Since David’s birth we have had many hospital stays, surgeries and difficult times. And during those times, we’ve had friends who have walked beside us and loved us well. I’m not sure I would have known how to love someone well, before experiencing such intense pain, sadness and stress firsthand. It’s hard to be in need. I’d much rather be the one to encourage and bless, rather than receive. Wouldn’t you? But being needy means someone else gets to serve—and that’s a beautiful thing!
We just completed a short hospital stay and I was reminded of how small acts of kindness can carry such great meaning. I’d love to share some of the simple ways that others have encouraged us during difficult times.
- Pray. I can’t tell you how important this is to us. Covering us in prayer is the most meaningful thing someone can give to me and my family. I believe in the power of prayer. Pray for healing, pray for peace, pray for energy and encouragement. Pray specifically and tell your friend what you’re praying over them.
- Send a card. When David was born, we were flooded with mail. Every day when I checked the mailbox there were notes of encouragement and love. One friend sent me a card every single day for a month. I loved it.
- Serve and be specific. When we’re in an intense time, I find I have a hard time making simple decisions and I’m pretty much focused on the moment we’re in. Telling someone how you’re going to serve them can help tremendously. Examples might be, “I’m going to Target. What can I get for you?” Or, “I’m bringing you dinner tomorrow night, is lasagna, okay?”
- Just listen. It can be so tempting to give advice or want to make things better. During times of crisis, this can feel like someone is trying to minimize your pain. The best thing to do is just listen and tell your friend you love them. Remind them that you are journeying beside them, no matter what.
- Have no expectations. Make dinners, send cards and texts, babysit kids, give love and don’t expect anything in return. I know there are people who did things for us and never even got a thank you. They did it because they wanted to show us love and expected nothing in return. When I’m in crisis there are times I’m so focused on what’s happening that even a simple ‘thank-you’ doesn’t cross my mind.
Leave a Comment
Have you gone through a difficult time? What made you feel loved and encouraged?
Your heart is beautiful. I agree, sometimes others do not really know what to say or do or how to act…I remember just needing someone to smile at me…not looking the other way.
You always leave me feeling good after reading your posts.
Lisa Leonard says
Thank you Melody–such kind words! xx
I have often found when you ask to do things for others people just say no but when you make a meal and just bring it-it is accepted. Just what I have experienced in my life. Pride gets in the way for many people to accept help.
Lisa Leonard says
So true! I think we worry about inconveniencing people–when they really want to journey alongside. xx
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
While going through a very difficult time, a good friend of mine (who has a key to my house for when we lock ourselves out, etc.) came over while I was out of the house and put a full dinner – to be warmed up – in my fridge with a loving note and scripture attached. She didn’t ask or wait for an invitation, she just did it. That spoke volumes to me of her love and God’s merciful love. Thank you for some very concrete suggestions on how we can help others in need!
Lisa Leonard says
That makes me tear up–so thoughtful. I love her confidence! And how it blessed you. xx
Elizabeth Anne @seasonswithsoul says
Lisa: Thanks for sharing this advice. We walked through a difficult time last fall when my daughter (then 7) was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that required monthly IV infusions and overnight hospital stays. I remember how blessed we felt by the outpouring of cards, gifts, and meals after our first stay! Already, that memory is receding and we are surrounded by opportunities to reach out to those in need. My favorite way I serve others is usually with meals. When my friend’s husband was LifeFlighted this summer, I got to serve her by making her daughter’s birthday cake and helping her with the party, while her husband was being taken care of well in the hospital.
Lisa Leonard says
I love how you said ‘I got to serve’ because as blessed as the receiver is–I think the one serving might even be more blessed!
Crystal Walton says
Absolutely. Too many to list. But one in particular comes to mind. A time of facing the unknown. The possibility of cancer. And all the fears of what that might mean. During that season of waiting, I was amazed at how much a simple note, a simple prayer, a simple word of encouragement lit a fire to my faith. And in a time of brokenness, I learned firsthand what it really meant to be a part of the body of Christ.
