For my birthday this past month, I dressed up 80’s style and enjoyed a murder mystery party with a bunch of friends. It was a bizarre mix of wandering fake accents, stuffed mushrooms, sweat bands and the realization that my natural hair volume doesn’t really belong in this decade.
I fear if I give you any more details or pictures I’ll incriminate myself, and I wasn’t even the murder.
But on top of being willing to dress up and be whimsical with me, my friends gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received:
The inspirational packaging is nothing compared to the inside. My friends and family wrote me letters and labeled the different envelops for different occasions that might come up in my life.
From an envelop for when I’m bored, to an envelop for when I want to strangle someone, they pretty much have me covered. I’ve been trying so hard to wait and savor my envelopes over weeks and months, but I’m telling you…this box is like knowing you have a bunch of chocolate hidden in your house. (Actually, one of the envelops did have chocolate in it.)
The other day I had to go to my doctor, and seriously, does anyone jump up and down about that? I packed a few envelopes to bring with me just in case, and just the knowing I had encouragement waiting on the other side of that appointment gave me joy.
This is a box of life, and humor, and compassion, and yes chocolate.
And this box challenges me too. Because I realize that the worth of a letter, a well-timed bit of humor, and certainly a bar of chocolate, are lifters and soothers of our souls. Could I be this kind of friend to others? Could I take even a moment each day to find someone around me to build up?
I can’t actually begin to count the number of amazing friends that have impacted my life. You have been encouragers, meal bringers, supporters, deep-thoughts-discussers, coffee-joiners, breakfast buddies, How-I-Met-Your-Mother and FRIENDS watchers, character sharpeners, prayer-lifters, tear driers, road signs to keep me on track when I’m lost. You friends have loved me well and loved me tangibly.
THANK YOU isn’t big enough.
And my challenge to myself, and my challenge to you is this: Pick 3 people this week to encourage. Send a letter, write a text, tell someone you appreciate them next time you see them…for the love, send them a really good chocolate bar. Maybe start a list of people to encourage and make it a fun game. Maybe it turns into a habit…but start small.
The action of love written out, spoken over, given freely, can carry us so much farther than we’d imagine.
Post or comment if you’re up for the challenge, or if you have a cool story of encouragement to share!