A “Note”able Challenge….(and a prize too!)

Anyone out there remember handwritten notes? In this hi-tech age of emails, instant messaging and texting others on the cell phone, I’m afraid writing a handwritten note to someone has become a lost art. In our parents’ day, this was the main form of communication with those who lived far from you. Why, when I was a little girl growing up in the suburbs of Michigan, my mom didn’t even call long distance much. Even though her only sister lived in Milwaukee and they are extremely close, she limited her phone calls to Aunt Patty to just a few times per year. When Todd and I were in college and dating in the 80’s, we wrote each other several times a week in the summer saving our phone calls for once a week at 11:00 p.m. on Sunday nights when the phone rates dropped. Yep, back in “the olden days” as my kids would say, the old pen and stationary was the way to go.

Now, however, we have become too busy (or too lazy) to pen a handwritten sentiment. So this year, I decided to do something about it. I made it my New Year’s resolution to write a note to one person each week. Now, of course I didn’t tell you about this goal on January first for fear I’d not follow through as with some of my resolutions from years’ past, but I can say that this one has been much easier to keep and has blessed others’ lives in the process. And so now I have a challenge for you!

This weekend, pick up a pen and a note card or pretty piece of stationary—or a sticky note if that is all you can find!—and write an encouraging note to someone in your life. It can be a faraway friend, a distant relative, your old college roommate, or high school friend. Or think through your current life. With whom does your life naturally intersect? The mail carrier? The cheerful checkout cashier at the local Wal-Mart? The timid teen that played the piano for last week’s church service? The hairdresser who gives your locks their looks and never expects a tip? Whom could you cheer with a handwritten note of gratitude? To make this task easier, keep a tote bag with note cards, thank you notes, a pen, some stamps and your address book or church directory in your vehicle. This way, when you find pockets of time where you will be waiting, (carpool line, orthodontist’s office, soccer practice pick up, etc..) you can use it to multi-task and write a note or two. Then sit back and watch the thankful smiles roll in.

Now for the prize….leave a comment telling us to whom you feel prompted to write that note this weekend. You have until Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. EST. Then, I’ll choose one person to win a pack of note cards, one of my favorite pens and a Starbucks gift card so as you write, you can sip on something hot, sweet and creamy (or cool and tasty depending on where you live. I am in Michigan and we got three more inches of snow last night!!! Come on…it is almost April for crying out loud!!!).

Happy writing!!

Sincerely and with warmest regards, (how is that for an olden days sign-off?)


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  • Hi Karen!

    I must admit that I wanted to send a handwritten thank you for the autographed book you sent me (from winning Lysa’s organization contest), but I threw out the mailer before I got your address :-(

    So, I’ll just have to say it here:

    I really appreciate your gift! It comes at a time when circumstances in my home have changed just a little bit and I really need to get my “rear in gear!” I hope the ideas in your book help. I can’t wait to get started. Wish me luck!

    Be blessed,
    Beth Ingersoll

  • Hi! I took your challenge and wrote a note of encouragement to my husband. He’s definitely an unsung hero around here, and I know he is facing a particularly challenging week at work this week. When he finds the note this morning, he will be reminded of how much I love him, appreciate him, and pray for him every day.


  • As a military spouse, I have had to say goodbye to scores of special friends over the last 12 years. It can just about break your heart. One summer day about a year ago, I received a handwritten letter in the mail from a far-away friend whom I used to be stationed near, and I just about fell over backward at my mailbox! In this tech-age of email, it had been so long since I had held the handwriting of a dear friend in my hands. She could have written an email to say the same things–it would have been quick, fuss-free, and cheap. But the impact on my heart would have been lessened. That letter made me feel very cherished–I beamed for days! After all, she made time to pick out paper, compose her thoughts, find my address, and put it in the mail; she mus really care about me! I resolved then to bless others the way she had so sweetly blessed me.

    Well, letter writing has yet to become a routine for me, but your encouraging blog has prompted me to give it a try again! Today, I’m writing to thank the translator at our church. (We currently live in Japan, and our church has bilingual services.) Last night, there was a memorial service for a Japanese man beloved by all, and our dear translator was busy all evening translating back and forth in both languages for the Japanese and Americans who loved him. She is a tireless laborer in our church, and I pray that the Lord encourages her through the words He helps me write in a her card.

  • Hi Karen! I loved meeting you and talking with you at the Hearts at Home conference! I appreciate the time you and all the speakers take to talk with all us Moms! YOU ROCK!

    As far as this challenge, I have decided to write letters to both of my children. My son who is 8 gets sooo bummed every day that he comes home and has no mail. And, my 3 year old daughter acts as if Jesus himself has knocked at the front door whenever she gets mail. She hoots and hollers as if it’s the best thing in life to get a letter, and ya know, sometimes it is! So, keeping that in mind, I’m going to write them both little letters just to say “Mom loves you!” Maybe it’ll show them the value of something hand written and possibly encourage them to do the same now and further in their future!!!!
    Thanks for this “a-ha” moment!!!!