About the Author

Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, counselor, and life coach. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You. She's also wife to Mark, Mom to Lovelle, and Nana to Eula and Clem.

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. HONESTY! Have you ever been overcome by thoughts? Have you ever been hiding the truth from yourself? Have you ever been deep in self-pity? Who hasn’t, right? Having that friend that will be sincere, but HONEST is the best encouragement one can have. They have taken the time to understand who you are and what you need during a difficult time. These friends breath fresh air into a situation with selfless encouragement.

  2. My favorite way to encourage others is to show them the grace that I would like to receive. Life is not easy, and many times others are dealing with things that most of us know nothing about and they just need someone to show them that they are appreciated, cared for, and not alone. Sometimes it only takes a smile or a small kind gesture.

  3. I love to give people random notes with encouraging verses, to brighten their day. I know I love when people do that for me 🙂

  4. Whether it’s on a store bought card, handmade note, or on a Facebook wall as soon as I recognize something in someone I write it before I forget. I try to give genuine and unique details so they know I’m not just copy and pasting =)

  5. A handwritten letter sent through snail mail. That’s the way I love to encourage. And if I get one in the mail, well, it’s like a breath of fresh air.

  6. I think the best thing to do is tell someone they look pretty. We all want to be pretty and a little affirmation goes a long way.

  7. I love to combine the words of life and truth with one of my photos to create a visual reminder in card form that there is hope in despair, treasure in the trash and value in each of us. Life beats us down, we need fresh reminders of who we belong to and how he sees us.

  8. Giving notes and cards of affirmation are one of the most gracious ways to encourage and extend grace to others. When someone sends or brings me token of thoughtfulness, it brightens my day!
    My (in)courage emails are also a bright spot-to see how others struggle and overcome, how they are strengthened by their problems, and learn to lean and trust our Heavenly Father. I sometimes forget how wonderful He is – the clouds and smog of everyday circumstances keep me from seeing the bright spots! ‘Honesty’ hit me between the eyes! Thanks so much! I guess I rely on my (in)courage friends!

  9. My favorite way to encourage someone is to call them up on the phone and pray with them about anything they need. I know this encourages my heart as well.

  10. I don’t have just one way to encourage others. I look for what speaks to that particular friend or family member.
    For example, my mom likes encouragement in the form of helping her with a task. My mother-in-law prefers time together, especially planned ahead with an invitation of sort. My sis is happy is blessed with an unexpected phone call. My friend Marcia loves a meaningful little gift — like Streams in the Desert, while my other friend, Tonja, can be blessed to the moon and back with encouraging words in a simple text or email. My oldest daughter needs to have my ears and eyes focused on her and my middle daughter needs a good, long cuddle. And of course, my husband beams when I stop what I am doing to look at him, love on him, and respond to his attention.
    I could go on and on…but I think this shows illustrates my point…encouragement is more about the recipient than the one giving, so it has to be personal!

  11. A surprise phone call or little note to say hi and I love you and I’m thinking about you are two great ways I encourage my friends and family

  12. I love sending Dayspring ecards to friends when they need encouragement. I tell how they have and how they have blessed my life.
    I also work with lower income kids so given them a hug or tell them hi. They also love it when I take time out to play with them.

  13. I love sending a quick e-mail or e-card..just to say “You’re special”, “I’m praying for you today”, or “I love you!”.

  14. If they live close by I love to stop by and spend time with them. It seems everyone is so busy these days, emails and phone calls are nice… but taking time out of your day to visit someone, speak directly to them, give them a hug – that to me is the best!

  15. I like to encourage people by talking and listening. I also like to send cards. And, above all, I like to open my house for fellowship.

  16. Taking the time to remember something important that is going on in someone’s life. Most people are surprised by that.

  17. My husband is my chief encourager. He leaves me surprise notes, writes on my bathroom mirror, and is always available for a hug (not matter how ugly my attitude has been). Not too long ago, he wrote encouraging things on about 50 different post-it notes and left them all over the house for me to find!! 🙂

  18. I send notes, make calls, spend time with friends who need encouragement. In one circumstance, I send a 4 x 6″ scrapbook card that will fit in a photo book. They have a verse related to the issue faced and I’ve sent one a week during the intense times. A little bit of beauty and a lot of the Word of God ~ nothing better.

