10 Gifts to Encourage Others in a Time of Hardship

Have someone in your life that is going through something difficult? It can be hard to know what to say so I’ve rounded up 10 gifts to encourage others.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

NEEDING SOME ENCOURAGEMENT

My personal love language is “Words of Affirmation” meaning I feel loved most when others write me a text, note, pull me aside to tell me something kind, or say things like thank you. One of the biggest encouragements when I was bedridden, were all of the cards I received from friends and family.

Here’s a Facebook post I found from 2017:

Filling up my room with mementos from those who love me and encourage me. Letters from friends, flowers from Luke, drawings from Henry, photos that remind me I will be back to myself one day, presents from friends, books and funny movies, and drawers filled with cards. Feeling the love 😘

Here are a few other ways that friends and family supported me during that time from another Facebook post I wrote:

Some days are full of confidence, others full of brokenness. The past few days have been really hard. Today was good. Thanks to Ali for giving me a makeover and baking me goodies to take home today, love you 😘 and Tammi, my bestie/on call nurse across the street 😂 and of course my parents who basically moved in with us and are awesome 🏠 and Luke for your love and support and help with everything 💏 Our small group has also been such a blessing this year especially. Luke’s work, our families, our church family, you guys are each special to me in so many ways ❤️

10 GIFTS TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS

We all know someone at some point in our lives who could use a little encouragement. Here are a few ideas of how to comfort others going through a hard time based on their love language:

  • Words of Affirmation: send a note, text or call them to tell them you’re proud of them, that they have what it takes, that they’re not alone
  • Receiving Gifts: send a bouquet of flowers, have children draw pictures, buy them a necklace or bracelet with encouraging words
  • Acts of Service: bring them a meal, sit with them, babysit their kids, clean their house
  • Physical Touch: hold their hand, give them a hug, rub their back, sit next to them
  • Quality Time: stop by to visit, bring over a game to play, sit and watch their favorite show together

Not sure what their love language is? That’s ok! People don’t need you to figure out the perfect words to say, they need to know that you’re there for them and you care about them. A simple way to do that is to bring or mail them a gift. Here are 10 of my favorite gifts of encouragement:

  1. Be Still and Know Candle
  2. Sanctuary in the Psalms Book
  3. Jesus Calling Book
  4. Hope and Encouragement Bible and Journal
  5. He Restores My Soul Framed Art
  6. Be Still and Know Mug
  7. Hope When it Hurts Journal
  8. Never Alone Hexagon Necklace
  9. Even in the Valley Necklace
  10. Wait for the Lord Print
Studio 71 - Be Still + Know Mug He Restores My Soul - Framed Decor DaySpring Hope & Encouragement Navy Leatherlike Bible & 100 Days of Hope & Encouragement - Gift Set Jesus Calling - Textured Gray Leathersoft Edition with Full Scriptures Sanctuary in the Psalms - KJV Scripture Book Be Still - Sea Salt + Jasmine + Wood + Cream - Soy Candle

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

For even more ideas like these gifts to encourage, check out:

You’ve got this!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: 

How to Create Your Own Prayer Walk Using the Psalms

Create your own retreat using the Psalms with this printable Prayer Walk as you connect to God through nature.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

Prayer walker

WHAT IS A PRAYER WALK?

My favorite part of the book of Psalms is that you can easily turn the verses into a personal prayer for yourself. A few years ago I was invited to a women’s retreat for the weekend and part of our activities was a self-guided prayer walk along dirt paths and bridges winding through a beautiful property in Texas. While we started out in small groups, I felt the need to break off to finish up on my own.

I feel most connected to God when I am alone in the quiet, listening for his voice.

Although I haven’t heard anything audible on these walks, I feel a calm and peace come over my spirit, as I breathe in gratitude for the beauty and the opportunity to have a moment to think.

Sometimes it is more of a listening experience. Maybe a journal entry by a creek, or a minute to pause and watch for wildlife in the trees.

Prayer walker

PLAN YOUR OWN PRAYER WALK

Nature has a way of speaking to us and bringing us closer to our creator, and I encourage you to plan a moment (or a few) each year where you can get away for even an hour to reflect.

Here are my favorite places to be still and reflect on what God is teaching me:

  • Walk along the beach in the early morning before the crowds
  • Hike a simple nature trail in your local community
  • Go on a bike ride in your neighborhood after dinner or before breakfast
  • Sit on a porch or balcony on a vacation with a view
  • Sip on coffee in the backyard and listen to the birds
  • Turn on nature sounds for an indoor break

It’s not simply about taking a minute to get back into nature–it’s about reconnecting with God. An easy way to do that is to pray and journal the Psalms out in his creation.

