Welcome to Day 9 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be…  Or…simply: Be…
Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin”
and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you’d like
to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.


31 Extraordinary Days to Be... AnExtraordinaryDay.net


52 Ways to Be Encouraging….


1. Listen

Have you ever been talking to someone and all of a sudden they are looking over your shoulder and it seems, though they may be going through the motions of conversing with you, they are not totally engaged?   Or have you found yourself in that same spot?  Listening, but finding your mind has disengaged from the conversation and you really have no idea what is being said?


Our minds are buzzing these days.  Sometimes it’s difficult to focus because we have so much on our minds.  We have a thousand cares.  And we are thinking about everything we need to accomplish from our never-ending to-do lists.  Let’s face it…most of us are pretty inward focused.  We want to think we care about others.  We abhor the idea of thinking we might be selfish and self-serving.  But…we are.  Or at least I am.

So today…when you find yourself in a conversation with someone…listen. Be all there.

To be encouraging we must listen and be all there.   That is the best way to respond and be encouraging in our replies.

Day 9 Challenge: Analyze your conversations with others.  Are you “all there” or does your mind drift? Do you find yourself thinking about what you want to say next rather than really listening?  Make it a point to listen.  Focus on the speaker.  Lean in and fully listen.


Day 9-#31Days :: Listen and 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

2. – 52.

I thought it would be fun to come up with 52 ways we can be encouraging.  And then I realized that it would be more fun if this wasn’t a solo endeavor.  I love the idea of doing this together.

So…please leave your idea in the comments below.  It can be a word.  You can give a brief or longer explanation for how your suggestion would be encouraging.   And, if you wish, feel free to leave more than one idea.  I only ask that you leave a separate comment for each idea.

My plan is to assemble all these encouraging ideas and post them next week.  Are you in?


{UPDATE: A completed listing of 52 Practical & Thoughts Ways to Encourage Others can be found here.}


Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your thoughtful comments make my day.

Be Encouraging…


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  1. Gail says

    Depending on your relationship with the person, just a quick hand touch is appropriate

    • Diane says

      Absolutely. We might even be amazed at the number of people who are starved for the human touch.
      Thanks, Gail!

  2. Debbi Saunders says

    Be encouraging by giving hope!

    • Diane says

      Oh my…we all are in need of HOPE!!
      Thanks, Debbi!

  3. Great idea Diane! Here’s my two cents…

    When you do speak, speak life-affirming words. You never know what someone is going through and, the fact is, everyone wants and needs to hear that they are loved and valued and that they matter.

    • Diane says

      You are so right, Angel! All of us need to hear that we are loved and valued.
      I’d love for you to share some suggestions of “life-affirming” words.
      Thank you!!

  4. Gwen says

    Write a snail mail letter. Can be long or short, typed or not. It’s special!

    Copy a verse and send to a friend that meets the need of their heart at the moment

    Bake and share!! Especially warm out of oven. Have phone #’s of several neighbors so you can go down a list to find one home!

    When going to a home of someone hosting an event, we know they worked hard to have their. Home spotless. And were willing to let us use their home for the group event. Last week I had a $1.25 mum in its ugly black plastic pot. Quickly I wrapped a piece of burlap around and used orange twine to tie the ends secure. I made a bow and cut its loops to make two more orange tails. In two minutes I had a hostess gift that I didn’t spend beyond my budget

    My friend and I live nearby but we don’t get to see each other often. At night we listen for the train whistles. It’s our signal to pray for eachother. Oh there’s one now! God is soo good. I must go and pray and send her a note for you see, her cancer is back again and her treatments are hard.

    • Diane says

      Gwen…these suggestions are fabulous!! Truly!!!! Thank you!
      Your hostess gift sounds perfect. How fun to give and receive! 🙂
      I love that you use the train whistle as a reminder. There is no doubt that your friend is blessed to have you in her life and praying for her.
      You are a blessing to me, too. 🙂

    • Love the train whistle!

  5. When someone shares a trouble or concern, ask if you can pray for them. Then take their hand and lift their concern up to The Lord, right then and there. It is like a soothing balm.

    • Diane says

      You know…I hear someone make that suggestion a few years ago and I adopted that practice. I love it because it immediately makes a difference and because after doing it, I don’t forget to keep praying either. 🙂
      Thanks Debbie!!!