Lisa Leonard says
So beautiful. xx
Great post! When I was in high school, my younger brother had a serious health crisis and I know that one of the things that blessed my parents most was when people would take me and my sister for a day, overnight, or even a weekend. It gave us girls a taste of normal and a break from the stress, and gave my parents a little extra room to breathe (and sleep) knowing that we were safe and cared for and eased the feeling of having to be strong or make up the stress to us.
Lisa Leonard says
And how fun that those are sweet memories for you! I worry about Matthias staying with others when David is in the hospital–but he always looks forward to it and has a great time. I need to let go of guilt. xx
Being unemployed suddenly and being sick at the same time has made me so discouraged and my friends have emailed and text me that they are praying for me and they have also encouraged me. I’m so grateful.
Carey Bailey says
“Being needy means someone else gets to serve—and that’s a beautiful thing!” You words just helped shift my perspective this morning. I am in the midst of fundraising for a trip to Jinga with Sole Hope and my neediness has felt like such a weight on me. Looking forward to seeing it as an opportunity for others to serve this morning. With Joy, Carey
Lisa Leonard says
I hope that weight is lifted as you fundraise and prepare. So glad God is using those words!! xx
All your suggestions are great. The offer to help–but specifically offer to do something is so huge. When Mitchell was at his worst, hospitalized for weeks, future completely unsure, I could barely get myself to the cafeteria and make a decision on what to eat. I wore the same clothes for days. All I wanted to do was to BE with him…there was no multi-tasking going on. When friends would say “What can I do?” I truly had no answer for them because I didn’t have the energy to form an answer. I think some people may have been turned off or offended by my non-answers, but others really stepped up and just told us what they were going to do–I am dropping a meal off at 5. I am dropping a care package off at the hospital. I am taking your other kids to see a movie…etc.
Now that we are in a period of stability with Mitchell I am so glad to have the time and emotional energy to now serve others and I am so grateful for our experiences that have taught me how to serve another family during a time of crisis.
Lisa Leonard says
Such true and insightful words! Making decisions is at times impossible when you’re in the middle of crazy brokenness. Thank you for giving your insights! xxoo
“To receive love” I believe is the biggest gift we can offer someone. For when we do, we are allowing them to be Jesus incarnate. When I was diagnosed with cancer in November 2012, I knew that I needed my friends more than ever….and after spending years of giving through my ministry and non profit, it was now time to receive. It was the most humbling year of my life, as I allowed friends and family to LOVE me and my family through one of the toughest seasons in our lives.
I have learned to continue to walk in the place of receiving, as well as giving…..we should always carry that balance. It is good for our souls and those who journey alongside with us.
Rhonda Petersen says
Good Words Lisa! 23 years ago I lost both of my parents…..I was a 27 yr old wife & mother to a 3 mo old and a 4 yr old. Folks brought meals, but I felt like mostly neither I nor they knew what to do with a sudden tragedy such as this. It was a difficult, slow learning curve, but through the years this difficult time has helped me consider what “might” help those who find themselves with sudden lose of a loved one. It’s hard, because we are all so different, but one thing that really stuck out to me was when I received cards long after their death…..the remembering. I think we each can bring something “different to the table” to help friends/family during these times….just being available and remembering are huge! God’s grace as we serve those in our worlds….
Sandra Heska King says
“But being needy means someone else gets to serve—and that’s a beautiful thing!”
It took me a long time to grasp the concept that if I tried to do everything and didn’t give others the opportunity to serve, I was in a sense stealing their blessing. I was not letting them exercise their gift.
You’ve shared some beautiful and concrete ways to serve, Lisa.
I met a girl a few years ago who was incredibly aloof…or so she seemed. I judged her internally, “what’s her deal?” A year after we met/became friends, I learned her marriage story. It was one of betrayal and then redemption. The betrayal part was happening when I was deeming her to be aloof. I love the ideas you mention in serving one another. I think there are situations when we know what our friends are going through because we see them walking through it…and there are times when we have no idea. My friend’s situation was a reminder to pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Instead of judging…send a card, “you ok? praying for you.” etc etc. Thanks for this post. Good word.
Beth Coulton says
Thanks for the suggestions- I need those sometimes when I am wondering what to do for someone who is hurting or struggling. And I like how you instruct to just DO for someone- don’t even ask and heavens, don’t wait for THEM to ask YOU or give you even the slightest direction! At a time like that, they need someone else to be in charge of the extracurricular affairs and just be the recipient of the meal, the gift, the phone call, the love.
