Love Thy Military {or Civilian} Neighbor

To my fellow military spouses: Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day! Thanks to all of you who serve and sacrifice quietly in the shadows. You may not feel like it, but you are brave heroes, warrior world-changers, and tender heart-holders. You are my family away from family, and I love you.

{I’m working on a surprise for you that will be available at the end of the month. Stay tuned!}

If you find yourself living in the same neighborhood as a military family, maybe today is a good day to shower some extra love on them? Below are a few ideas that are never expected but always appreciated.

And really, these are good ways to love on any neighbor, military or civilian.

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{Download a free printable of this from my original post.}

1. Ask her over for dinner. Being the only grown-up in a house gets lonely, so hanging with other adults is nice. If your schedule permits, make it routine {i.e. Invite her for dinner every Sunday or coffee every Tuesday}. FYI: she’ll be focusing on your company, not your house.

2. Bring dinner to her house. Even just a casserole she can put in the freezer is so helpful and awesome.

3. Offer her your contact information. Give her permission to call or email you if she needs something.

4. Grocery shop. If you’re making a grocery or Target run, ask her if she needs anything.

5. Take out the trash. If her trash and/or recycle receptacles are outside, take them to the curb for her.

6. Offer to babysit. Be specific. If she knows you well, offer to take her kids with you on a playdate. It doesn’t have to be for long. Just having an hour or two to exhale on her own feels like a Christmas miracle.

7. Bring over a plate of cookies. Attach a note with the names of your family members and contact information. The baked goods don’t have to be homemade. {Sometimes I buy these instead.} She is just moved by the gesture.

8. Help with home improvement. Many spouses have the urge to do house projects while on the home front. So much of the military lifestyle is out of their control, so home improvement projects help them feel in control. Help her paint a room or pick out curtains. {I picked up a drill for the first time and helped a friend with a deployed husband install bathroom tile.} Even something as simple as helping her pick up/change lightbulbs is appreciated.

9. Swap movies, books, and magazines. Let her borrow your Netflix movies and return them for you.

10. Bring her a Starbucks treat just because. It’s more about showing up and checking in than about the treat.

11. Send her a card. It’s easy for military spouses to feel ignored, so this always makes her day. Also, DaySpring has some lovely e-card options.

12. Invite her to participate in things. Even if she can’t make it the first few times, don’t quit asking.

13. Refer her to your people. If you have a hair dresser or a dentist you like, ask her if she would like their name(s). My neighbors are often the best source for where to go to get what done.

14. Give her the gift of green. Potted flowers in the summer, stems from the grocery in the winter. They brighten her home and her mood.

15. Encourage her. Look for something specific she’s doing well and brag on her to her face.

16. Give her yard a helping hand. Mow or edge her lawn.

17. Remember her birthday.  Surprise her with a card or a piece of cake.

18. Remember her on holidays. Give her a card for Mother’s Day. Invite her over for Thanksgiving dinner.

19. Follow through. If you tell her you’ll do something for her, be a woman of your word.

20. Pray for her strength, her marriage, her kids. It is the least and the most you can do.

What would you add to the list?

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  1. says

    We are not a military family, but I sure appreciate all you do and the incredible sacrifices you make for this wonderful country. So thank you and an extraspecial Happy Mother’s Day to those who are serving and those who are spouses. I am so blessed and thankful.
    Elise Daly Parker recently posted..How Can We Pay It Forward

  2. Jessica says

    Wonderful list! I am a military spouse living in South Korea. My Air Force hubby brought us to Korea 1.5 years ago…..and we will be heading back Stateside in October.
    The military life can sometimes be a lonely one….always being the “new girl” at church or in the neighborhood. But, it is also a blessing in the fact that no matter where we go, we often have a friend or two already there.

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