Today I am so excited to introduce you to something that I have been working on in my own life for a couple of years. The lost art of letter-writing!
When I was growing up I loved getting letters in the mail and loved receiving letters! I had pen pals. It was so fun and exciting. I also remember visiting my grandma Syverson who had a calendar on her wall with a name or 2 on practically every day of the year. I asked her what that was all about. She wrote a birthday card to every missionary she could find a birthday for, all over the world. At the time I remember just thinking how cool that was. Now when I think about it I think about how beautiful and so loving it was of her. She inspires me to this day.
Have you ever received a handwritten card or letter in the mail? In the mailbox outside your house, not the one you log into on the computer or phone. Good old fashioned handwritten, personal mail! Does it not bring a smile to you face? Does it not make you feel happy and loved?
In 2016 I decided that I wanted to start writing letters on a regular basis. It was kind of like one of those New Years Resolutions that you start and about 2 weeks, maybe a month into it, you forget you began it.
In 2017 I decided that I needed to revisit this idea as I felt pretty convicted about this beautiful thing, the beauty of receiving a handwritten letter in the mail. I started again. I found a perpetual calendar to write birthdays, anniversaries and other special days on of everyone I knew, as a reminder… what to send and when. I wanted to inspire myself so I jotted down the name & date every time I put a stamp on an envelope and put it in the mailbox. I think I made it ½ way through the year but only sent one now and again when I thought about it. Not at all to nearly “everyone I knew”. In 2017 I didn’t even send out Christmas cards, for the first time in maybe ever. It actually felt absolutely wrong! I also noticed that I got VERY FEW Christmas cards in the mail, but that # has been dwindling for years so I don’t think it was simply because I didn’t send any. This felt incredibly sad and lonely. I remember seeing a friend on Instagram do a survey about sending Christmas cards. Seriously…how many people out there do NOT like to receive Christmas cards in the mail? I bet not one hand goes up. (We’ll visit this topic again in the fall.)
As 2018 started I became more determined then ever to renew this lost art of letter writing in my own life. It truly is one way one can kindle joy in the heart of another. So, I began again with my perpetual calendar. I ordered boxes of birthday cards. James brings me notecards home from Uganda that he buys from an old man who sells them on the street corner, most are homemade. I buy books of stamps. And I began.
My goal this year is pretty big…to mail one letter each day. I’m more determined than ever to accomplish this and as of today I have come close. I keep track and when I miss a day (or several) I’ll catch up by sending numerous for various holidays.
My goal is to kindle joy. Writing a letter to let someone know I’m thinking of them and they are loved is surely a way to kindle joy. It brings great joy to me and I know it brings joy to the receiver because who does not love to find a handwritten envelope in their mailbox?
So, each and every Wednesday I will be posting about letter writing. I will be posting to encourage you to join me in kindling back into a flame the lost art of letter writing. It is joy. It is fun. It is precious. In the future I’ll share beautiful cards sets I find, perpetual calendars, and other stationary supplies to help you begin this journey. And someday I really want to begin a pen pal group to get us even more involved in this great art of sending love to mailboxes all over the world.
Would you join me in this endeavor? Do you already keep a habit of letter-writing on a regular basis? Comment and let me know!