Last night at 10:30pm when I went into the kitchen to put the finishing touches on the lunches and dinner for today, I was still trying to figure out what I was going to do for my act of serving, giving and loving for the day. I thought about donating to someone going on a Missions trip. I have several friends who will be serving in other countries over the summer. It was something I could do easy and quick. Then as I put the lunch bags into the fridge,I felt that tug at my heart. It told me to write letters of encouragement to my kids and put them into their lunch boxes. Not notes but letters. Hand written letters in envelopes. It was almost 11pm. I was tired. Eveyone in the house was asleep. But I felt compelled to follow what had been laid on my heart. So I grabbed a spiral notebook, a pink sharpie and some random envelopes and crawled into bed. With very little light and I began to write and the words just flowed from my pen. Mia’s letter made me cry. I realized that I do not take enough time to tell her how proud I am of her. She can drive me crazy and these preteen years are tough but Mia is a very special little girl. I sometimes forget that she is still little. 12 is still so young and innocent. Her drive and commitment to everything she does is inspiring. I knew these words were more important than ever this week. She is getting ready to swim at the Virginia Age Group Championship starting Thursday. I want her to enjoy every moment and know that swimming doesn’t define her. I am more proud of her commitment to putting God first in all she does. I ended her letter with the following verse from Romans 12, the verse that has inspired me on this journey. I then wrote Kendal a note. He is the most loving, empathetic, caring and worrisome little boy. He has never really loved school. He loves learning but school has never been his thing. Despite having great teachers, he has asked me to homeschool him every year. This year has been especially long and hard on him. Luna being born changed his normal. I wrote him this letter to encourage him to look for opportunities to learn and point out the qualities in him that can’t be taught. I know he does not show his full potential at school. He has a desire for learning, just not sitting in the classroom which can get him into trouble. I feel guilty for not being able to provide him with the kind of learning environment that I know he would excel in. I pray that he never loses his love for learning and that I can find a way to help him love school. When I was done writing the letters, I put them in envelopes and stuffed them into their lunch boxes, a little before midnight and went to bed.
When Kendal saw me after lunch he gave me the biggest hug. He loved the letter. He said he was going to keep it in his lunch box. I am hoping the words of encouragement will help him to be more engaged in the classroom and look for opportunities to learn. I haven’t seen Mia for more than ten minutes today. I picked her up from school and she left for swim practice over and hour away. I hope she enjoyed the letter and I can’t wait to watch her swim.
My parents were not ones to give us a lot of words of praise growing up. They showed their love through their actions. We weren’t a family that grew up saying I love you. My dad wrote memos. He wrote memos on the same pads of paper at work and at home. One memo he wrote me was personal in nature. I saved it and it reminds me how powerful a simple note can be. This note from my father will forever be a reminder of how mighty the pen is. I encourage you to write a letter to someone you love. You never know what will flow as the ink hits the paper. I do know that words of encouragement take on more meaning when written down. I am so glad I listened to the tug at my heart last night and took the time to put what was on my heart down on paper.