“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11
If you ever received a note, message or card where someone has taken the time to write out words of love, affirmation, encouragement, inspiration or wisdom to you personally then you know the powerful effect of the written word. In fact I would be willing to bet that you have some of those meaningful notes, cards or messages stashed away in a special drawer, box or in the attic.
Sometimes I wonder in this new age of facebook, twitter, text messages and email if the future generation will have the joy and pleasure of re-reading and treasuring words of love and affirmation given to them by friends and family? I hope not!
I have a box (actually I have three boxes!) of cards and notes that have been given to me over the years from my husband, children, parents, siblings, friends, business partners and former students. If I ever need a good “pick me up” or am feeling unloved or unappreciated (any of you Moms out there ever have one of those days?) I can simply open up one of those boxes and read through those wonderful words once again. They always lift my spirit and refresh my soul.
Today during Tea Time Tuesday we talked about the value of loving, affirming and encouraging others through our written words. I pulled out one of the boxes and read some of them to the girls. We talked about the importance of not merely signing a card with your name but taking the time to write out something sincere, heartfelt and meaningful. It does not have to be long but needs to be thought out. We shared many things you could include:
- adjectives that you could use to describe someone
- stories you could tell to remember something special about them
- prayers of blessing on their lives
- words of wisdom that would add value to their life
- giving encouragement or inspiration
- adding relevant Bible scriptures or quotes
Let me share two different cards as examples. The first is from Gloria Grupe, a dear family friend who always takes the time to not only remember my children’s birthdays but is also really gifted at making cards meaningful.
God loves you dear one – so precious to the Lord. I hope you are having a good birthday celebration. Always be a good thoughtful helper to Mom and the younger ones. I saw you one day playing with Daniel when he could not even walk yet. You were playing and entertaining him while your Mom and I were talking. You were on the kitchen floor. Now you have a brother and new sister. You are the closest in age — a very special teacher you are. They need to know all the very important things you know at 7 years old. That is part of God’s plan for your life, that you be an example, helper and teacher to the younger ones. I know you will do a very good job!
Have a Happy Birthday, Lots of love and blessings, Gloria
Isn’t that a great birthday card to my 7-year-old daughter? What a blessing to have a wise older saint in her life that not only speaks words of love and blessing but also gives guidance and purpose for her life! I could not ask for a greater birthday gift for my children. It challenged me to write with purpose to those who are following along behind me in years.
The next note is from a dear friend who is also gifted at using words to express love and appreciation. Here is a portion of her note:
The gift of your friendship spans more than words can say and is truly among the greatest gifts I count in my life. How blessed I am to have a friend who…
- I can trust to never veer away from God’s eternal truth
- has proven to always put God’s interests first
- lives a life that does not shift as sand among the circumstances of life or the popular notions our culture offers
- is not afraid to look me square in the eye, tell me the truth, then push me to be better
- has a good & cheerful heart (Proverbs 15:5) Everything you do is a celebration. You lift life from the mundane, welcoming everyone you know to join in with you
Now about everything else…it would take a book and among the chapter titles would be: Motivation, Inspiration, Encouragement, Excellence. In your full & overflowing life you have always included me. I know you would do anything for me and I hope you know I would do anything for you and your family. As Jacopo told the Count of Monte’ Cristo – “I am your man (friend)…for life!”
This letter not only blesses my heart but inspires me to greatness. What a gift to be able to use such a simple thing as a note, card or letter to bless and inspire others! And better yet…it is free!
We had a lovely tea time and each of us walked away motivated to write some notes of love, affirmation, encouragement and wisdom to our precious friends and family. I hope to instill a lifelong desire in my children to use the power of the written word to make a difference in the lives of those who cross their paths.