God’s Peculiar Love Letter

Everywhere I’ve turned for the past week or so I’ve been confronted with the same theme:

LOVE.

Perhaps it’s because we have now entered into the month of love itself, February, with all it’s hearts and candy and worldly invitations to woo your loved one with dinner and cards and fancy stuffed bears on the 14th. But it’s not just the Valentine’s frenzy that skews our idea of love- it’s sometimes every fairy tale and love story (hello Hallmark channel…) that touts a knight or otherwise manly hero on a white horse who slays dragons or personal demons to secure the undying love of a woman and be her everything.

Somehow I don’t think either of those depictions of love even scratch the surface of what love really is… at least not in the sense of how God meant it.

swallow-Image-Graphics-Fairy2

{image via The Graphics Fairy}

Love must mean something more than pink hearts scrawled with “Be Mine” that leave us with a sugar crash. More than dozens of red roses that fade and wither.

It’s easy to note what we ‘love’- just look at our pinterest boards… And it’s convenient to grab the bear and the box of chocolates from the drug store on our way home to show our ‘love’… And it’s effortless to list what qualities we ‘love’ {and don’t love especially when it comes to families or spouses and sometimes ourselves…}

But can I share something with you? For all the beauty, wonder and emphasis the world puts on ‘love’…

Lean in close friends…

To really love is hard.

And sometimes ugly.

And sometimes the last thing we want to do.

Because it’s more than a feeling. It’s a decision.

And it’s impossible to have real love without the most important element:

GOD.

***

Our pastor put us on a mission last month and that mission should we choose to accept it, was steeped in showing love through writing letters of encouragement.

I was absolutely sold on this task and quickly gathered my cards, stamps, sharpie pens and address book. I hit the ground running only to find the devil nipping at my heels a few weeks into it…

What if what I’m writing comes off as silly? What if they thought my card choice was weird? What if they think I’m crazy?

photolady007

{image via The Graphics Fairy}

So I slowed the pace of my letter writing campaign and a few days later when opening my bible during this bible study homework, was confronted with this passage:

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a PECULIAR people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; ~ 1 Peter 2:9

Aha. Permission to be… quirky for the sake of the Lord. That I can do- I mean just look at this blog…

And then another example of eccentric encouragement came to mind in the form of Miss Gerry…

She and her husband attended our church when I was a child and they lived on a small farm with a pond and a paddle boat just down the road from us. My dad would take me fishing there after dinner some nights because we had open permission to visit any time- just don’t let the cows out.

Miss Gerry was an artist and had converted what could have originally been the attached garage of her house into a studio. I remember counter tops and cabinets lining the walls with finished canvasses propped on every surface. Paints and easels scattered about. A wood stove warming the cool concrete floor in the winter and in my seven-year old eyes I was smitten with her artistic abandon and flowery style.

Likewise, Miss Gerry who had no grandchildren or even children of her own, was strangely taken with me. She was relentless in her encouragement and insisted that I enter my art in her women’s club competition. I fondly remember how she would bring little gifts from her travels- a tiny bible, lacy gloves, a leather coin purse and one time, a pink and white beaded bracelet with my name spelled out.

But the gift I remember most, was of all things, an astronaut Barbie because it was after church one Wednesday night and she specifically sought me out -going as far to follow us to my aunt’s house where we stopped on our way home -to make sure her present made it into my hands. It wasn’t even my birthday or Christmas and I’m fairly sure no one told her that I loved Barbies or desired one.

She just saw it and wanted me to have it.

***

God feels the same way with us. He loves us. Dotes on us. Encourages us.

He seeks us out because He desires for us to have His love.

Not because we have done anything to deserve it. Not because society’s calendar deems it an appropriately timed gift. Not because it’s easy. He loved us so much that he died an ugly and horrible death. One that we could say was unconventional or even unwarranted, but in His eyes, it was totally necessary.

