The art of letter writing - Lindy Jacobs

The Art of Personal Letter Writing

Remember the joy of receiving an envelope with familiar handwriting? We’ve all become comfortable sending off a quick text or email, but it’s not the same. I grew up when everyone wrote letters to share news, express love, friendship, recipes, congratulations, thanks, and condolences. The first time I moved away from my family to live in New York, a page or two of scribbles and drawings from my sisters made me less homesick. My grandmother who had nineteen grandchildren managed a two-page newsy letter tucked into her care package of gumdrop cookies. Sometimes she would add a Billy Graham article. I’ve saved these precious letters from family. For years, our pastor wrote a personal letter of encouragement to every member of the congregation on their birthdays. I looked forward to receiving those letters! What an example of faithfulness. We encouraged the children to write thank you notes for gifts, and that worked until they got email and cell phones. Though I was especially touched to read the letter my fourteen-year-old son wrote to my dad after his stroke.  “You will get better, Grandpa. You are the best frisbee thrower. I look forward to Fourth of July with you and the cousins.”  Do you know someone who could use a cheerful “just checking-in to see how you are doing?” letter?  High quality bond stationary is nice, but even a letter written on notebook paper provides a connection for the writer and the receiver that can’t be matched with a text or email.

“A person who can write a long letter, with ease, cannot write ill,” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Here are some resources and tips for how to stay in touch.

Just a Note to Say by Florence Isaacs

Heart Spoken by Elizabeth H. Cottrell

Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See.

Love, Henri. Letters on the Spiritual Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen