Ideas for a Letter of Encouragement

In my tween and early teen years, I loved collecting pen pals. I would introduce myself to girls my age at homeschool conferences and camp grounds and ask if they would like to be my pen pal. Many of those girls never responded to my letters, but a few became friends I’ll love for life. We used letter writing to learn about each other. We used letter writing to encourage each other in the Lord. We used letter writing to love each other well.

Letter of Encouragement

Letter writing has become less needed and less practical as digital communication continues to develop, but it still holds a special place in my heart. Opening an email doesn’t hold the same excitement as opening the mailbox to find a note from a friend. Reading words on a screen lacks the personal, heart touching warmth of handwritten words on paper.

Who in your life would benefit from a letter of encouragement right now?

Right now many of us are at home. Many are struggling with feeling isolated, feeling fearful over job status and the economy, feeling anxious about the health of those we love who are elderly or immunocompromised.

By all means, this is a good time to take full advantage of digital communication. Text your friends. Video chat with your grandparents. Live stream your church service. But maybe remind yourself how to write a letter too.

How to Write a Letter

These days, the biggest challenge for me is figuring out what to write. My friends are only a few taps on my cell phone screen away. We often share details of our lives on a daily basis.

What is left to write a letter about?

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Copy a poem (or write an original one)
  • Share a Bible passage (if you want to make it fancy, you can write key words in a different color to make them stand out)
  • Explain what God’s been teaching you through your current Bible study or from the most recent sermon at church.
  • Free write your thoughts about the happenings of the day. I find I often share facts via text message, but the deeper thoughts of how I’m responding to those factual events come easier in a letter than a text message.
  • If you’re a writer, hand write a short story. A friend of mine and I have done this by trading story prompts. The story has to fit one one note card or sheet of paper.

This isn’t the time to try to follow your grammar school guidelines for how to write a letter. You don’t need proper salutations or formatting to send a letter of encouragement. Letter writing isn’t about perfection, it’s about communicating and making someone feel seen and valued and special. And also having fun. Don’t forget to have fun with it!

Little Gifts to Add to a Letter of Encouragement

A day or two ago, someone posted in a Facebook group that, because of the Coronavirus quarantining, they’d had to cancel the baby shower they were planning for a friend. This person reached out to the Facebook group for ideas on how to love the expectant mama on that day despite the need for social distancing.

I threw out a few suggestions, and her favorite was the idea of a “letter shower” with notes containing special little extras.

You might be surprised at how many little gifts you can tuck into an envelop without adding to the shipping cost. USPS rules indicate that one postage stamp covers a standard sized envelop no thicker that 0.25″ and weighing no more than 1oz.

I keep a little gift bag in my closet filled with tiny gifts that meet these qualifications. Here are some of my favorites:

As you can see, there are many options to sending little gifts in your letters of encouragement. If you don’t like these or get bored of them, try googling “flat things to send to penpals” or “tiny gifts that fit in an envelope” to find more options.

Other Extras for a Letter of Encouragement

Now you have your note and maybe a little gift. There are still plenty of ways to jazz things up even more. If you want to go all out, here’s some more ideas:

  • Add stickers to your note. Wait. Aren’t stickers for kids? Not anymore! Last year one of my co-workers found a bunch of faith based stickers on clearance and grabbed them for me. I love adding using them to pretty up my letter writing (and my journaling). The ones she got me are from Illustrated Faith, and they’re great!
  • Washi Tape. Washi tape is perfect for using inside the note or to seal the envelope. I’ve even used it to frame the mailing address!
  • Wax Seal. A word of caution, wax seals have a habit of falling off in transit. I guess the postal service of medieval times was a little less rough. However, wax seals are a ton of fun. I might try putting a piece of clear packaging tape over the seal next time I try one. Maybe that will hold it on.
  • Fun Postage Stamps. The post office is always coming out with new stamp runs. Why use a boring stamp when the fun ones cost the same price? I shared my current favorite stamp design in 5 Things I Loved This February.

Right now we’re all feeling the need to support each other because we’re all, to varying degrees, feeling the impact of Coronavirus. But it doesn’t need to take a worldwide pandemic to get us checking in on each other and finding ways to make someones day a little happier. Sending letters of encouragement (my friends and I call them “happy mail”) can be a wonderful, everyday little joy of regular life too.

So go ahead. Grab some stationary (or a simple piece of printer paper) and a pen. Pick a friend or relative to write to. Or do a Google search and find a letter drive for a cancer patient or a nursing home. Pick one of the options for how to write a letter. Maybe add some stickers and washi tape. Maybe tuck in a little gift. Write an address. Add a stamp. And you’re done.

