About the Author

Lois is mom to two lovely daughters and wife to one good man. She’s a former journalist and lifelong Midwesterner who values authenticity, loves gardening, and always reads the end of the book first.

Related Resources & Gifts
Find more at DaySpring.com
Related
Resources
& Gifts
Find more at
DaySpring.com
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Those kinds of affirmations do my heart so well! Just like you pictured here, those small insights from someone a bit farther ahead go a long way to helping me rest in the situation. Happy to open (in)courage and find you here this morning, friend.

  2. I have just been thinking about starting a small group with just the ladies from our couples group. My husband and I are definitely the older ones. I keep coming back to the verse about the older woman teaching the younger. This may give me the push I need. Thanks!

    • Me too! I shared with my daughter last night that I wanted to start a small group of younger mothers and then sprinkle in 3 of us “olders” to meet and encourage — to offer a safe, confidential environment where any hurts, fears, life happenings, etc. can be shared and prayed about without any judgment or gossiping, but simply being with that person, encouraging and praying for the situation. Churches would be overflowing with people if we would stop trying to put on a front of being perfect with a perfect marriage and a perfect family in perfect jobs and be real and share our life failures with others who may be walking in that same path. Too many times hurting people come to our churches but don’t think they can ever measure up to be as “perfect” as we pretend to be. So they leave without ever getting the help they so desperately need.

      I once worked with a lady who never went to church. She was as good as gold and I had the opportunity to ask her why she didn’t go to church. She told me a story of being a child and attending church with her mother. The father who had a drinking problem came to church with them and ended up asking Christ into his heart. All was good for a while. Then the father could no longer fight temptation and went back to drinking. The preacher met them at her mother and her and her siblings at the door one Sunday and told them it would be best if they didn’t come back because their Dad’s backsliding made the church look bad. They never went back. She is over 65 now and she nore her kids or their kids ever go to church anywhere. We just need to be real — not plastic.

  3. I absolutely love this. I just happen to be in the “over 50” catagory.
    So I’ve been on both sides of this coin. I will always remember the ones that helped me through my difficult moments, and I will continue to be grateful for the younger women God has placed in my path to pass along my experience to!

    • What a wonderful example of “paying it forward,” Renae. (And so much more life-changing than paying for the car behind you in the Starbucks drive-through!) I’m grateful for your kind words today. 🙂

  4. Lois,
    I’m joining with the women above who are in the 50+ category (I even qualify for senior citizen status – oy!) Yes, yes, yes, we NEED people who will just listen, who are not quick to jump in with advice right away, and who will validate our feelings. Yes, sometimes our feelings are irrational, but they are our feelings and they often simply need an outlet to come into the open and be seen for what they are. It’s so helpful to hear someone else say, “I’ve been there too,” or “I’ve felt exactly the same way.” It makes us feel like being human is okay and we aren’t some kind of strange alien and we are definitely not alone. I have been blessed with having mentor friends who have come alongside me to say that the path I’m traveling has been traveled before and there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel…in fact I STILL need that. I do hope, however, that I will take the time to encourage those who follow behind me on this path called life, that they are doing, okay, that God is in control, that they can be conquerors in HIS strength. Great post Lois!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev, empathy is such an amazing gift, isn’t it? You’re right … just a little bit can move us from feeling like strange aliens to knowing that we’re not alone. I loved reading your perspective this morning!

  5. Lois, I am always blessed by your ability to share a heartwarming story and then apply it. I’m walking away from this read with the reassurance that I don’t need to be a licensed counselor or a trained spiritual director to build into the lives of women around me. A friend who listens and shares wisdom — Unfiltered encouragement! Love that term! — is always qualified to do the job.

    • Absolutely, Michele! And as one who reads your words regularly, I can testify that you are definitely in the business of building into the lives of the women around you! 🙂

  6. We all need a word of encouragement now and then from a trusted friend.

  7. I, too, read the end of the book first, Lois! Right now I wish I could read the end of the story in our lives. After multiple eye surgeries (successful) the last one last week has not restored vision in my husband’s eyes. All my encouraging words to others now have to be applied to me. But the unknown is scary. I’m definitely in the 50+ group, but totally enjoy my younger friends and the prayers and involvement they have in my life.

