There are many reasons to put pen to paper and write encouraging words to a friend. Big celebrations, sweet simple moments, and difficult times, are all equally worthy of written acknowledgement. That note from you may be a quick pick-me-up to brighten your friend’s day or a deeply meaningful gift that make all the difference in getting through a difficult time.
I’ve found that my words in a card can make a significant impact and inevitably deepens a friendship. Knowing someone slowed down to write intentional words that affirm, love and celebrate communicates care that goes deep, and we sure do need more friendship and depth in this world.
Here are a few opportunities to encourage and support your community that will deepen your relationships in unexpected ways.
A card may be expected but doesn’t go unnoticed for the big celebrations in life! You know the ones: babies, graduations, birthdays, marriages. These may seem like obvious opportunities, but you know what? There are a lot of people in your community, and it’s easy to miss these moments.
For the people you’re determined to “show up” for, mark the big dates in your phone calendar, and set the reminders to repeat a week before the date, every year. Then, order a bunch of cards in advance, so you can respond to those notifications with a note, a stamp, and a walk to the mailbox!
Those ‘off the radar’ celebrations in life are the best for sending cards, because it’s unexpected. Here are a few occasions worth acknowledging with a quick note or thoughtful letter: an act of bravery, reaching a ‘personal best’ in any area of life, saying thanks for a good conversation (or anything), enduring the first few months of parenthood, buying a new home or moving, taking on new roles or responsibilities...and the list goes on!
These moments may seem average or everyday, and that’s the beauty of it! They each offer a moment to say “I see you, I’m proud of you, and your life matters to me,” at unexpected times. Let’s witness one another’s simple moments, and celebrate at every opportunity!
We all know someone who is going through a tough time -- sickness, depression, separation, grief of any kind, transition, stress. Sometimes we’re just beat down from a crisis or the long daunting road of life circumstances. Sometimes we need to be reminded of our true character by beloved friends, and a note in the mail can be a ray of light, a breath of air, a reminder that we are not alone.
For example, a friend once told me that the second year after her mom passed away was incredibly difficult. The notes about condolences, thoughts, and prayers had stopped, communicating that others had moved on while she was still coping with deep loss. Think about holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries, when a timely note acknowledges an ongoing grieving process and may offer your support in important ways.
I believe it’s a huge privilege to hope, pray, and believe for better days ahead when my friends don’t have the strength or vision to do so. Your written word is such a gift because it can be read over and over again, whenever a reminder of truth and beauty is needed. Your words of encouragement are crucial in tough times, and I guarantee it will make a greater impact than you think.
Even if I haven’t met you yet, I know you’re thoughtful, striving to love your people well, and watching for ways to spread joy wherever you are. I hope this post inspires a new idea or two for how to encourage and inspire your community!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with sending timely notes too! Leave a comment to tell me your own story about sending a letter in a timely way that encouraged someone and deepened a friendship.