and you'd be surprised how much it can mean to someone to simply talk on the phone for a few minutes to a. live. human. being. Don't worry if it's a bad time or not, he or she can always call you back. Be the one to reach out first and show you care.
2. Send flowers! Who doesn't like hearing the doorbell to find flowers outside your door?! I recently ordered from Urban Stems for someone out of state and it went great! It was easy to order (I even had to change my delivery date after the fact), there was a large selection, and they felt so loved. It's also fun to support local businesses if you have a florist in the area offering delivery. If you live in the Toledo area, Beautiful Blooms by Jen offers contactless delivery. If you happen to be in the Nashville area, Amelia's Flowers is my favorite - pick a bouquet up at one of their two storefronts (they are currently open!) or have them deliver one. If you have a little time and funds are tighter, you could always pick some blooms up at the grocery store, pop them in mason jar and deliver to someone's front porch yourself!
3. Send some happy mail (and support a small, family owned business too!) Ship a friend a sweet piece of handmade jewelry with corresponding scripture from Dear Mushka. One of my dear friends from Nashville started this company almost 7 years ago. Their gifts are thoughtful and meaningful, and she even has a page on her website here to help you select an appropriate piece, based on a specific occasion or season in someone's life.
4. Ask how you can specifically pray for someone and then do it! Follow up later to see how God has responded. I like using this journal created by Val Marie Paper Co. (she releases the next year's version every August for preorders) to write down requests and answers, but she also has other prayer journals here or you can really use anything to keep a record of your prayers and God's answers - a blank notebook, loose leaf paper, or even the notes app on your phone!
5. Write someone a quick note and pop it in the mail. We don't send as much snail mail these days, but isn't it exciting and meaningful when we do get some? Snag an encouragement pack or variety pack from For Glory and Beauty Co. (yours truly;) or any single card in the encouragement category to send to a friend. Sending one of these would surely cheer someone up! In Proverbs 12:25 it says, "Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." Speaking truthful and encouraging words to someone else can bring them life and help redirect their thoughts, and in turn, their entire day or week! *You really can make a difference in the world* one encouraging word or action at a time.
Although simple, I hope you'll try even just one of these ways to love on someone else this next week! Cheering you on and in this with you,