Embracing Encouragement

This was posted to my Facebook wall by child number one back in November…

Sooooo…  Here is my affirmation for your day! Addie (author of “When We Were On Fire”) is starting a Christmas Mindfulness series on her blog and asked for small (paragraph or less) submissions for the ways we practice mindfulness throughout the season. Here’s what I said: 

“One fun thing about Christmas is getting all of those Christmas cards in the mail. Yes, my siblings and I would fight over opening them, especially if the card was from our cousins or closest friends. However, our parents helped us practice mindfulness during Bible time each night by cycling through the cards during prayer. We would each get a card, and we’d hold it and pray for those who sent it. As I look back, I realize this was meaningful to me, and a way to keep me mindful of others during the Christmas season!”

She replied and said:

“I love that! What a great idea. I’ll definitely be sharing this for the series…and incorporating it into our family life this year. Thanks so much for sharing!”

So yeah, just wanted to remind you that you do have great ideas that create great memories. Love you!!

I feel grateful that there are good memories associated with traditions and that a child has memories of seeming intentionality during a season of my life that is, honestly, a blur. We had Bible time each night?

I am rather sentimental about Christmas cards and pictures and letters that come in the mail. I put last year’s in a scrapbook to look through and remember (oh yeah, and pray over ;))

As I was removing the cards from around the entryway mirror this week and glancing back through them, two letters in particular caught my eye. Sentences in them, really.

The first was from a couple 15 years or so ahead of us with a large family themselves. They are in a season of grandparenting while still parenting children at home. They have married children and independent adult children and dependent middle school children and grandchildren.

Our marriage has been particularly sweet over the last year and a half.

I am encouraged by the hope of a particularly sweet marital season ahead while living in the midst of the chaotic family struggles of now. I long for that sweetness. These days are salty.

The second was from a couple 28 years ahead of us that knew my parents as newlyweds and me as a baby. Maybe I met them in person as a small child, but our connection has been strictly Christmas card exchanges over the years. They always add a handwritten note to their letter showing interest in our family.

Our 50th wedding anniversary. How we praise and thank God for these precious years together.

They went on to talk about the simple celebration that they held over a weekend in May with family at an Indiana state park. A count of the children and grandchildren that they mentioned being there is 24 or so. One of the families couldn’t attend.

I am so thankful for those travelers ahead of us on the journey. What a sweet blessing to be encouraged by their words and pictures of God’s faithfulness.

Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.