I’m blessed with amazing friends. I know this is rare and I treasure it. The reason I know it’s rare is because in my first 5 years of marriage I moved to 4 different new cities. Being the new girl is hard. One of the hardest parts is not having a community of friends to support you and encourage you.

2012 has been a year full of joys and trials (what year isn’t, really). In times of celebration you want to be surrounded by loved ones. In times of heartache you need your soul lifted up. Through my own experience I’ve found the following ideas to be great ways to encourage a friend…trial or triumph. The good news? Two out of three of them you don’t even have to live in the same city!

1. Write out a prayer

When you hear about a prayer request, instead of replying “I’ll be praying for you” or “You’re in my prayers”, just type out a prayer right then. There are so many prayer requests and needs, we cannot keep all of them in our prayers all the time. So remove the guilt and write out the prayer.

Lord, may my words encourage the mom reading them today. May she be held close by your loving, capable arms. Bring friends to encourage her and which she can encourage. Thank you for creating community. Amen

I honestly don’t know the first person who did this for me. I only remember when she did I cried. Yes, I’m a crier but reading her words to the Lord for me was invaluable.

2. Text her a verse 

I have dear friends who encourage me through Scripture. Being reminded of His truth in the midst of my challenge is more helpful than any “thinking of you” or “hope it gets better.”

If you have a smart phone, open your YouVersion or ESV Bible apps and copy the verse directly from the app or text from the app. Very easy to do for busy moms.

3. Drop off a coffee

For a new mom or a mom stuck at home with sick kids, one of the simplest ways to love on her is to pick up her favorite Starbucks drink and drop it off. Near us there is a drive-thru Starbucks making it even easier to pick something up with a carload of kiddos.

Either text her ahead of time so you can find out what she wants (or any dietary restrictions…I’m currently an iced caramel soy latte drinker…in case you were wondering. =)). Or you could get the drink if you know what to get and just text that it’s on her front porch. No need to stay and visit. Just knowing you took the time and made the effort to treat her special is oh, so encouraging.

What’s your favorite way to encourage a friend?

**In light of the upcoming holiday, I’ve decided to take a break from writing next week. Hope you and your family have a fabulous Fourth of July!!