The Gift of Encouragement

Have you ever had a friend with the gift of encouragement?  They’re good to have around when life feels a bit bleak.  The lovely scripture cards in the photo appeared in my mailbox a few weeks ago tucked in a card that I have kept on my kitchen windowsill where I can pick it up to read it. It reminds of who I am and what I am doing with my life.

I have never met my friend, Shelley, in person but years ago, before we had even brought our boys home, we “met” through our adoption agency’s online parent group, and we have stayed in touch ever since.

Shelley reminds me that words can give life to others, but we have to take the time to write them.  In her case, she wrote them, created the cards, and even put them in an actual envelope, yes, the kind that requires a stamp.  She looked up my address, wrote it on the front — and then remembered to mail it.

There is something powerful about unexpected blessings of love, encouragement, and even practical gifts.  We feel too busy to mail a card, make a phone call, or drop by a friend’s home — but when we do, so often, we are encouraged in return.  As I type these words, there is, get this, a Christmas card sitting on my desk.  It is addressed, but I’ve been toying with how to send it without making the recipient feel badly that I neglected to mail it during the holidays.  I’ve contemplated finding a new family photo (impossible) or tossing it the garbage.  But I have to ask myself, will my eighty year-old friend really mind if I send her a Christmas card three months late?  I rather doubt it.  She may wonder what on earth I do with my time, but she is a grace-filled woman and I imagine she will smile to see our family picture.

We are busy women living very full lives, but not so full that we can’t reach out, even in the most simple way, to bless somebody. That being said, I have many, many unanswered emails, calls I need to return, and gifts I should have sent.  I struggle with this, but as Jesus meets my needs, I want to make an effort to extend some of that grace to others.  Let’s keep our eyes and our hearts wide open to see the opportunities that may come our way in the next few days.

I am very excited because in two hours Russ is picking me up and we are heading to Spokane to see Sweet Pea before she leaves for Alaska in the morning.  She will be doing her OB/GYN rotation in Anchorage and will be gone several weeks.  Then she will go straight to Seattle for two more rotations at Harborview.  Since we travel regularly to Seattle, we’ll look forward to seeing her when she is there.

Tonight we are taking Sweet Pea out to dinner and helping her with any last details for the trip.  Our plan had included driving her car down to our house and then delivering to her in Seattle, but last week a hit-and-run driver smashed it while it was parked in front of her house, and it is totaled.  That creates a big problem for a medical student with no money!

I hope you all have a lovely Friday and the weekend gets off to a good start.  I am ready.

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Future Mama
    March 25, 2011

    Love this post. So sweet and so true!!

    Much love,
    Future Mama http://expectingablessing.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  2. Laura
    March 25, 2011

    Oh poor Sweet pea…I had no idea her car was hit much less totaled. At least she doesn't need a car for a few weeks, but she will when she is in Seattle won't she. What a pain for her and you! Wish her a good trip from me.

    Reply
  3. Alaina
    March 25, 2011

    Okay, so no real relation to the post, but she's coming to Alaska at a great time! I live south of Anchorage and this is the time when the snow is FINALLY beginning to melt, the mountains are still beautiful and snow covered, you can go hiking if you are okay getting a little wet, and there aren't tons of tourists arriving yet, so the beauty is peaceful, not frustrating! I hope she has a great time in our state and learns a ton!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      March 25, 2011

      Alaina, I am at Sweet Pea's right now and just shared your comment with her. She said to tell you thank you and that she is very excited to head to Alaska tomorrow. I'm sure she will learn lots and hopefully get to catch lots of babies. I'm just a wee bit jealous.

      Reply
  4. One Thankful Mom
    March 25, 2011

    She says, "Thank you, Aunt Laura!" She is excited for the adventure.

    Reply
  5. shelley
    March 25, 2011

    🙂

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      March 26, 2011

      Thank you, friend!

      Reply
  6. Heidi
    March 25, 2011

    Aww I feel Sweat Pea's pain…Wednesday, an uninsured driver plowed into the back of my car while I was at a dead stop. 🙁 On a positive note…Seattle and the surrounding area has such a great transit system…she just might find she is able to get everywhere with no problem (and the hospital will probably provide a bus pass…they did for my roommate during her rotation!)

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      March 26, 2011

      Heidi, I hope you are okay. Sweet Pea (I really need a more grown-up nickname for her) is going to be living with friends in Bellevue, and going back and forth at odd hours, so she is hoping we can find a good used car for her while she is in AK. When she lived in Seattle last year, she used the bus and loved it.

      Reply
  7. learningpatience
    March 29, 2011

    Yes, send the card – just add a little note with an updated "hello!" Doesn't have to be long. One year I mailed out Christmas cards in about June! We still get comments about how everyone loved the cards that year!

    Reply
  8. Jillian
    March 30, 2011

    I was just blessed with Shelley's sweet verses too! I loved them! The time and energy and love that went into them is just such a blessing…it was so so sweet, especially right now and everything we are dealing with.
    Love you all!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy