Stacks of letters.

Usually a stop at the mailbox means bills, junk mail and maybe some kind of advertisement. Honestly, most everything that is delivered to me on a weekly basis goes right into the trash. In this day of technology we forget the simple art of writing a letter. It is too easy to pick up our phones and send a text, email or message on any number of social media platforms. We are too quick to go to our keyboards before picking up a pen. For this reason the next generations will never be given a stack of letters written by their parents or grandparents, and that is a shame.

I never remember having a pen pal as a kid, but not long ago I was reminded of the joy of sending things through the mail, and now I am hooked. The inspiration actually came from a few sources almost simultaneously. The first, ironically, is a Rebecca, friend I met on social media who is a big lover of letter writing. She would post pictures of the amazing things she received and I was envious. The second influence was a selection of letters my grandparents wrote while they were dating. Reading those letters you can see their relationship grow as they fall deeper in love with each other.


My friend, Rebecca is the creator behind Grace & Salt ink, a small business in England specializing in leather travelers journals. One of her promotions is a challenge called “I sent love in an envelope”. This challenge was a huge inspiration to create and find some pen pals. I have written letters to friends and family, and sent out packages near and far. Each envelope I send out  is adorn with the hashtag #ISentLoveInAnEnvelope. Sometimes I get something mailed back, but most of the time I get a text message or social media response. Either way I truly hope getting something in the mail makes the recipient smile and feel loved.

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

img_5029Since I started my crusade of letter writing I have gained pen pals from South Africa, Germany, England and across the country. Some of them are old friendships expanded to letters, others are people I only know from the pictures they post on Instagram. I always look forward to checking the mailbox each day to see if there are any goodies from near or far. Not only do these letters serve as a way to communicate, but also to be creative while still working within the confines of an envelope. Every letter I look forward to see what I will find inside. I have received pictures, washi tape, creative little pieces and so much more. Each letter challenges me to come up with new ideas to put a smile on their face, and I do my best to send letters that inspire.

img_5200img_5203As my list of pen pals has grown I was having a difficult time keeping up with the coming and going of letters. In my search to find a solution I came across people creating journals to track their pen pals. To me this was the perfect solution, and so a new journal was added to my inkDori and the tracking began. I decided to keep my tracking simple, I list the pen pal, if I sent or received, the date and notes. It is fun to watch the page fill up with each letter.

My upcoming letter writing adventure will be starting in April. I have decided to take up the challenge of writing to one person a day for National Letter Writing Month. That means a minimum of 30 letters in 30 days. If you are thinking this seems like an intimidating task, I agree with you, but I am hoping with some pre-planning and organization it will be achieved.

img_5221My first step was to create a plan. I knew on the average day I would not have time to write a letter, so I decided to send out postcards. In the words of Lord Byron, Jane Austen, Lewis Carrol and Phyllis Theroux I found inspiration. Each quote embraces the best parts of letter writing and I am excited to send them out to friends and family each day. Second, I started a tentative spreadsheet with names and address of those to send letters to. I am sure before April gets here I will end up adding a few extra names to the list, but I am happy to have a starting point. My hope is that if there is a plan in place that I will be able to follow through on the 30 day challenge.

I know I will never have stack and stacks of letters like my grandparents, but hopefully I will have something tangible to share with future generations to show that letter writing is not dead.


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For the past few weeks I have felt out of sorts. I think the anticipation of the year marker really terrified me. I have been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love I have gotten over the past few weeks from friends and family. I got cards in the mail, encouraging comments and direct messages in varying forms. They say it takes a village, and I love the community that I have.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.

The last 12 months was about being strong, and my friends and family were a huge part of making that desire a reality. Now I feel like I am striking out into the unknown once again as I work on being brave. There is still much I have to learn, but I feel well prepared and ready to take on whatever comes my way.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Love, support and prayers.

For the third time since my own life changing event I find myself having to watching a friend go through a tragic loss of their own. Even after all this time I don’t know how to string words together to provide comfort. I honestly am not sure what was said to me that I took solace in. So much of the weeks to follow that day are a blur to me.

Psalm 9:9
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

What I do remember is the most important thing was to know that people were there and praying for me. I have felt and continue to feel so loved. That has helped more than I can say. So here I sit feeling wordless and sad but sending all my love, support and prayers knowing that there is truly only one person that can provide the comfort needed and whisper the right words at the perfect time.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.


Maybe it is a sense of understanding that I am still subconsciously searching for, it is unknown to me. I know understanding is unnecessary and a countdown to someday is a silly thing to want. Yet here I sit typing day after day searching for some kind of magic phrase that brings it all together. Maybe far in the future I will re-read some of these posts and I will be able to tell the day that everything changed, but I doubt it works like that.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

There have been so many days that I think I am past it all, and others that I wonder. I have a feeling that the next eleven days will be a huge hurdle for me. So many times over the past year I have thought what occasions and holidays could have been, but the year mark is the one I have been dreading the most. I wish there were no more tears to cry. I wish I could shut myself down and restart when it has past, but if there is one thing I have learned above all else is that things must be faced head on. I know that I can survive this, because I have made it thought the storm.

Understanding does not bring peace, it just holds knowledge. I already have all the tools I need, I have developed them, honed them and had plenty of practice. This may not be the home stretch, but it is an important part of the race and I will come out victorious.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

The reason for the season.

img_3899I feel like I should have something profound to say today, but nothing comes to mind. My prayer is that each of you took at the very least a part of this holiday weekend to remember the true reason for the season. It is not about presents under the tree or the weather outside, what it is about is the great joy that Jesus came down to earth knowing what was to come and he made that sacrifice for us.

Whether you celebrated Christmas with your family days ago or have yet to be able to spend time with them I hope you enjoy each minute of it.

Merry Christmas.

Puzzle pieces.

I am not quite to a point where I can handle unexpected issues with a calm grace, but I think I am slowly getting there. I always know that in the end everything will be fine. My experiences over the last year tells me that one way or another things work out for the best even when we are unable to see the reasons behind the pain or frustration.

2 Corinthians 5:7
Our life is lived by faith. We do not live by what we see in front of us.

Slowly pieces fall into place and we gain confidence in our actions. Eventually we remember the things we love and run toward them. In time we find others that have similar perspectives and count ourselves lucky that we have found them. So far it has been a long year full of many life lessons and so much growth. My hope is the last bit of 2017 holds many adventures and wonderful memories. So far this has been a year I will never forget and it would be nice to end with a few more puzzle pieces in place.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Blessings in disguise.

When we know there is a special package coming in the mail it can be difficult to be patient, but at the same time the anticipation is what makes it so exciting! Currently I have a package that could be delivered any day, and my excitement is mounting. Today in my impatient checked my downstairs neighbor’s mailbox to make sure a pick up slip did not get put in the wrong place. This would not be the first time I have found my packages or mail on her porch, so I figured it was worth double checking.

I was so thankful that I did because I had bills were in her mailbox. They must have been there for a week or so because they were due a few days ago! It is not like me to pay my bills late, so I was a very frustrated. I left a note for my downstairs neighbor to keep an eye out for my mail mixed in with hers as well as a note for the mail carrier asking them to be extra conscious. Hopefully this will prevent future issues.

After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19:12

Once I got past the fluster of frustration and got my bills paid, I realized what a blessing it was to be expecting a package that triggered me to check the other mail box. It was a fleeting thought that kept nagging at me, so I decided it was worth putting on my coat and shoes to clear my conscience. Sometimes God works in mysteries ways and thankfully he refuses to give up, unfortunately we do not always listen. Maybe this is my gentle reminder that I need to pay better attention to His little messages to me.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.