I have this long-standing love affair with mail. E-mail. Snail mail. I love it all. I remember going out to get the mail when I was a child and finding what seemed to be endless amounts addressed to my parents. Nearly every.single.day. It didn't matter that the majority of it was either bills or circulars. From my perspective, the fact that my parents would merit the sending of something through the mail made them somewhat heroic. Because I loved getting anything in the mail. Still do, actually. Excepting the bills, I suppose.
Magazines. Love them. Lands End catalogs. Uh-huh. I even like getting those little cards reminding me that I have an upcoming dentist appointment. But nothing beats the excitement I feel when I sort through the mail and find some sort of hand-written note or card. Especially when my name is on that top line. Upon discovering it, I rush inside before opening and reading it so I can soak in every word that was written just for me. **That wait is not as easy as it once was now that I live in the country and have a pretty long driveway. And, I feel convicted to confess to you that I don't always have the fortitude to wait. Sometimes I just rip it open on my way up the driveway. Then I get inside and read it all again. Since we're on the topic of confession, I also struggle with waiting until my kids get home to open the occasional invitation or card. And I actually called my husband at work one time to ask if I could open a piece of mail that he got before he got home. Okay -- now that I've spelled it out, I feel better for getting it off my chest and at the same time kinda' concerned. Maybe this obsession with mail is something I need to deal with?
I've handed it down to my daughter as well. In fact, when she was three-years-old, she loved mail and mailboxes so much that I actually put one in her room that I decorated just for her. She still has it. And it's stuffed with cards and postcards and notes.
There is just something about getting mail that warms my soul to its very tendrils. Something about knowing that somebody thought of me for a long enough period of time to form those thoughts into words and send them to me. It's proof that somebody thought about me and wanted me to know it.
And, though the obsession might be a bit extreme (already admitted), I don't think I'm alone in this.
So I wonder why I'm not more intentional with my written words. Why is it that I don't take more time to encourage others the way that I love to be encouraged? Like the great aunt whose husband has been ill for months and must be as exhausted as she is faithful. Or the friend who opens her home every Thursday morning after getting her three kids to school so a group of us can pray for each other and our families. Why don't I just send even a short note to thank them? To let them know I think of them and pray?
I've been reading this blog called (in)courage.me for a while now. It's purpose is encouraging women. That's where I learned that today is the National Day of Encouragement. Didn't even know there was such a thing. And that's why I accepted the challenge to encourage someone with a card from one of Dayspring's new line of Hope and Encouragement cards. They gave me the cards (I know!) and I agreed to use them and write about it. What a great challenge.
So here I am. Challenged. Willing. Encouraged to encourage. Encouraging you to do the same.
Happy National Day of Encouragement. :)