How to Encourage a Friend During Difficult Times

Are you looking for ways to encourage a friend? Click through for some creative ideas!

Have you ever felt at the end of your rope? Me too, and when I’ve been open enough to tell a friend, there is almost always is encouragement there to keep me hanging on. I’ve been the receiver of so many thoughtful little things over the years.

Below is a little list of the some of the things others have done for me and a few that I have done for others. Some are things that you’d instantly think of when you know you have a friend in need, and perhaps a few in the list below will give you new ideas.

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Something to Believe In: 5 Anchors for Every Writer

Are you struggling through a something difficult? Click through to discover 5 anchors that will help you persevere through a hard task.

Are you struggling through a difficult task? Is it hard to persevere? This is a common thread for many of us as we walk through a calling, a difficult situation, or a particular season in life.

My post today was written for other writers like myself who are facing the massive task of persevering through something hard. Even if you are not a writer, I think you could take the points made in this article and apply them to places in your life that seem difficult for you right now.

As writers, we sometimes share our numbers and statistics, but real success isn’t in the numbers. True success is marked by what happens inside of the journey. The 5 anchors that are mentioned in this article are things I learned because the writing journey was difficult for me. It’s these inner changes and these kinds of qualities that God highlights in each of us as we walk through life that are marks of a successful journey. And to me, this means every journey, even the most difficult ones, are successful because they change us from the inside out.

As we learn to persevere through the hard things, we learn to look in the right places. If we keep our eyes focused, we know God will make a way.

Today’s post can be found at my friend, Frank McKinley’s website. He’s an author, writer, and encourager. I’ve found his articles (at www.frankmckinleyauthor.com) very helpful as I embark on my own writing journey and I count Frank as one of my writing mentors.

To read a sneak peek of the article, click below!

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A New Kind of Peace

There’s a peace waiting just for you. It’s so full and rich and beyond what you can imagine. Join me today to find out more.

I sat in the stillness of the early morning with a new kind of peace. It came from deep inside, quiet, strong and sure.

It was a long time coming, this new kind of peace. It had always been there waiting for me, but every time it tried to come out of its hiding place, it was beaten back into the recesses of my heart by an enemy bent on blinding me to it.

My new kind of peace was strong though. It was patient and knew how to wait for me. My new kind of peace never gave up and was steady, not changing with the ebb and flow of my emotions. My new kind of peace understood me better than I understood myself. And it accepted the other one and felt their pain. My new kind of peace was not mine at all. It was His.

It was all about my identity.

Over the years I had found my identity in all sorts of things, good grades, awards and activities, my jobs, my relationships, being a wife and mother, and sadly, even in my mistakes and failures. The ups and downs associated with any of those things tended to dictate my level of peace and happiness. The truth was, the messiness of the ebb and flow of my emotions left me feeling at a loss most of the time. And very much far away from the peace I was seeking.

But that fact was conveniently folded away like an unnecessary piece of paperwork, tucked away into a sliver of a place where my heart could not dwell on it but always felt its presence. I didn’t want anyone to know. And it weighed on me.

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5 Action Steps to Carry You Through a Misunderstanding

Misunderstandings. We all have them at one time or another. We just can’t make it through life without facing hurt feelings, harsh words, and misunderstandings within a relationship. Sometimes we receive it; sometimes we dish it out. When these kinds of things happen, our relationship feels fragile. We may stand there stunned, wondering how in the world we could be in the middle of such a misunderstanding. Or we may feel convicted, knowing it was our fault when our own bad attitudes and words created the situation in which we find ourselves.

And at this point, we have a choice.

We can avoid the situation, hide our hurts, cover up the misunderstanding, and even deny our need to seek forgiveness. Or we can be seekers – seekers of His grace both for ourselves and for pouring out to the other person. We all know the right choice, but it’s the hardest one, isn’t it? How can we move forward and turn those hurts and misunderstandings into a deeper relationship?

We can find some amazing answers in Colossians 3:12. Friends, I have read this verse many times. I have prayed it for the past few weeks since this post. I know others of you have prayed these verses right along with me. But what I didn’t realize is what we were really praying when we claimed and prayed this verse over our relationships!

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Is Perfectionism Affecting Your Relationships?

Join me today as my friend, Jill McCormick takes a look at four ways perfectionism impacts our friendships. The great thing is she doesn't just leave us holding those revelations and wondering what to do. She reminds us what God says about each one, and she gives us strategies the will help us move forward!

Relationships are the stuff that life is made of. They hold us together and keep us going. Some of us have that inner circle of friends that we walk through life with, our encouragers, our confidants, the shoulders we cry on. Others of us feel more alone and sometimes we might find ourselves near the outside of that circle looking in.

I found myself in both of those places over the years, and over time, I realized something important about the latter. In hindsight, I came to understand that in one particular situation I wasn’t really being excluded. Instead, my own broken beliefs and misplaced attitudes were the issues. And I was hiding myself. It was perfectionism at its best.

Today I am so pleased to share an article with you written by my friend Jill McCormick. Jill is a gifted writer and speaker. She breaks inner issues down into portions I can handle and then she points me in the right direction so I can move forward.

This article, which was originally published on her website under the title of “How Perfectionism is Killing Our Relationships” really broke some things down for me. It reminded me of something very important I needed to keep in mind about my relationships.