Forget everything society’s ever shown you about true love because only in Christ are you:

fully loved and fully known

He doesn’t use fancy doily Valentine’s or decadent desserts but He loves you regardless right where you are and how you are. In the meaningful and the messy times. ‘Cause let’s face it, not every day is a walk in the park even when we let His love rule in our lives.

But do I want to keep practicing loving like Him? Recklessly? Eccentrically? Maybe even a little foolishly? Even when it feels hard?

Absolutely.

And I’m willing to bet you do too.

***

Clearly, YOU are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:3

So I’m continuing the love letter campaign beyond January. It seems like a mighty fine idea. One letter a week shouldn’t be too much to ask. Would you be willing to join me in sending some of your own?

Do you desire to receive them too…?… Because there’s something I want you to have– my own little extra love letter to YOU… So if you’re wanting some encouragement along the way delivered at just the right time…

Click here to enter your email address to start receiving – and giving!- more love ♥

{Note: This is a separate mailing list apart from if you’re already receiving posts via email so make sure you re-enter your email so I can make sure you’re getting all the extra good stuff ♥}

As a thank you for so graciously granting me access to your inbox you’ll also be sent a link to a pretty little printable set of scripture cards {ready for your coloring pleasure..!}

cards

Thank you as always for making my corner of the world brighter through your love, comments and emails. Y’all are the best and I treasure each and every one of you!

xo, Heather

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18 thoughts on “God’s Peculiar Love Letter

  1. Heather, what a beautiful idea. I bet the folks who receive your letters aren’t thinking you’re silly at all, I bet they’re touched. In this digital world, it’s nice to receive something hand written. And, thanks for pointing out the “permission” to be peculiar. 😀 Happy to be your link-up buddy at Holley’s place today. ((blessings))

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First, I LOVE the images in this post — what an adorable little bird!!! (See my post today for a homely little bird :)) But I must admit that seeing LOVE everywhere this time of year gets on my nerves a little bit 🙂 but when you point us to the love God has for us — well, that’s an entirely different story– I want MORE of that! And I just adore the idea you’ve introduced about receiving a little extra love from YOU – -bring it on, sweet friend! How wonderful that you had a friend who encouraged you and poured love into you, growing up — what a gift to have those kind souls walk with us for a time in our lives, isn’t it? Sending LOVE to you today! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I love that we were apparently on the same wavelength today with our birds! And yes even Valentine’s can get on my nerves too! I’m not good with being ‘told’ how to show my love- haha! I guess it’s my rebellious side coming out. Thanks for the newsletter encouragement! I hope I’ll get at least a few takers! You signed up right?? : ) Yes Miss Gerry was such a blessing even if it wasn’t for long-she passed when I was about 10 or 11- but I will never forget her. Much LOVE to you today and everyday my friend! ♥♥♥

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  3. Hi Heather … gee, I hadn’t even thought of Valentine’s Day! But God’s love has been clear and evident in recent days and your thoughtful post has been icing on the cake.

    Thank you for sharing His love in such winsome ways …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I Heather, I liked your pastor’s challenge about writing cards or letters of encouragement. We rarely get mail anymore, so it’s extra special to get something like a handwritten note of encouragement! (And how funny about the encouragement to be PECULIAR! So funny.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this!

    But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a PECULIAR people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; ~ 1 Peter 2:9

    Aha. Permission to be… quirky for the sake of the Lord.

    I so agree!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Finally a quiet moment to enjoy your post and what a read. I think we all can do with more of your sort of “peculiar” Heather – bring it on. What a beautiful idea – hand written notes – such a rarity these days and with the sole purpose of blessing and encouraging someone. What a gift. A great reminder that God calls us to show His “peculiar to this world” love. God Bless the Miss Gerrys of the world that go the extra mile. I had one of them too and it meant such a lot to me. Beautiful story telling Heather. A pleasure and an inspiration to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh yes how sweet Miss Gerry was. Always there to share and show love in her precious way. Girl, you are certainly full of Love and show it in so many ways. God’s love is so evident in your life and I am in awe at your wisdom. Love you girl.

    Liked by 1 person

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