  19. I like to send ecards or cards/letters in the mail. Everyone I’ve ever met enjoys getting snail mail (me included!) so it always seems like a good idea.
    My hubby is deployed overseas and it’s encouraging for him to get mail from family and friends. I think we all just like knowing that other people are thinking of us for no reason other than they love us.

  20. I love encouraging others, it is truly an art! my favorite thing to do is to send encouragement notes, and *surprise sentimental packages just because… what I would like to do more of is learn to be completely still and open, when someone dear to me doesn’t want any feedback per say but really just wants to be held gently in loving space. I believe this is truly the best encouragement gift we can give another soul — true openness, and complete selflessness while offering expansion of soul light and wisdom to shine in!
    blessings to you, Jenn

  21. I love sending cards to my friends or family members who I think could use a little pick me up. Everyone loves getting mail! I also do my best to speak works of encouragement to co-workers, people at church, etc.

  22. Nothing beats a thoughtful card sent in the mail. Well, unless it is a thoughtful card sent along in a box of chocolate. 🙂

  23. I love to stamp a handmade card and send it out to a person who isn’t expecting anything. Holiday cards are great, but I love it when I get a card in the mail for absolutely no reason!

  24. thanking people for doing the ‘thankless’ jobs – you know the ones that have to get done, but nobody wants to do and the person who does it never gets thanked and usually get griped at for doing.

  25. I LOVE to send “just because” emails and cards to friends and family with something along the lines of…”I wanted to tell you you are fabulous or a great Mama or a great mentor or a beautiful friend.” I know what an encouragement these sentiments are to me, so I like to give as good as I get! 🙂
    SO thankful for (in)courage!

  26. My best friend and I encourage each other by leaving groceries–basics like milk, bread, eggs but also occasionally a meal–when the other comes home from vacation. It is so nice to have that sweet surprise when you walk in the door because after a long drive or flight, the last thing you want to do is go to the grocery store.

  27. My favorite way to show encouragement to someone is through the written word. I will make it a point to write a letter, card or at least email them. Telling them just how much I am thankful that God brought them into my life and how much God loves them. Sometimes I will even bring a baked good made especially for them. Because who doesn’t like something yummy to make you smile =).

  28. Depending on the situation: For the overwhelmed mom I like to take her out and treat her to a cup of coffee and a pedicure. For one who is sick I like to make a meal and give an encouraging note with it. For one who is sad or going through a tough time…TIME and an EAR. I give my time and an ear to listen. I love giving and getting encouraging cards but NOTHING tops time together to laugh, cry, and talk.

  29. We moved from our home town last year, and I have been very lonely here. SO when I felt I needed encouragement I decided to encourage others instead. When God would bring to mind someone I hadn’t talked to in a long time I would send a card to them. In the world of email and facebook, the art of writing something with your own hand is being lost and recieving something in the mail to me shows someone took time and care to select a card and write a message of love in it. I also sometimes bake something for a neighbor or offer to help someone who seems overwhelmed. This is a blessing to ME and I am encouraged in the doing….
    in His arms,
    Amy M

  30. Handwritten notes w/verses and comments why that person is a blessing to me are my favorite ways to encourage others. I also like to take them veggies from my garden, or extra jam & salsa that I’ve made.

  31. One of my favorite ways to encourage others is to share how I am praying for them!
    My favorite way to BE encouraged is for someone to simply tell me they love me 🙂

  32. My love language is affirmations, so my first way of encouragement to someone is to build them up, by finding the most positive thing about them or the situation, and pointing that out. Also, praying for them right then-on the phone, in the car, whatever! I have prayed in retail stores with the loud speaker in the background lol. This is my favorite form of encouragement, cause it is not me but God, and not only am I giving it to Him, but I am reminding them in that moment, that God is in every detail, and is with that person!

