Sunday, January 15, 2012

The New Year's Letter

 Two days before Christmas I was washing the dishes and thinking about my loved ones. My family and friends, my husband and my children. I was thinking about Christmas and wondering how I could express my affection to them in a gift that wasn't a gift. Then, an idea came to me.

I would write them a letter. Yes it's cheesy (which I fully am) and sentimental (which I am very much not), but I thought that a personal letter to everyone who means a lot to me would be a great way to tell and show people just how much they mean to me.

I mean, it's one thing for your aunt or best friend or spouse to know what they mean to you. They all know you love them, right? But do they know why? Do they know just how much they mean to you? I think we all along to feel loved and appreciated, and from that this idea was born.

I want to challenge you all to write your own letters to those you love - friends, family, old roommates, professors, mentors - anyone who has made a lasting impact on you whom you have great affections for.

I'm posting this hopefully after everyone has gotten theirs from me. But this is the first portion of my letter, which was the same for all my recipients. Then they got a personalized second portion that delved deeper into each relationship. Don't copy mine word for word if you use this idea, but write your own and let everyone know how you feel now - don't wait. Everyone needs to know they're loved!

Happy New Year 2012!
  You are receiving this letter because you are one of the several people I thought to write to so I could let them know just how much they mean to me. No worries, I’m not ill or dying, nor do I believe you are dying – I simply realized I wanted my loved ones to know just that…that they are loved.
  This letter is for you and only you. And I hope that maybe this will inspire you to write your own letters to those who mean a great deal to you. But please remember that I wrote this with you in mind although you are welcome to share it if you feel the need.
  First I need to tell you that I pray for you. Regularly. If you share a request, need, or bear your soul to me, I pray for you. If not, I pray for you still… for health, for success, for love, for anything that may come to me to pray about. Mostly I pray that you know the love of Jesus Christ as your Savior and that no matter what happens in your life, you can always count on Him.
  I also want you to know that you can count on me. As someone who is special enough in my eyes to receive this letter, I want you to know that I also count you special enough to drop any number of things so I can be there for you however I can. Even if physical distance separates us, I am but an email, phone call, or Skype message away. You matter so much to me that I would do anything in my power to help you and I want you to know that.
  We all go through struggles in life and you have helped me immensely through some of my own, whether you know it or not. And I can only hope that I have in some way provided the same service to you as well.
  You are counted among my greatest treasures – my family and friends. You are part of what is right in this world even when we disagree or haven’t seen each other in what seems to be forever. You have been a blessing to me both in the past and in the present; and I graciously thank God for sending you into my life.
  One of my biggest goals in life is to be a witness to the love that Christ has for all people. Not just Christians, not just those in the church, but all people; and I sincerely pray that you have at least seen glimmers of a Christ-like love in me. If I can help only one person in my lifetime head toward the salvation of God I consider my life well lived.
  As someone who knows me, you know what a heart I have for children, adoption and orphans. And it has been with your encouragement that I have been able to pursue, voice, and act upon these passions. And I must extend heartfelt thanks for everything you have done for me and my family in terms of prayer, support and being a listening ear.
  When I think of you, please know that a smile comes to my face and wonderful memories fill my head and you will always be a part of my family, regardless of where this crazy and chaotic life takes us.
  Please know, through this all-too-brief letter, that you hold a special place in my heart and I love you dearly.
 So this is my letter. Sent to a few select people who have meant the most to me over the years. Do your loved ones know how much you love them? What can you do in 2012 to show them just how much they mean to you?


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