  6. Jo says

    Diane, this is really one of my downfalls. I listen, but it seems that most times I am approached for conversation at a time when I am at work and need to get my job done. So I talk on the run with them following me. I feel bad about that, I am trying to find a solution so that both of us feel our needs are met. I need to remember to say, (if I can not stop what I am doing) I really need to get this done, can we pick up the conversation say in 10 minutes or something to that effect. Same goes for phone etiquette, it is hard to carry on a meaningful conversation when you feel the person you are talking with attention is somewhere else. We all deserve undivided attention. I like the posts with the gentle touch and lets pray. Those are awesome. God Bless you Diane on your 31 days to BE…..

    • Diane says

      I think it’s wonderful that you realize your downfall, Jo, and that you are coming up with a workable plan that will allow you to give and be your best. I think that once you implement it, you will find that those same people will actually check in to find out a good time to talk. It’s a win-win for sure.
      Thanks Jo, for taking the time to leave your thoughtful reply. I really appreciate it.
      Wishing you an extraordinary weekend.

  7. Mel says

    Excellent reminder for me. Especially given that I’m struggling with the focus department right now. I’ll try to remember to ‘lean in’….currently I’ve been trying too hard and apparently in the process, I’m frowning. LOL And folks think that’s about the content of what they’re sharing. Notsomuch. I’ll try a gentle lean instead!
    I know how valued I feel when someone really is engaged in the listening process. And for goodness sakes, silence the cellphone.
    Mine is always on silence. I might take a while to respond to callers (and they know why if they know me), but I AM present for the folks in front of me.
    I love the list folks have going here. Cool idea to go collecting!

    Random acts of kindness seem to be my deal right now. I’m always amazed at the power and the ripples that happen. Have a fun day today……wander about and soak in some of the gorgeous sun out there! 🙂

    • Mel says

      P.S. I love the Holmes quote and photo. And I’ve added this little place in my list of ‘places that I’m privileged to go’ on my little web log–if that’s okay. If not, no problem! Just let me know.

    • Diane says

      Oh Mel…you accused of frowning. I can’t believe it!!! 😉
      Unfortunately I get that all the time from my husband. Unless I smile…I don’t have a happy face. Phooey. It’s not fun to have someone think you’re mad/angry when really all your doing is thinking. 😉
      I love that you put the cell phone in its place. Oh do I wish more would do that.
      Thanks for adding to the list…
      Random acts of kindness can really be great encouragers. That reminds me that I was in a ‘secret sister’ program at my church. I didn’t do the women’s group stuff…but I always did the ‘secret sister.’ It was so fun to anonymously bless someone for a year.
      Okay…I’m reading this a little late for today. Because though the sun did shine brightly in that gorgeous blue sky…I never made it out. ;-/ Tomorrow. Okay?

  8. LIsa says

    I find it’s encouraging when someone is positive. Positivity always makes me feel better!

    • Diane says

      I couldn’t agree more, Lisa! It’s positively contagious. 😉

  9. I am a big believer in hugs. I am always encouraged when I receive a big hug and I try to give them at every opportunity!

    • Diane says

      I’m so glad you mentioned that Susan! Yes!!! We shrivel up without the human touch.
      Blessings on you my friend!!

  10. Carolyn says

    Diane, Thank you for reminding us to be “all there”; even though at times it takes real concentration.

    To encourage others, I try to validate the one I’m speaking with; the one who is sharing their heart & often their lack of a feeling of self worth. It’s a wonderful thing to feel validated by a person you truly like & admire!

    • Diane says

      At different times I have been led to pray that someone will sense their value in Christ. But, sometimes, we need tangible validation, don’t we? Thanks for that reminder, Carolyn!!

  11. Mel says

    Okay….. Things that encourage…..
    Posit note reminders/thank yous to my spouse in special places (he says they make him tearful…yes, I’m secretly gooshy!)
    Bitty cards slipped into a coworkers mailbox thanking them/recognizing them for something in the workplace.
    Sending off a care package to someone…….anyone
    Writing love letters ( http://www.moreloveletters.com/letter-central/ )
    Picking up a task normally done by your partner…..cuz you can
    Turning off your cellphone/computer when someone starts sharing with you
    Passing on a cute, homemade award
    Passing on a bit of your baked goods to someone
    Passing on a positive to the parent with a child (oh boy do they need those)
    Sharing toys (mostly cuz I like toys and I think play is encouraging and recognizing)
    And if you see anyone doing something kindly for another person…recognize that 10 times over!

    • Diane says

      I love these!!!!! Thank you sooo much!! These are great encouragements. 🙂

  12. I have a few ideas but would love love love to have more. Can’t wait to read all of the ideas shared.

    My coworker and I used to bring each other a treat every now and then. A candy bar, a Diet Coke, whatever…just a little I’m with you.

