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Instilling handwritten traditions

May 27, 2014 Faith, News, Stories Behind the Cards

My friend Melinda is stopping by today to tell you about how writing cards with her mom became a meaningful tradition she now shares with her own daughters. I hope you enjoy her guest post, and stick around for next week when I’ve got a big announcement…

 

Memories of my childhood are highlighted with scenes of constructing the infamous thank-you note. My mother would set me and my sisters up at the kitchen table to write out our appreciation for gifts received or experiences shared. Prompted by gratitude, my mother led the tradition that intentionally communicated thankfulness.

We always had several different styles of note cards or simple pieces of construction paper to choose from. Whether stately monograms, delicate floral, or a beachside scene; kittens with yarn or majestic calligraphy; we listened to our hearts and chose accordingly. This was the practice of the art of expressing our personal style through thoughtful, crafted messages.

Cards Melinda received from her mom and friends so far this year

Cards Melinda received from her mom and friends so far this year

When we got older my mother would have to remind us to write them, but now as an adult, I thoroughly enjoy reserving the moments spent pouring out love in the notes I send. And equally as much, I experience heartfelt appreciation, from the efforts of another, when receiving one myself.

Yes, we are all busy these days; we are mothers and friends, coming and going. It’s become easy and effortless to shoot a text, tap out an email or post a note on someone’s Facebook page to let them know you are thinking of them. But the warmth of a conversation, a personal touch from a simple observation, delivered by way of paper, is truly matchless.

I have a process when planning to send a note. I think about the person I am reaching out to; considering their personality and acknowledging their circumstance or situation. Then, I pull out the drawer in the sacred space for the sacred tools, and carefully choose the right paper and the right pen; completely intentional and deliberately honoring.  Each aspect, from start to finish, holds hands with one another; cheering on this labor of love.

thinking of you card

Certain cards and notes I receive – I keep. Meaningful messages stand on display around my home; a lingering presence of harmony and solidarity. And as much as the external adornments become treasures to me, it’s the written words within them that fill my home with the lovely aroma of friendship and love.

Today, my mother still remains sharp as a tack with her thank you notes; her matriarchal mannerisms fully on display. Shortly after a holiday spent together, a united celebration, or thoughts of me that pass through her mind, a card is sure to follow.

I anticipate her notes; they dazzle with a glowing impression of her. The color schemes she chooses reflect her heart song and the scene depicted is never short of magnificent. But more than that, they bring her presence with them and our presence is truly the most powerful expression of love we can give to one another.

Today, I set up my daughters around the kitchen table; laying out markers, glitter, and paper cards. I remind them who we are writing to and what message we are communicating. Each daughter, as individual as she is, appoints a palette and chooses her words.

These are the traditions of intentional love; where we sacrifice our time and the cost of a stamp to reach near or far to communicate messages of love and hope; where we set present tasks aside and shine a light on a friend, telling her that she is seen.

This is how we communicate our faith one to another. This is how God’s glory reaches and rescues. And even today, paper remains the most valiant of messengers.

XOXOXO

Melinda

melindaMelinda Cadwallader is a wife, mother, glamour enthusiast and Wonder Woman’s biggest fan.  After her daughter’s diagnosis of Leukemia, she set aside her stylish career of leadership within the beauty industry and took up the most fulfilling, yet challenging, role of her life: matriarch. Melinda now uses her speaking and teaching experience to help build a culture of virtuous and capable, kingdom-minded women. Melinda is currently writing her first book, The New Matriarch, which speaks of how we become influential women, leading our friends, family, and community with a confident faith. You can connect with Melinda at www.equippedwoman.com.