And yes, thankfully prayer is the simplest, no-batteries-required, most powerful option we have in giving back to others!
I think we often forget how easy it can be to love. A card is something so simple, yet can carry great encouragement.
I have been in need, of course, and I always loved care packages and cards. But to be honest, it is way easier for me give than to receive.
Julie Gillies says
I love your idea on being specific. You truly cannot think when you’re in crisis.
When my husband had emergency gallbladder surgery just 12 days after my serious shoulder surgery, we were so overwhelmed we couldn’t think straight. A thoughtful friend simply showed up at the hospital with a home cooked meal ready for us to take home on the day of his discharge. I wept with gratitude. It was such a simple gesture but it meant the world.
In a crisis, I tend to back off in order to give hurting friends space to process, grieve, or simply get through the day. I do wonder if perhaps it’s out of fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some solid ideas I can return to in the future.
I felt so very loved by you Lisa when you dropped everything in your busy life to drive 4 hours to the hospital with me and my sick baby. Your presence was so calming and encouraging. You stayed by me and helped me figure out what the doctors were saying. You had been there so many times before and you knew just what I needed. You didn’t just drop me off and leave – you stayed for days! You got me Diet Coke and yummy lunches and provided conversation at a time that can be so lonely. You truly have a giving, beautiful heart. Love you Lisa!
This is a great list. When my son was in the PICU for 4 months we had so many people just show up in our lives and do things without asking. For me, it was really hard to accept help or even just say yes when someone offered to help out, but many people wouldn’t ask, they would just do. The dinner would just arrive, the neighbor would shovel our driveway, the Starbuck’s gift cards that helped us through the sleepless months showed up regularly in the mail. We were kept afloat by the people who didn’t ask, because we were too overwhelmed to even know what we needed most of the time. And when our son died, it was amazing how many people came to the funeral. That meant so much to us. It was New Year’s Eve, in Minnesota and there was a huge snow storm and people flew and drove into town anyway. Showing up is an amazing way to support people.
Recently, a dear friend was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. I thought I was a ‘bestie’ and figured I would be super friend until I witnessed God’s love and favor through more people than you would imagine! “STOP, Just watch” He told me. Day after day my friend has been showered with love beyond words~ In acts of kindness, hot meals, frozen meals, running errands, sitting, chatting, praying, yardwork, lifing, driving, handyman work…the list goes on! God is amazing. He is a loving God and truly does use us to honor and bless others. He has clearly spoken His unending, powerful, meaningful love through so many to my friend and witnessed it to me. My friend has always had a difficult time receiving-giving is his thing. But God has taught him (and me) a powerful lesson about love. Unconditional love and allowing and even enabling others to walk out God’s call. It is indeed a beautiful thing!
Lisa, I am always so (in)couraged as you share your experiences with your family. Over the past year our family has had to learn how to receive…. well. In the beginning of my son’s 8 month hospital stay the first outpouring of support in the form of cards, a great friend who knows my heart said “please receive these gifts in the spirit in which they were given” WOW! I held on to that advice the entire 8 months, and I continue today! I realized that accepting help in many forms is how the Lord takes care of us. In the midst of receiving, I often look around and say out loud, “This is what LOVE looks like”. Blessings to you, today Lisa! Thanks so much for this post!
Susan Shipe says
My husband broke his neck in November of 2003, needless to say it was a very difficult time. He was driving long-distance truck when the accident occurred 500 miles from our home. For six hours I was almost immobile. I co-worker literally helped me decide what to do “next”. My dear friend loaned me her vehicle so I could drive to the hospital as my car was not ready for such a long distance trip. Others brought food upon our return home. There were cards, money (until workers comp kicked in, this was SO helpful), a dear friend even made him an EWOK furry hat to fit over the halo he had to wear that winter to keep his head warm. Friends were so available and helpful – after reading this post, I’m wondering if I properly thanked them at the time! But, you are so focused on “the moment” and just putting one foot in front of the other and not stumbling or falling apart that those common sense things we should do get lost in the fog of the crisis. Great post. Nice to look back and be grateful…AGAIN.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
When my father passed away it was a very hard time for me. All of my family lived abroad so I felt like I was going through it all alone as he lived not far from me. When my family finally arrived the friends I had here brought so much food and kept me company and my family could not understand how come they were doing that. God showed his love through my friends at work and at church to my family who are not believers. I will never forget the comfort I felt knowing GOD knew what we needed through this trying difficult time of our lives. Thank you for sharing your story.
