Consider the simple task of checking your mail — not your email, but good old-fashioned snail-mail. You walk out to your mailbox, open the door and peek inside. Hopefully, there isn’t a frog, lizard or some other critter staring back at you. You reach inside and pull out the contents. There are some bills, a couple of catalogs, a magazine, some political flyers and a brightly colored envelope with your name handwritten in ink (and not one of those mass mailings where they attempt to fool you by printing your name and address in a cursive font). You sort through the mail as you walk back to your house. What are you going to look at first?
If you’re like most people, you will open the envelope with your name handwritten on it. You may recognize the return address as one of your friends or family members, or better yet, your child. If you don’t recognize the address, perhaps it’s an invitation to something fun. We tend to open this mail first because it is personal. Someone has taken the time to write a thoughtful note or letter. It makes you feel special.
Your Own Handwriting
Many years ago, when I was a Creative Memories consultant, we used this illustration to share the importance of journaling in our own handwriting. I would like to take it a step further and emphasize the importance of sharing the written word with others.
I love sending and receiving notes, letters and cards. I have a decorative container on my coffee table full of the notes and cards my daughter has sent me over the years. My girl has such a way with words. We text often, some weeks daily, but, I treasure these handwritten notes the most. Sometimes, if I’m feeling blue, I’ll read them and feel connected again.
A Possible Solution To An Empty Nest Problem
I’m on a Facebook group for empty nesters. There are people from all over the world on this group. People share struggles and ask for advice or encourage others who need a positive word. They share successes, milestones and good things happening in their lives. The entire spectrum of the empty nest is represented — from those who are thrilled that their children have left the nest to those who are having an extremely difficult time letting go. I’ll have to admit, I have probably related to all of the emotions at one time or another during my years as an empty nest mom.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw some great advice from one of the members of the group. She was encouraging a mom who was feeling low that day. She suggested writing letters or sending cards to others. What great advice, especially when so many people are staying at home more, isolated from friends and family. She added that if you didn’t have a lot of friends or family in your address book, you could seek out groups who would love to receive a handwritten note. Some possibilities are residents of nursing homes, people in the military, missionaries or homebound members of local churches. Her gentle advice was to share something as simple as a handwritten note to help ease the pain of the loneliness of the empty nest.
I have found that to be helpful myself. Occasionally, I can get stuck in a negative spot, feeling sorry for myself. Everyone loves a good pity-party, right? When I turn the focus away from me and towards others, I am a much happier camper. When I combine that with turning my focus toward God and the Bible, His ultimate love letter to us, things really begin to look up.
Are you feeling lonely or sad or maybe just bored? Spend a few minutes this week writing some notes to others. It is bound to brighten their day! After you do that, find you a Bible (you can even go online) and start reading the gospel of John.
Me, tomorrow, I’m going to write a few notes to some teachers at a school in Uganda. Like teachers all over the world, this year of pandemic has been a struggle for them.
Never underestimate the healing power of the written word.