Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How to Support a Weary Friend

I sat in the hospital cafeteria sipping a steaming cup of coffee. It felt like my stomach was in my throat and per my personality, I was trying to be tough and fight away the worry and tears. Peter sat next to me and we felt heavy and motionless. 

We had just watched our tiny special needs boy be wheeled away on a giant twin sized hospital bed. He was currently being sedated for his 4-5 hour long surgery.

As we were attempting the casual small talk with my parents to keep our minds busy, my sister found us in the cafeteria pushing a stroller and carrying a gift bag. She handed me a bag filled with simple items as a "hospital survival present" including snacks, lip balm, a face mask, Emergen-C, 2 rolls of toilet paper, and more! They were simple gifts that were exactly what parents who were about to spend a week in the hospital would need. 

Isn't it funny how at just the right moment even a small gift of toilet paper can mend a heart and touch a weary soul? It's true!

While we ride out the rest of Zachary's recovery from surgery at home, the exhaustion level is at an all time high, the laundry may be piling up, but our heart keeps getting touched again and again by loving hands.  

This journey so far has made me really re-think the personal and caring touch. Stepping outside of the  modern social media comment and taking the extra time to send a text, make time for a phone call, grocery shop and make a meal, write a note to send in the mail, and offering to help with errands can mean so very much. 

Here are some practical ideas to go back to the basics and help that friend of yours who may be tired, weary, and just in need of a friendly gesture whether your friend lives near or far.

5 Ways to Support a Weary Parent or Friend

1. Hand deliver a simple gift

Maybe it's flowers, a simple survival care package like my sister handed me, or a Starbucks coffee. If you live nearby, don't be afraid to knock on the door and offer a cheap and simple gift with a hug. Spending the long days at home can get very lonely. You don't have to stay long. Just stopping by for 5 minutes can lighten a soul for the rest of the day.

2. Make a phone call

Last week while I was sitting with Zachary, my phone rang. A dear friend had taken a break from her day to call and check up on us. We talked for maybe 10 minutes, but I got off that phone call feeling loved and encouraged. My tip? Don't be afraid to interrupt! If I was busy and couldn't answer the phone, I would have let it go to voicemail. But I would have listened to my friend's voice later on that voicemail and have been just as encouraged. So maybe in addition to the typical Facebook or Instagram comment, pick up the phone. Make a call and simply leave a voicemail if you have to! 

Texting is a great option if you're in a rush. Drop a simple text or encouragement. That works too!

3. Send a Card

I was surprised how thick the bundle of mail felt on Wednesday when I opened our little mailbox. I was surprised to see 5 cards in the mail from an Aunt of mine. She had taken the time to purchase, write in, and mail cards for each of my kids and also Peter and I. She slipped in a gift card to Chick-fil-a for each person individually and wrote a thoughtful note to everyone. I smiled as I watched my kids each open and read their card. 

You guys, you can purchase cards at the Dollar Tree for $0.50 each. Lets get back to sending an encouraging note in the mail. I can't even really tell you how much that meant to our family. 

Make someone smile and send a note of encouragement in the mail!

4. Gift a Meal

We have been so blessed with family and friends providing dinners for us during this long recovery period. At first I felt funny and guilty that friend were bringing us meals even though it wasn't me personally who had surgery. But let me tell you - this has been a tremendous help. I'm running on very little sleep and spend my days continuously at Zachary's side. Knowing I don't have to muster up the energy to cook for my family has been a tremendous weight off of my shoulders. 

Live far away? Send a gift card for a restaurant! Just yesterday we ordered food from Jimmy John's with a gift card from family members all the way in Michigan. Getting those sandwiches delivered was such a blessing and treat! 

If you don't know, you can order gift cards to almost any restaurant on Amazon.
Just click this link and see for yourself. Surprise and bless a tired friend today!

5. Text a Bible Verse or Encouragement

I feel like I keep giving examples from my relatives in this post, but they have shown so much love even from far away. On surgery day and the days to follow, another Aunt of mine would send me a text message in the morning with an encouraging Bible verse. Another friend of mine has multiple times typed out her prayer for us into a text message. I may have been busy and didn't always get the chance to respond right away, but I did read those messages and trust me, they meant so much. 

Find a verse, type out a prayer, or just send a message of encouragement. 
A gesture that literally takes maybe 2 minutes can be huge.

My challenge to you? Take the extra minute to be a friend and make someone's day. Today!

Curious about our journey? Visit our YouTube channel where we post updates.



  1. This was such a sweet reminder of things we can do. Am going to visit a friend in the morning. Will think to do one of these five things.

  2. forgot to tell you I do have your family and Zachcary on my prayer list. and pray for you each morning. What a privilege to hold your wonderful family before the throne. God is good!