Wow…what struck me the most about this list is how simple these things are…but so very thoughtful. Truly a friend is someone who is always aware of you and looking for ways to bless and encourage you….little or big. Beautiful challenging words here…thank you for sharing these!
I spent a month with my husband in a hospital far from friends and family. One friend called every week to make sure I was doing ok. Upon my husband’s death and my return home she made sure that I was not sitting at home by myself – without being intrusive. She would let me know about different events in town and invite me to volunteer at different venues. It made me feel valued and I am still doing some of the volunteer positions.
Dear Lisa, I so appreciate your practical suggestions about what love looks like in the midst of challenging circumstances. Bless you and your family!
Marisa Slusarcyk says
It is such a blessing to have a “family” of people who genuinely love you through thick and thin. I think a lot of us feel we aren’t doing enough when someone we love is going through something big but something as simple as a run to the store or a lasagna dropped for dinner really is what grows our love as the Lord has told us to. Living with a servants heart isn’t always easy when we have our own frazzled lives but at the end of each day their are always blessings to count even if your own laundry has piled sky high. ~Love~ what a beautiful concept!
what a wonderful list of how to truly love and serve others! God Bless you! and thanks!
Sharon Anderson says
After an excruciatingly difficult pregnancy and cesarean our son was admitted into the NICU an hour away from home. I was devastated and had no idea how I was going to handle recovery and hour long trips to be with my baby. But God had already prepared a place for us.
We had never met Lisa and her husband. They did not know anything about us except that we are members in their sister church and we were experiencing a very difficult situation. They opened their home to us and gave us a place to live for the duration of our son’s stay.
Lisa, I will always be grateful that you were there for us. Our family has been so blessed by yours. God has truly used the pain in your life for good and I pray that some day God will let us bless someone else through ours.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I am a fixer by nature and never feel like I’m doing quite enough for the people around me who are going thru struggles. It’s a good reminder for me that sometimes prayer and a note of encouragement can be enough!
Alyssa Santos says
So true, that list. Especially the last one. When we’ve gone through huge challenges and hospital stuff, knowing that some people had expectations was really just too much. We did, however, absolutely lean on the help we received – even little bits – it all adds up. And to be able to allow others to should the burden was such a gift.
My husband and I went through a challenging time when we came home from the mission field a few years ago. We were new parents to a baby girl, living in a brand new city/state, and money was tight. And while people were wonderful, it was hard to ask for help and even to know when it was ok to ask for help. One of the most generous, tangible things someone did for us was seeing a need we had and just doing something about it. We were struggling getting by with just one vehicle, which my husband needed for work every day, leaving me and my daughter at home with no way to go anywhere. Our sweet neighbors had an extra car that their son couldn’t drive yet, and they gave us an extra set of keys and told us it was ours to use whenever we needed it until he turned 16. That act of generosity was such a gift and is still a reminder to me to look for ways I can help and bless others. And those neighbors are now our closest friends, too. 🙂
Everything in your list I proved true when we lost our beloved son suddenly and tragically some years ago. So many people came alongside us in the ways you mentioned to help us through this most difficult journey. I was a wounded person but with God’s help and that of so many caring people, I am now a wounded healer, for I can help others with the help I received and from first -hand experience.
At one point in my grief journey, I felt that I was becoming a burden to others because I needed so much help even though everyone assured me that this was not so. At that time, my mum shared with me that God was using my situation to draw so many to Him, though prayer, for they were committed to praying for me. Also by ministering to me, they were growing more like Him for this is what Jesus did while he lived here on earth to show us how we should love and help each other as His followers. That helped me to accept the help given freely and to heal. Thanks for sharing your story, Lisa.
