More Love Letters

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The world needs more love letters.

The world needs a lot more love.

The world needs a lot more kindness.

I feel like we are aware of these statements, but we only make them just that -- statements. What if we did a little more than just acknowledge those needs? What if we acted on those? How do we love people well? Loving people well requires being intentional, being present. 

I find myself in coffee shops often, maybe because I have an obsession with coffee or maybe because I love the atmosphere. One of my favorite things is having coffee dates with friends. We set a date. We set a time. It's an intentional practice. 

I will admit though that I often find myself glancing at my phone when having a conversation. I nod my head and say the occasional "mhm". Maybe the world needs better friendships, better community. We've started to focus on our instagram engagement rather than our face to face engagement. I am guilty of that. We have more small talk than under the surface conversations. 

Loving people well is listening to them well.

When we take time to just listen to our friend's heartbreak or a family members thoughts, we create room for intimacy and authenticity. I had a thought the other day. I find myself with lots of random thoughts. For example, it's 1 in the morning, and I am questioning whether fish are ever thirsty. What do we know about being authentic? How do we live authentically?

Authenticy starts when your facade ends.

We show a whole new act of love when we can be real and transparent with the person on the other side of the coffee table. I find my relationships to be more intimate when I am able to vulnerable and be real about what I am going through. 

I had created the picture that I had everything together. I strategically wrote my blog posts so that I wouldn't reveal how actually heartbroken I was. I tied my heart together with people's words and worldly approval. I filled myself up with the temporary and then wondered why I was so empty. I couldn't hold it all together on my own. 

We are human beings. 

People need people.

No matter if you are an introvert, extrovert, homebody, cat lover, you need people. You need community. 

When my dad passed away, I wanted to handle all of my feelings by myself. I didn't want help. I didn't want sympathy. I wanted to just move on. It wasn't until I found community that I stopped dwelling in my grief and started growing for the next season of my life. 

I took my broken, messy self to other broken, messy people who loved me well through listening to me and just being present.

When you are going through anxiety, you need a person.

When depression feels like its stepping all over you, you need a person.

We need people, because we weren't created to do life alone. 

We were created to dwell together and build each other up.

What we have covered so far.

1. Relationships are relationships when they are intentional.

2. People need people.

For number three, we need more love letters.

Okay, what's this love letter deal?

Hannah Brencher started this movement of writing love letters to strangers and tucking little envelopes in little corners wherever she went. In a time of loneliness, she spread light to others. When I first discovered her campaign, I became absolutely obsessed with the idea. I love receiving letters in the mail from friends or pen pals, and I most definitely love the feeling when I discover a secret love letter. 

In a world that fills with its daily cup of chaos, a sweet letter can pour a little love into that.cup. 

From December 4-15, The World Needs More Love Letters is rolling out its biggest, grandest, most festive love letter writing campaign of the year! 

For the last six years, we’ve been putting a bow on the holiday season by rolling out 12 letter requests over a span of 12 days. That’s no joke… 12 days, 12 letter requests, and a whole lot of holiday loving. The 12 Days of Love Letter Writing is a perfect way for you to show up this season and help people in need around the world. Grab your friends or classmates, kids or students, and rally together to bring some goodwill into the world this December. All you need is some stationery and a few stamps. 

Each day, we will publish a new letter request to the More Love Letters blog. Write one letter or submit a note to all 12 bundles! The choice is yours! All letters should be postmarked by December 20, 2017. Your love letters will be bundled up with other letters from across the world and delivered by the new year!

Today's letter is for Patty and Meredith.

Patty and Meredith are a mother/daughter duo in need of encouragement + love as they face memories of loss during this holiday season. Their friend shared their story with us:

“I have been friends with Meredith since first grade–for fourteen years now. Meredith hasn't had the easiest life. In first grade, her sister died. Even though a tragedy like this has the power to destroy any family, Meredith and her parents–John and Patty–became closer than ever. I was always struck with the amount of joy and love that they were able to have and I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with this beautiful family.

Our junior year of high school, tragedy struck again. Meredith's dad, John, was diagnosed with glioblastoma–a brain cancer. This was devastating, but their family still stayed strong and didn't let it get in the way of their love for each other. However, last year, John died a week before Thanksgiving and near Patty’s birthday. In his last moments, Meredith played his favorite song on violin and he went peacefully. Although John is gone, he is always with us in Meredith. Her snarky demeanor and humor is all John, and I'm sure he is more proud of her than words can describe. John always taught Meredith to be a kind woman, and to go through life living it to the fullest. I would love to give Meredith and Patty the gift of words, and not just my own. The holidays are coming up and I know that there are some dark days to come for them.”

Please join us as we write to Patty + Meredith and let them know that they are not alone. 

PLEASE MAIL ALL LOVE LETTERS BY DECEMBER 20 TO:

Meredith and Patty’s bundle
℅ Isabella J. 
915 W 23rd St
Austin, TX 78705
USA
 

So pour some hot cocoa, pull out your most festive cards, and join us on social media for a letter writing marathon starting December 4! 

Let's start loving people well, authentically, intentionally, and through writing more love letters. We all have our own heartbreaks. Let's go through them together. 

Mikayla ChristiansenComment