    • Oh Elsa … I can definitely relate to what you’re saying. I’m sorry that your husband’s latest eye surgery didn’t restore his vision … what a disappointment! It’s tough when you are the one needing encouragement instead of the one doing the encouraging. Praying right now for healing for your husband’s eyesight and hope for you …

      • Thank you, Lois. We are trusting in the Lord who is ever faithful….”even if”.

    • Elsa,

      Praying for you and your husband now. This is a tough time for both of you. I, too, am an encourager and it is tough when you need the encouragement. May God provide a sense of peace and contentment to you and your family.

      (((((Hugs)))))

      • Thank you, Beth, for your prayers and thoughts. My verse for today is “Be still, and know that I am God.”

  8. Lois, I love the phrase you coined “unfiltered encouragement.” Just what I needed to hear this morning! You gave me reassurance to keep on keeping on. So grateful our stories don’t have to be edited (in a manner of speaking) to be effective. Thank you.

  9. As someone who is a bit lost on her path, I needed this reminder that there are women who can offer their truth and experiences, guiding me through the pain and darkness. I need not be ashamed to ask for/seek out unfiltered encouragement. And I would love to find an “older” friend to walk with me! Thank you, Lois, for your powerful words.

    • I’m sorry your path is rough right now, Katie. It takes courage to seek out encouragement … praying that you will find the strength to do just that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today … I have a feeling that there are others reading them that will relate and be comforted to know they are not alone. 🙂

  10. Thank you Lois for such an uplifting devotional. I have been on the receiving end of the unhelpful response and it can sometimes feel like a dagger to the heart.

    Years after my first marriage ended because of infidelity, I was sharing with a long time friend my desire to have children, and fearing that it may never happen because I was getting older and did not have a husband. Her response to me was “Girl, I don’t know what I would do if I did not have my 2 kids”.

    That was not very helpful, I felt so alone. I quickly ended the conversation and hung up the phone. Proverbs 25:11 – A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pitchers of silver. May God help us to speak life and not despair or discouragement into the lives of those within our sphere. God bless you Ladies!!

    • Oh, Nisa … it’s hard when people don’t think before they respond, isn’t it? Especially when it has to do with desiring children. I’m sorry that you had to hear those words at that time in your life. And I’m with you in desiring to speak life, not discouragement, to those around us. Thank you for your kind words here.

  11. Lois,

    AMEN and Hallelujah! People need encouragement at all stages of life! More than anything people need someone to listen to them without judgement or giving advice. Take the time to listen and truly hear them. Be a shoulder they can cry on. I believe that God gives us trials to strengthen us and to allow us to comfort others going through the same things. I will always be there for someone if they need to talk/vent.

    Blessings 🙂

  12. Love this…thank.you!

    My son plays a high level rep baseball and is 15. When I went to 4 games last weekend, a lot of the shy OR serious parents were stoic and quiet and reserved.

    The other team was filled with some players that my son played with since he was 5 or 6. I did a quick mental scan of “what would happen IF I went and said hi to the opposing team?”…being intentionally gracious and friendly. After all, our sons are not enemies and they just wear different jerseys now!

    I sat beside a woman and was chit chatting and getting to know her. I fielded awkward backward glances from some parents on OUR team. I didn’t care. I had Christ beckoning me and He spoke and received all anywhere and everywhere He went. He knew everybody’s name. I am His daughter 1st and foremost.

    As I got to know the “lady on the other team”, she shared her garden – because we were chatting about the beauty of the flowers that the springtime rain and season brings. She opened her cell phone and had me scan her flowers in her home garden but then she suddenly showed me a picture of her family saying: this is my dad and brother and me…my dad died 3 weeks ago.

    I was so shocked but immediately looked her in her sad and sorrowful and tear-infused eyes…said a compassionate “I am so sorry for your loss” and asked her if she needed a hug. We embraced for a full 10 seconds + … I shared some advice on grieving – the kind that is only learned by going through traumatic grief that you were never taught to go through – when my beloved brother died suddenly and tragically 9 years ago….when my children were 4 and 6.

    All of a sudden, God was using me as His Divine Instrument of love…. to blurt out some recipes for hurt and grief…all the difficult answers for me became instant Peace for her. I could tell she was so grateful and I was the recipient of being God’s open Arms of Love for a daughter mourning the loss of her daddy in India.
    I am not sure, but if I were to guess, she is of Hindu religion.

