With a click of the lock, the creak of the wooden door and the click of my brass mailbox…another card is ready to be picked up.
It doesn’t take long. Ten minutes at most. Each day this month I have committed to send one handwritten card to a different friend.
These aren’t your typical Christmas cards with signature and family picture. I want these cards to be filled with words that speak life to those I care about most.
Last year, this mission began with family. I realized the thing we really needed and wanted most from each other is not another gift under the tree but instead to have the people we care about speaking words of encouragement, affirmation, and blessing over our lives.
I know I needed to hear those things. Others were feeling that need, too. (And hasn’t this year made that need starkly apparent?)
Instead of spending more on a gift that I wasn’t sure kids would like or that adults needed, our family choose to focus our attention on written words. Words of appreciation, affirmation, and blessing for each parent, aunt, uncle, and cousin.
My family split up the cards and worked on a few each evening after dinner. I didn’t want us to wait till the last minute or feel rushed.
Our notes included characteristics and qualities we were thankful for in the recipients–observation of talents and abilities that we saw in them, as well as reminders of who God says they are and the promises he has for them.
Ann Voskamp reminds me in Unwrapping the Greatest Gift,
Look for the small, broken cracks in the world, in hearts, that would be easy to walk right by – and right there, slip in a little word that grows great courage. Miracles happen whenever we speak words that make souls stronger.
What is true here is also true for the people you plan to serve overseas. All mankind is created in God’s image, as relational beings with a God-sized purpose.
The art of speaking words of life is something that can open the doors of homes, hearts to friendship, and minds to believe and receive the love of Christ.
Words to Wash In
Of course, the one who made us and knows us best has a few things to say about the power of our words as well. Take a moment to reflect on his words:
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6
Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom. Colossians 3:16
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4
A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook…Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:4, 21
In case you’re in need your own round of truth-filled affirmations? Take in what God thinks about you, as his son or daughter this Christmas through Who I am in Christ.
Share them liberally with others!
Words: The Gifts that Translate
How will you use your words to uplift and encourage your family, your friends, or the person waiting on you in line today? A card, a text a call?
While you speak life-giving words here today, say a prayer for those you hope to befriend overseas.
Ask that God will prepare their hearts to receive his words of love. Pray for the ability to learn their language well so you can use new words to share the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).
Speak life, impart hope, and share love with your words. No matter your zipcode.
Rebecca Skinner is an MK and adult TCK from Central and South America. Don’t miss her post, We Were Missionary Kids. Here’s What My Parents Did Right and Top Missions Podcasts of 2020!
Fun fact: Rebecca and her husband were one of the first couples to met on eharmony.com and get married! This August, they’ll celebrate 18 years of marriage, They have twin boys.
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