Oil and perfume make the heart glad; So does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart. Proverbs 27:9 Amplified
In recent days, I’ve made the conscious decision to ‘pause and ponder‘ in the wake of overwhelming to-do’s and demands. I came to a resting point in the midst of some very challenging days and the tasks that were required of me within those days. In the deep of that resting point, was the reflective thought of gratitude.
Reflecting upon the myriad of blessings that had been gifted to me from God, I started to walk down a path that led me to an unexpected place. But come with me, Sister, in this thought process ~~ the blessing of Friends and the Friendships that poured out as a result of relationship. This is the first highlight I want to share with you.
Feast on our Scripture verse above. The aroma of a true friend’s counsel is likened to oil and perfume. And not just a superficial comment of flattery or trite passing text messages, but counsel from the heart.
In this digital world of ours, it’s all too easy, and it’s expected of you, to simply ’email’ or ‘text’ your thoughts, emotions and responses. In a recent meeting, I discovered that I was the only person who actually wrote things down ~~ everyone else captured all their tasks and projects into digital format. And while this may be ‘efficient’ in the world of business, it takes away the ‘personal accountability’ to one’s own words and work. In fact, computers (be it the smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop version) are designed to be intuitive and will ‘complete your sentences for you.’ The benefit to the editor is the lesser amount of work, but now the author need not think in terms of complete or whole thought processes. We’ve nearly eliminated the need to master the art of English writing skills. The end result is fragmented thoughts and equally fragmented relationships.
Writing is not an ‘art,’ as much as it is a means to communicate ~~ directives, responses, inquiries, emotions, etc. I tend to view the works of a writer as their thoughts and ideas. So I cherish reading ~~ allows for me to embrace what another person has to share.
How many times have you been Blessed by the sweet counsel of a dear Friend? If you’re like me, you can’t even count! A lifetime of raining Friendship and when times were difficult and I felt knee-deep in mud, true Friends pulled me out. They pulled me out of my wrong-way thinking and set me on the right path; even when it was hard to receive. Tears streaming down my face, soaked tissues surrounding my lap, the advice of a true Friend has always been my greatest comfort ~~ Jesus in skin.
So my ‘pause and ponder‘ behavior led me to take that pen in hand and scribe the words deep within my heart and onto paper. Yes, stationery paper and envelope. I made the commitment to not waste the opportunity to express those treasured moments of appreciation and gratitude ~~ life is like a vapor, here and gone the same instant. And I put genuine effort into this ~~ went to the store specifically to buy note cards that outwardly represented me (the chosen colors and designs). Each opportunity that God presented me ~~ He Whispered ‘write.’
It has been an awakening and stirring of emotions that I didn’t realize were tucked away in that closet of hidden treasures. Employees who had resigned and were no longer going to be part of my everyday work environment. My massage therapist, Patsy, who lovingly and skillfully takes great care of my body. My Friend, Jackie (the world’s greatest Avon Lady), who has done life with me for two decades. Believe it when I say that tears welled up in my eyes with each note that I penned. This only proved to me how valuable each person has been to me. That being said, I will continue to express in this manner ~~ no matter how ‘outdated’ or ‘old-fashioned’ or (ready for this one) ‘old-school’ this gesture may appear to some digital masters of the keyboard.
The second highlight of this practice leads me to the foundation of why this blog exists: For The Ones Coming Up Behind Me..
With each note I include specific memories that were shared with the reader. When their note is tucked away and forgotten in some drawer or box, it will one day be found and read again. Hopefully, it will trigger fond memories of me and them and will cause a smile to surface ~~ in some cases, outright laughter. But also embedded within my personalized messages are glimmers of hope for a bright future ~~ whether it is with or without me. The goal is to impart hope. When there are those who face an uncertain future, the best thing we can give and share is hope. And that is exactly why living the life of a Follower of Christ is so important ~~ it may be the only view of Him they receive.
The young ones (in my ‘now years’ I refer to the young adults as the young ones) have much more to develop and work towards in becoming full-fledged adults. Paving the way for them to choose to live a life that would be fulfilling and satisfying is always on my heart. You may think that the reader will ‘fade away’ into the sunset, but only God knows if your paths will once again cross. Inscribing some simple words of meaning may result in a deep-dive of life-changing events ~~ all because you took the time to write and connect.
I encourage you, my Sister, to take that extra opportunity and consider it a privilege to be Jesus with skin and express that thank you. I guarantee it will go a long way.
My dear Friend, MJ, once told me that she keeps all her thank you notes ~~ from every occasion ~~ and when times are difficult, she opens them up to remind herself that things aren’t going to remain as bad as they presently seem. Wouldn’t it be awesome if one of those notes came from you? You could lift someone’s spirit in the future!
The third and last highlight I want to pass along to you is this: too often we wait until it is too late to say thank you.. It’s like the flowers at the funeral ~~ the deceased cannot appreciate your gesture of kindness nearly as much as if you would present them while they can enjoy them.
Leaving a legacy of gratitude and authentic appreciation will go down in history. If you’re going to spend eternity together, no better reason to start practicing singing songs of joy and thankfulness this side of Paradise. And you can begin by committing your words to paper.
I pray that I have planted some seeds of thought for you to water, Girlfriend.
Who will be the first recipient of your note of thanks?
I love you to Heaven and Back ~~
PS: All of my Girlfriends know who they are ~~ they’re reading this right now. So if you haven’t received your thank you note, it’s soon to be delivered.