“Have you had a good summer?” “I can’t believe it’s over!” “It’s gone by too fast!” These are the three catch phrases of the week in my hometown as our children head back to school.
Here I am this morning enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, alone for a few minutes — yet by this time tomorrow, I’ll have a house swirling with noise and commotion. Children running up and down the stairs, buttoning uniforms, zipping backpacks full of crisp school supplies. This new season begins even while we’re in the midst of a heat wave.
Our three older children are enrolled in a small Christian school again this year, and we attended their orientation night before last. My daughter’s second grade teacher prayed for all of us gathered in her classroom, students in their assigned seats with parents squatting down beside them. Then she gave us an assignment.
She asked us to write a letter to our child, secretly, using a special piece of stationery she’d placed on our child’s desk.
“Now?” we asked.
“Yes, now,” she whispered back to us. “Try not to let your child see what you’re writing. Then I’ll give it to them on the first day of school.”
I did as I was told and wrote a letter to my daughter. Our middle child, the quiet one who doesn’t demand much. With two older and two younger siblings, she sticks to my side while I’m working in the kitchen — because it’s the only chance we have to be alone.
I wrote her a simple note, wishing her a good first day of school. The words of encouragement burst forth as my hand scrawled across the green frog-themed stationery. “I’m praying for you today, and I’ll be praying for you every day,” I ended the letter.
Now, I feel a sense of excitement about her opening that note. She’ll feel special! Loved! Singled out for my attention!
This is how God speaks to us every day when we read His Word — His love letter reminding us how unique and special we are. For us as writers, we can be reminded that God’s ageless love speaks to us now only because His Words were once recorded by scribes, for eternity.
Today, I have an assignment for you. (Once an English teacher, always an English teacher, right?)
Have you ever written a letter to yourself? What would you say to encourage YOU, the writing parent? One who is interrupted daily with the repetitive tasks of living that make it difficult for you to find time to be alone, to express your creative voice.
Take five minutes and write something to be read a few days from now, a week from now, maybe even a month from now. Put it in an envelope, seal it up, and write the date on it: To Be Opened XX.
God has put the desire to be a writer on your heart — you must not give up and let this dream go!
His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.