From as long as I can remember, I have dearly loved and believed in the written word.
I can ramble for hours on end and spend more than my quota of words each day through texting, typing, or speaking.
But there’s something special about the written word, the looping l’s and how each person signs their name. The written word requires time and intentionality and is often personal.
You can change the world for one person in five minutes with a piece of paper and a pen.
One week after coming home the summer after my first year of college, I was carrying stacks of envelopes to the green mailbox outside my home. It had been a whole week and oh my word was I missing people!
I should have seen it coming then but I was completely oblivious: it would only get worse.
I write letters like I breathe, and they often come out that way – full steam ahead, train of thought, rambling words. It’s who I am on a sheet of thinly pressed tree, and I’ve written myself on a thousand pages.
I write the words and lick the envelopes because it matters. It matters that I send them, yes, but it matters because I know what it can mean to be on the receiving end. Words can be a salve to a weary soul. We must wield them carefully.For the past year and a half, I have gathered on Monday nights at school with these three. There have been seasons with more or less warm bodies and a semester of Wednesdays, but we have stuck it out and figured out what it looks like to do community together. We had all heard “do life together” but not a single one of us knew what it meant. We have most certainly made mistakes, but we’ve learned how to rock this thing called community.
But then summer comes and we’re in four separate states and suddenly doing life together becomes a whole lot harder. I’m about to enter my senior year of college and if you could see inside my head you would beg to leave the madness that is inside, full of a million different thoughts concerning this “final” year.
I tear up every time I think the words “senior year.” Lord forbid I say them out loud. But every time I worry about being far or even being five miles away but in two separate worlds, I land on this: make it count.
Make the moments count. Laugh hard and take five hundred thousand pictures. Make sure to grab a few candid shots, because that’s real life and it’s the reason you love each other so much. Share your hurts and your joys and keep counting the gifts every day, even when it’s hard to find them. Talk about Jesus and sing too loud in the car. Take road trips and have dance parties. Wring the joy out of every last drop of this final year.
Because change is inevitable and it is coming, whether we want it to or not.
Being the planner and fixer that I like to think I am, I was certain there had to be a solution, at least for the summer, until we gather together again to love out this thing called life.
So I bought a notebook and I wrote out my joys and prayer requests, added a few encouraging quotes, personal letters and updates on my life, and then I mailed it along. It’s the sisterhood of the traveling notebook and it showed up in my mailbox this past Friday.
And listen, I flat out squealed and clapped my hands when I opened the brown paper package to a bulging notebook full of updates and highlights and hurts and a letter for me written by each of the three.
I dare you to tell me that the written word does not make a difference. The time it takes to sit down and write with ink is worth every drop of time. You can carry those words in your heart and in your hands.
Link-Up: Whether you are part of #fmfpartysnailmail or not, please feel free to link-up any posts that follow the topic of the written word – and then make sure to scroll down and enter the giveaway!
So, how about a fun giveaway?!
Three sweet friends have gifted some really fun prizes! Music, a new book, and Starbucks coffee – it sounds like the making of a perfect afternoon to me!
My friend Katie Reid recorded a CD called Echoes of My Heart and I’d love for you to check it out. You can listen to samples of each song on the album here and just in case you don’t win, you can purchase her CD on Amazon, iTunes, and right here as well.
The lovely Barbie Swihart has written a book that I just know you’ll love to have a copy of! Coffee Talk With Jesus: Intimate Chats with the Savior is a 31-day devotional and each day includes a devotional, reflection, a prayer, and a space for you to write down what God is showing you. Bonus? The book includes 15 coffee-infused recipes!
And since you’ll certainly be wanting to sip coffee while reading, the always encouraging Erin Salmon will send you a little Starbucks gift card, perfect for an iced coffee with vanilla (my go-to), a frappucino, or a hot tea if you would prefer!
A big thank you to each of these lovely women for offering to gift these items to one lucky #fmfpartysnailmail friend! I am so thankful to know so many generous people, both in real life and online.
CLICK TO ENTER: A Perfect Afternoon: Gift Bundle
Please note: This giveaway is open to Round Three participants. Thank you for your understanding. I will contact the winner via the email they used to sign up for Round Three. Affiliate links are used with the CD and book. If you click through my link to purchase anything from Amazon, I will be given a small compensation that goes towards maintaining this blog.