Posts filed under ‘Letter Writing’

Uncovering History with an Address Book: The I’s

I wrote one “I” letter and prayed for one person and her family.

This week’s adventure was going through the I’s. I learned three things by going through the I’s in my address book.

ONE. Seasonal. When you look back at your friendships over the years, do you find that they are static? Or have some come and gone?

I have moved 20+ times in my life. Some were majour moves like to a different state or to a different country. While some moves were minor like to another part of the same city. But no matter what the distance, each move caused an interruption in my friendships. And so I learned early on, that most friendships were seasonal. And that is okay.

TWO. Good Fit. While pondering the one “I” name and what I can learn, I see that the timing of this friendship (and other friendships that I no longer have close ties to), was just right. I was there for that person and she was there for me for that time. And it was just right. It was a GOOD fit for the both of us.

THREE/ Lessons. I have mentioned this in other posts, that I have learned from others; I have also learned a few things from this “I” person. These are lessons that have helped me to be a better thinker, a more humble person, and to be more cautious with my words.

Your Turn . . . How would you describe your friendships? . . .  Are you in current contact with your “I” friends? If not, give them a call now. You never know how long you’ll be around each other.

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Uncovering History with an Address Book: The D’s

There are 4 names with addresses and 1 name that doesn’t belong in the D’s at all, no matter how you look at it. I only prayed for Tish Cook as I don’t have an address or area code.

4 letters and 5 prayers. That is what came of this week’s investigation of the letter D from my hard backed alphabet book.
The main thing I’ve learned is God sends me the people I need for the current stage I am in.

  • In CO I needed folks who were godly and experienced in homeschooling. This D family was in love with learning and shared their lives with us. Peggy was the math teacher for our group. She loved math and was able to teach in a way so that each child (and adult) could understand the concepts. There was music, art, gardening, creativity, science, Bible, friendship and good food. These activities and their life-style impacted our lives as a family and me as a person.
  • In CA (during the 2000’s) I needed a schoolmate to help me navigate seminary. It was male dominated and it was so helpful to have a female classmate (who also became a friend and room-mate). We prayed, learned, cooked/ate, and cried together. We discussed a lot of topics from Rachel Ray to Revelation.
  • And currently in CA, I am in touch with two church families.that I have known for a long time. They showcase godly and persevering examples of how to handle family life from aging parents to young grandchildren. They have shown a watching world how to handle (well) personal challenges and challenges that impact the family.

I am glad to be able to say to them, “Thank You” for being part of my life and for making my life better as a result.

Interesting Note: I looked through my electronic address book and there are 31 entries.

Last Wednesday’s post was about seeing what I could see in the C’s.  Next week I will share what I uncover in the E’s. To find the landing page with all the posts, go here. It is after the jump at the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . . Look though your D entries. How have these folks impacted you? . . . When was the last time you thanked someone for their role in your life?

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Uncovering History with an Address Book: The A’s

I am just beginning my address book adventure.

  • I have relived some fun times ( for instance, a niece’s political win).
  • And I’ve relived some rejection.
  • I have lots of memories about some folks.
  • And I have scant memories about others.

In all, I have eight observations to share. Be sure to share your observations as you also go through your own address book adventure.

In my first post, I introduced a project I am doing: going through an old hard backed address book. Each Wednesday I will post what I unearth from each alphabet letter. Today is the Letter A.

Writing to the A’s

ONE. Six of the names had no addresses. So even though this is an address book, I was lazy and only captured the phone number or email address. But when I use a digital format, I tend to fill in ALL the fields.

TWO. I have crossed out 13 names. They are completely covered in graffiti. So I have no idea who is beneath this layer of ink or why they are buried.

THREE. There are incomplete names. Two people are listed by their first name only or by a title; like “Aunty Beryl. See Beryl Sidney.” I never hear Aunty B (not my real aunt) called anything else and so wasn’t sure I’d remember her full name when it came time to look her up. Thus she is in the A’s.

The only legible name on this whole page is Aunty Beryl’s. I wonder what history lurks beneath the layer of ink?

FOUR. Some of the names are friends of my children. I have phone numbers of some of my children’s friends from when they were in high school. That way if/when I needed to get a hold of my kiddos and didn’t know where they were, I could at least call their friends. I WANT to do this now. ACTION ITEM: Get phone numbers of my (adult) kiddos current friends.

FIVE. I have no memory of some folks. One entry simply says, “Andy (Church) 796-3160.” No last name, no area code, and no church are listed. I have lived in two states and one foreign country and attended four churches in this address book’s life time. In the future, I want to be better about adding additional, identifying information.

SIX. I am estranged from one person. It still hurts after all these years. I am still praying for reconciliation especially because I don’t know what happened. Yes, I did write a letter to this dear (to me) person.

SEVEN. I found a photograph. There is a photo postcard of my niece, Samantha, for when she ran for school historian. Yes, she won that election! I have a bunch of papers in this address book. I look forward to seeing what the other treasures are.

EIGHT. Multiple phone numbers for most folks. Phone numbers have changed for each of the folks at least once even if they haven’t moved houses. It would have been helpful if I wrote the numbers in pencil. BUT I prefer to write with a pen and the inkier the better! However changing the numbers in my digital book will be easy and never leave a mess.

I wrote 8 “A” letters.

I prayed for 11 people, even for Andy. God knows her/him and a prayer of blessing is never wasted.

Your Turn . . . Do you have a physical address book?  Why or why not?  … Do you relate to any of my findings? If yes, how?

