(P.S. There's a surprise at the end of this post you don't want to miss. :) )
“But I never know what to say! I’m not a writer like you,” my friend said, frustrated. “It takes me an hour to write a note of encouragement. It’s not worth it.”
Many of us can relate. We long to reach out to the hurting with a kind note, but end up annoyed and angry. Why does it seem so simple for some yet arduous for others? We worry that our writing will be too superficial, or too gushy, or without enough feeling.
Plus, just the thought of writing a note can bring on a sudden case of writer’s block. What should I say? All of us are at a loss for words at times, so why not borrow the words of others? Let the wisest, most uplifting prose say what is on your heart. Here are some hints:
- Find a Bible verse that speaks to the situation. Who can encourage one more than God Himself through His Word? Searching the scriptures will reveal hidden jewels that will also bless your heart.
- Use Barlett’s Familiar Quotations or another collection of time-honored quotes. They are easily searchable on the Internet by subject or author. You may find yourself awed by the brilliance of thought found therein.
- Fill your card with artistry, penning lines from a fitting poem. A quote by Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, or William Blake may give a broken spirit the whisper of hope for which it longs.
- Utilize the tried and true. Hymns of the faith are often untapped treasure, full of insight and comfort. Copying the words to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” will inspire the writer as much as the reader.
Then add a line or two of your own. It can be as simple as, “Thinking of you today.” You will give your recipient a sweet surprise, loving thoughts to help him or her through the moment, a tangible note of beauty to consider again and again, and the comfort that someone cares. And remember, dear writer, when you write a note of encouragement, it doesn’t have to be a work of art. Giving of yourself in this way, makes it something more beautiful.
It is a work of the heart.
Have you ever been at a loss for words? If so, I'd love to hear about it. I'm giving away a copy of my cozy mystery A Vase of Mistaken Identity to one of the commenters on this post. The winner will be announced in the upcoming Weekly Wind-up.
For more information about Cathy, visit her at: www.cathyelliottbooks.com
Thea James, proprietress of James & Company Antique Emporium, never thought murder would visit her small, surviving Gold Rush town of Larkindale. But when the Larkindale Lamplight reports the discovery of a body during the renovation of Larkin Lake Resort, Thea is caught up in the mystery.
Her world is further frenzied when she acquires a vintage vase with a list of familiar names inside. Initially, she is curious. But when the first person named ends up in a coma and the second disappears, Thea gets nervous. Then gets involved because…her own name is next!