I am SO excited about today's post! There are many things I'm passionate about, but some things I'm overly passionate about! One is Jesus, two - helping people in recovery, and three -GIFT GIVING!
I think we can all agree that it feels good to know that someone is thinking of us, supporting us, praying for us. Today I have a list of gifts that are sure to convey to your loved one that they are loved!
What is proper gift-giving etiquette for someone in recovery?
Do you give a gift the moment they decide they want to get sober?
Perhaps you wait until your loved one has reached a milestone in their recovery, like their first month of sobriety or one year sober.
Really, when is the appropriate time to celebrate?
Well, of course, there is no wrong time to give a gift! Your loved one entered rehab...send a gift to the facility. Your loved one completed a rehab program... have a gift ready for them on graduation day. Your loved one has made the decision to get clean and they plan to attend AA meetings or outpatient services... give a gift to encourage and motivate them in that decision. The time to give a gift is truly at any stage of someone's recovery journey.
Typical milestones include one month, six months, one year, and then every year after, but remember the gift of support is something we can all give each and every day, and best of all it's free!
I think you get the picture. There is no bad time to give a gift! The road to recovery is a long and difficult journey that they are embarking upon. They can use all the motivation and encouragement they can get.
When I use the term gift, I'm not just talking about purchasing items.
In today's discussion, we will look at all kinds of ways that we can give. Sure, it's great to receive a tangible gift, especially one of the items on our list - because these specific items will promote recovery and aid them in their sobriety - but there are so many other occasions when they just need the gift of your time, your consideration, your empathy, and your love.
I can't wait to share all of these great gift ideas with you!
But first, let's pray.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you for the most important gift of all, the gift of our salvation. Lord, we pray for anyone that is reading this, if they do not know you, that they would come to know you. We pray for our loved ones that are contemplating a life without addiction, our loved ones that are newly sober, and our loved ones that have achieved significant time of sobriety. We pray that you would use us to help them according to your will, oh Lord.
Help us to give the gifts that you have given us. Sacrificial gifts, treating others better than ourselves. Help us to use the talents you have blessed us with to be a blessing to others.
Open our eyes to see all the ways that we can love like Christ.
Lead us to give the exact gifts that our loved one needs. We thank you for giving your son as a perfect example of how we are called to love others. Teach us to follow his example.
We thank you for the gift of our loved one and we pray protection, healing, surrendering, and salvation over them, Jesus. It is only by your name that we are saved!
Thank you for your grace and mercy.
And all God's kids said...
Without any further ado! I present to you the ultimate list of gift-giving!
Gifts for your husband, wife, sister, brother, friend, neighbor.
Gifts. Gifts. Gifts galore!
The perfect gift for anyone fighting addiction or seeking recovery.
THE GUIDE TO GIFT GIVING: Addiction Recovery Edition
1. The Life Recovery Bible
Before I started working as an Addiction Counselor, I didn't even know this was a thing. I've been a Christian all my life. How had I never heard of a recovery Bible?
I would often find recovery Bibles in my client's belongings as they entered inpatient treatment or their loved ones would mail them to our facility.
The other clients would swoon over it. It's definitely a prized possession for anyone entering a recovery program or looking to grow their relationship with Christ while implementing the 12 steps of AA.
I purchased one for myself to see what all the hype was about. It doesn't disappoint! It's easy to read, the commentary is helpful and your loved one will absolutely adore it!
Many facilities allow you to mail items to your loved one. This is one gift that they can share with everyone in their program and they can spread God's word at the same time.
So many people have not been reached, have hardened hearts, are mad at God, etc. Inpatient treatment can oftentimes feel like rock bottom, but we all know how God likes to meet us at rock bottom!
Give this gift of encouragement to your loved one.
It's important to note that people in jail or prison would also greatly appreciate this gift!
Of course, there's no bad time to give someone a Bible and that is why this gift tops the list!
Purchase your gift here.
Music can be so influential in someone’s recovery. Many times the songs that are listened to during active addiction can now be tremendous triggers that put your loved one at risk for relapse. It really does matter what we allow to enter our mind, whether that’s through what we watch on TV, the conversations we entertain, or the music we rock out to.
Gone are the days of gifting a mixed tape or homemade CD. I may have just really dated myself with that mixed tape reference. Let me throw a "lol" in here, so you know I'm still hip. haha
Welcome to the 21st century, where we gift music digitally! It's seriously magic!
And so simple, even someone my age can do it.
But if you're not at all familiar with technology then solicit the nearest millenial and they'll have you all set up in no time flat.
I love the gift of music! In group therapy, we dedicate an entire two-hour session to listening to songs that motivate recovery, so I've been able to acquire a pretty good list that your loved one is sure to enjoy! You can find my recovery playlist on YouTube.