I love this post. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I hate asking for help. But people can’t read our minds. Usually when people do ask if we need anything or if they can do anything to help, I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone, but that also means I’m robbing them the joy of serving. Sometimes it’s because I genuinely can’t think straight but other times it’s pride that gets in the way.
Lovely, practical ideas…thank you.
Friends saw me through months of cancer treatment. These are some of the things that stood out:
~One friend sent a card every two weeks during those months. I looked forward to them so much!
~ A great group idea- my friends at work had a large basket. Whoever wanted brought little comforting, fun things to fill it, beautiful magazines, a homemade plate of cookies, a flower in a bud vase, cards from my class…little expressions of love.
~One friend organized meals that we could count on coming twice a week.
~A person gave my husband tickets to a Braves game…caregivers need breaks, too.
~A family member planted beautiful pots of flowers for me to see every day on my porch.
~Constant reminders of prayer.
~Friends at work offered their own sick days for me to use when mine ran out.
Every small kindness is magnified for a person in need. There is not any kindness too small to be greatly appreciated.
God shows up in every little blessing. It is amazing!
Alicia Turner Beard says
When I was going thru a hard time, some one bought me a CD, and this encouraged me at night when I could not sleep and everyone else I knew was asleep.
Also, other friends of mine have taken me to the movies or to the beach for the day to get my mind off things.
I appreciate the creative ways that my friends have ministered to me.
Great reminders. Sometimes practical help is the very best. When our first child was born, we had dear friends come over and clean the house from top to bottom. It was such a wonderful surprise, and was really just what we needed-even though we couldn’t articulate it.
Also, our daughter was critically ill as an infant, and we had friends change vacation plans just to come sit with us at the hospital. The gift of their presence was the most precious thing we ever could have received.
And now I remember that it’s nice to offer help, but even better to say the specific thing you’ll do, like I’m bringing dinner at 5. Or I’m coming over to clean. Or I’ll pick your kids up from school. Or whatever. Friends, and community are the very things that often carry us through our trials.
Elise Daly Parker says
Yes, I have been through several difficult times. And every single one of the ways to help is exactly spot on. Oh my…those cards, thoughts, prayers, gifts, dinners, listeners. They were tremendously helpful. The love that I felt expressed by every one of those gestures. I have been the blessed recipient and I like you don’t know if I ever could’ve shown love or even experienced God’s love without this demonstration of His love through others. You are bringing me back. And I am so grateful for the reminder to serve others who are hurting. Thank you and prayers for your family!
sue warren says
Dear One-after teaching General Education and Special Needs children for 30 years I understand some of your issues. I loved my parents and supported them in any way I could. Please know that I will begin praying for your family and sweet David. Allow your friends to help and be there when you need a boost, and a reminder that God doesn’t make mistakes!!!He truly loves all His children and provides what we need day by day-please allow your friends to share and be blessed by loving on your family-God Bless You honey!!!
Shelly Hendricks (@Renewed_Daily) says
It is so much easier to be the giver, that’s for sure! But we sure do fulfill the word when we SHARE our burdens and allow others to serve us and walk with us. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help. It’s so much easier to just sit back and feel bad that no one is helping. I love the suggestions you gave here, those are wonderful. The greatest thing anyone ever did for me was cry and rage with me, and then held me and prayed. Such renewal.
Heart Hugs, Shelly <3
This message couldn’t have come at a better time. My friend is awaiting a diagnosis of breast cancer and what options she will face. I have been supportive with prayers and listening ears. It is so hard to see her with such a heavy weight. I pray God will take it away.
As we are walking through these dark and heavy days, I can absolutely agree with these suggestions. One thing I’ve already learned through this trial is how to love the body of Christ better through the examples of how others have loved us well. Love you Beautiful!
I have come to almost hate that word. It has been so abused and is used so broadly that it practically has no real meaning anymore.
Gina Kemp says
This was beautiful, thank you for sharing.
One year ago my son was diagnosed with CML (leukemia). We were out of town when we received the news. By the time we returned, lots of people in our church had already heard the news. We have always been on the giving end and this was a new experience for us…we were prayed for, and encouraged in so many ways with hugs, tears, cards and words of comfort…and you know what…it felt GOOD!!!!! We felt so loved and these people were truly the Hands of God comforting us and holding us up. Your child’s name and cancer should never be used in the same sentence. The good news is that my son is responding to oral chemo, with very minimal side-effects. He hasn’t missed a day if work and gives God all the glory.