  33. The most encouraging thing to me is a friend who believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. She reminds me of WHO I am and she KNOWS my weaknesses, but reminds me that THOSE weaknesses do not define me. I have a few great friends who are like this to me.
    “To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it back to them when they have forgotten.”

  34. Hi there!
    I like to encourage people by telling them to just be themselves and to do what feels right for them and not worry about what other people are doing – do what feels right to you. Dont let what other people do or don’t do make you feel bad about yourself.
    Also my sister encourages me in ways that help me be a better person, wife and mother. Our intentions speak volumes and to not let anyone make you feel bad about yourself!
    I love (in) courage!!
    Thank you everyone!!!

  35. PRESENTS!!! 🙂 To encourage and to be encouraged. It sounds materialistic but means a lot when someone brings you something JUST FOR YOU. Wow. Someone DOES love me, someone IS thinking about me, I AM important….

  36. I love to encourage by sending random cards/notes…just a little “thinking of you and your special”

  37. I think a smile and a hug or a pat on the back is one of easiest and most heartfelt ways to encourage others.

  38. For me, sometimes it’s difficult to take encouragement, especially when it involves someone telling me how “great” I am. That doesn’t seem to help me because I tend not to believe them reasoning that they’re supposed to say stuff like that, haha! What really encourages me is when someone takes the time out to really listen to what is concerning me and kind of talk out what I’m feeling. After that, I tend to feel a bit more confident how I’m handling the situation and a reminder that “whatever happens happens” is just another way of remembering that God has a specific plan for my life and I just need to trust that!

  39. I like to encourage people by either sending a card, just listening or making a meal for them.

  40. Like many other posters, my favorite thing is to drop something in the mail to a friend! It is a little gift among all the bills and ads that brightens their day. 🙂

  41. I love to listen and share with friends and family – by giving them my time and attention, I enjoy learning more about them and this allows me to learn more about myself – there is nothing more positive than sharing thoughts and feelings, and the support that leads to encouragement when decisions are needed, paths are decided, etc.

  42. Notes, cards, e-cards, even an affirming text with no goal in mind… My husband also has a jar I fill with things I respect and admire about him. Does that mean “words of encouragement” is my primary love language? *Smile*

  43. A little Starabucks love in the mail goes a long way for friends I can’t grab coffee with because they live too far away!
    We do tend to give encouragement the way we like to receive it don’t we 🙂

  44. I love sending notes or buying “I love you presents” – little things friends will like, with no special occasion needed. 🙂

  45. My favorite way to give and receive encouragement is with a phone call or text message.

  46. I try to send cards for birthdays, when I know someone is having a hard time and “just because”. Always giving hugs when I greet people is also a way I encourage others. I like receiving hugs, so I give them out as much as I can.

  47. The hardest time to encourage anyone is when I am experiencing my own “dark night of the soul” where I am looking at the world through a veil of tears and a heavy heart; when I am filled with doubts and fears. I do it anyway and oftentimes it is my son, who has yet to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. I do it because I want one other person to feel the love of God and to believe God even if I am a mess and feel God is not listening to me. (though I know He is.)I put aside what I feel. I tell my son that I pray for him and also send him an ecard (yes from Dayspring!) with some Bible verses to help him to see that God loves him and cares about him.
    In the process I throw myself at Jesus and He is always there to catch me.

  48. My favorite way to give encouragement is to write them a letter, give them a hug, and make time for them. Time is the greatest gift you can give anyone.

  49. As Ann Voskamp says, “Only speak grace words.” That’s how to encourage others. Make sure the words coming out of your mouth are only meant to build up…not tear down.

  50. I live on a college campus so one of my favorite ways to encourage and be encouraged is to leave anonymous notes on friends’ cars. It means so much when you realize that someone has not only taken the time to know you so well they know which car is yours, but they’ve also taken time out of all of their crazy classes and studying to let you know they’re thinking about you.

  51. I love to encourage others, it is a major part of my DNA, so I big puffy heart your site and the (in)couragement it brings to me and so many others.
    I like to send cards, I send about 3-5 a week, I love to give people hugs and always sprinkle in words of encouragement (real, true and from the heart).

