Today is February 12.
That happens to be one of my least favorite dates ever. Seven years ago on this day I got news about my unborn child that flipped my world upside down, and while she has defied the odds, I still get that pit in my stomach when I remember that day. I’m learning that there is a bit of PTSD that comes with almost losing a child, and this week in February tends to trigger some of that for me.
So today, instead of remembering all of the awfulness of those moments, I’m going to take a different approach. In the past seven years, our family has been on the receiving end of countless blessings as we have faced trying circumstances. We have been showered with the love of God by our brothers and sisters in Christ in very real and tangible ways, so I thought I was share some of these great blessings ideas that have encouraged us over the years.
Before I share, please note that this is in no way a passive-aggressive plea for help! These are things that I thought were awesome, so I thought I’d share so others can have some great ideas of how to go out and bless those around them. Here’s my list:
1. Text! For me, being tied up with a sick child can get lonely, but I can’t always answer an actual phone call or visit with someone. Text messages help me feel connected with the rest of the world. Words of encouragement, someone asking how it’s going, or even friends texting about totally normal stuff keep a mom feeling a little less isolated.
2. Pray. Like actually pray, not just saying you’ll pray. Pray on your own, pray over the phone, pray in person, pray via text, whatever works. There have been times when we were facing hardships that we could not even find the words to pray, but we could feel the prayers of others lifting us up.
3. Just do. In the middle of stressful times, not everyone can think of what needs to be done. It can be hard to think of what is needed, or difficult to ask for help. Oftentimes people will ask if we need something, and our automatic response is, “No, we’re fine.” If you see a need or have an idea of something that would be helpful, just do it. So many times I’ve had friends just show up with something or text to tell me they’re taking care of something for me, and it takes such a load off- especially when it’s something that I’ve forgotten about!
4. Food. In our house, food has always been appreciated, and it has come in all shapes and forms. Freezer meals to save for whenever is needed, hot home cooked meals (and I learned how awesome it is when the meal comes with disposable plates/cups/silverware!), gift cards or money for ordering food, Door Dash or pizza deliveries, a fountain soda or sweet tea dropped by (I miss my Leland girls!), my favorite coffee, doughnuts for my doughnut-loving girl (thanks to Ms. Angela!)… we’ve had it all, and it has ALL been loved. Just keep in mind that some families may have special dietary needs, so make sure you’re aware!
5. Groceries… Text someone while you’re in the grocery store and see if they need something at that moment. Or, just grab something you know they can use… Clorox wipes, Lysol, detergent, paper towels, their favorite snack, lunchbox items, diapers if they have a baby in the house… anything you know they’ll use. If they have sick kids at home, get sick kid items like Jello and soup and crackers… and maybe some Vitamin C for Mom! Have them order groceries online and pick them up and deliver them for them. Again, I’ve been the recipient of all of these things, and they have all been appreciated!
6. Siblings. This has been a biggie for our family. Having friends give the big sisters rides to and from school, church, ball games, etc. gives them a sense of normalcy while I’m focused on the needy one. People have picked them up and taken them out to have fun, or sent over fun activities like movies, games, and crafts for them to do while we are housebound. When one child in the family has special needs going on, it can be easy for the other kids to feel overlooked, so anything to include them or make them feel special is helpful.
7. Hospital Stays: I could probably do an entire post on just hospital stays and medical visits, but I’ll try to put it here! Here’s a list- activities for kids to do while confined to a bed (Legos, coloring books, dolls, puzzles, crafts, etc.), change and small bills for vending machines and parking expenses, money for all of the miscellaneous expenses (medical traveling is expensive beyond just the medical cost itself!), special snacks, pictures to hang in hospital rooms, good hand cream, chapstick, dry shampoo, care packages for parents, care packages for siblings, offers to do laundry or clean house while they’re away, volunteering to come sit and let Mom and Dad step out for coffee or fresh air, etc.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but there are some ideas of how you can bless a mom who has her hands full. We all know someone who is dealing with illness or feels overwhelmed or could just use some encouragement, so pick a person and show them the love of Christ this week ❤️