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My cell phone rang and I actually answered it, it would be a treat to talk to another adult. My husband was mid-way through an eight week Army training halfway across the US, and I was home alone with three kids under the age of six, the youngest only six months old. My adult people-speaking skills were beginning to atrophy.

“Oh hi! How are you?” I answered while sniffing my armpit, a bit ripe, I had no time to shower these days. Hopefully this would just be a phone call and not a last minute get together for coffee. I really didn’t want to put on a bra. Or find a clean shirt. Or brush my hair. The effort of being a temporary single mom was leaving me feeling thinned out emotionally and physically.

“I’m at Costco right now,” she said, “and I’m bringing you dinner tonight. Do you and the kids want the macaroni and cheese or the chicken alfredo? Does that sound good?” While I needed help, I had yet to ask for it or even take others up on their general offers of help. Sometimes having one more thing to do, like asking for help, is like having I felt loved and cared for when my friend reached out to serve me and my family. True to her word, dinner was served, and it lasted several nights, providing a wonderful meal planning break. (What mom couldn’t use more of those?)

I have another friend with the same thoughtful heart who called and told me to bring my kids over the following Saturday any time after ten AM. I loathe arranging childcare swaps and will opt to pay someone else to watch my kids but that budget was tapped out. I truly appreciated her gifting me a block of time so I could recharge.

This same friend later remembered my birthday was coming up. She didn’t want me to celebrate alone so she arranged for her husbandto watch our kids so we could go out to lunch. How thoughtful is that? Can we clone her? She makes the world a better place.

My friends’ genuine offers of love met practical needs in my life when I needed it most. Their intentionality put my mind at ease knowing their help was freely given. It was a relief to have support without having to seek it out. That in itself is a gift! They have inspired me to intentionally seek ways to serve my friends as I pay it forward.

Audra Talamantes is a stay-at-home mom to three who thrives on coffee and Nutella straight from the jar. She enjoys repurposing items and shares her crafts at

When has a friend(s) intentionally helped you out when you didn’t even have to ask?