By Melissa McLaughlin
Love in a letter
Aunt Gladys always sent the funniest letters. I have many loving aunts and uncles who each extended kindness and support to me in various ways through the years. Aunt Gladys’ specialty was letters.
No fancy stationery for Aunt Gladys. Her words were penned on whatever was handy at the moment. A half sheet of notebook paper or restaurant napkin would do just fine. Aunt Gladys was ahead of her time, recycling before recycling was a trend.
The letters we received from Aunt Gladys would fill every blank space. She began on one part of a notecard or slip of paper, then continued onto the back of the envelope in which it was mailed. Our address on the front of the envelope, her closing on the back. Her motto, “If there’s white space, why not fill it?”
She often included a little surprise. A clipping from the comic section of the newspaper, a colorful sticker or a handful of used postal stamps in assorted designs.
When I was bedridden due to a difficult pregnancy with my first daughter, Aunt Gladys sent a letter almost every week. Countless people sacrificially helped us during that difficult time. Thankfully, after a long and uncertain wait, my daughter was born with only minor complications. I remember the day Aunt Gladys lifted my daughter into her arms for the very first time. She cooed, “Let me hold this miracle baby.”
Remember those who blessed you
As I think back over my life, I am astonished at the number of people God has positioned in the precisely right place at precisely the right time. Recently, I read a passing comment, “Imagine making a list of everyone who has blessed you!”
I was struck by the simplicity and depth of gratitude this simple statement contained. From the day my own mother nestled me in her arms, to my father’s gentle hands guiding me through the years. From my older brother’s helpful mentoring to my younger brother’s playful humor. From my husband’s tender thoughtfulness, to my daughters’ handcrafted gifts and my son’s handmade greeting cards.
And this barely scratches the surface of the myriad people God has used to bless me!
At this time of thanksgiving, I invite you to pause for a moment. Like my Aunt Gladys, pull out whatever writing material is available and make a list.
- A simple list.
- A list of remembrance.
- A list of the people who have blessed you.
Send some love in a letter
Then I encourage you to take it one step further. Write a letter to one person from your list who is still living. Our days are numbered. Let’s use a small portion of this precious gift of time, to bless those who have blessed us.
Please share with me some people who blessed you. Let’s remember together!
Proverbs 16:24 – Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
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Lovely post! I think this a wonderful exercise to undertake as part of our Thanksgiving season. Thank you. God bless!❤️
Thank you, Hope. God has blessed us over and over again through the gift of others who lift us, pray for us, correct us, encourage us, love us. I pray many are inspired to send letters of remembrance and love. Blessings to you!
This is such a lovely idea. Just last weekend, I came across an old friend on FB, and I saw that her mother was still living. I asked if I could have her address, to send a card of thanks. This 92 year old woman is the one who led me to Jesus in her Sunday School class when I was so young. What a precious gift to share words of thanksgiving! It warms our heart to give thanks, and it brings such a sweet gift for those who receive! Thank you dear Melissa!
Wow, Bettie, what a story! Praise God this precious woman is still living that you could bless her with a word of thanks. And your thank you note was regarding the most important gift, our salvation in Christ. May you both be blessed at His hand working in your lives! So glad to see you here again, sweet friend! Love and hugs to you.
I love sending and receiving snail mail. Taking time to send a card of thanks blesses the sender and the receiver. 🙂
I love the old fashioned snail mail, too. I think it’s partly because it is “real”. I can carry this sign of love and tuck it in my Bible or keepsake box. I also think there’s something to seeing the person’s handwriting. There’s a hint of their personality left in the letters on the page. Long live snail mail! 🙂
Beautiful post, Melissa. An awesome thought, making a list of everyone who has blessed us. But it sure would take a lot of paper, because the Lord always blesses beyond measure! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Signora Sheila. How true, this would be an endless list, but it is even a blessing to jot down even some these names. We gain a perspective of God’s hand at work in our lives through the years. May God use each of us to be a blessing to someone else!
I agree and yes, may we always be a blessing to others!
What a lovely idea. It is certainly worth my time and effort to put together a simple list of those that helped me through the years. So many are now gone so I like your thought to thank them before it is too late. I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.
It is a simple idea, but provides a double portion. It is a blessing to the one who makes the list as they remember each person and a blessing to the one who receives a note of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
This is great, Melissa! Such a practical way to count our blessings…the people who bless our lives God sent our way! Your Aunt Gladys sounds like a jewel!
It is so easy to feel discouraged during these difficult times, but I find if I begin to make a simple list of blessings, like the people in my life, my heart is full and I remember how much God has showered me with His love. Yes, she was a jewel! I hope you enjoy reminiscing about your blessings!
What a beautiful focus on the blessings the Lord scatters throughout our lives, bit by bit, gift by gift, in order to give us hope and kindness and grace and to keep us moving toward Himself, for every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights with Whom there is no shifting of shadows, no lies, no waffling, no changing of any of His Words of truth! Thanks be to God for Who He is and for all of the ways He has blessed us, purposefully and richly and abundantly!
Hallelujah! Thanks be to God, for He has poured out upon us blessing after blessing! Sometimes, we need to pause and remember. Pause long enough to scratch out a little list. In no time at all, we see how long that list of blessings has become. I love how you say this, “blessings the Lord scatters throughout our lives”. Oh Lord, give us eyes to see your sweet mercies and hearts overflowing with gratitude.
Thank God for every little thing, including the people He has blessed us with and we will acknowledge Him in all our ways.
Amen! Every little thing is a gift of love from our loving heavenly Father. Every time we remember these blessings, we remember Him.
Such a wonderful idea! Thank you so much for posting this, as it is in itself a great blessing to receive at Thanksgiving. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!!! I will surely take out some paper and a pen…your name will be on my list! 🙂
Awww, Linda, you are a ray of Son-shine here! You are on my list, as well. I pray that as we pause for a moment and consider every single person God has used to bless us, we will be overwhelmed anew at His unending love.
This is a great suggestion, to list those who have blessed us over the years. Just this morning I texted the person who recently painted our house to express my gratitude and to recognize the terrific job he did. I don’t do this enough. Thank you for this encouragement.
Stephen, thank you for reading and sharing your recent experience passing along a word of gratitude. I know that a kind word can carry a person a long way. I would really like to pause and do this more often, too. May we be a blessing to others in this small way.
I am so thankful of this.
We can do a thank you Note via the phone. Right?
Yes, of course! Even a face-to-face thank you is a big blessing. The Lord bless you Kembio Paul.