  52. Oooh!! I love encouraging folks! One of my favorite ways is with words. Letters are a long-lost art, but such a gift…a tangible item to be held onto for years if desired.
    I also have a friend who has an amazing gift of encouraging with Scripture. She has such an amazing knowledge of Scripture and is able to put it at the end of a facebook note, or a quick email, or the occasional letter. It is such a special gift to hear a Scripture that applies to right where you’re at in life!

  53. I love to take a friend out for lunch and give them something that I made for them that has encouraging scripture on it. Showing them that I’m there for them and praying with them too.I also like to send them homemade cards in the mail.
    Blessings and Love,

  54. We all need to be encouraged. I often think of the verse,..”without a vision the people perish..” For this reason, asking the Lord to help each of us to encourage each other, daily, is important. No matter what we are going through we should pray and ask the Lord for who He wants you to encourage daily. Sometimes it’s just a few kind words, meaningful words, a smile, a hug, a little note to let someone know you care. Other days it requires us, after prayer, to give our schedule to Him totally, and call someone that He knows is needing a touch from Heaven…either through a long phone call, a visit, or internet or skype chat. One of the things I love to do is communicating the old fashion way through a special note or card via snail mail…if able, include a little bookmark, or wallet card of encouragement that one can look at whenever needing a reminder of someones love for them.
    And lastly, I personally want to say thank you for another way of encouragement that blesses so many of us… and that is blogs like this… daily bringing us to a place of thankfulness and encouragement. though time cannot allow for each of us sometimes to be personally reached, I truly believe, with all my heart, that the Lord has blessed the writing hands of some very special people, who follow His heart towards His people, and allow through their blogs, Him to encourage and bless us individually, in ways that only He can! A Huge thank you to those of you that do write encouraging blogs!
    Cathy B
    pbprojecthope at yahoo dot com
    projecthope7 at gmail dot com
    @projecthope7 twitter

  55. I’m encouraged when a girlfriend remembers to ask me how I’m doing about a specific challenge that she remembers I’m facing (a long week, hubby out of town, extra things on my plate). I love that!

  56. My old church used to have these things called spur cards (a 5×7 notecard with a picture of a spur on one side) based off of The verse that says “let us encourage one another and spur eachother on towards good deeds” I like to write encouraging notes to people on them (with an explanation of the card) to people especially who are not associated with that church 🙂

  57. One of my favorite things to do is to send little notes to people – REAL MAIL! It’s so fun to get an unexpected letter or card in the mail, and since it takes a little more effort than sending an email, it’s extra special 🙂

  58. Anything that shows that someone remembers me is a big deal and a big encouragement. When my health problems first began, a lot of people cared and prayed and encouraged. As I’ve been diagnosed with chronic conditions and it’s become obvious that this isn’t a short-lived trial, fewer and fewer people shows that they care with words or actions. I cherish those that do!

  59. I think sending notes by mail is a great way to encourage your sisters. Everyone loves getting mail in their mailbox. A kind letter is so unexpected these days.

  60. I send “encouragement notes” to friends in the mail every few weeks. Sometimes it’s a list of why I am thankful for them, sometimes it’s a memory we’ve shared. It’s a lot of fun, and a wonderful way I can let them know how much I cherish them!

  61. I like to encourage others by taking them meals when they are going through a hard time. I am encouraged when people send handwritten cards to me.

  62. Today, I met with a group of my gardening friends! One of the ladies’ lives on a lovely
    farm and let us create in her huge barn!
    Talk about seeing God in the lovely trees and plants that grace her beautiful. The pond was full of ducks with their babies in tow.
    Inside the barn, their was friendship galore..
    We made leaf castings and planters. There was so much encouragement and helping one another with our individual projects.
    Thanks, Cindi

  63. I like to encourage others by surprising them with flowers or an unexpected gift. I also like sending an encouraging note or email 🙂 The best is always when the Holy Spirit inspires the gift and/or words because then it touches the person’s heart in ways I never could have fathomed on my own and in a much more powerful and profound way. It’s cool when God works through us for good and uses us as instruments of His lavish, unfailing love 🙂

  64. I am so very encouraged by the simple act of being asked, How are you? by someone looking into my eyes, who really and truly wants to know the answer. It brings tears to my eyes and makes me fumble over my words for a moment as I crawl over the wall that stands guard over my hurts and struggles…
    Thanks you for this, kind friends!

