MEET CARLA

After a full-time career in product development, branding, and retail financial planning, Carla shifted her focus and began to share her expertise with the non-profit sector.

The newest member of the board, she is looking forward to expanding The Anchor’s reach across the country, bringing its unique format and message of hope and encouragement to more women nationwide.

GIFTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

The year 2021 was a particularly long one for me. I was experiencing several big life events and challenges at the same time, and I was struggling.

I am sure many of you can identify with some (or all!) of what I was going through: sending my youngest son off to college (which meant empty nesting), marriage counseling, downsizing, COVID restrictions, menopause, the out-of-state job relocation of my older son and my pregnant daughter-in-law and trying to get a new business off the ground during great economic uncertainty. Like I said, it made for a long year.

But I remained anchored (Hebrews 6:19) and I remained encouraged with the help of my friends (cue Beatles music here 😉). Some days, I struggled to keep my head up and on others, all I needed was a brief text from a kind and thoughtful friend to turn my thoughts around.

So, what does it mean to be an encouragement to others?

Sometimes it means getting up at 6am four days a week to run with a friend training for a marathon (or in my case, a 5k…. because for me, that is far enough! 😊). Or it means leaving your ringer on at night during a week that you know a friend or family member is going through something really hard. Or it means putting a card in the mail once a week for the four months that your college friend is going through chemo. Encouragement comes in many forms.

Because “service” is my personal love language, I often encourage with handmade treats and small gifts. Making something simple, yet special, for someone who needs to be uplifted allows me time to focus on that person with specific prayer during my creative process. Often just one sentence on a tag or a postcard is enough to let someone know that you care, and isn’t that what we all want at the end of a long and emotionally exhausting day….to know that someone was thinking of us during their own crazy day? I believe it is. We all desire to be seen and heard and that deep-seeded need can be met by one of the greatest gifts that a relationship with God provides: space for you to be seen, to be heard, and to know that you are not alone.

Recently, a new friend sent me an Apple playlist via text. I was so touched by this sweet gesture. So many of the songs spoke to me, and I was so thankful that she took the time to send something so personal and thoughtful. She offered me the gift of time, one of our most precious resources and for that I remain so grateful.

I would like to challenge you to take five minutes today to reach out and encourage someone else. Perhaps you can forward this or another one of our blog entries to a friend or send a text offering a virtual hug or drop a postcard in the mail that includes a quote or a Bible verse that has touched you.

Below is a link to a short video in which I share some of my small and simple ways to share an encouragement with others. Maybe you will recognize something that you already do or will be inspired to reach out to someone in a new way. And perhaps by reaching out to someone else, you will be lifted up as well.

Join Carla as she gives us great ideas for ways to encourage a friend.

Recapping Ideas from Carla’s Video

A super simple gift of encouragement can be wrapping an inexpensive mug with a tea bag and sweet note inside.

I found this anchor at the dollar store! I love finding something small and meaningful I can drop on a friend’s doorstep with an encouraging note.

I always keep postcards and stamps in my purse when I’m traveling. It’s such an easy way to drop an encouraging note to a friend while away from home.

Sending one of these postcards is so easy — but it makes the recipient feel seen and thought of during our own busy day!

Written by Carla Berg for The Anchor Journal

Follow us on facebook
Follow us on Instagram