Simply Advent: Simple Encouragements

Simply Advent - Simple Encouragements

This week, plan to make a single phone call. Just one call, to one person you care about. The purpose? To express your appreciation and concern.

The person you call could be a family member, someone from church, a person in your neighborhood, a coworker, a friend you don’t see often enough, or someone else you know through a shared interest or organization.

You will call to say, essentially two things:

  • I appreciate you and what you’ve done for me or meant to me.
  • I want to know how you’re doing, because I care about what happens in your life.

And, to keep it simple, be quite up front about this call. You can begin by saying, “I’m calling because the holidays are coming up, and this time of year reminds me of all the good people in my life, and you’re one of them. I don’t want to take a lot of your time right now because I know everybody’s busy, but I just want you to know that your friendship has been a great gift through the years.”

At some point, add something like this: “How are you, anyway? Will this holiday season be a relaxing one for you, or will it be one of those challenging years we all have from time to time?”

I guarantee, if you open such a phone discussion, it will probably have an encouraging effect. It doesn’t have to be a long discussion, and if all you manage to do is leave a voicemail message, that will give this person some encouragement too.

Yes, it can be even nicer to make a lunch date or coffee break for such a discussion, but that could be difficult to schedule. Keep the goal reachable!

About Vinita Hampton Wright 164 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

9 Comments on Simply Advent: Simple Encouragements

  1. Vinita,
    Your reflection reminds me to “keep it simple” because then I will do it! Especially in December I forget this.
    Your words, all these short daily Advent readings are such a gift. And, remind me of the reason for the season.
    Gratefully, Karen

  2. Thank you for the lovely suggestion. It is just the little push I needed to contact a dear friend and previous boss of mine who has meant so much to me.

  3. Thank you Vinita. It’s such a busy time of year and this coming week will be a particularly busy one for me. Wednesday morning will probably be a good time to call someone special.

  4. Thank you. Great idea. So glad to be getting reflections plus all the other spiritual readings again. Some glitch, then nothing. I thought I would never be able to get back. Except on FACEBOOK! Which is not my favourite place, however I have used it to do some evangelizing… So can’t be all bad! Thank you For your beautiful thoughts. Much appreciated. A.M.D.G.

  5. Thank you. I don’t “do” very much for others; but
    I do reach out via phone, cards n emails … thx
    for reminding me this is a “help” too…perhaps
    Prayers n reaching out are what I’m called to do?
    Remembering St. Terese n others … small things
    done with LOVE! With GRATITUDE for the
    awareness! Peace n Blessings to ALL!

  6. Vinita, I could not agree with you more!! Thanks for the encouragement to reach out this season. May you and yours and all the contributors have a Most Blessed Christmas. This site has been a blessing for me on my journey of faith. Keep on writing!!

  7. Awesome suggestion, Thank you for sharing this idea. I used to call a person i had not heard from in 20-50 years and know the surprise and happiness it brought them. But i have to write the names of the people i want to do that for thi season. Thanks again

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