  65. I love to encourage others by food. Many times when a family expands, it is a great blessing and encouragement to take them a meal. Or for families that are having financial difficulty.
    Thanks for all that you do and for these amazing giveaway!

  66. I love this serving tray! And I need one! This is so beautiful! And I love the inscriptions!

  67. I am disabled so I spend a lot of time on the Internet and one of my favorite places is facebook. I try to leave loving, encouraging words to my friends… a little each day. You do not know the rewards you get. So many times I hear… that is what I was needing.
    The funny thing is when someone leaves me encouragement I am just as surprised as they are.
    There are more and more religious/spiritual things on facebook. You can actually study the Bible and share messages that have helped you.
    I love people and facebook is a good tool to show that!

  68. A little girl talk and a little prayer over a warm cup of tea is a balm to the soul. Talking about the tough times, the good times, the laughing times, the crying times – and helping each other realize that God (and our girls!) is there for us through it all. Christianity is meant to be done in community. And in this day of cell phones and emails and 1000 megabytes per minute speed, we can start to feel truly isolated. Stopping and slowing down and recognizing that we still need human touch and face to face conversation is so important and can be the most encouraging thing of all 🙂

  69. Sending a card, writing a personal note/letter/email, giving a thoughtful gift – I love using all these ways and more to offer someone encouragement.

  70. i luv to encourage through a text message! it is so easy to send some really honest thoughts in 2 seconds…and usually it is to a person that just randomly pops in my head. i say a prayer for them…then just let them know that i was thinking of them!

  71. Giving my time – this has been one way of being able to encourage others. Showing them that they are worth the time I spend with them – on the phone, in person, chatting on the computer, etc.

  72. I love encouraging others through my music. My husband and I are a good musical team, and every time we play, many people comment about how encouraging it was.

  73. I’m definitely a fan of the written note. Sometimes I like to include a giftcard to a favorite coffeehouse, encouraging them to “get away to a quiet place and get some rest.” (see Mark 6:31)

  74. I love sending snail mail or card. Also i love encouraging someone by surprising them with an event or fun day out that they would enjoy, but above all, I believe quality time with someone is the most encouraging.

  75. Sending a real note through the mail. And I sure don’t do it often enough. Also, I like to send real birthday cards – despite the fact that I’m a couple weeks behind, I think they like them better late than never!

  76. I love, love, love (sending and) getting notes from people. Nothing like it, I think. I wanna’ be better at the sending part of that.

  77. I love it when someone calls me for no reason at all! And I know my mum and my friends like it too – no agenda, no requests, just calling ‘cos I love you!

  78. i love having honest conversations with people. honesty allows for people to lift one another up and to be there for each other. i think knowing you are never alone is so encouraging!

  79. i also send cards to friends letting them know how great i think they are and how happy i am to have their friendship!

  80. I love receiving a little note in my mailbox or on my desk. It’s a blessing to be able to write a note to someone else as well, to remind them that God loves them.
    It’s so encouraging to know someone is thinking of you and praying for you!

  81. By listening to them and being present in their lives! I’m super busy (as a third year medical student), but I will generally drop everything I’m doing (including preparing for board exams >.>) to be there for my friends.

  82. The biggest thing I feel encourages others (and me) is just being there in the hard times. Other moms/friends do this especially when times are tough and I need something as simple as a babysitter for few hours so I can “get away”.

  83. When someone shares a concern with me I like to suggest that we pray together about it right then, whether in person or on the telephone. I also enjoy writing a prayer for a person in a card to her/him. : )

  84. sending cards in the mail is one of my favorite ways to encourage people. i usually try to hit all the birthday and anniversaries that i know and then i will also send them randomly and tell the person something seen in their life lately that has encouraged me. sometimes i send them anonymously! that is fun too!