    Sharing flowers from my flower bed in a jelly jar.

    Notes or sweet cards in the mail.

    A short note on Facebook or even a text message to a friend.

    My mother in law always shares her positive thoughts and prays fervently for us. It is encouraging to know that she cares that much.

    Saying thank you or letting someone know how much you appreciate the things they do.

    • Diane says

      Stacey…thank you so much for taking time to share your wonderfully thoughtful encouraging ideas!! 🙂 I love every one!! 🙂
      You ARE Extraordinary!!!!

  13. This is so true and has happen to me a lot. I am sure at some point I have done it to someone. I will be really paying more attention to those I listen to now after this! Thanks!

    • Diane says

      Glad this post resonated with you Susie…
      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  14. Jacquelene L says

    Listening, really listening is very important,
    I also think it is important when in a retail store or place of business to say thank you to the cashier and if they have made an extra effort to recognize that and tell them so. They get yelled at a lot for things that are not their fault. If you are at the customer service desk with a problem don’t yell at the person working at the desk, tell management off not the minimum wage person behind the desk. They are doing their job, they have bills to pay and families to feed the same as you do. My grandmother always said “You can catch more flies with honey, than you can with vinegar.” People now days seem to have forgotten how to behave properly in public, help people who are using a cane, or a walker, or in a wheelchair or using a scooter, give them your seat on the bus or subway. It will make a big difference to that person, and how their day is going.
    Jacquelene L

    • Diane says

      You speak truth Jacquelene. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to leave your wonderfully thoughtful remarks.
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  15. Gwen says

    For the 51: set out a pretty soap for an overnight guest. Let them take it home if possible! Always have on hand something so that in an emergency you can send someone on their way with a small gift of love.

    Hospitality: my husband did not grow up in a home that did this. He did not do this with his first wife either. So when I married I had no idea. We have in nine years yet to resolve this issue!! I’d have someone every weekend! Even dessert and chat time. Our church did tables of eight. The host home chose the menu and did the main dish. The three other couples did the dessert, salad, bread…it was great. Eight people stay on one conversation. We got to know lots of people that way. I miss socializing. Not huge. But on a small scale. Isolation for lengthy periods make it harder to get back into it. And I recall..therefore some of you may have entertained angels unaware.

    • Diane says

      I really like the idea of having something on hand to send home with someone as a small gift of love. 🙂
      Pretty soap is a nice idea for overnight guests. 🙂 I discovered, my guests liked having their own coffee station ready for them to enjoy a cuppa in the morning without having to go to the kitchen in their jammies.
      The table of eight is a neat concept. I bet it really did help couples to get to know each other. I hope you’re able to socialize a little more. You have great stories and insights that would make you a terrific table conversationalist. 🙂
      Blessings, my friend!

  16. Share and/or combine left overs with friends.


  1. […] of a safety and coziness and nurture for everyone ’round that table. It’s a place for listening and encouragement. And it’s a place where we get nourishment…physical, spiritual, emotional, mental.  And […]

  2. […] Day 9 ~ Listen and 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging […]

  3. […] I’m still collecting ideas on how to be encouraging. I’d be thrilled if you’d pop over here to add yours: 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging. […]

  4. […] ideas on how to be encouraging.  I’d be thrilled if you’d pop over here to add yours: 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging. We have about 20 More Ways…on our way to 52! Would you pop over to the post and leave a few […]

  5. […] I’m still collecting ideas on how to be encouraging. I’d be thrilled if you’d pop over here to add yours: 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging. […]

  6. […] I’m still collecting ideas on how to be encouraging. Would you pop over here to add yours: 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging. […]

  7. […] I’m still collecting ideas on how to be encouraging. Would you pop over here to add yours: 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging. […]

  8. […] ideas on how to be encouraging. I’d be thrilled if you’d pop over here to add yours: 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging. We have about 20 More Ways…on our way to 52! Would you pop over to the post and leave a few […]

  9. […] Day 9 ~ Listen and 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging […]

  10. […] I’m still collecting ideas on how to be encouraging. Would you pop over here to add yours: 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging. […]

  11. […] Last week I asked for help in coming up with 52 Ways to Be Encouraging.  A few of you left some thoughts.  I’m thinking that many more of you were just too bashful to tap in your ideas, or second-guessed yourself before you hit “post comment.”  So….I’m giving you a second chance.  We all need do-overs. [wink] You can leave your thoughts below, or here (last week’s post), or on Facebook.  Thanks…wonderful extraordinary friends!!!! […]

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