Assemble a Book of Encouragement

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the birthday “human art show” my friends and family performed for me while I was in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Another uplifting and awesome thing they pulled together was a “book of encouragement.”

My sister, Becky, coordinated this project while I was in the hospital again, this time for the actual bone marrow transplant. Becky went around to my aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, grandma and parents and invited them to create a page for the book, wishing me well on my recovery and health journey.

Like the birthday surprise, I didn’t know about the book until Becky delivered it to me in my hospital room. And like the birthday surprise it gave my spirits such a great and much-needed boost. I laughed my guts out (not literally) reading the many hilarious and creative entries and felt my resolve strengthen as I read the many inspirational and motivational entries.

Words of encouragement may not seem as important as all the pharmaceuticals they pumped into my body but they do make a difference. And having something tangible like a physical book that I could flip through when I felt down was great.

Here’s a small sample of pages from the oh-so-awesome Book of Encouragement. Something to consider if you know someone going through a tough time!

This is part one of two pages from my cousin Luke. Check out the next photo to see his amazing dance in action.

Luke’s Healing Dance. Hard to see but each frame is a different absurd dance move. And apparently you don’t wear a shirt when doing this dance.

My cousin Shawn drew this for me. He was 20.


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Josh is the creative force behind Badge of Awesome, where he noodles and doodles about life and the lessons learned from it. He's the author of Simply Blunderful and creator of The Overcoming Obstacles Toolkit.

2 thoughts on “Assemble a Book of Encouragement

  1. Rob says:

    I love this book! My fav is the healing dance. I’d also love to see those doggomelt cartoons again but I’m not sure they found their way into the book. I think I’ll make a book this November… just regular journal entries of encouraging things. Thanks for the idea!

    • Josh says:

      Oh yes, the doggomelt cartoons are most definitely in the book! I was just looking at them the other day. The Jurtle origin story is particularly amazing.

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