The Art of Words

Have you ever met someone with a loving heart as big as the state of Texas? Well, that describes my dear friend, Sarah Harmeyer. She considers herself a “people gatherer” and has founded an amazing “businesstry” (business + ministry) called Neighbor’s Table. People all across America are experiencing the life-changing impact of her “love mission.” More on that in a future blog post.
Just as Sarah is a world-class encourager, she is fueled by affirmation and encouragement, too. (Aren’t we all? To quote the late, great Truett Cathy: “How do you know if someone needs encouragement? If they’re breathing!”)
When Sarah moved to Dallas several years ago and bought a home, she asked for a decorator’s assistance. One of the last tasks was to decide what artwork to put on the walls. For the prime spot over the living room sofa, the decorator suggested a grouping of botanical prints. Sarah liked that idea, but wanted something more meaningful.
For years, she’d kept a file of special notes and letters that had been sent by significant people in her life. And Sarah asked the decorator if they could create a collection of art from those notes. She selected six of her favorite notes from people who had dramatically impacted her life: an encouraging note from her father, life-giving affirmation from her sister, the last loving note from her precious mother from the back of a Valentine’s Day card, sweet appreciation from her grandmother, words of gratitude and encouragement from her former boss as she departed for a new career, and meaningful insights from a mentor who had helped her process the grief from losing her mother during her high school years.
Words that affirmed Sarah. Insightful words. Words that gave her life and courage and reminded her of the special person God created her to be. 
She copied small sections of each note. Sarah didn’t want the whole note to be on display, just a few meaningful words that reminded her of the person and the love behind the words. A friend added a sepia tint to each selection. The excerpts were enlarged at a local office supply store, trimmed and placed in frames from Ikea. The expense was minimal. The impact was monumental.
So often, we dismiss the importance of a handwritten note. Text messages are so much more efficient. (And let’s face it, we can all be lazy.) But there’s something about the written word when expressing sincere love, appreciation and affirmation that touches the heart of the recipient. The impact of a simple note can truly last forever. And seeing a person’s handwriting brings back the memories of a loved one in a way that typed words cannot.
What about you? Have you saved some affirming notes that you cherish? Consider doing what Sarah did. Create a collection of art from those special words. You’ll be amazed how life-giving constantly seeing those beautiful remembrances can be. 
Words of affirmation are priceless gifts to those we love. Why not write a note today?T