  85. I love encouraging others with a homemade card, writing in a note and a prayer for them, letting them know specifically how I’m praying for them during this season. I’ll often add in some flowers I’ve picked from my yard, too. I also love just sitting and listening as they share their heart, and eventually gently pointing them back to Christ, our Abba Father, and restorer of our souls.

  86. I love sending cards in the mail. Sometimes it’s to say thank-you, other times to say wow and sometimes just because. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like getting notes in the mailbox 🙂

  87. Sending a note or an email is a way I find to encourage others. I’m not one to verbalize face to face, but I can say anything in a card!

  88. Actually, I like sending Dayspring ecards. I think it’s a nice way to let people know I’m thinking of them. I love getting them, too!

  89. When we were going through a very tough time, my friend came over to simply read Bible and pray with me. That was the turning point that moved me from fear to faith, and I will never forget it.

  90. The way I encourage is by sending a card, email, or a phone call, whenever some person comes to mind. I feel that that is a prompt to contact someone who may need an encouraging word at the moment.

  91. Part of my ministry at my church is a card ministry. I just feel when people are down, or feeling bad, having a birthday and so on…that a card can lift spirits so much. No one know who does this except my hubby and my pastor. When I sign the cards, I do so by putting “from Your Westside Baptist Church Family”. I know not everone has time to do this for everyone…so that is my gift. I also have many inter net friends, espically in my women’s Christian web group…who just need to talk, need a shoulder. They need love and compassion from a human standpoint. They know God loves and cares for them…but being able to talk it out with someone I think helps so much. I just pray that God will continue to use me in whatever capacity He needs me. God bless each and everyone for the role they play in God’s great plan…..

  92. I am usually the one receiving the encouraging word from a dear friend who reminds me of the carefree days when we were children. She always has a funny anecdote to share. Thank God for her she has to have a gall bladder operation in two days and at some point an aneursym removed.
    I am grateful for her. Please pray for her as I pray for the last person Julie.

  93. Please pray for my friend, Karen and her family to feel the healing touch of Jesus.
    Please pray for comfort for my friend, Paul who lost his love one over a year ago to cancer. Please pray that Paul takes care of himself as he was diagnosed with Diabetes.
    Please pray for my family as we mourn the loss of our mother who lost the fight to cancer last month.

  94. I gave a prayer request about2 months ago to pray for my husband who needs a hip replacement surgery. God provided the resources and he came to hospital in Israel. But we were told that ‘we came 2years late, so the hip is inoperable’!!!! Beloved,you can only imagine how devastated i felt!! I could not stop asking God why. But one thing came to my mind, and that is, ‘If it is too late with man, then it is never late for God’ I was only able to join my husband and be with him today because i had exams to write. To the glory of God my beloved sisters i met him doing well and in great spirits. Holley’s encouraing words for today couldn’t have done any more wonders for me! I thank God for this ministry and what the Lord is using it to do in the lives of many. God bless you Holley and may you continue to be blessed even as you remain a blessing to others.

  95. Fatima-Gloria, I’m praying that the Lord will never stop showing you and your husband His mercy and grace. And I’m praying that He will ease your husband’s pain. May He always feel near like He did through Holley’s devotion.
    My sister encourages me by never condemning but always seeing the positive in the situation and talking about what can be done about the negative part. She’s always praying for me and my family so I know I’ve got the Lord filling me to do what I need to do and I always have His protection. Prayer is SO important.

  96. I love to encourage or surprise others by sending them cards, a phone call or a sweet message on Facebook. If I know my hubby is having a particularly hard day at work, I will either whip up a batch of cookies or stop at the store and bring him his favorite junk food. He loves the surprise and I love to see the smile on his face.

  97. I believe you encourage others by using uplifting words. I wrote a “poem” to my Mother, who feels loved when I love her with affirming words. Who doesn’t want to be loved with words? You are all a blessing to me, and I thank our Lord for each and every one of you!