Letters to My Family

I’m making a list…I’m checking it twice…..

No…I’m not going to find out who’s been naughty or nice.  I am, however, going to make a commitment to the people on that list.

A commitment to pray for them in 2012.

My list has 34 names on it.  Some of them I see every day, once a week, once a year, or never.  It is a list of my family members (immediate and extended).    I’ve listed my husband, my children, my son-in-law, my father, my brothers, their families, my aunts, and my cousins.  My commitment to them is, not just to pray, but to write them a letter….a handwritten letter on stationary, mailed through the US Post Office, with a stamp, during the year.  If I write at least one letter a week, by the time the Christmas card season rolls around, I’ll be ready to send them all a card, too.  I’ve used a basic Excel spread sheet to make my list.  It will give me room to add addresses, birthdays, a check-off system, even a place to add gift ideas with their likes/dislikes.

Why would I write a letter to my husband or my children, you may be asking?  I see them every day, almost.  If I don’t see them, I at least text them daily or “facebook” them, especially the extended family.  My son asked me one day why had I certain messages locked on my cell-phone so that they couldn’t be erased, the messages from him and his sister where they had texted me that they loved me.  I told him that one day, he might not feel like texting me that message.  We might have a falling out, or he just might be mad at me for some unknown teenager’s reason.  I wanted to be able to look at those to remind myself that they did in fact love me, even if current actions weren’t showing it.

However, the main reason I am committing to write each family member this year comes from my journey from the previous year.  As many of you know, I lost my mother and my grandmother in 2011.  As we have been going through their estates and belongings, I have become the keeper of all things photographic or written.  I’ve spent the last year reading journals and looking through photo albums, and scanning pictures into my computer so that I could share them with the rest of my family.   Every picture, no matter how blurry or out of focus, of my mother, I scan.  I want to remember her every look and I’m doing that through the pictures.

In the midst of going through some of my things, I found the cards and notes that she had sent to me over the years.  I cherish those notes now.  I look at them over and over again and remember how much she loved me.    I understand that there are lots of people that never received such a note from their parents; they never felt genuine love from their parents, never even heard the words spoken.  My heart aches for them.

I want my family to know how much I loved and prayed for them.  When the day comes that I can’t speak the words myself, I want these letters to remind them….they were loved.

Also, for right now, I want them to know that I am praying specifically for them.  So many times we say “I’m praying for you” and then go on our way.  The person trusts that we did indeed stop and pray for them…but too often, we don’t.  We say it and then go on about our business, never giving that prayer another thought.  With this list, I am committing to stop and pray specifically for them.

How can I pray specifically for them, especially for those that I’m not in close contact with now?  First I will pray that they are growing spiritually (who doesn’t need that pray?!) and for their physical safety.  As I learn of more specific areas I can pray, I will add those.  I am hoping that this will open lines of communication that have been closed for too long.  I hope that they will contact me back and ask me to pray in for certain areas of their lives.  I’ll add those requests to the Excel spreadsheet as a constant reminder of their needs and a place to chronicle answered prayers as I hear of them.

For my immediate family, I’m going to be writing them on a regular basis, maybe sharing insights from Bible studies that I come across, ideas to help them in their spiritual journey, encouragement for dreams being dreamed.  For those still living in the house with me, I’ll leave the letters in places only they will find them (under their pillow, in their office, in their car).  For my extended family, I’m going to send them copies of some of the pictures I’ve scanned, maybe pictures of them that they never saw before or pictures of those grandparents that connected us together.

You know, this isn’t a new idea.   God did it.  He wrote letters to me and to you.

The Bible.

The signature is written in blood.

It’s to remind us that we are loved.  It’s to encourage us, help us in our spiritual journey.  It’s to remind us that we are being prayed over.

John 17:9, 15, 17, 24….I pray for them….that thou shouldest keep them from the evil…{that God would } sanctify them…{that they will }be with me where I am

Who’s on your list to pray for in 2012?


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  1. Great post! Wonderful idea. What a blessing you will be to your family.

  2. Thanks for this post. I went on a mission trip once years ago and I wrote a letter to my husband and son and left them on the beds. I labeled them “Open after I’m gone.” For my husband I wrote it to be an encouraging letter etc. for what he had been going through and just a note to let him know how much I loved him. When I came back I asked him about the envelope, hoping he would tell me he liked it etc. Nope, he put it in the safe with my Will, thinking “after I’m gone” was in case I died. Silence on my part, nice try.


  1. […] write letters and pray for those I was writing to.  I wrote about my idea at A Martha Heart (click HERE to read).  Then right after I committed to do this, I saw a post over at (in)Courage where they […]

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