Monday, October 17, 2011

Encouraging Others Through Letter Writing

I just love it when I receive a letter, don't you?! The joy of receiving a handwritten letter from a dear friend is so exciting! But doesn't it make the letter all the more special when you are encouraged and strengthen in you faith by that letter?

I have often received such letters, for which I am very grateful. The beauty of encouraging others in their faith through uplifting words and advice is so unique and this world is deeply lacking young ladies who are thinking of a bigger purpose in letter writing than just to getting to know others.

Sometimes when I write a reply to letters I forget just how important it is to encourage other girls to grow in Christ, especially younger girls! There are days were I will get a letter in the mail from a dear friend, and though I am happy to receive it, sometimes I forget, and take for granted the fact that I can write letters for the glory of God and for the encouragement of others. There are times when I have written letters that had no spiritual encouragement at all...now as I look back, this is very sad that I did not use that letter to the glory of Jesus Christ! I could have used all those letters to glorify God and encourage others, but instead filled the letter with things that only interested me. I have been deeply encouraged and my faith has strengthened, thanks to the encouragement of godly pen-pals. I am so blessed to be able to write to other girls around the world and must remember to use that for the Lord's glory and their encouragement!

We need to use these opportunities to the best of our ability, girls! When you get a letter in the mail, consider it a opportunity to encourage others and to strengthen them in their faith! Consider it a joy, dear sisters, to be able to encourage others, both physically and spiritually!!! Think of ideas for ways you can encourage your pen-pal in the Lord. One thing I thought of recently is to write on the back of the envelope "Have you spent time with Jesus today? If not then please do so before opening me!" this way you are encouraging your friend to spend quality time with the Lord! Another neat way to encourage sisters in the Lord is to use LOTS of Scripture in your letters! :D Also, write back and forth about what the Lord has been teaching you as well as were you've been reading from in your Bible or what verses are memorizing and why there special to you. Also, remember to ask for any specific prayer request your friend might have. This was you can encourage her through prayer!

Can you remember the last letter you wrote? What filled most of the page's? Was it something that will encourage the young lady that received it? Did you include Scripture in that letter? What did you write about? Did the letter overall glorify God and encourage your friend? Have you ever thought about how since you are already paying money in postage to mail the letter; doesn't it make since to make the most of that money you spent on the postage and write it to the best of your ability to encourage others? If you don't use the letter for God's glory, or to encourage the young lady whom you were writing, then of what profit will the letter be? Of what eternal value does it hold?

Below are some pointers that I've found to be helpful when writing letters.

Favim.com-1926_large• Start your letter with a nice greeting such as "Greeting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! I pray that your day is full of joy and that you are delighting in our Savior this day!"
• When writing a letter back, look through the letter you received and take note of any questions your friend wrote that you should answer back. Now you can ask her your questions!

• When writing always be sure and use your best handwriting and spell everything correctly. Sometimes it helps to have a dictionary close by in case if you need to double check on how a word is spelled.

• Remember to be descriptive! Instead of writing "Today we planted our garden" write “Today we started the endeavor of growing our own food. We planed cucumbers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, squash and strawberries. I love gardening because its a great opportunity to _________" It always is more enjoyable to know details!

• To add a nice touch to your letter have a sweet closing such as "Always remember that Jesus loves you and that you are his very own precious jewel! Remember to sparkle brightly for Him!" or "May the Lord fill the remainder of your day with sunshine and blessing! I'm praying for you and I'm so glad that were friends!"

• Use pretty stationary! The Kings Blooming Rose has a lovely selection of stationary’s that have Scripture on them HERE {when visiting this link scroll down until you see the stationary sets}.

• When purchasing stamps, get the pretty ones! I've found rose stamps and well as ones with flowers and such designs.

• Remember when writing longer letters or those with heavier or thicker "goodies" take it by the post office and make sure you have enough postage or add another stamp to make sure it will get to your friends mailbox!

Here are some ideas for making your next letter you send to be a memorable one by adding little goodies!

• Add lavender petals, one friend sent some lavender seeds along with her letter and it smelled so good when opened! A hair pin or pony tail

• A homemade bookmark

• If your friend likes to cross stitch then send some embroidery floss

• A tea bag, lemonade packet or a hot cocoa mix in the winter

• A index card with a Scripture verse, decorate it with scrap booking paper and stickers

• Stationary or stickers

• A homemade necklace or bracelet

• Flower, vegetable, etc seeds during the planting season
• A stick of gum

• Pictures of you and your family

May you be blessed and bless others as you take this "ministry" opportunity to write encouraging letters to others!
Blessings,
Bethany Ann

10 Words of Grace:

Charis said...

oh thank you for sharing this...in this age of technology I find it easy to put the writing aside and I love letters! thank you for the extra ideas too...blessings!

Alli said...

This was a fun post! I have 2 wonderful penpals! I've only been writing them since the beginning of the year, and they are now my dearest friends!
My penpals and I almost always send a little something in our letters. I loved your ideas!
God bless!
♥Alli =)

JoyfulJewels4Jesus said...

Thanks for sharing, Bethany! =) You certainly are a wonderful example of a lovely letter-writer! You pen your letters with such encouragement and thoughtfulness. I love KBR's stationary, too, and you shared some great tips.

Blessings!
With Joy in Christ,
♥ Elizabeth
P.S. Speaking of letter writing, I'm working on a letter to mail back to you. =)

Emily Ruth said...

I don't write many letters, but when I do I like to have them mean something. Thank you for this reminder to glorify God in my letters!
Those are some sweet ideas for little items to include! Some of them were things I had not thought of before.
Thank you for always having such lovely, encouraging, idea-filled posts!

Anonymous said...

Bethany,
This was really encouraging.
I really do need to talk more about what Jesus is teaching me, prayer request, etc. Those are all very good ideas!
Thanks!
Your sister in Christ,
Emily J.

Shannon said...

Letter writing is indeed a wonderful opportunity to encourage others as they daily seek Christ!

Thank you for sharing these wonderful pointers...

In Christ,
~Shannon~

Olivia Fontes said...

Thank you, Bethany for this post! It was so eye-opening, encouraging and inspiring!

Lindsey Marie said...

Bethany~

While I don't have any penpals, (I would love some, but... well, I don't have any.) these tips were very helpful to me as I do write emails to my friends often and I love encouraging them to follow the Lord. The long ones are definitely best! :) Thanks, dear!

NeighGirl said...

I love "Shane" its one of my favorite books, Thanks for sharing,
Neighgirl

Abigail said...

I really enjoyed this post as I LOVE writing and receiving letters (I've been mildly insulted by a friend who, teasingly, said I was stuck in the 18th Century...I took it as a compliment)! Thank you for the good reminder to make even our letters God-honoring and to "spur one another on to good deeds" (That's somewhere in Hebrews). I really liked the ideas of including little gifts with the letter. I will have remember next time I write to my pen-pals.