Joys Wrapped in Old Correspondence

Joys Wrapped in Old Correspondence

Reading old letters gives us a fresh and tender appreciation for those who sacrificed in rearing us and defending our country. They also remind us of sweet relationships with parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family, our peer group of friends, cousins and neighbors. As promised, enjoy the following responses from guys and gals sharing joys and blessings wrapped in old letters and notes.

Good morning, your blog is perfect for today/this week! I owe a note way past due to an also belated Christmas card from a friend. My excuses are several.... laziness, boredom, progressively sloppy handwriting, tired, this morning I decided - before reading your scripture ending your blog - that I needed Paul's patience, kindness, love, tolerance.  Thanking you and God in advance of reading your blog, and getting to read it this morning instead of my usual evening quieter time - God knew to reinforce my attitude and remind me to write to my friend TODAY!  That is a great mailing you and Jane copied and shared Shirley's letters to the kids! Like a warm hug from Heaven. In this world, the gift of Shirley’s ‘voice' can mean so much to their hearts now!! Very sweet!!!  Becky

Wow Ruth, I always have difficulty reading thru teary eyes...I used to be a letter writer as was my mom and dad. Getting "letters from home" when I was far away was sustaining...Recalling this emotion was......happy/sad/ melancholy...Very nice and thank you, Jim

Good morning,

That’s so beautiful!  My family never did much letter writing but, I can tell you when I get a birthday card from my Mom even now, I enjoy the little note she adds inside. Usually how proud she is, encouragement and love. She has always been my #1 fan. I reciprocate my love back to her as well.  Have a great day!   Bill

Dear Ruth Mom,
I remember receiving a friend’s notes during the week, even when we had next-door rooms at school. One of our favorite books was a story told through the letters. It's beautiful to read this post. I occasionally write letters--real letters-- always thinking of my friend and her legacy of letter writing. Now I see where it comes from...lots of love from, Deb

For the past three Christmases I’ve written my closest friends a personal, hand-written telling them why I love and admire them. It brings me such joy and I have heard feedback that people adore and treasure them.  My whole job is writing handwritten thank you notes to donors, a practice I introduced when I built the role because I think it holds such power and personal meaning.  Krystina

This was awesome, I can relate to so much of it. Having arthritis in my left writing hand I am grateful for being able to type. I have copied that portion of what your mother at 93 said how much say she would have at her funeral. I have a letter from my dad to his mother when he was in the military. He was the youngest of 15. It is priceless and I have shared a copy on Facebook with the Aston Family page. So many were absolutely delighted.  I have a "Marilyn" box for all the things she sent me. She always tucked in little sayings, even tea bags with scripture on the paper tab. Harlene

Dear Ruth, I still write to a cousin in NC and a friend in Arizona. My friend in Arizona emails or calls me every day. She is lonely & glad we can do this easily. She moved to Hawaii about 55 years ago. Phone calls of course were too expensive so we wrote many letters.  My other friend is not a letter writer but I send her one at times to give her a laugh about my crazy life. I read some from my husband when he was in the Navy.  Good memories. Thank you for the blogs that give us lots to ponder!   Judy

I read your blog and I must say that hand-written letters are something I save. I think letter writing has    an emotional tie with how we talk.   I saved my kids letters to me as they were growing up. They still mean a lot to me.  Being a teacher, I taught my students to write letters to pen pals across the USA. And thank you notes to soldiers and Veterans taught them to think about what others do for us. Melissa

I, too, am the saver of letters. Husband pitches them. Even having my grandma’s signature on an old birthday card is a nice connection to her, though she’s been gone for 4 years. Aasha

I love this blog...Letters are so important.  I wish that I had saved all the letters my mother wrote while I was at camp.  I have a letter that my father wrote to me while I was at college.  I had written him a letter about my grades because I knew that he would be disappointed with me when he saw them.  His letter came when I was studying for my finals.  Basically, he told me that he was proud that I was in college and seeing what I needed to do to better myself.  He also said that he expected that when I started my teaching classes things would change.  He was right...I got a 4.0 in the teaching of courses.  Ann

I've been remembering all the letters that were so important to me over the years.  I can't imagine growing up now and having emails and texts as the main ways to communicate. Texts are so hurried, read and gone! Remember when we had to pay by the minute for long distance phone calls?  It was cheaper to send a letter!  The phone call to my Aunt in California was a luxury, a special treat.  We received letters from Aunt Grace throughout the year and calls on birthdays and holidays and had pen pals in elementary school, some from other countries and some from a few towns away. I looked forward to letters from home, relatives and friends while I was in college.  If they were not in class, girls were always hanging around the mailboxes at the dormitory around 11:00 in the morning - mail time!  And many of us were waiting for that very special letter!  Mine was postmarked Philadelphia, from Ken, now my husband of nearly 50 years!

I recently found a box of letters that my grandmother had written to my dad while he was in the service and created a book for my aunts, uncles and cousins. The family has enjoyed learning more about my Grandma and her family life in the early 1940's.  Thanks to my Grandma for writing and Dad for saving the letters.

I also found letters from Dad's friends and located their family and passed the letters on to them. I contacted and sent letters and sometimes pictures to more than thirty people and they were always grateful.  Our generation may be the last to have special gifts like this! Pat

Thanks to all of you who took time to inspire this blog. Your letters verify the long-lasting blessings wrapped up in old letters.  Perhaps more hand-written letters and cards to family and friends will occur.  Electronic mail is probably not destined to end up decades later in accessible plastic bags.

No doubt you’ve picked up that I consider my blogs as sort-of personal messages to each of you and that letter writing is one of my favorite endeavors.  As I mentioned last week that in the First Century the main vehicle to teach and encourage leaders were the handwritten letters from leaders often carrying the name of the place where the young church was located. They were copied then passed around among other emerging church groups. These letters are still very personal, encouraging and instructional thousands of years later.

A few examples:

…casting all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  I Peter 5:7

Dear friends, let us love one another, for loves comes from God. I John 1:7

If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. James 3:17

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thess. 5:16-18 (NIV)

…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect. I Peter 3:15

…Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. I Cor. 13:13 (MSG)