Edwina Cowgill says
I’ve always been independent and it is hard for me to accept help when I need it. Over the last few years, different situations have placed me in a position of accepting help. God has shown me that not wanting to ask for and/or accept help is a matter of pride. And by not accepting help from others, I may be preventing them from being a blessing and from being blessed. Now when help is offered, I receive it and pray for the giver to be tremendously blessed.
This post is awesome. When our first child was born with Down Syndrome, we felt every emotion under the sun…and our friends and the body of Christ stood right with us every step of the way. And ten years later, when our 4th baby was diagnosed with cancer…God again showed us His love through the care and attention we received from many, many friends…and even from some strangers who had heard our story. We heard of people all over the world who were praying for our son.
All of your suggestions are spot on. Like you, we were always more comfortable being the ones doing the ministry…and not the ones on the receiving end of it. It’s humbling for sure. And trust me…giving or receiving…it is such a blessing to be able to comfort or assist others. Just know that the ones who are ministering to you are doing it out of a place of love.
God uses these hard times to show us His glory…to bring others to Him…and to make us long for Heaven. He is teaching us so much…and there’s much that we will never understand.
Hang in there, dear one.
Kate @ Songs Kate Sang says
Such a beautiful post. Thank you for the ideas of how to really care for one another.
Brooke Burger says
We have been there too with a son who has been hospitalized many times, and have several surgeries. Friends coming to visit him, prayer chains that literally went around the world were such an awesome thing. Once a friend, who apologized that she couldn’t do more, cleaned my house! That was such a blessing as I was exhausted and had my hands so full. Those are the people you will remember. Bless you Laura!
When I was going through my second miscarriage, there were people who didn’t reach out and those who did. At first I was hurt by those who didn’t but then I realized they probably thought I didn’t want to be bothered or didn’t know how to respond. The person who ministered to me during this time was my friend’s spiritual mother who is now my mentor and close friend whom I pray with regularly. She helped me the most because she heard God’s heart for me and took the time to pray his heartbeat over me. It meant the world to me!
Melinda McCray says
I definitely believe in the power of prayer as well. If someone tells me they are praying for me I feel it is the best gift they could ever give me. Many have blessed me with the gift of their faith during times of crisis. However, when my father in law passed away almost a year ago I texted my sisters in Christ about the prayer needs. One named Michelle asked if there was anything I needed in return. I told her a hug would be great. She came to the funeral home to give me a hug that night. She had plans with her family and the drive far out of her way considering where she was going, but she took time to give a hug.
Diane Taylor says
Thank you, Lisa for these wonderful suggestions. I have been on the receiving end of pure grace from true friends when my adult son died unexpectedly. The one thing I remember is the FEELING I had being covered in prayer. There was no doubt that people around the country were praying for us, especially given that Jonathan’s death was so shocking to us all – how could this amazing young man who had a black belt in karate die in his apartment kitchen making dinner? I too believe that prayer can move mountains – or it can reach deep into a breaking heart. One thing I also remember vividly was my dear SIL taking me shopping for a suit to wear to the funeral. I was so weary and didn’t know what to do – I could barely open my eyes or get out of bed! She took me out, explained to the Nordstrom sales person what we needed, and it all happened in spite of my inability to function. It was just DONE for me – no questions asked.
I will always be grateful for the friends and strangers who held us up during those dark days.
The day of my dad’s funeral (he was 59, and my husband and I had 2 young girls with another daughter on the way), we travelled home, and as we were just collapsing on the couch to catch a breath, the doorbell rang. It was friends from church, and they had taken the time to prepare dinner for us. Totally out of the blue, totally selfless, and totally appreciated. That meal is one I will never forget, as I know it was made by caring hands and hearts. Our God is an awesome God!