Prayer walk

MARK THE MEMORY

In the Bible when God did something that the Israelites wanted to remember, they offered a sacrifice, started a tradition or set up stones of remembrance.

On my personal prayer walk, we were asked to collect something along the way, like a rock, and write a word that stuck out to us on our journey. I still have my rock with the word trust written on it sitting in my office. I was going through a especially hard time in my life, and the reminder of the prayers and conversations I had with God that weekend stayed with me throughout that time.

This week I modified the Prayer Walk we used on our women’s retreat into one you can use on your own, anywhere you’d like.

Prayer walker

ORDER THE PRAYER WALK PRINTABLE WORKBOOK

My Prayer Walk Workbook is simple to reprint year after year if you want to make it a tradition. You can staple it together or I like these clear protector sheets that make it into a little booklet. You can find them here or at most stores that sell office supplies.

Prayer walker

The Printable Prayer Walk Workbook includes directions and activities for a 1.5 hour self-guided nature walk and follow-up suggestions.

Want the details? Purchase includes:

  • Workbook cover page
  • Prayer Walk directions and schedule
  • 6 guided activities to study the psalms (gratitude, lament, praise, restoration, stillness, transformation)
  • 7 journaling prompts for ongoing prayers
  • Topical Psalms list for further study
  • Cheat sheet on writing your own psalm
  • Reproducible Prayer Record Keeping

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

Want more tips on growing in your spiritual life? Check out these other posts:

You’ve got this!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: 

Choosing Faith Over Your Fear

We’re tested most when we face something difficult. But perhaps holding onto faith over fear is what we need more than anything else.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

FINDING A FAITH GREATER THAN FEAR

I’ve been coming across this term a lot lately called Post-Traumatic Growth. It’s where instead of being resilient and bouncing back from a trauma, you are better for having gone through it. You haven’t ended up exactly where you were before, you’ve jumped ahead. You’ve grown from the experience.

Where are you struggling right now? Maybe you feel confused, alone, abandoned. I know I did. After I had my daughter, I still felt sore and tired and weak all the time. Eight months later, I knew something wasn’t right and spent the next two years trying to figure out what was happening to my declining health.

In this time, I was angry, fearful, and anxious to say the least. My faith that had been so strong as a child was tested in real and powerful ways. I was left with moments of uncertainty. On one particular night, I remember thinking that the only way this could make sense with the God that I had grown up knowing was that he was a nice idea, but he didn’t exist. If it wasn’t lining up, it couldn’t be true.

But those fleeting moments never lasted too long, because the fear that this was all for nothing just wasn’t going to be satisfied. All around me were signs that he was there, so it had to mean that if he was real and still good, that there was so much more that I couldn’t possibly understand as a created being.

MY TWO CHOICES

So what could I do? What can anyone do in hard circumstances? As far as I saw it, I had two choices:

1. Be a grump. Be angry at God, at everyone, at this disease and throw a pity party (which I did for a little while).

OR

2. Trust God. Trust that he was present with me and that if I believed he was all powerful and good at the same time, that this wouldn’t be without purpose. That I had to trust and look for the silver lining.

If you are fearful or anxious, being bitter is not the solution.

I have struggled with Lyme disease for almost five years now. While it’s mostly under control, my symptoms flare up every now and then, causing me to have to go back and treat. This also causes me to go back and trust God all over again.

So how do people choose faith over fear, even in the most difficult situations? Let me share a few stories from my own life with you.

6 TIPS FOR CHOOSING FAITH OVER FEAR

1. STOP GOOGLING AND READ YOUR BIBLE

I love to be in control. It makes me feel safe. It took me two and a half years to get my diagnosis. During that time, I was a mess of books and WebMD and Google searches that really just led to more worrying. New symptoms became tumors or cancer in my mind.

One night in particular, I was searching on Google for answers to my right arm pain and tingling. I suddenly felt the need to look up the phrase: “For I am your”. I figured it was a Bible verse and thought, why not?

The very first result was Isaiah 41:13. It was a moment I’ve never forgotten. So much so, that I got it tattooed on my right arm last year.