Just click here.
Share the link with your loved one and they have a free playlist ready to go!
If you prefer to choose the songs for your loved one you can now send songs and albums from iTunes. Google Play seems to be a bit more complicated. I've linked an article about what you can gift digitally from Google Play.
Here are the instructions for how to send from iTunes. The option for sending from an Android is linked here.
Even Amazon has an option for gifting digital music (seriously though, is there anything that Amazon doesn’t offer?)
Another option would be to give a gift card for iTunes or Google Play, however, that would not ensure that your loved one would purchase recovery-oriented music. I'll leave that up to your discretion :)
3. Reading Materials
This is going to be a long one because there are so many great options out there! There really is something for everybody and you can be as general or as specific as you'd like.
For example, a Just For Today devotional is a great gift for anyone in recovery, but a Healing the Soul of a Woman Devotional is a wonderful resource written specifically for women.
To make this simple I will break these reading resources into categories.
We'll look at classic literature that will speak to anyone battling addiction or seeking recovery and then I will have some more specific genres if you want to get more, well, specific.
Click on each item for a link to easily purchase.
Recovery Bible Workbook
Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop
A wonderful addition, should you choose to gift a Recovery Bible
This is one of many in an expansive series of Jesus Calling devotionals.
Sarah's books have become extraordinarily popular. There's no doubt your loved one would thoroughly enjoy this gift. She writes to specific groups of people and for special occasions, as well.
When you click on the link you will be directed to an assortment of options to choose from.
Jesus: The God Who Knows Your Name
Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional
John Baker, Johnny Baker, Matt Owens
(I've linked the 365-day devotional here, but there is a shorter 28-day option as well that would be great for someone in a monthly program)
The Road to Freedom: Healing From Your Hurts, Hang-ups, And Habits
Pastor and National Director of Celebrate Recovery
One Day At A Time: The Devotional For Overcomers
Neil T. Anderson, Mike, and Julia Quarles
120 Day Devotional to fight temptation.
New Morning Mercies
Paul David Tripp
Receiving energy to power through the day - fueled by the gospel.
The One Year Recovery Prayer Devotional
Take it one day at a time with God's help!
Taking Your Life Back: Overcome Any Obstacle From The Enemy
testimony of how in his darkest moments Jesus stepped in and changed it all!
No More Excuses
offers 90 daily readings to inspire men to discover their purpose.
Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide For Men Recovering From Sexual Child Abuse
I've included this book because addiction is just the byproduct of other underlying traumas. While this book may be difficult to gift to someone. Sadly, many of the men at our rehabilitation facility have experienced sexual abuse as a child. If you know your loved one was abused - Help them heal through gifting this book.
Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
tells of how he rose from poverty to prestigious Navy Seal.
The Man In The Mirror: Solving The 24 Problems Men Face
writes of identifying problem areas and how to make the necessary changes to love God, themselves, and others better.
Never Alone: 6 Encounters With Jesus To Heal Your Deepest Hurts
tells of six encounters Jesus had with hurting women in the Bible.
In The Middle Of The Mess: Strength For This Beautiful, Broken Life
teaches how confession, meditation on God's word, and prayer lead to the freedom found in Christ.
Captivating: Unveiling The Mystery Of A Woman's Soul
John and Stasi Eldredge
explore what it means to live out God's vision for your life.
Surrendered: Letting Go And Living Like Jesus, Women's Bible Study Workbook
writes of applying God's word to the challenges of today.
For a Free E-book that will offer
Faith Based Help And Support For The Wife Of An Alcoholic
Battlefield Of The Mind for Teens: Winning The Battle In Your Mind
Joyce Meyer, Todd Hafer
Recommended for ages 13-17
Pure Teens: Honoring God, Relationships, And Sex
Dr. John Thorington
writes about relationships and sex and why they are so important to God.
Fearless Faith: 90 Devotions For Teens
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Today's teens are tomorrow's leaders. Help to equip them through the power of God's word.
God's Grace For Teens
writes scripture on every page to encourage and equip your teen to face the everyday challenges of life.
I highly recommend 31 Prayers for My Future Husband and 31 Prayers for My Future Wife for anyone that is single, dating, or engaged. You may ask why you would give these books to someone that is single and the answer is beautiful.
How many of us would love the person that God has chosen for us to start praying for us before we even meet?
Isn't that just heartwarming or is that just the dreamy romantic in me?
Either way - gift these books!
For married couples, the same husband and wife authors, Aaron and Jennifer Smith, also wrote 31 Prayers for My Husband and 31 Prayers for My wife.
My husband and I have read these together for 31 days, more than once. They will bless your or your loved one's marriage.
The links I've attached take you to all of the books by Aaron and Jennifer.
While you're there pick up something for yourself.
