My husband and I have known each other for nine years. Roughly two months after we met, I knew he was the man I would one day marry. The day I woke up from a dream of marrying him, I started to write in a journal. This one piece of paper turned into multiple journals for him! I kept a journal everywhere. It was on my phone, on my computer, a handwritten notebook, voice memos, and videos saved. I started thinking outside of the box in that first moment of writing out my dream, praying and trusting it would come true someday. I thought what a great gift this would be for our wedding—although he had no clue this was going to happen!
I wrote to my now-husband about everything: random thoughts, funny stories from living overseas, dreams I had for our one-day family, and prayers. We never spoke the words “I love you” until we were engaged, but you can bet my journals were FULL of those three words. I shared hurts and struggles with him. All.The.Things. For example, on January 8th of 2011 I wrote, “In Stuttgart waking up from midtag schlafen. I have a peace even in my dreams about you, you taking my hand, and I yours in marriage, and spending life together.”
Now some of you may think, “Sheesh, she’s stupid!” Some of you may think, “Sheesh, she was sure of what she hoped for and certain of the things she could not see.” Both might be accurate! But what a beautiful gift it was on the day of our wedding. I compiled ALL my journals and surprised him with a timeless treasure.
Last year, I set out on a big goal. My goal was to hand write a birthday card for each person on my husband’s side of the family. For some, this may be an easy task. Send, maybe, 9 cards out within 9 months. Done! But let me remind you my husband is a Tongan Polynesian Pacific Islander. Family is ev-er-y-thing in their culture. When I say it was a big goal, I’m talking on average 5 cards a month. 62 hand-written cards! Is sending an 18-second text message easier than to write a card? It is by FAR! But I wanted to do something unique for the receiver of the card. I wanted to be intentional with taking time away from my world and think outside of the box on something tangible to bless each loved one.
As I set out to attain my goal, I took time every month to think about, pray for, look up a verse to share, and write out a card designated specifically for that family member. I made my husband and kids sign it to the best of their ability. I would also place a single 2.00$ bill in the card ending with “You are as unique as this $2.00 bill!”
This gave me great joy. I wanted my husband’s family to know even though we no longer live in physical proximity to them, we still love them and cherish them. Again, hoping this sentiment was a priceless present.
So what is the whole point of these two stories?
Rise to the Challenge: Write
Think outside of the box this holiday season! It is easy to feel the pressure of buying that perfect gift for someone. We stress out over getting to this store and waiting in a line to make that purchase. Later, we exchange that gift we bought because we think they’ll like another gift more.
Allow me to be the first one to say it is perfectly acceptable to NOT buy anything this holiday season…except for paper and pen.
What did she say? Has that been done before? Most likely it hasn’t!
Ready for a challenge? Write something this holiday season. When was the last time you wrote to a friend, your spouse, or even your kids? When did you last write a thank you card or send an encouraging letter to a struggling mom?
Unexpected and uncommon gifts are timeless. They are cherished throughout the years. Unexpected and uncommon gifts are incomparable, unmatched, and unrivaled. They are priceless. No monetary amount can be placed upon such a keepsake. Take the challenge?