A good network of friends truly IS a precious gift from God! Everything you said, and what was echoed in the comments is so true. A friend who’s father was in intensive care for weeks made me aware of this very thing when she said that many offered, but she couldn’t articulate the need. She was so very grateful for those who just…did. I’ve never forgotten that. Right now, I’m going through a really tough time emotionally and financially. A friend who works for a hair salon saw me the other day and said, as only your stylist can “it’s been awhile hasn’t it – text me tomorrow if you have some time”. I texted her and said I’d love to come but I had no money. Her reply was ‘did I ask you to bring any?’ Through my tears, I typed ‘not even for a tip’ and she responded ‘just bring your smile’. I can’t tell you how wonderful I felt a few hours later with fresh color and a wonderful cut – plus painted nails. Meals are wonderful in a situation such as you described, but for other types of difficulties, giving of yourself and your talents in other ways can change someone’s entire outlook on the day.
Thank you so much for the helpful suggestions. I love being of service to family and friends in need but sometimes struggle with feeling like I am getting in the way. This really made me see things from a different perspective.
Hope little David and your family are doing well!!
I’m so encouraged to read about the ongoing support you receive–what a gift! When I was in the hospital, I received support from unexpected places, and it was wonderfully encouraging! But when my kids (3 with special needs) are having medical procedures, it seems to be assumed that I’ll just take care of things. I don’t ask for help much and we are usually able to work out the scheduling, but, oh, how I just long to be heard when times are tiring. I love that you included intangible (free!) things, like listening, praying and sending emails/texts.
Lisa, so beautifully said and such truth. I have been through such difficult times in my life and I agree with everything you said. It has made me much more thoughtful of others during their times of difficulty after what I’ve been through. Blessings to you as you continue on this tough journey of caring for your precious son. Happy weekend!
Beverly v thomas says
im glad i came across this post i have been stuggling sense my mom pass a way in aug of last year it has been a diffult time in my life you gave me wonderful ideas and god bless you all
Cathy G. says
LIsa…. I so agree with you and how important it is to help a friend out!! We have a son that was hospitalized several times as an infant….. it was a scary time for our whole family … he was very sick and didn’t know what was wrong…….having 2 older children at home trying to make their life normal as possible during all this was tough,,, but friends stepped up and took the kids to school and one time I remember so well……we had just gotten home from a week long hospital stay and a family we knew through our older sons little league team showed up at our door with a big pot of vegetable beef barely soup … fresh loaf of french bread and a salad!!!!!!! I’m telling you that meal just warmed our hearts and was so comforting!!!!! I do remember thanking them because I had to get the recipe for that soup!!!! 🙂 Long story short our son was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis but has been actually really healthy due to great doctors and medicines!!!!!! If any body else reads this please know a warm meal does wonders for tired weary families!!!!
Lisa W. says
This was a beautiful BEAUTIFUL post. I only know you through your blog AND of course your awesome jewelry shop. But I certainly know you are one special lady. Being a parent is one of the hardest thing I have EVER done in my life. Having a special needs child makes it alittle harder. I respect and admire you tremendously. You do it ALL with such class.
I work for a school system and see and work with some special needs children, and my Mother worked with special needs for years. It is like a breath of fresh air how you “do” and “handle” all that you do. Its wonderful to hear what great friends in support that you have.
God Bless you and your family!!!
Ginny Kubitz Moyer says
This is a lovely post, and such a helpful reminder.
I really like this quotation from Dinah Shore: “Trouble is part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.” I often find it hard to let others into my troubles because I don’t want to impose on them. This quotation always reminds me that my times of trouble are chances for others to be love. Blessings to you.
Beth WIlliams says
I love encouraging people. If I hear of someone in the hospital or sick, etc. I usually start praying for complete healing-if it’s God’s will. If possible I will make a meal for them and take it,
When my pastor’s wife had cancer I made a meal & took it to them. Also gave them
gift cards to grab meals on the way home.
I send encouraging cards to people all the time also. I know how much this lifts up the family and makes the ill one a little bit happier.
If we all do what we can– this world will be a much better place in which to live & God will be well pleased with us!
Thanks for the advice Lisa! 🙂
Knowing that I had friends I could lean on in the midst of my pain. Knowing that I could cry and cry and they would let me. Knowing I could pour out my heart and they would listen. And when I asked for help, they would give it. I used to think I had to go through pain alone…that I was the only one. But God has shown me and is still showing me that I am not alone. He has placed people in my life who want to be there for me. I just have to ask for the help and lean on those people.