Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pen and Paper

It sits on my brown nightstand.  A rough wooden 4x6 frame.  It resides next to my miniature Eiffel tower and my anniversary rock.  The rock shaped like a heart, found while walking hand in hand along the shores of Lake Michigan celebrating 12 years of walking through life together.

 A simple picture frame.  So simple one might look right past it.  Yet, its contents are a treasure.  A recipe.  The family recipe for cottage cheese pie penned in the scrolling handwriting of my beloved grandmother.  

She was one of the most vibrant and loving people that I have ever met.  She made life so very rich. She celebrated. She embraced. She selflessly gave. She radiated Jesus to everyone that she encountered.  
The frame bookends my days.  It is a beautiful reminder of the sort of person that I want to be. My glance falls on the familiar frame and I smile. Her memory embraces me. I remember who she was and I am inspired to choose moment by moment to love and to serve

A pie pan.  Nothing fancy or gourmet.  I turn it over and my breath catches in my throat.  A physical reaction to the surge of emotions flooding this moment.  I had not expected to see her beautiful handwriting.  Quickly written on masking tape so as to identify her pan at one of the many gatherings she was always a part of.  It is so ordinary, the jotting of a name.  But somehow when I see it, run my hand along it, it somehow transforms into something more.  It is a balm to that ache of deeply missing her.  

A card delivered in the mail from one of my favorite people.  It is addressed to our family and inside the author has written a message to each member of our clan.  My mind has returned to those words repeatedly since reading them.  There was something significant about seeing those words written in her hand.  The words took on a depth that may have been lost in any other form.

There is something deeply personal about handwriting.  It is unique, almost like a fingerprint.  Messy or neat.  Choppy or flowing.  Tiny or large.  It matters not what it looks like, it matters that it is yours.  It is beautiful because it is yours and yours alone.  

In our fast paced, efficient world we have lost the art of handwriting.  Sure, there is a time and a place to embrace the digital form, but I believe that we should also hold dear the pen and paper.  

Putting ink to paper captures something. A small piece of time, a piece of you. It is tangible, tactile, timeless.

What if we took the extra few minutes to write that note to a friend instead of sending them an email or a Facebook message.  What if we sat and penned our thoughts into a journal.  What if we jotted a quick note and tucked it in a child’s lunchbox.  What if …

As I turn the page on the calendar this week and embark upon a new month I am challenging myself to be intentional about writing more.  My goal is to hand write something everyday, and to pen something of significance at least once a week.  Maybe you would like to join me as I work to cultivate this habit. I would love to hear how you have been touched by a handwritten piece or how you incorporate writing into your world.  Let’s be creative together, documenting this beautiful life that we have been given.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Very Long Absence

Let me start by stating the glaringly obvious.  I have not written anything in a very, very long time. The reasons for this prolonged absence are varied and complicated.  Some reasons are legitimate and others are excuses. Yet, as I have waded and trudged through them, slowly analyzing, I have come to realize that I truly miss writing.  

Writing forced me to lead a more examined life.  I chose to look for the meaning in the mundane, in the minute, and in the momentous alike.  Moments that often scuttle by unobserved, undocumented become much more significant. Through the mixing and kneading of thoughts I learned a great deal. 

I also realized that I really missed the conversations that were started through this blog.  I was so blessed and encouraged through the written and verbal conversations that transpired.  I miss those, and I would love to have more of them.   

I hope that you will extend me grace for my very long departure. I hope that you will join me again as we seek to learn from the slow, simple life.