    It was absolutely an honour to be “gentle words for her”…to extend a compassionate embrace…and to give her ideas and “permission to grieve hard”.

    All that to say: Yes! ..we should use our words, hearts, hands and even a glance to be the Jesus in the world that He told us to go forth and “love others as I love(d) you”

    Thank you for your post on encouragement…the word actually means: to give heart.

    May we give our hearts away for God’s purposes…being receptive and willing. Afterward, we are the recipient of the beautiful residue of the heart tingle feeling of dancing JOY in an unplanned splash of God’s Goodness ..
    whe He gives us the opPOURtunity to be His Light, Love and Words to others.

    Blessings.

    Thank you for this encouragement to encourage.

    Janine

    • Janine – Bill Hybel’s book, Just Walk Across the Room, reads like what you did at the basketball game. In out highly technological age for communicating, most people are quite lonely and need an “in-person” touch. Last week following a very long day at the hospital for my husband’s surgery, one nurse walked us out and showed us the way to a hospital cafeteria. I gave her a hug for her kindness and graciousness. We all need a human touch daily! Blessings to you.

      • Elsa…you said it about “lonely”.

        I think there are so many silent lonely people.

        And we are “God’s chosen ONLY to fill the lonely” – and when and IF the Spirit leads… to introduce them to Christ.

        Thank you for writing and sharing…just walk across the room. What a name for a book – and what an invitation for us….to scan the room, the field, the shopping mall for opportunity(ies) to bless others with help or ears.

        Sweet wonderfuls to you and your family and all reading these posts.

        ~ Janine

    • Janine, what an amazing encounter … and all because you decided to ignore the backward glances and reach out to someone at a game. I also love that scrolling through pictures of someone’s flowers is what opened the door to the real, God-directed conversation. Thank you for sharing this experience … it’s a wonderful example of what encouragement looks like!

      • Yes Lois…it is so interesting how a little smile leads to conversation, and conversation leads to revelation, and revelation leads to compassion or true intimacy and genuine, heartfelt relating.

        Jesus always spoke to others. He was never rushed and always looked them straight in the eye and called them by name. He is the most intimate Friend and wants us to imitate Him. When we throw caution to the wind(s) – the ones that obey Him – and when we obey and just say HI…He gives surprise gifts in many interactions.

        I usually get filled more than I get emptied.

        It is a paradox.

        Bless you Lois – you are such a strong & loving encourager.

        Sweet blessings to you. Janine

  13. Lisa ,
    Thanks for such a great read !
    This was so important for us women , well said and thank you .
    May God bless you all and keep you safe ,
    Jen

  14. It makes my heart sing to see you here at {in}courage, friend. Your stories will resonate with countless women who would have loved to received this kind of encouragement during a down season.

    Thank you for the gentle prompt to be ready to be present, to listen, to love …

  15. I always try to be as ” real ” as possible with the women I try to help. I thought I had lived a sheltered life, but I have a lot more experience than I thought.

  16. That’s wonderful, Rebecca. I think what you said is true for a lot of us … we may not have experienced everything someone else has, but we can still relate in many encouraging ways!

  17. Adoption is so powerful, like grafting in a branch from another tree, there is pain for everyone. As time goes on the bond is unbreakable, ,and you are melded together in a way that not having that adopted child would be a foreign concept. Thank you for this article!

  18. I adore encouraging others. I feel like it’s how I enter the battlefield and directly take on the enemy. When I’ve encouraged someone, I feel like I’ve fought the good fight. The enemy likes to try and minimize being an encourager, as I believe he does with everyone and their particular gifts, but I have no need for his lies! Thank you for the lovely reminder.

  19. I love your words, Lois…again. It’s amazing how we can too often hold our tongues because we wonder if our experience could help another. Your stories are such a beautiful example of authentic and honest conversation – listening and then speaking. Thanks for your heart to encourage us to keep on encouraging.

  20. I SO need the advice fo these hormonal mood swings of the curse of menopause/peri menopause or whatever it’s called. I cry at the drop of a hat, I am super sensitive, I feel excluded or exclude myself…& no hormone therapy recommended by dr