Jill reminds me that:

•When I struggle in a relationship, the first place I need to look is inside my own heart.•

I’m telling you, friends, that’s not an easy thing to do. I think you’ll find that this article will help you whether you struggle with perfectionism or not. Inside, Jill takes a look at four ways perfectionism impacts our friendships. The great thing is she doesn’t just leave us holding those revelations and wondering what to do. She reminds us what God says about each one, and she gives us strategies the will help us move forward!

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A Pivotal Step to Get Past Your Fear of Writing

Have you ever had trouble finding the courage to call yourself a writer? Do you feel the calling, but have no idea how to proceed? Click here to learn about a pivotal step you can take to get past the fear!

Have you ever been afraid to do something you felt you should do? Do you feel called but not qualified? Are you afraid of failure or rejection when you think about that next big step you need to take? I have been in those places so many times I couldn’t even begin to count them.

Sometimes, our next step feels huge, sometimes small. No matter the size, we can’t make it through life with facing a hurdle that needs to be crossed. Often the things we are afraid to do are not only meant to make us braver, but they are intended to help and encourage others along the way. In God’s big picture nothing is really about us at all. It’s all about reaching out and taking the hand of the ones behind us so we can walk together through life’s difficulties.

So today we are going to do a little fear fighting with a blog “extra.” One of my biggest fears has been the fear of writing, especially sharing my writing in public for others to see. This guest post at www.goinswriter.com tells my story of a pivotal step I needed to take to get past this fear of writing.

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6 Powerful Verses to Pray over Your Relationships

Prayer changes things, especially when it comes to relationships! Pray these powerful verses over your relationships for lasting impact from a God who cares!

Relationships. They fill our hearts full, provide support and camaraderie, and give us all manner of things to help carry us through life’s difficulties. But when there are misunderstandings within our relationships, we may find ourselves feeling at a loss for what to do. I think most of us could say that relationships can be the best and the worst, a stress reliever on many occasions, but sadly, during misunderstandings, they can create much inner turmoil. 

As women who love Jesus, we should be compelled to love others like He does, but that doesn’t often come easily and this calls for a lot of prayer. Even the easy relationships should have our payer attention because we have an enemy that wants to tear us apart.

Prayer can heal our relationships and give us direction when we feel at a loss about how to continue. It can help us understand a situation and keep us going when we don’t. Through prayer, God will hold us close when we are hurting, and He’ll not turn us away. Prayer undoes things inside of us so we can move forward in spite of misunderstandings. In prayer, Jesus walks before us, behind us, and right alongside us, all at the same time. God is working in our relationships in ways we can’t see. He is working in especially powerful ways when we pray.

Click below to read more and find 6 powerful verses to pray over your relationships! *FREE PRINTABLES!

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The Power of Continual Prayer

Have you ever wondered what it means to pray without ceasing? Do you feel it’s not possible to pray continually? Join us today as we see that an attitude of continual prayer is not only possible, it’s powerful!

Have you ever wondered what it means to pray without ceasing? Do you feel it’s not possible to pray continually? Join me today over at my friend Sarah Geringer’s blog as we see that an attitude of continual prayer is not only possible, it’s powerful!

Here’s a little sneak peak for you! I hope you will click over to Sarah’s blog to finish reading!

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV)

Have you ever wondered about what it really means to pray continually?

On the surface, continual prayer might seem like an impossibility. As much as we would love to have more hours in our days for that sit-down kind of prayer time with Jesus, we have things to do, people to care for, and places to be. But we are clearly told to pray without ceasing. So what does that really mean?

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Dispelling the Myths About Perfectionists, Guest Post by Maree Dee

Do you know a perfectionist? Do you struggle with perfectionism yourself? Read this post by my friend, Maree Dee, to discover some interesting insights about perfectionism.

Today, I have a guest post for you from my friend, Maree Dee. Maree graciously allowed me to repost an article named “Dispelling the Myths about Perfectionism” which she originally published on her blog, embracingtheunexpected.com.

Perfectionism comes in many forms. It can be complex and hard to understand. This article brings out some qualities or characteristics that are found in some people who struggle with perfectionism. Reading Maree’s insights might help you understand a friend or family member or maybe even yourself. If I had read a list like this a long time ago, I may have seen my own perfectionistic tendencies a lot sooner. Perfectionism hides well, but it’s all around us. I’m very appreciative to Maree for this excellent article and the perspectives she shares!

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What to Expect from God When Life Sends You the Unexpected

Have you been taken by surprise by the unexpected? Click through to read more about what you can expect from God at a time like this.

Sometimes life sends you the unexpected. Something you didn’t want and didn’t ask for will hit you right out of the blue. Perhaps it’s a physical problem, illness, or the death of someone you love very much. Perhaps it’s a heart issue between you and a friend or a spouse who abandons you. The list could go on and on, could it not?

It just seems like too much, doesn’t it?

When these things happen, there’s often no real answers in sight to explain the whys and the what ifs. It can be so painful and agonizing.

But one thing we do have is the truth. And the truth tells us that we have a God who is with us, who cares deeply and who walks alongside us in the most difficult of circumstances.

When you are walking that long and lonely road through the unexpected, here’s something you can rely on.

Click below to read more and find encouragement in the midst of the unexpected.

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