Making cards and writing letters to my loved ones are some of my favorite things. I know this to be true. However, I see a huge gap between living that wonderful life of card-making and how I’m living today. Sometimes we have to look outside ourselves to find clues as to what’s happening inside.
As I sort through my card-making supplies, there’s far too much evidence of this depressing gap:
– a collection of cards my friends would absolutely love, completely blank and never sent out.
– a handful of cards I’ve started “Dear Friend,” and nothing else.
– a stack of written cards already placed in envelopes with addresses, yet never sent out.
I see something terribly wrong here. How did I get as far as writing the card, placing it in the envelope, writing the address on it, and not send it out?
What stopped me?
I didn’t have stamps? That’s easily solvable.
The inconvenience and unfamiliarity of the post office? Perhaps, partially.
Would my friends appreciate the card? Can’t control that. Well, I actually think they really would.
Or is it something deeper.
How I view myself. My self-worth bar is quite below where it needs to be and because I *think* making a card is Amy’s activity and her heart’s desire, it is not important, and therefore not worth the time and effort. I quickly dismiss it.
I recall looking at a beautiful card I bought for a friend. It sits near my desk as a reminder to write a note for her. The initial excitement gradually turned into a bitter depression – I’ll never get to it. It’s as if it’s a reflection of how I see myself – the annoyance and frustration, the disapproving thoughts.
I *wonder* if you can relate. Is there a fun project you’ve been wanting to do for a long time? Were you excited about it, did all the research on it, yet find yourself bummed every time you look at it? Start asking yourself the question why.
I have a friend who’s great at writing me cards every birthday and Christmas. As we grow older and our lives busier, these cards mean all the more to me. Y’know, it truly makes me sad: all the missed opportunities over the years that a simple card could’ve told my friend,
I love you.
I miss you.
I’m thinking of you.
I hate that in my brokenness of not knowing my worth, I held back love from too many people. It’s ironically quite selfish. I actually believe I’ve in turn hurt people because I didn’t know how to love well. I feel awful about that, but I also understand we’re all in process.
As we get healed in our brokenness, we are able to love God, ourselves, and others better! I’m not where I was, and I’m not where I want to be, but I’m definitely further along than where I started. Chances are, so are you!
And the second [commandment] is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’Matthew 22:39 (NKJV)
For those who have a hard time loving yourselves like me, this verse gives us permission to love ourselves. It is directly connected to a commandment! It is not selfish. How are we to love our neighbor as ourselves if we don’t even love ourselves? So once again – as we love ourselves better, the better we love the people around us naturally.
As we journey how to love ourselves and others better, many questions will come up. And before you get overwhelmed by all these questions, I want to release you from needing to know all the answers to your questions. You don’t need to know all the answers to your questions. It is good and healthy to see what’s going on inside your heart and mind. Just don’t let those unanswered questions prevent you from moving forward. Many times it’s in the doing that we get our breakthrough.
In the last few months instead of just “realizing” and “talking” about things, I’m kicking my card-making into gear! I’ve started writing custom notes on home-made cards, vintage cards, and curated store-bought cards on my typewriter! As I write cards for people, I remember why I love card-making in the first place: to love people well. My debut was the hardest day (surprise surprise), but I pushed through. I’ll go into that more in detail on another post.
If you’re in Southern California, come stop by at Crafted for Mother’s Day weekend! On May 7-8 (Friday & Saturday) I’ll be making cards for everyone’s Mama. 🙂