A Friend’s Encouragement is Irreplaceable

ShanSignCollageI cancelled my annual writing retreat because my dad died. I missed being with my writing friends in our rented Branson home, but I obviously needed to be with my family. After several weeks, I started thinking about the missed retreat and, primarily, looming writing goals and the need to get away and reflect, heal, and grieve. I contacted a friend who lives several states away, and she and her husband graciously opened up their home. It was a win-win. By weekday, I’d have the house to myself (and an adorable dog) to finish Pure Submission. By evening and weekend, I’d get to hang out with two amazing friends.

On the kitchen counter was a framed sign with a simple sentence starter: “I love you because…” along with a dry-erase marker. A couple days into my trip, I walked into the kitchen when everyone had gone to work, and I saw a personalized note of encouragement. A couple days later, I erased my friend’s encouraging note and wrote a note for her; the following day, she erased part of my message and finished it with her own encouragement. She continued to write notes of encouragement to me.

They were priceless. They motivated me, gave me a sense of focus and determination, made me comfortable, and assured me I could continue writing…and healing.

Never underestimate the impact your simple words of encouragement can have on someone. Both my friend and I would probably agree that we each get the best deal in our friendship. We both feel we receive more than we give. The truth is we both give what we can with generous hearts and loving kindness. And that nearly always results in irreplaceable encouragement.

Try to give some today.

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