Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Gift of a Letter

Lately I have been made aware of the demise of a written letter, and realize that it is almost becoming a lost art in today's world. I have heard comments from those living in retirement homes, college dorms, and the daily routines of living...whovisit the mailbox each day and find only junk mail, bills, and advertisements. The gift of a hand written letter is becoming extinct in our technological age. In one of the books that grace my bookshelves, is a book titled "When Words Matter Most" by Robyn Freedman Spizman. In her second chapter with the title "Words of Encouragement and Praise" is a paragraph titled "It's Never Too Late". "Think of someone-a friend, family member, or teacher-who played an important role in your life and helped you to be the person you are today. Write them a letter of encouragement and praise them. Return the kindness they once showed you; you'll be glad you did."
Roger Carswell, our good friend from England, wrote in his last newsletter an article titled "Royal Mail". He said, "Letters, postcards, notelets are a means of encouraging, informing, ministering, strengthening, sharing, sympathising, identifying. They say to the recipient, I am sufficiently bothered that I will give time to input into your life, so that you will know that I care. Like a bench provided as a memorial to someone who loved that spot with a view, so a letter can be a means of refreshment to the mind and soul."
A hand written letter that arrives in the mailbox in the midst of an ordinary day truly can make a difference. To me and to those who receive it, it shares the fact that someone cares, someone is thinking of me, and someone took the time to let me know.
The coming holiday and the time preceeding it, when stores, card companies, and television commercials push their Valentine's Day agendas, it can be quite a lonely and discouraging time for many in our worlds. Perhaps the gift of a simple, heartfelt letter could make the difference to someone in your world. It only costs a few cents, but it does cost time to actually write it, even if it is only a few lines. My goal this February, is to take time to remember certain people in my life with a Valentine letter.

The message on this beautifully done magazine photo is "May no gift be too small(like a letter, added by me) to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness and tied with love."

Top picture from Romantic Homes Magazine ~ July 2001
Bottom picture from Victoria Magazine


Stacey said...

Judy, one of my goals this year is to send notes and words of encouragement to others. My MIL is the greatest example of this. She constantly sends notes and cards to many people. She is always positive and shares her love and prayers. It makes me feel great to get her notes so I hope to follow in her footsteps.

Love Being A Nonny said...

Thank you for this reminder! I will write a letter this week...I already have someone in mind. I make it a point to mail a card once a month....with a tiny surprise inside to the college kids of my dear friends. I remember how much my own three loved getting something in their mailboxes in college. If we would just do what WE love...we would bless others!

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Amazing.... how people's postings often coincide with our own thoughts.

You talk about the joy of writing letters as a way to bless others.... this has been a real source of joy in my own life, to be as Mother Teresa once said it, 'a little pencil in God's hands' to lift up and encourage a faltering heart.

Over the years I've kinda let this gift of letter writing drop, and just the other evening my sister encouraged me to pick it up again, as this avenue of writing really is a gift He has given to me for the world.

So thank you for encouraging me -- I always think when you hear the 'word' from two or three sources, it's a confirmation to carry on.

BTW, did you ever see/read the book Alexandra Stoddard wrote years ago called The Gift of a Letter? I was inspired by it when I first read (first heard of it and Alexandra through the Victoria magazine so many years ago).

And so blessings to you.... may heaven's joy drift into your life in unexpected ways this day.


Judy said...

So true...the handwritten letters that arrive in our mailboxes are few and far between! I was most surprised to get an envelope in the mail the other day...with a card and a handwritten letter inside...from someone who could have easily e-mailed. A little gift...even a gift of handwriting...can mean a lot!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Good encouragement! My BGF sends me cards all the time...I am not so good at making the cycle of purchase, write, address, stamp and then mail.

I have letters from several generations of my family...and have started printing out some of the recent generations emails too. I especially treasure the tape recording that my dad and I sent back and forth during my college years.

Tracy said...

Wonderful post! You're so right. Anytime I find a card or letter in my mailbox, my heart skips a beat. An instant day-brightener! Excellent reminder...and what better time of year to do this? I'll be pondering about who I might write. Thanks Judy!

Blessings to you...

Happy@Home said...

It is rare to receive a handwritten letter these days. I used to love to see the mailman arrive, but the excitement has been waning as he usually only brings bills or junk mail. However, after my mom passed away I received many handwritten letters from her friends and our relatives. I found it so comforting and treasure them. There is just something so personal about a letter that can't quite be obtained through e-mailing.
Great post.

Shelley said...

When I was a child, I used to look forward to receiving letters from my great grandmother - you brought back great memories! HOpe you're doing well Judy!!
P.S. DId you get my email cc'ing you and my friend?

Kathleen said...

What a great reminder!

Just recently I wrote my oldest grandson a letter in honor of his 15th birthday. I had such fun detailing some of the highlights of his life from a grandmother's perspective. He called, and I know he was touched (even if awkward expressing it).

Letters are such a special gift.


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Lovely post Judy!

My husband and I mailed love letters to each other while we were dating, even though we lived only a few miles from each other. We saved each and every one! I've also saved every card he or my children ever gave to me. They are all in a box in my closet and on some quiet rainy afternoon I take them down and read a few. Such wonderful memories!

A wonderful suggestion ..I'm going to write some letters this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Hello Judy. It's true and so sad. Letters and cards are the way of the past and not the future. I think they are such a lovely tradition. It's a shame that they are going out of style. My brother says I'm the last traditionalist because I continue to do these things. I think they are so inportant. Thank you for this post and your kindness to me and Charli. She seems to be on the mend now.


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