When was the last time you opened your mailbox and actually found a personal note, addressed to you? How did you feel? On the rare occasions it happens for me, I immediately rip the envelope open. No self control here. No waiting to get into the house.
And what if it was a note for no apparent reason? Not a thank-you for a gift, a birthday card, or an invitation? Just a note to say “I’m grateful for you,” “Thanks for the difference you make in my life,” “You have inspired me.” “This is a character quality about you that I really love.” That’s a pretty rare occurrence, isn’t it?
Well, as November begins, I have a challenge for you. Make it a month of gratitude. Gratitude for the big things and the little things. Not just think about it. Not just pass corn kernels around the Thanksgiving table. Not just write things on a list of 1,000 gifts. A note…in an envelope…with a stamp…to someone who matters to you.
As our society increasingly moves straight from celebrating Halloween to focusing on Christmas, the importance of the Thanksgiving season has become increasingly reduced. That’s sad, for many reasons. Not only do we forget to thank God for our blessings. We forget how He has also used countless other people to bless our lives.
So here’s my challenge for you:
Get out 30 notecards.
Stamp the 30 notecards.
Write one card of gratitude a day for the next 30 days. And mail them daily.
See how YOU feel at the end of those 30 days.
Having trouble thinking of 30 people who have made a difference in your life? What about:
Family: parents, children, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles.
Friends, both current and the friends you’ve lost touch with.
Teachers who inspired you.
Sunday School teachers.
Service providers: your hairdresser, your dry cleaner, your home repair man, lawn service.
Advisors: Financial Advisor, CPA, Attorney, Therapist
Just spend a few minutes thinking about it, and you’ll have 30 names.
The note doesn’t need to be long or complicated. You could say something like this:
In this season of Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of the people in my life who make (or have made) a difference. You are one of them.
Thank you for _____________________________________. This is what it has meant to me: ___________________________________Your quality of ____________________________ is something that inspires me and I just want to thank you for the blessing you are (or have been) in my life.
That’s not hard, is it?
Think about the impact that a simple note of encouragement could make in someone’s life. Your note might arrive just when a person is feeling at their lowest. As people age and become less physically productive, it’s especially easy to wonder if they have really made a difference. Please tell them. Eulogize the living!
What would it mean to you to receive a note like that? For me, it’s like getting a fresh wind in my sails.
In less than 10 minutes a day, you can do this! Make your list tonight as you’re waiting to hand out candy. Stamp your envelopes. And then starting tomorrow, start writing.
Let’s flood the people in our world with written words of encouragement and affirmation.
I dare you! Who’s in?
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