They have devotionals for praying for your son or daughter if that happens to be the person with an addiction in your life.
Rescued: A Christian Couples Story Of Addiction
writes her personal story of how alcoholism attempted to wreck her marriage, but God wrote a rescue story!
Fierce Marriage: Radically Pursuing Each Other In Light Of Christ's Relentless Love
Ryan and Selena Frederick
urge couples to put Christ at the center of their marriage.
This one might be more for the ladies, but fellas would greatly benefit from reading it.
It's based on the Bible story of Hosea and Gomer and it is sensational!
The overarching theme is that we continue to leave God and he continues to forgive and accept us back.
How many times have we hurt him and although so undeserving, he graciously extends his unconditional love?
Oh, this one is a must!
Hope After Betrayal: When Sexual Addiction Invades Your Marriage
uses scripture and her own experience to illustrate that marriage can find healing after the hurting
Well, that pretty much sums it up for the books. I think we touched on a little something for everyone and it's our prayer that your loved one is touched by the book you've chosen to gift.
4. Journals and Planners
Structure is so vitally important in addiction recovery. Active addiction is trademarked by chaos and lack of consistency.
Whether your loved one is trying to do this on their own, entering or exiting a program, months or even years into their recovery, a journal or planner is a timeless gift.
Sure, you can gift any old journal, but today there are tons of awesome interactive options! So skip the boring notebook and gift something that is going to speak life into their world.
These specific journals and planners have been added to the list because they are geared toward truly aiding in recovery.
Gratitude, goal setting, getting motivated, it all goes hand in hand with lasting lifestyle changes.
To see which ones made the cut just check out the links below.
Again, you can simply click on the bold print to easily purchase your gift.
- Gratitude Journal
- Coping With Anger Workbook
- Lifestyle Changes Workbook
-Starting A New Routine Journal and Planner
-Christian Goal Planner (printable version from Etsy)
-Bible Memory Journal
-Christian Coloring Books For Adults
-Gospel-Centered Recovery Workbook
5. Unique Gift Ideas
The following recommendations are a smorgasbord of gift ideas that are sure to be well received. I've compiled self-care ideas, activity gifts, and a special
one-of-a-kind personalized present.
If your loved one has been in a recovery program then chances are they attended groups that spoke a lot about self-care. It's true that self-care is very important. We cannot pour from an empty glass. It's the same philosophy as putting on our oxygen mask on an airplane before we help those around us.
Self-care can be as simple as taking a bubble bath, but you can't quite gift a bubble bath... or can you?
Bath gift ideas are a kind way to show someone you care:
are a trending gift idea. There are so many to choose from. This one is brightly colored and exciting!
is a classic choice. Choose a scent that you know they'll love. Or if you're not sure then go with something simple, like vanilla or lavender.
- Bath accessories like a loofa or back scratcher can complement your self-care theme.
-Soaps, body sprays, lotions, massage oil, lip balm, nail or hair care, make-up, candles.
Your options are endless.
You could gift any one of these items or create your own DIY self-care gift basket.
Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration.
Check out some more ideas for putting your basket together here.
-Gift card to the salon, hair, manicure, pedicure, massage... When we look good, we feel good. And when we feel good we can be encouraged to continue striving for greatness!
I realize that self-care may be an easier gift for the ladies in recovery, but trust me, even if the men in your life would appreciate hygiene items too, although they may not admit it.
I've linked the 19 best colognes for men in 2021, according to Menshealth.com
-Gift card to get their haircut
I can't believe I didn't put this one at the top of the list!
Coffee helps a lot of people in their recovery.
Some may argue that you are trading one addiction for another. And to the people that say that, I say this: More coffee, please! This is sure to be appreciated by both men and women!
I've linked American Family coffee. I purchase this coffee for myself and have gifted it to pretty much everyone I know. It's so good, many flavors to choose from, whole bean or ground, and best of all it supports a Christian company that you can trust.
American Family coffee is a way to support American Family Radio.
If you've never heard of them - you have to tune in! Their ministry is amazing! They're truly doing God's work.
Unique ideas that are often not considered:
When discussing recovery, we talk about changing your people, places, and things also phrased as change your playground and your playmates. One way to aid your loved one in their recovery is to help them discover new activities that they can do SOBER!
-Painting with a twist
(be careful, because some places allow you to BYOB (bring your own booze) so call ahead, before you purchase a gift card)
-A round of golf
-A gym membership
This one is discussed frequently in rehab. Everyone sets a goal to get healthier and they all want a gym membership! Once you are through your withdrawal symptoms, you are ready to get active. Not to mention that weight gain can be a trigger for many people that were abusing stimulants, which lead to weight loss.
I highly recommend this gift. Exercise is a great coping skill!
Now how in the world do you gift counseling? Doesn't insurance cover that?
