One thing I’ve learned about myself since I’ve had children is that I’m not a very good receiver of selfless gifts from others. For some reason I have a hard time letting people love me during times when I surely need it the most. I’m always so overwhelmed (in a good way) by how truly thoughtful other people are, and sometimes I feel like there’s no way I’ll ever be able to repay them or make them feel as special as they made me feel. Maybe this sounds crazy to you, but maybe some of you can relate to my crazy thoughts and understand where I’m coming from.
I remember having a near meltdown after Sadie was born because I was so blown away by the time and finances that one friend in particular poured into my family via meals and gifts. My mother-in-law was visiting for a few weeks helping me with the girls since Jamie was back overseas, and I was thinking out loud about how I had no clue how to show her how much I appreciated what she’d done for me.
I’ll never forget the advice that my mother-in-law gave me that’s helped make me a much better receiver of this kind of love. She explained that we all go through seasons where we need extra kindness and/or help, and that I didn’t need to repay these people immediately. She said that as soon as I notice them going through their own seasons of trial, that that’s when I should jump in and selflessly give in the specific ways that are needed according to the trial they’re facing.
I love this advice so much and find it so applicable. It’s inevitable that we all go through challenging seasons, and this advice empowers me to keep a look out for ways that I can love others when they need a hand or a pick-me-up.
In the last year I’ve had a several people close to me go through trying times, and I’m always racking my brain of what I can do for that person during that time. If you’re like me and occasionally stress over what the best thing to do is, here are a few ideas. We’ve been on the receiving end of each of the ideas below, so I know personally that they’re sure to bring a smile (and maybe a few happy tears too).
- Send a hand-written card. (Who doesn’t love seeing a surprise card in the mailbox addressed to them?)
2. Text uplifting and applicable bible verses. (I know first-hand how much peace these verses brought to my heart when we were in the hospital a couple weeks ago.)
3. Swing by with a hot meal or sweets. (Often the fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach!)
4. Send flowers or drop them on their doorstep. (Maybe the recipient isn’t up for company, but sending flowers is such a nice way to brighten someone’s home and give the person a constant reminder that they’re cared for by others.)
5. Time is such a precious gift. Give of your time with a quality phone call or home visit that’s not distracted by other things/people, or maybe consider meeting the person for lunch to give them time to talk and get out of the house.
6. Send a thoughtful, situation-appropriate gift, such as a piece of jewelry, aromatherapy candle, etc.
7. Put together a care package full of feel-good items and encouraging notes.
8. Who doesn’t like brownie or cake pops? These “Get Well” pops from Sherries Berries are unique and delicious!
Ultimately, most people would say that the thought is always what matters most.
Let’s keep this list going! What would you add to it?