As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Noteworthy People

I love personal emails. The right words at the right time can do wonders for turning a bad day around or adding the icing to an already fabulous day.

As much as I love a good email, I love real mail even more. It is a thrill to open my mailbox and find an envelope with my name written with a human hand. There is wondrous joy in seeing that someone valued me enough to take time to address an envelope and jot down love on paper.

In the world we live in, love often takes a backseat and value gets hidden under to do lists. It takes a deliberate choice of action to make people the priority they need to be.

I choose to live deliberately.

During a lull in the day, I amass my supplies within my reach on the couch. Boxes with event labels on the end, pen, and home organizer notebook. My laptop sits closed on the floor awaiting its turn.

Beside me is my cup of chocolate milk or coffee, and before me, the TV glows soft with a heart-filled movie or TV show. The story of wounds too real becoming hearts restored plays on as I do my share to contribute to heart health.

I flip open the book to the blue sheets under the tab "Cards and Dates". Four columns per page. Each column a month of names, birthdays and anniversaries.

"Lord, show me the right card and give me the right words."

I open the boxes I have bought in bulk at the store--the only way I can find time or budget to supply so many cards.

I begin with next month's list. Three anniversaries. I read the cards sometimes more than once until I know which card goes with which couple. I write the name on the front and the date in the upper right hand corner--where it is easily covered by a stamp.

Next, I look through the names for children's birthdays. Then I find cards for the men (because there are always fewer of those). Finally, each lady on my list is given a card.

When I am done, three months of cards lay before me with name and date written on the front and a card tucked loosely inside.

Then I pull out my gold folder with the stationary musts. The stamps will be pulled out each week as needed, but for now, they stay snug and secure in their pocket. One sheet of return address labels is emptied as each envelope receives its own.

Finally, as the TV drones on, and I give it only fleeting attention, I open my laptop and pull up my contacts. Quickly, I place the envelopes in alphabetical order and start writing in names.

When the stack is finished, I reorder them according to dates, so they are easily pulled each week, stamped, and mailed. Before closing them, though, I pull out the seemingly impersonal card, pray for words of encouragement and wisdom, and write my heart of celebration, gratitude, and joy for the one who will find the joy of her/his name in human writing. Sometimes I write a prayer, sometimes a word of encouragement. Always something heartfelt.

It is my way of touching heart when hands are too far apart and letting someone know that in my life, they are noteworthy.


Amelia said...

How loving! I hope this blog starts a movement. Off to write a thank-you card I've been putting off...

Jan Parrish said...

I love real mail - the non-bill kind. What an encourager you are!

Jerri Phillips said...

Amelia, thank you. Wouldn't that be fun?! Everyone opening their mailboxes to find wonderful notes of affirmation and love? I love the idea!!

Jerri Phillips said...

Jan, thank you! It blesses me more than you know for that blessing to be spoken over me.

Trisha said...

I'm a letter writer, too. It is such a joy to send a word of encouragement to someone. I love how intentional you are about it. :)

Jerri Phillips said...

Trisha, thank you. Isn't God's way of doing things fun? Want some joy and contentment? Give some to someone else. I love it. I know those who receive your words of encouragement are truly blessed, too.