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Uncovering History with an Address Book

Where do you keep contact information for folks and businesses? I use a GMail Contacts list. I update this digital address book frequently. But recently I came across an old-fashioned way of keeping track of such things:my hard-backed address book that is 23 years old

And this hard-backed address book is a very different creation than my digital address book.

Reading through it is like going on a personal archeological dig. A dig is about uncovering history. As I go through the lettered tabs in my address book, I am uncovering history, too – my personal history. And like a physical dig,  I”ll observe, reflect and research to make sense of the discoveries.

As I go through each letter of the alphabet, I will record my findings. I will note if the address is current. I will indicate surprises, observations, disappointments, and action items. And I will write a letter for each address.

Besides saying “Hello, I was thinking about you,” I want to do the following.

  • I will write the letter even if I know they’ve moved. Maybe it will be forwarded.
  • If I have a personal memory of us together, I will share that.
  • If not, I will thank them for their presence in my past life and wish them well.
  • I will pray a blessing on each person or their family if the person is deceased.
  • If they are still in my life, I will make sure I have their current info.

I will post on a new (alphabet) letter on Wednesdays. And if I get any replies to the letters I’ve sent, I will be sure to note that as well.

As the alphabet letter goes live, I will hot link it (complete list after the jump).

Your Turn . . . 

  • Do you have a physical address book?  Why or why not?  
  • Post a photo of your address book.
  • How about joining me in your own address book adventure? 

I like writing letters. I say this even though I am never as faithful as I want to be. I actually started this project in 2011 and somehow I didn’t get very far.

Related Posts . . . Writing a Letter to Each Person in my Address Book – This is one of the posts I wrote way back in 2011.

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Sending Thanks to a Friend – Gratitude Project

Sometimes life is hard and you need a helmet

Sometimes life is hard and you need a helmet. Sometimes what you need is a friend who is tenacious about over-coming obstacles. That’s why I am smiling today. I have such a friend with an awesome example.

I know some amazing people. These folks are giving, growing, and fun. One such person is doing well at overcoming her past choices. I wrote her the following note . . .

I keep thinking about your recent achievement, 11 years clean – WOW! Thanks so much for your courageous and tenacious example.

The way you’ve held onto God and worked your program gives me great hope.

  • It gives me hope that I can be an over-comer in the area of my eating.
  • It gives me great hope that my family and friends with addiction issues can be over-comers too.

I also appreciate how giving you are of your wisdom and how vulnerable you are regarding your story.

Folks like this woman impact a wide circle of people. Her impact is more than temporal. I believe that she is impacting eternity as well. And I pray and hope that as I grow and give, that my impact is wide and brings others closer to God, too.

I am writing at least 36 letters expressing my gratitude. And I want to pray for them on that day as well. Go here for the original post and list of recipients. I am writing about it here in hopes that it spurs someone on to write their own gratitude letters.

Your Turn . . . Are any of your friends great examples too? Share how their courageous, tenacity impacts you?

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Sending Thanks to a “Behind the Scenes Person” – Gratitude Project

Without the help of others, I could not do my job well. Today I am saying "Thanks" to a behind-the-scenes person who gets a lot done without others noticing.

Without the help of others, I could not do my job well. Today I am saying “Thanks” to a behind-the-scenes person who gets a lot done without others noticing.

Think about the last BIG project you pulled off. You most likely had a timeline and a to-do list to keep you on time and on task. But you had something else, too.

You had people helping you. And most likely there were LOTS of behind-the-scenes type of people helping you with this project.

I think that behind-the-scenes people are the unsung heroes of our corporations, non-profits, schools, and even families. When was the last time you thanked one of these unsung heroes?

I am doing that today. I am sending a pretty card with words of appreciation.

I am writing at least 36 letters expressing my gratitude. And I want to pray for them on that day as well. Go here for the original post and list of recipients. I am writing about it here in hopes that it spurs someone on to write their own gratitude letters.

Your Turn . . .

  • When was the last time to sent a thank you card to a behind-the-scenes type of person? How about sending one today?
  • Have you ever received such a card? How did it make you feel?

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Sending Thanks to a Ministry Leader – Gratitude Project

For 4 weeks homeless folks in our area had a safe and warm place to sleep and a dinner meal.

For 4 weeks homeless folks in our area had a safe and warm place to sleep and a dinner meal.                                                               Photo by H Dominique Abed.

A lot of life comes with little recognition. Maybe we get too busy or just assume that that person who did a “good job” knows how we feel. However, they usually don’t and lots of times, burnout and bitterness can result especially in non-profit organizations.

So today I took the opportunity to say “Thanks” to a fellow ministry leader. This gal organized a revolving homeless shelter in our area. 4 churches were involved.

I didn’t have much to do with it, but I heard snippets of what occurred.

  • The gospel was presented to 3 people (in a natural flow of conversation).
  • It is possible that 4 homeless folks will get permanent housing.
  • We had huge volunteer involvement from our church. They felt like they did something worthwhile (which they did) and are looking forward (already) to next year’s shelter.

These are only snippets of the GOOD that occurred.

I am grateful for my friend’s leadership and the fact that this program happened.

  • Because of it lives were impacted (volunteers and homeless people).
  • Because of it many people felt used by God (in a good way) and loved by Him as well.

I sent my friend and co-ministry leader a card with the above thanks.

I am writing at least 36 letters expressing my gratitude. And I want to pray for them on that day as well. Go here for the original post and list of recipients. I am writing about it here in hopes that it spurs someone on to write their own gratitude letters.

Your Turn . . . Is there someone in leadership that you can send a thank you note to? . . . Be specific in your words of praise. 

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