A few years ago I got an unexpected package in the mail. There was a CD and a note. It was from my little brother who lives in another state. My little family was getting knocked around pretty good by life. Thing after thing after thing kept happening. He’d catch wind of it through various complaints by me over social media or through phone conversations or e-mail. So he made me a CD of some of his favorite songs, wrote a note about how music helps him when life gets rough, and mailed it to me.
It was a CD of music. Nothing seemingly big. But it was unexpected, thoughtful, unsolicited, more needed than I realized, and something I’ll never forget.
I have multiple examples of things like this in my life. A neighbor I barely knew dropped off rolls after I had a baby, a friend brought a sign over she saw in the store and said “I saw this and it reminded me of you so I had to buy it”, my sister kept showing up at my house day-after-day when I had my fourth baby even though I said I was fine (I wasn’t), a friend I hadn’t seen in years dropped off some bread and a note saying she’d been thinking of me and our kids with anxiety (she has a kid with anxiety too and just wanted to say she understood), another neighbor dropped off a game after our son broke his leg and a friend brought a meal after the same kid broke his arm, and a friend who brought over a scented plug-in after I was at her house and said I loved the smell. Seemingly simple things, but anything but simple to me.
We all know the stories. A friend/family members gets diagnosed with cancer. The infertility treatment didn’t work, again. A child dies. Someone loses their job. A child is diagnosed with an incurable illness. Their dad unexpectedly died. The neighbor lost their job. A friend with small kids has the flu. A friend has depression. Someone’s just having a hard day. A new baby is born. An addict continues to wreak havoc on their family. We can’t stop thinking about a certain person even though they seem fine.
The stories are endless. And we find ourselves saying “What can I do to help?” and/or “Call me if you need anything.” The problem isn’t that we don’t want to help. The problem is we really want to DO something. But often can’t figure out what to do.
We hear these stories. Our initial response is that we want to help. We want to DO something. But often we can’t figure out what. So often we just don’t do anything.
I read a book, Love Does that changed my entire perspective on what Love means and what Love is (if you haven’t read it, you need to–trust me). In the book, Bob Goff says:
“I reflect on God, who didn’t choose someone else to express His creative present to the world, who didn’t tap the rock star or the popular kid to get things done. He chose you and me. We are the means, the method, the object, and the delivery vehicles….God usually chooses ordinary people like us to get things done….
…it becomes clear that we need to stop plotting the course and instead just land the plane on our plans to make a difference by getting to the “do” part of faith. That’s because love is never stationary. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.“
LOVE DOES things. Love doesn’t just think about doing things. Love actually does things.
I spent a LOT of time talking to friends, family, acquaintances who have been through everything imaginable. I then compiled these ideas of things we can actually DO when tragedy strikes, when illness comes, when new babies arrive, when friends just have a bad day, when someone needs to be SEEN and LOVED.
These ideas and thoughts were compiled from dozens of people who have BEEN through these situations.
Here’s the rough breakdown of categories inside:
The Helping Others Guide is 18 pages full of ideas for ANY situation, good or bad.
General ideas of how to help anyone in need for any reason. Specific ideas for specific situations. Things to take over to boost someone’s spirits or to strengthen in a time of need. Acts of service we can do.
Although every specific life event isn’t addressed directly, there are ideas in here for any person in any situation.
To buy the Helping Others Guide, just click “I want this” below!