When was the last time you tried your hand at letter writing? Do you love receiving letters of encouragement? Which tuck in gift do you want to send to someone? Who are you going to send a letter of encouragement to?

Gifts to Add_Pin

Counted Worthy FREE Through Sunday

Has Coronavirus shut down the libraries in your area? The ones near me are closed for a while. Many people are home with more time on their hands than usual and tight budgets to work around.

SO! I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I discounted Counted Worthy all the way to FREE! Now through Sunday you can grab a kindle copy without paying a thing. Don’t have a kindle? No worries. Just download the kindle app to your phone or computer.

Counted Worthy a Novel by Leah E. Good

I mentioned to my mom that writing a dystopian novel was a lot more enjoyable than living in the middle of one! But, hopefully, reading one is also more fun. And also maybe an encouragement that God’s got a plan and it’s a good plan, even with things as they are and even if they were much worse.

Hope you all are weathering this well, and that this helps pass the time enjoyably and without straining your wallets.

If you are able to leave a review after you finish, those reviews will really help me sell more copies once the price goes back to normal, so I’d really appreciate that!

Get Counted Worthy for FREE

 

What are you reading during quarantine? Have you already read Counted Worthy or will this be your first time?

Washing Feet In the Midst of Coronavirus Panic

Washing Feet Coronavirus

Wash hands first, then wash feet.

I saw this quote on Instagram several days ago. I can’t find the source now to credit the person who wrote it, but those simple words helped alter how I am thinking about Coronavirus and how it is impacting the world.

Historically, Christians have been at the forefront of helping in the face of calamity. I don’t want that heritage to stop with my generation. Maybe this is our opportunity to carry on the legacy left to us.

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5 Things I Loved This February

Several email lists that I subscribe to do a monthly list of things they’re enjoying. Those emails are my favorites. Often I delete similar emails without reading them. There’s just not enough time to keep up with them all. But the “things I’m loving” emails get saved until I have some time to comb through them.

5 Things I Loved this February

With so much content available online, I find it helpful and enjoyable to receive a curated list of podcasts, blog posts, books, recipes, etc. that someone else has already vetted and enjoyed.

Since I don’t plow through books quite as fast these days, I will be experimenting with mixing in other types of content as I try to get back into the blogging game. A “what I’m loving” list seemed like a good place to start since it’s the type of content I enjoy receiving.

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Book Review: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Something is wrong. The Greystone kids get home from school one day and learn that kids in another state have been kidnapped. The weird thing is, the kids have the same names as the Greystone siblings and they look the same too. The news makes Mom act strange, and she keeps acting stranger.

The Strangers

Hi there. I’m back! Maybe?

Over the past several months, I’ve been writing for the Equipping Godly Women blog, and it reminded me how much I enjoy blogging. Every time I write a post over there, I tell myself I should write one here. Unfortunately, procrastination is real, and it’s hard to break out of a year and a half rut of not posting.

Joining the blog tour for Jaye’s new book release forced me come up with a post for Leah’s Bookshelf, and then it seemed natural to share this book I just read.

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Book Review & Bonus Content: No Chance Meeting

No Chance Meeting

Summary of No Chance Meeting

Alex has been a different person since she lost her brother to the war in Afghanistan. Somewhere along the way, her relationship with God grew cold, and she can’t find anything that makes life worth living. The weariness almost causes her to do the unthinkable, but God has other plans.

Just before Alex follows through with a plan to end her life, she meets Riley Conrad. He seems to sense something is wrong, and his invitation to breakfast saves her life. When he turns out to be a Christian, and his interest in her continues, Alex wonders if there is a way out of the fog she’s been living in.

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Patriotic Musings on the 4th of July

A few weeks ago, a new friend asked me a question, and I started my answer with something along the lines of, “Well, you know how we’re patriotic about our country?” As the first generation of her family to be born in the USA, her quick answer was, “No, not really. Mostly I hear people talking about how much they hate different things.”

Patriotic Musings (1)

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Book Review: Traitor’s Masque

What if Cinderella had a lot to learn about being kind, no particular interest in a royal ball, and no fairy godmother? Enter the world of Trystan Embrie Colbourne. Once the admittedly spoiled daughter of a wealthy nobleman, she now lives in physical comfort but under the spiteful rule of her resentful stepmother. Her primary joy is the freedom of secret horseback rides while her family sleeps. It’s on one such ride that she crosses paths with a young man who becomes what she might dare to call a friend.

Traitor's Masque

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