December 14 JoyDare

December 14 – THREE GIFTS STAMPED

I could spend all day going through my “special” box.  I’m fairly certain I should be more creative with these three gifts, but nostalgia is taking precedence and these gifts all came from that box that has the power to cheer me up and take me back in time.

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These top pics are of cards  from special friends who took time to send encouraging and/or funny cards; some with letters.  I took a close up of one particularly fitting one.  My friend’s  husband had dropped her off in Hallmark for her first of several surprise progressive birthday stops, each where she found someone waiting to take her to the next stop.  At Hallmark, she had a designated time to select a stash of cards and said when she saw that one (upper right), she immediately thought of me and laughed out loud.  I have to admit, it reminds me of myself, also.  Scatter brained and needing an expresso pretty much sums me up.  The pear shape is fitting, too; but she kindly did not say that.  The beautiful one in the middle bottom is from a friend who I write and have lunch with at least once a year, and we love catching up with news of our big families.  We have made an art of highlighting the annual top news in an hour or two of lunch and coffee.  The upper right card is from a special friend from church.  Because she is also my pastor’s wife and that role wears many hats, we don’t get to visit as much as I’d like, but we have several special memories behind us of cool things like Beth Moore livecasts, a VOM conference, VBS and Awana events, etc.  All of my friends have been there for me so meaningfully and persistently, even during a few dark valleys  that I will never forget it and them, and I hope that I can always be there for them, even if it’s just with a special card.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

 Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

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Some say writing cards and letters is a dying art.  Here is a blog about reviving that and encouraging others.  Recently I have been encouraged by a couple writers through blogging, and their words have been exactly what I needed to hear.   I don’t always understand why humble encouraging words don’t come easier to us.  It means so much.  And it can be so depressing to be deprived of needed and gentle explanations for misunderstandings.  Though it can be complicated, I think we would work harder to reduce misunderstandings or resolve them if we applied the extra mile thought to the relationship as we often do in our families.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

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This one represents a whole slew of cards from my very hard working man.  He is ultimately my best friend, here on this earth, and never fails to comfort me when I’m down, and I do the same for him.   Well, except a few off times.  They happen less and less often.  When I am lonely, he is a phone call away, at least if there’s a signal.   He doesn’t judge my sometimes rather emotional state, but instead seeks to understand it.   We pull each other back into balance.  He is my lover and I am his, and our anchor is a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.    Always.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

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This batch of cards represents creative and loving notes and letters from children (now mostly adults and including their spouses), grandchildren, and siblings.  I have seven children (ten, counting three spouses) and twelve grandchildren so far, but those numbers change fairly often.  I love reading their special cheery blessings.  Some of them are extremely artistic and put alot of work into their cards.  They are all so meaningful.

Three gifts stamped – My “special” box is full of them, and I am so grateful for written encouragement, that I can go back and look at again and again.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

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