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Somewhere in our attic there's a box. You're thinking, "Whoopee! Tell me something fresh, something I don't know about attics." Actually in our over-the-garage, folding-stepladder-entry attic, boxes rule--all sizes including boxes inside of boxes, boxes with legos, boxes of Golden Books ready to rot, boxes of school papers, and boxes of homemade blocks that my dad made for the kids. But this box is different. It's full of letters my husband and I wrote to each other during the dinosaur era of no cell phone, texting, or email, otherwise known as the 70's.


Someday our children will read those letters and smile. "How primitive of Mom and Dad! To communicate from Michigan to Indiana and vice versa via snail mail." But they will read them. They may even save them because in those letters we shared our activities, our thoughts, our hearts.


Now I'm starting to write our 26-year-old daughter and 28-year-old son a letter a week [both live a day's drive from us] because during a frigid January epiphany, I realized they have never in their entire life received a letter from their mother. Just emails, birthday card notes, and texts. They wouldn't have a cigar box full of letters like my grandmother had written my dad in 1942 when he was in Europe fighting the Nazi regime. When he died 68 years later, the letters were still there, a mother's heart shared with her child.


Imagine the apostle Paul twittering the Corinthians about some of their bad habits. "ur driving me nuts with your idols. stop!" Forget 140 characters or less. Instead he spent 500+ words just to tell them how much he cared. Then he wrote what they needed to hear and explained why. He often ended with personal notes. His letters encouraged, explained, and evoked response. The power of a heart-felt letter does that. And they last. Who can you bless with a letter?


Joyce

Check out the following link that encourages parents to write their children meaningful letters:

Letters from Dad

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Comment by Joyce Long on March 29, 2011 at 9:45am
Thanks, Ann, for the encouragement! I think my kids now are getting accustomed to having real mail. Perhaps I've created a monster:) We still use texting and phone calls, but I felt the need for something they could hang on to if they so chose.
Comment by Ann H. LeFevre on March 29, 2011 at 9:25am
Well said Joyce.  I have a dear friend who is an avid letter writer.  She gets quite upset when friends (not me) tell her she's out-dated and should be sending emails.  Electronic writing to her is impersonal and rude.  I have always admired this gift in her, and I have also been the recipient of some of her delightful letters.  She inspired me to write more often as well.  I'm not as good about it as she is, but it certainly has emphasized the same values you said so well here.  I have a drawer full of letters like this, from all kinds of people, and every now and then I take them out and read them again.  It's so powerful.  Thanks for a word timely spoken- or should I say written.
Comment by Jenni Biegler on March 18, 2011 at 7:30am

Joyce,

 

I must first say, what a gifted writer you are! 

I love this!  I could relate to the content, and you made me laugh.

What I wouldn't give to have even one letter from either parent or grandparent.   I have a shoe box full of letters from various people who have encouraged or mentored me and while they are no longer living, I can visit with them through their letters.

 

I have a daughter who is attending a college about ten hours away from me and although I often text her, when I visited her one weekend, I noticed that she had one of my letters to her attached with a magnet to her little refrigerator.  It obviously meant something to her.  While she was home during Christmas break, we had some heart wrenching conversations and I told myself that I was going to be more intentional not only about praying for her but also about writing to her.  I haven't done a very good job of the letter writing but thanks for the reminder, I'll be writing to her this weekend.

Comment by Joyce Long on March 17, 2011 at 12:26pm
Thanks, Margie, for your affirmation! Nothing is so permanent as the written word. God knew that when He gave us His Holy Word. And I can throw in some of their mail that still comes addressed to their childhood home. 88 cents a week for two stamps--not really a bad deal at all.
Comment by Margie Williamson on March 17, 2011 at 9:07am

You are so right. Our children are missing out on a word from us that can be permanent. I taught with a professor, Dr. Argile Smith, who used the example of Esau and Jacob's blessing to emphasize how important it was to pass our parental blessing on to our children. An important part of that is what we do in the written word!

 

Margie

Comment by Margie Williamson on March 15, 2011 at 8:35pm

Love that thought. You're so right . . . letters were so meaningful to me growing up. My kids have received a few from us but not nearly enough. Just before Bob's dad died last year, he told me about a trash bag full of letters, and notes, and stuff he had kept over his entire lifetime. He wanted to put it in a notebook to give to his wife, but he was too ill. My daughter and I took on this massive project, and worked through everything, letters from WWII, notes that she had passed him in college, even the receipt for her engagement ring. What a treasure trove that trash bag was. We laughed together and cried together. Our kids are missing out on a permanent record . . . Sad, really.

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