2. BE PATIENT AND STAY POSITIVE

After a week of being in and out of doctors offices and a trip to the hospital, I was so frustrated that I was still struggling to breathe and throwing up from the pain. I decided that even though I didn’t understand why God was allowing this to happen, I would trust him.

The next day I got outside more, and felt a peace and calm I hadn’t in weeks. I stopped crying about it. The pain slowly started getting better from the steroids I started a few days earlier. My new specialist called asking if I could come in on Monday (six weeks early!) because there was a cancellation.

God was reminding me and my family that whether or not we understand, or feel heard, he is sticking with us and giving us peace when we ask for it. God can do great things through hard circumstances and I am renewing my trust in him every day.

3. PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Right before I discovered that I had Late-Stage Lyme Disease, I spent a terrifying week having violent tremors all over my body. I spent a few days in the hospital while they gave me medicine to calm them down, but had no answers for my pain management. Several doctors even questioned the validity of my symptoms because there were so many and tests came back normal.

But because I had kept my eyes open for what God was doing all around me in those terrible days, I focused on the only thing that mattered: his presence. I couldn’t control anything except my mindset.

I wrote on my Facebook page while I was at the hospital that I felt God all around me in ways that I couldn’t explain or ignore. That I was thankful for friends visiting and help from family. And that I was grateful Fixer Upper was playing on repeat in my hospital room.

4. BE IN TUNE TO GOD’S GUIDANCE

A week before my hospital visit, I decided I needed to start some kind of daily Bible study. I didn’t want to do a generic topical study of the Bible, because I needed encouragement for this specific trial I was going through. I searched “Bible study suffering” and ordered something that looked pretty called Hope When It Hurts. Before I had even ordered my Lyme test, I realized the two authors of this book were two women around my age that struggled with Lyme. One of the women had given it to her entire family through pregnancies.

How strange and perfect the timing and discovery of this book was! The week after I was released from the hospital, I sat in a doctor’s office as he read over my results–positive for Lyme and several co-infections, and then broke the news that my whole family would have to be tested as well.

This book was a light in my darkness and one I still gift and recommend to others.

5. GET A SUPPORT SYSTEM

The day after I ordered the book, my cousin and a friend of my sister’s contacted me within the same hour to let me know they were convinced I had Lyme and needed to see a Lyme doctor. My cousin told me to find a Lyme support group in the meantime while I waited for my test results to come in. I casually looked it up online not really that interested because I probably didn’t have Lyme at all.

There was only one Lyme support group I could find listed in North Texas. I live in the Bible Belt and there are are so many churches in our area that we are called the Buckle of the Bible Belt. And reading the name, I literally gasped. I had been attending the ONE church for the past eight years that currently hosted this group. Weird.

6. ACKNOWLEDGE MIRACLES FOR WHAT THEY ARE

After a month of boosting my immune system, my doctor’s appointment arrived to discuss if I was ready for treatment. That morning, I put on a necklace my son made for me to calm my mind.

The doctor was shocked I was doing so well on the new meds. He wasn’t sure how I could be doing so well so quickly, and I said “Jesus!”

And he said, “Well whoever you’re praying to, keep praying.”

I repeated, “It’s Jesus!”

GROWING IN FAITH

I found that with trust came gratitude.

And with gratitude came peace.

With peace came stillness.

And with stillness came his presence.

His all-encompassing, never-leaving-me presence.

I felt like David in the Bible, begging and pleading with God and wondering in agony where he was, and then I would have a moment of trust and there he would be, reminding me of verses that strangely applied to my situation or telling me to pray instead of stress. In wondering how we would afford to hire help, pay medical bills or sometimes even get food on the table, he provided every time. Money, food, childcare, you name it, someone took care of it.

God didn’t take me out of that storm, he walked me through it.

For those of you wondering if God hears you…he hears you. He sees you, knows you, and loves you. Trust him in your storm. Let him fill you with faith greater than your fear.

FREE PRINTABLE FOR YOU!

I’ve created this printable to remind you of who you are in Christ and to encourage you through your trials. Use it to remind yourself that He is with you and to find strength in His presence.

Grab this FREE Identity in Christ printable when you subscribe to my newsletter and get access to my ENTIRE printable library full of freebies!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

Let me encourage you to choose faith your own trials in my Fear + Anxiety Workbook. It’s Bible-based and walks you through verse studies on fear, peace, trials and mindset. It also includes verse coloring pages! You can order it in my shop:

Read more posts like this here:

You are not alone friend, He’s got you!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: