Birthday gifts come and go, but with it came the expectation of a thank you. Aunts and Uncles slipped a $5 bill into a birthday card each year and within the week, I wrote a thank you note to that aunt and uncle in my best penmanship.
Handwritten “thank yous” were the norm of my growing up years. My mom taught my brothers and I at a young age that there was no gift too small that didn’t deserve one of these treasured notes. And treasured they were! Years later, I found many a note that my mom and dad had saved that I wrote to them. To my parents they were little love notes that kept a piece of each child close by even after we moved away.
The honored tradition of writing handwritten notes, whether as a thank you, for encouragement, or even a love note, is no longer valued as it once was. Instead, we find ourselves texting or emailing our “thank you” or quite possibly just saying the words.
How can we pass on these little love note traditions when we have lost sight of the blessing of letting someone know they are treasured and known?
Gift of Intentionality
Several weekends ago, I was in the Smoky Mountains with my oldest son. It wasn’t enough for me to be in one of my favorite places. Instead, of taking the beauty for granted, I intentionally searched for these handwritten snippets of splendor as we rounded every bend. You see God adores leaving the best love notes where we least expect them. And we end up missing the treasure right in front of us because we already have our eyes seeking what’s hidden around the next curve.
I am not always intentional as I go throughout my days. I have my moments, but more often than not, you will find me hyper-focused on the task at hand. It’s hard to admit this to all of you, but we face so many choices on any given day. For me, intentionality gets shoved towards the bottom of the list.
But on this extended weekend trip, I chose to find the unseen by:
snapping a picture of the the scattered leaves, walking on trails with my eyes wide open and heart ready to receive.
And the best parts of the weekend were the sweet love notes God scattered for my son and I to find.
In Ezekiel, we read this description of the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden. It catches our full attention and causes heads to turn at its beauty. But God doesn’t always make it is easy to uncover His love notes.
It was immense,
dwarfing all the trees in the forest—
Thick boughs, long limbs,
roots delving deep into earth’s waters.
All the birds of the air
nested in its boughs.
All the wild animals
gave birth under its branches.
All the mighty nations
lived in its shade.
It was stunning in its majesty—
the reach of its branches!
the depth of its water-seeking roots!
Not a cedar in God’s garden came close to it.
No pine tree was anything like it.
Mighty oaks looked like bushes
growing alongside it.
Not a tree in God’s garden
was in the same class of beauty.
I made it beautiful,
a work of art in limbs and leaves,
The envy of every tree in Eden,
every last tree in God’s garden. Ezekiel 31:6-8 MSG
Instead, God calls us to intentionally seek Him with our whole being. To take a chance on traveling the unknown path. And seeing beauty where we least expect it.
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That is abundance.
A life living in obedience to a gracious God.
Our story intertwined with God’s story.
A comma where we normally put a period.
I pray sweet blessings for all of you this week. May you find abundance and beauty in the most remarkable spaces as you walk through a new week.
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