Children

Love Letters ~ Revisited

 

I slip into their room, long after the giggling and wild rumpus has settled, the heavy breathing, slow and dreaming, is finally the only sound.  I place their notebooks on the floor, in plain sight. One for each of them, they will be excited to see them in the morning, these love letters we write.

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1John 3:18

A month or so ago, a mother whom we had never met dropped in on our MOPS group. She has four children, as I do, and was full of great ideas about various ways of connecting, ideas about how to creatively love her children. I listened and tried to absorb her wisdom. My mind is sometimes cramped and closed to other options.  I get in my ruts and spin wheels making no progress and here, here, she offered me an idea. I leapt giddy inside and ran with it. What was it, you ask?

Notebooks.

Just plain old notebooks that we pour our hearts into, for each other, for loving and receiving love.


Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:11,12

While I am a journal keeper, it hasn’t been easy to get my boys into the habit.  But this idea, this was it. This could quite possibly work. At the mention of it, I was met with resistance, heavy sighs and tense shoulders about something they knew nothing about, but to them it sounded a little reminiscent of schoolwork. Still, when I offered to take them to the store, so they could choose their notebook, they went willingly.

“Pick any one you like”. I chirped, in my most upbeat and hopeful voice. “This will be fun”!

Their faces, with scrunched noses and pursed lips, they were not yet totally convinced.

Two love letters later though, and they were hooked.

It’s so simple really, I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it, but I call it divine providence that that woman, that fellow mother in the trenches, sat in on that meeting that day. (You know, she hasn’t been back since.)

I learned of another way to love my boys.

Through words and drawings, through a shared journal of sorts. How wonderful it has been so far, watching them create love, watching them try to outdo their last note with another one. I have watched my seven year old assist his brother in writing and spelling. (And I look forward to introducing this pleasure to my girls as they get a little bigger.)  As an added bonus, we will have a full record of it all, pressed hard into the pages, by my five year olds death grip on the pencil, and the permanent hues of bright crayons covering the pages.  My seven year old likes to draw pictures of his hopes, an architect of assorted characters and dreams, his wants for the day there in gray and splashes of color.   The boy who always feels like it’s all wrong, and never good enough has found peace in this, which is a small miracle in itself.

My five year olds pages are predictable and yet astounding all at once. His drawings to me, all hearts and love flying between stick figures of him and myself. I love his crooked hearts and black eyed, swollen headed figures, us holding hands, or us hugging- he’s tough and wild and says crazy things to me, like,

“This is a picture of my brain, see the hearts coming out? That’s because it’s bursting with love for you.”


I crumble and swell with contentment, peace and the thrill of learning to love these boys even more.

I can’t help but think of the love letters from God, the ones that fill the gospels and Psalms, written out, there- recorded for our benefit, that we may never forget how much he loves us, to the cross, with that death conquering love that changes lives and refines hearts. Souls burn with renewed strength as his love letters to us seep in and change us forever.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.1 John 4:9, 10

This love, these love letters between my boys and their mamma, gifts. Pure gifts and a treasure I will have until the end.

{ Want to try this with your children?…….The idea is simple, allow your child to pick a notebook, then take turns writing to each other, because my five year old is still learning to read, I will often read my note to him, or try to write it in a way that he can read it himself, through single letters, “U R my sunshine {draw a sun}” and pictures, most of the time, he and I just draw pictures to each other. For older kids, this is an excellent way to learn about their likes and dislikes, ask them questions, tell them jokes, quote scripture to them, or write them a poem.  Everyday the first thing I hear in the morning is, “did you write me back?!”  They went into this hesitant, resisting, and now, they love to do it. I cannot recommend this enough.}

** This is a repost from the archives, as I am still sorting through my enormous to-do list this week. Thank you for grace. 

 

0 thoughts on “Love Letters ~ Revisited

  1. “This is a picture of my brain, see the hearts coming out? That’s because it’s bursting with love for you.”Oh my heart melted reading that!

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  2. musicgal_72653

    That is such a great idea!  My granddaughters and I do ours through scrapbooking.  One of my most precious things is a drawing from my now almost 11 year old granddaughter.  For one of mine and papa’s anniversaries, she drew a picture of us with hearts floating between us and included herself in the picture!  It’s still hanging in our kitchen after six years!

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  3.  Kris, I have hearts coming out of my head because of this! This is the mama loves her babies – and always will – and they will always know it. I linked up with Ann this week – but entered the link to my “preview” page – and not the actual post – it was a Laska the love Kitty post –grrrrrrrr. And I didn’t come via Anne’s link – just here to soak up your words – and make hearts come out of my head. God bless you Kris.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Aww, Craig, You made me laugh! You always encourage and uplift with your words. I have had such an insane week, I haven’t even had five minutes to check any of the links from Ann’s blog but I will be sure to stop by and see what Laska is up to this time,that wild, death-defying kitty. I am blessed by your words, as always. Blessings, brother.

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  4. I remember reading about this before.  I am not sure if it was here, or some other blog.  My children are older.  The oldest is 19.  Then 17, 11 and 8. I could possibly begin this with the two youngest.  Do you think I am too late?  I wish I would have thought about this when they were little.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Oh Barbie, please tell me it’s never *too late* when it comes to finding new ways to connect with the hearts of our children. I would totally try this with your 8 and 11 year olds. Keep it light, make it fun, not like homework… you might be amazed at what they will be willing to reveal to you eventually, through the pages…I will pray that they are receptive to it. I think you will all be so blessed by this 😉 Go for it!

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