Love Letters

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?


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.}

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0 thoughts on “Love Letters

  1. Kristen

    I love this idea, though I may have to wait until my kiddos are a bit older to really implement it well. I remember doing journals with my students when I taught middle school- I can’t believe I never considered doing it with my own kids!

  2. Kristen

    Oldest boy is 5 1/2 (homeschooling in Kindergarten), daughter is 3 1/2, another boy who is 20 months, AND a 5 month old boy. 🙂

  3. Anna

    This is great. My girls draw me love letters/pictures all the time, but they just end up on the fridge for a few days before they are trashed (which I always feel guilty about). This would be a great way to keep and cherish them but in a much more clutter free way! I even have notebooks I got personalized with each kids picture on the front years ago but have never used. Thanks Krissie what a great Mom and amazing person you are, so glad to have reconnected!!!

    1. Anna,
      THank you for stopping by to read! I am thrilled to be back in touch after so long. I bet your girls would love this idea, and you would treasure it too!

  4. Kristin K

    Kris, what a fantastic idea! thanks for sharing. And I have to say, you’re such a fantastic writer. I’m enjoying reading your blog, even though I don’t share the Christian viewpoint. Many inspiring little notes and wonderful writing 🙂

    1. Kristin, thanks so much for your comment. I know we have our differences, but it means much that you would stop by. Thank you! I think your girls would love the Journal idea! My boys are totally into it, which is such a gift! I look forward to having these mementos from this time. 🙂


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