Encouraging Others When You Need Encouragement Yourself {#EncouragementDare}

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Infertility is hard, and it can be difficult to encourage others when we are feeling empty, dry, and in need of encouragement ourselves. But one thing I’ve learned during infertility is that encouraging others, even when it’s hard, is one of the best ways to bring joy and purpose back into our own life.

September 12 is National Encouragement day. To celebrate this special day, I’m participating in Dayspring’s Encouragement Dare. I wanted to share a few quick and easy ways we can encourage others when we might need encouragement, too.

Pray & Ask for Prayer

Prayer is free. We can do it anytime and anywhere. It’s natural to pray for friends who are going through a tough time, but have you ever thought about how it might encourage others when you ask them to pray for you?

My husband and I recently talked a young man he knows who is a few month into his recovery process from drugs and alcohol. As we said goodbye, my husband told the man he would pray for him. And then my husband said, “Will you pray for me, too?” The young man’s face immediately brightened and he said, “Yes! I will!” It was apparent to me that the young man had always been on the receiving side of prayer and the idea that someone wanted him to do the praying was very meaningful and encouraging. So pray for those who need encouragement, but also remember to ask for prayer, too.  It’s a double-dose of encouragement!

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Write a Note

Receiving an encouraging text is wonderful. But there’s something extra-special about sending a hand-written note in the mail. I keep a few boxes of DaySpring’s Encouragement Cards on hand for this exact reason.  Even just a few hand-written sentences can mean so much to the recipient. Also, who doesn’t love an excuse to buy some pretty notecards?!

If you don’t know what to say in your note, here are some simple ideas:

  • I’m so sorry you’re going through this.
  • I’m here if you want to talk. 
  • We’re in this together (for someone else going through infertility).
  • I care about you.
  • I’m thinking of you / I’m praying for you.

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Send a Gift

I love sending small gifts in the mail to people friends who need some encouragement. The thought of them receiving something fun and unexpected in the mail will also cheer me up a little if I’m having a bad day.

If you’re in the middle of a struggle yourself, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to buy a gift, pack it up, and then stand in line at the post office to mail it.  I usually just buy a gift small online and have it shipped directly to my recipient.

Do Something Small

The little things mean the most, right?  Here are a few extra ideas on how to encourage someone.

  • Bring flowers to a friend.
  • Leave chocolate on a co-worker’s desk.
  • Leave coupons on a store shelf next to the item it’s for (one of my favorites!)
  • Buy a drink for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop or drive-thru.
  • Set out a bottle of water or a pack of hand-warmers (depending on the weather where you live!) for your mail carrier.

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Encouraging someone when you need encouragement yourself doesn’t have to be difficult.  Keep things simple, cheap, and from the heart and you can’t go wrong.   You might even find that the act of serving someone else may ease some of your own burden.

“Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10.

Be sure to check out DaySpring’s Encouragement Kit! It’s filled with more fun tips and free downloads.


All the products you see in the photos above are available at DaySpring.  They are a part of their Encouragement BOGO gift sale and BOGO Boxed Card sale. Use code SHAREJOY for the cards. The sales take place now through September 15. which takes place now through September 15.

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Prayer and Community During Infertility {Free Facebook Group}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen recent announcement about the FREE Facebook group I’m hosting this coming month (July).  We’ll be going through my book, 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility.  The group will last from July 31-August 31.    Update: The group has since ended, but I’ll be planning new ones soon.  See the link (in red) at the bottom of this post to sign up to be notified when new groups start.

When I first created the group, my goal was to have at least ten women join.  Well, I’m super-excited that over 150 have joined so far!  We haven’t even officially started yet, but the women you have joined are already sharing their stories and praying and encouraging each other.  There’s also a giveaway going on right now, and I have a few more planned!

I know that not everyone participates in social media, so I wanted to be sure to invite blog readers, too.  It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to conceive your first or your fifth.  If you’re struggling to conceive, you are welcome in the group! You don’t have to purchase the book to participate, but if you do want to get a copy you can buy it here.

The group is ladies-only, but I know that several participants will also be going through the study at home with their hubbies.  It is a closed Facebook group, which means that only other members of the group will see your posts.  (However, anyone who looks at your profile may be able to see that you are a member of the group, so keep that in mind).  

Update: The group has now ended, but I plan on hosting another one soon.  If you’d like to receive an email when the next group starts, sign up here.  

Let me know if you have any questions!!

 

Resisting Bitterness During Infertility

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When we were trying for our first child, fear and sadness were the emotions I felt the most.

I was scared it wouldn’t work and that I’d end up childless and broke.

Now we have our miracle daughter, and the fear is gone.  Yes, we deeply want another child,  but I know how lucky we are to have even one, and we will be more than content even if we only have her.

So now I’m not scared.  I’m not sad.  I’m just angry.

SO. FLIPPIN. ANGRY. about doing IVF again.  Yes, frozen cycles are way easier than fresh cycles.  But I’m angry that now I have to decide between a medicated transfer cycle and a natural transfer cycle.

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We love our current RE.  His office is 10 minutes from where we live, and we received excellent care from him.  But he only does medicated cycles; he won’t do a natural cycle.

And guys, the thought of more Lupron, more Estrace, more heparin, and more prednisone literally makes my heart pound with anxiety.  I’ve contacted Stanford Fertility to see about scheduling a consultation with them for a natural FET cycle.

It really ticks me off that I have to do this.  I thought I’d come to terms with having to use reproductive technology to get pregnant, but apparently I haven’t.  For about two days last month, I thought I might have been pregnant naturally, and I was so angry when I wasn’t.

So, my prayer in these upcoming months as we make our decision about a medicated FET vs. natural FET is that I would not fall into a pattern of anger and bitterness.

Like the quote says, “Bitterness is believing God got it wrong.”  And I do not believe for an instant that God got my fertility journey wrong.

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Oh, it definitely wasn’t the way I would have planned it.  But I can honestly say I wouldn’t change anything.  It led to my daughter and to so many other beautiful, rich things in my marriage, my faith, and even this blog!

Lord, help me (and all my infertility sisters) to look to you to for the strength, hope, and courage we need to keep our anger from turning into bitterness!  


If you’re looking for more encouragement during infertility, be sure to check out my book, 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility.  

 

Photos courtesy of UnSplash