Brightening someones day. . .

I have been reading "Small Acts of Grace" by Alice Gray (a favourite author of mine) and she covers a chapter on encouragement.  Being there to support a friend, offering that kind word, sending a note that might make a difference - to give a little lift and extra encouragement to those that need it - to brighten someones day. 

Alice Gray reminds her readers not to forget people on those "ordinary days' when life is just plodding along - those ordinary days that we all have that need to be brighten up.  Alice suggests using notes, they are cheap and cheerful and can really make a differences (and often much nicer than electronic notes as they can be displayed and treasured because of their personal touch). Here is a list of ways of encouraging people through note writing:
  • Send notes to children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews with words of kindness and encouragement - telling them something wonderful that you have noticed eg showing respect for an older person.  Make the notes fun with stickers and glitter.
  • Send notes of encouragement to teenagers who live in such a negative world.  Sometimes just a few words can make a differences. Make it fun and colourful.  Perhaps add a "voucher" for an outing or afternoon tea together (these are great for any age).
  • Send a note to someone who is feeling down or heard bad news, a simple note can provide the courage they need to keep on going.
  • Send a note to someone you haven't heard from in years, perhaps thanking them for the impact they have had on your life.
  • Send a note to someone who rarely ever gets mail (except for bills) - it will make their day and be such a nice surprise.
  • Send someone a favourite recipe that you think they might like. Or perhaps a text, a book, a poem, some stickers - it doesn't need to be expensive, it is the care that is put into the note that matters.
It doesn't take long but it will mean so much for the person receiving it.  I am off to send a note to someone who I know needs cheering up.

She also makes a very important point - often when someone is suffering, people rally around and help, but then they go off and carry on with their own lives - however the ongoing support is often needed and Alice Gray reminds her readers to remember these people for the long term.  I think this is so important - after a disaster we all tend to "do things', but a couple of months later, it all seems to be forgotten, and we have moved on - they haven't.  Don't forget them.

In all of these situations, it's important to remember we're not on our own when it comes to encouragement. We can trust God to bring to our minds people who could use an encouraging word or action.  But it's up to us to act on those little "nudges" and obey.

 Alice Grays ends the chapter with this:

Dear Lord . . . Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to wave pompoms, and now You have chosen me to be on Your cheerleading squad.  No tryouts or competitions or synchronized dance steps - You only ask that I humble my heart before you, pray, and then unwrap Your gifts and give them away..  Thank You for choosing me to do this.

The beauty of the written word is that it can be held close to the heart and read over and over again.
 Florence Littauer



  1. I've been inspired! The children and I are going to send some notes tomorrow. Thank you for sharing. God bless you as you are always an encouragement.

  2. Hi Jo,

    I just love this post, would you mind if I copied it and printed it out for reference. I will look out for the book too. Being an encourager is not always easy, but it is so so needful, especially in today's world. Maybe at some point, with your permission, I could blog this and put your name to it. I love her prayer too.

    Thanks again, you have encouraged me this morning and inspired me.

    Hugs Nita.

  3. Nita - no problems at all. It really is an excellent book full of great ideas - last night I read the chapter of friends.

    Alice Gray is an excellent writer. I always feel like she is giving me a hug of encouragement when I read her books.

  4. What a godo reminder, Jo. I need to do this again sometime. Perhaps I'll send some notes to my youth group girls, as we are just done with our year of meetings...

  5. There is nothing like an old-fashioned letter in the mail to make a person feel like someone really cares. Emails and cell text messages are ok, but letters have so much more impact - especially now in our day when most people couldn't be bothered with "snail mail".
    Thanks for the encouragement to be an encourager! :) I reckon there wouldn't be anyone in this world who didn't know SOMEONE they could send a letter of encouragement to. Our world is just like that - full of trials and sorrows and difficulties... God encourages us to comfort one another too, so it's a godly pursuit, to boot! :)

  6. Hello Jo,

    I believe Americans are the only ones that put the return address up in the corner, but a lot of them still do it on the back of the envelope. It may be that it was put on the front to make it easier for the postal workers.

    I liked this post and I liked the other ones, too, so I added you to my blog roll. I am always looking for new blogs to add.


  7. Jo - This is a levely post and has so much worth regarding helping others in need. I have always felt that people often help in the crisis part but then leave their friend alone - often when they need love and support the most. I do try to be there for the duration when I have a friend who is hurting.

    I love the beautiful photo of the letters~~



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