Well, it might or it might not. Oftentimes counselors are overbooked with heavy caseloads and your loved one may not connect with the counselor that accepts their insurance. It's a conversation worth having. In our current COVID world, there are many affordable online options and the gift of covering the cost could be the encouragement they need to get started.
For more information email us at Your Praying Friend.
- The last one in our unique gift idea category is Storyworth. This is such an awesome concept! For $100 you can give someone the gift of writing their own life story that will be turned into a book and mailed to them. Your loved one can personalize this gift to fit their needs by choosing how often they would like to receive pre-generated, thought-provoking questions. You can even add suggested questions if there is something you think they would enjoy writing about. I gifted Storyworth to my bonus mom and she loves it! They have great reviews and it's an awesome keepsake for generations to come. Not to mention, writing is unbelievably therapeutic. Journaling is great, but sometimes we have writer's block and turn up empty-handed. That will not happen with Storyworth. Their questions are fun and engaging. Going through the process of recalling childhood memories and considering future events is such a healing experience.
Highly recommended gift!
Now for our special, one of a kind, feature gift:
A present filled with prayer and positivity.
This gift is so simple, yet so thoughtful and original. Each box includes:
One self-care item, a coffee mug, 6 oz ground coffee from American Family coffee, journal, a handwritten prayer that you can personalize or choose from one of our templates,
all packaged in a beautiful gift box.
Gifts starting at $25
All boxes come with a voucher for one free online 30-minute session with a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor.
Email Heather to design your order!
This box really does have it all. Something from each category. It takes the guesswork out of which item to purchase.
Lastly, I want to include some free options!
In recovery, what people need most is the love and encouragement of their support system.
The great thing about that is... It's a free gift to give! It will only cost you your time. In return, you will be blessed beyond measure!
Below are some free gift ideas as well as an explanation as to how they aid in recovery. It's one thing to have an idea of what to do, it's another thing to understand how it truly is helping. If we can understand how it helps, we are all the more likely to be motivated ourselves in offering to to lend a hand!
-Gift a few hours of babysitting
Being in recovery and being a parent can quickly feel overwhelming. Gift a few hours out of the house so they can attend a meeting or meet with their sponsor for coffee.
For some, recovery meetings may be the only connection they have to the outside world. Getting sober can oftentimes feel like a loss. Not everyone is eager to give up something that has been such an integral part of their life. You may be surprised to learn that people in recovery can experience symptoms of grief related to quitting their drug of choice. If you think about it, you can probably understand how that's possible. They are being required to change the people that they hang around, the places they frequented, the activities they engaged in. That's a whole 180. I don't know about you, but I can see how being around other people with the same struggles, people who relate and understand could be very beneficial to a successful recovery. So do whatever you can to help them get to their meetings. Offer a ride, or watch the kids, every little bit helps.
-Give of your talents
Is your loved one in need of a job? Help them with their resume. Not great with resumes? I have a friend that will help women in recovery with their resumes for free! You can contact her here.
So maybe resume building isn't your thing, but you have some clothes that would be perfect for an interview or you know someone that does. Help link your loved one with resources that will lead them to success.
What other talents do you have that you can offer? Are you a good listener? Call and check in! Are you a good cook? Take a meal to let them know you care.
Maybe you would love to purchase a gym membership, but it just isn't within your budget or you're not certain they will use it. What about offering to go for a walk? Getting fresh air, blood pumping, and talking... a recipe for recovery! Schedule a weekly or bi-weekly park date. Whatever works for the both of you, but offer it! And encourage it!
Offer to be their accountability partner. You've likely heard this term when speaking of a gym buddy or perhaps a men's or women's group at church. An accountability partner in recovery is going to ask the hard questions, hold them to a certain standard, not let them get away with phony excuses, and when you see warning signs you're going to speak up! The difference between people that have accountability partners, like a sponsor or a friend or a parent, and those that go at it alone... well let's just say the rates of relapse are much higher for the latter. We all need a strong support system. Offer to be that person!
Gift empathy and understanding. What an amazing gift that doesn't cost a thing! It's totally free! Feeling validated is a human desire. We want to feel heard.
The last and most powerful thing you can do to help your loved one in their recovery is pray for them daily. At Your Praying Friend, we have a submit prayer request section and we would love to add them to our prayer list! God works in miraculous ways. If you don't give anything else to your loved one, make sure you gift prayer! Our loved ones desperately need our prayers if they are going to have any chance at living a life of freedom from their addiction. Many people achieve sobriety, but not every sober person achieves freedom!
We hope you found the perfect gift!
You and your loved one are in our prayers.
Until Next Time,
Your Praying Friend
Have a prayer request? We'd love to connect with you!
Are you on social media? So are we!
Let's be friends!
Substance Abuse Counselor