Posts tagged ‘address book adventures’

Uncovering History with an Address Book: The E’s

The E’s reminded me of how POWERFUL care is (from people and God).

This week was an easy week – I wrote only one letter and prayed for two businesses and five people/families. 

I knew Ellen & Mike from Colorado. We both homeschooled our kiddos. And for a year (or so) Ellen and I gathered weekly to work on an ABC embroidery sampler.

One of their teenagers (John) used a gun to end his life. Obviously that was a tragic time for them. I don’t think I was a GREAT support to the family. I did pray, but I wish I had the knowledge THEN of what I now know.

I hope my letter finds them because I want Ellen to know I have continued to pray for her family. And I hope I find my sampler in the garage. (I am decluttering.)

Three Things I Learned by Going Through My E’s.

ONE. Life is precious. You never know how much time you have with someone, so don’t postpone that phone call or letter of affection. Reading Ellen’s name reminded me that what I am doing in this Address Book Adventure is worthwhile. It re-motivated me to keep it up.

TWO. I am reminded of a miracle. I had two names under Eye Doctor. One Eye Physician/Surgeon is Dr McMahon (CA). In May, 2010 I had eye pressure readings of 35. Normal eye pressure has a range of 10-22.

  • So, of course I went to a specialist (Dr. McMahon) in June.
  • And in June, I also went to a healing prayer meeting and had the elders anoint me with oil.
  • By July my numbers were 22/23. I was not on any meds. I know that GOD healed me.

So my address book reminded me that God cares, hears and heals.

Sometimes I want to hide sensitive information that I have written on a to-do list. This techniques works well to hide it once I am done. BTW – I made up this number.

THREE. How to cross out something so it CAN’T be read. I have 8 names crossed out. And they are crossed out so thoroughly that I couldn’t read them even if you paid me one million dollars. Sometimes though, you DO WANT to cross out something so that others cannot read it. (It is overkill in my address book.) So I am adding a graphic that shows you how to do my technique, in case you need to do this.

GUESS WHAT?! I have received two letters and an email promising me a letter. Even if I don’t hear from anyone else, these three contacts have made this project worthwhile.

Last Wednesday’s post was on discovering folks in the D’s.  Next week I will share what I uncover in the F’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 . . . What is happening in your E’s?  . . . Any God sightings there? . . . Who could you contact so they know you are thinking about them? . . . If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, get HELP today. Suicide doesn’t have to be your only (and permanent) course of action.

Related Posts . . . 


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Uncovering History with an Address Book: The C’s

Read on to see what I see in the C’s.

I am going through an OLD hard-backed address book. I am writing letters and praying for these people from my past.  Some folks are also part of my present.

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

Writing to the C’s

ONE. What I’ve most enjoyed in this letter, the C’s, is praying for the folks and businesses listed. I’ve felt a sense of connection. I know that my prayers are the most effective and important thing I can do especially when I don’t know what’s currently happening in their lives.

It was also exciting. It was exciting to hear where my prayers went for each person/family/business. I knew that the Holy Spirit guided my prayers. And I could sense that my prayers joined the many, many, many other prayers for these same individuals/businesses. And I knew that even if if I prayed only this one last time, that my prayers were part of something important. Something big. Something eternal.

ACTION ITEM: I want to be more diligent about praying for the wide range of folks and businesses in my life. After I finish with my address book adventures, I will ponder what this means.

TWO. Writing letters is hard work. Perhaps because while I know the feeling I want to convey (gratitude), I am at a loss as to HOW to do that in an eloquent way. I wonder if that is why I am not historically good at sending the cards and letters I’ve finished. I am good at buying them and writing them. But for some reason I am not good at sending them. Could it be because I feel inadequate?

ACTION ITEM: Just send the letters and cards. Stop over-analysing their quality. I made a deal with myself; if I wrote it, I have to send it within 24 hours. Finish the job and move on. And limit the amount of time I spend writing, 15 minutes is usually sufficient.

I tell myself that it is okay to make mediocre arts &  crafts. After all it isn’t archival art. I want to apply the same principle to letter writing. They aren’t masterpieces going to auction.

THREE. Some folks would rather have a visit than a card. I’ve heard back from some people I’ve written to. And while they were happy to receive a card, they would have been happier to receive a visit. This was not conveyed in a snarky way.

If my intent is to bless folks, then I want to be open to expressing that gratitude in a way that most impacts them. In other words, if I know their love language, use it. The five are as follows: acts of service (devotion),, gift giving, physical touch, quality time, and words of affirmation..

ACTION ITEM: Take the extra time to figure out how to best bless folks in my life. And then do it.

FOUR. I’ve been impacted, deeply, by people and businesses each place I’ve lived, mostly in a good way. I am who I am because of these experiences. I want to stay open and mindful of these experiences.

ACTION ITEM: I want to express my gratitude (and pray for them) in an ongoing way instead of waiting years. And if the impact has been a negative, I want to deal with that in a timely manner, also, instead of waiting years. And that expression doesn’t have to be a full-blown letter. It can be a specific compliment right after the deed or a sentence that says “Ouch! That hurt.”

FIVE: I have a lot of memories connected to each person and place. Unfortunately I have also forgotten a lot of memories associated with the same. And some of that information could be transformative (to me and others).

How much personal history is passed down from your ancestors and forward to your progeny? Is this even important? If you are a writer or the family genealogist, you probably would agree it is important.

ACTION ITEM: I do agree. But what exactly is the best way to do that? After I finish this project I will look in this.

  • I know one person who scrapbooks the important history of her family.
  • I know of a gentleman who is writing the history of his family members by using family and official documents.
  • Until I take up such ambitious projects. I will continue blogging. This is one reason I have a blog, to share my life. Maybe some future progeny will understand themselves better because of reading something at Fruitful Words.

I wrote 7 letters. And I prayed for 3 businesses (my lawyer in CO, Christian Booksellers Association and CO Homeschoolers)  and 11 people (or the families of the ones who are deceased).

Your Turn . . . What history have you uncovered in the C’s of your address book? . . . Are any of my action items applicable to you?

Related Posts . . . 

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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?

Related Posts . . .

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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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