Thursday, June 23, 2011

Receiving and Giving

Today, June 22, 2011 is my 26th birthday.  The day is nearly over,  it's 23:26 to be exact and I'm sitting here reflecting on what makes a birthday so special. In my reflection I've decided that; what makes my birthday special has changed over the years. 

Growing up in Seattle, I can remember a couple of different years that my birthday landed on the last day of school. On one said occasion, my dad picked my brother and me up from school and took us to Wild Waves (a water park). If you would have asked me on that day, "What makes Birthdays special?" I would have said, "Wild Waves!" (I was maybe 8 or 9???).

The same thing could have happened today and my answer would be "My Dad and my Brother." And of course today, I would care a lot more about what I look like in a swimsuit than I did as a kid.  I guess that's a part of growing up; as you grow older, your priorities and your perspective changes... for better or worse. What once meant a lot, no longer does, and vis a versa. 

There's an aspect of birthdays that has been special for me since I was young girl (eek now I'm a young woman, side note) and that aspect is cards. My Great Aunt Anna May would send my brother and I a card for every occasion (at least it seemed like it as a kid). You name it... St. Patrick's Day... Thanksgiving... it seems like we would get a card, often with stickers, and sometimes; like on our birthday, we would get money too. Her hand writing fascinated me. The way she shaped her V for Vanessa especially fascinated me. Her "V"s are the reason why I sign my name the way I do today. Anna May is also to blame for my obsession with stickers, and why nearly every piece of mail I send has a sticker to seal the envelope (whether the envelope needs a seal or not).  More on this obsession in just a minute.....

As a kid in elementary school, notes and letters were a "secret" world that our teachers and parents weren't suppose to know about. I have a shoe box full of notes similar to the one George Strait sings about in his song "Check Yes or No". 

Age and high school, of course, changed the content of the notes, letters and cards. 

Across the world, and in the middle of "nowhere" in Zimbabwe, letters from my boyfriend (now husband) were.... well.... priceless. 

Today, on my birthday, I got the pleasure of reading several birthday cards. Cards are apart of what make birthdays special for me.  I realize now, that cards, are one thing that have more importance to me with each passing year. 

This board is in our bedroom. Some of the cards are from my birthday last year which will likely be replaced soon. Beckett's birth announcement is in the upper right hand corner of the board... I will display that for a long time to come... mostly because I still can't believe his mom and I are old enough to be married,  let alone parents. Plus he's adorable. There's also a card on this board that we got on our first anniversary. The card was one of very few for our first anniversary. It came from a 90+ lady from our church. Some of the cards are from me to Ryan and from Ryan to me.

This board is by our desk. I'm going to call this my reminder board. The board itself was a bridal shower gift from one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Ellingson. The colors of the board happen to be the inspiration for the coloring schemes in our dinning room and living room. There's a picture of my best friend Eun & I at her wedding. I don't get to see her very often... except for everyday in this picture. :) Just to the left of that is Caleb's birthday party invitation... it is there because that is a pile of invitations etc I need to buy or send gifts for.  I've bought and gave Caleb his gift already but I don't want to move it yet cause it's so cute... he's so cute! Then there's some scriptures that Toni has printed on cute paper for me. There is also a thank you from a young lady in the youth Sabbath School class that my husband leads.  Then there's business numbers and addresses for easy reference also.

I bought this Blessings card holder from Blessings Unlimited, it mostly holds pictures we received at Christmas time. But there's also some baby announcements and a really special card that was given to me from my Dad.

I also got this card holder from Blessings Unlimited. It sits on our kitchen table.  I think the next picture summaries  nicley.

I think this one is self explanatory. 
Back to that obsession I mentioned earlier... 
I enJOY sending cards etc at least 10 times as much as receiving them. And as you probably gathered from the past several photos, I REALLY ENJOY RECEIVING snail mail. For example, checking the mail is my favorite chore (we have a PO Box).  

The next several photos are of my obsession... 
Careful these pictures may be hazardous to your health... 
You have been warned....
Here are all of my card organizers in one photo. I currently have 6. I really need 7. ;)

This box contains cards for specific times of year, such as Valentines Day,  Fathers Day, etc. It also hold a few cards for  baby related occasions. At the bottom of this card organizer box is a little drawer which holds most of my stickers. 


This box is overflowing... this situation, along with "Everyday Encouragement {A Giveaway!}",  have inspired me... more on the my inspiration in a "minute" :) 

The "God is love" box is for my card ministry at church. The Birthday box is for... you guessed it... you're quick! I guess I should mention that these boxes are also from BlEsSiNgS UnLiMiTeD


On your left you see "My Holiday Plans" notebook. That notebook contains my Christmas card list, which is now somewhere between 300 and 400 people long. My friend/blank box is also too full.... insert more inspiration here! To the very far right is a box of random envelopes. 

Here is my perpetual calendar... it's full of special dates and special people. It lives next to my desk also, to the left of my "reminder board".

Here is my special day calendar for my card ministry at church.

Colored pens, return address labels are also apart of the obsession. 

And here are the stamps that i will be purchasing next. Yet another important detail that goes into my "obsession".

Inspiration time.... because of my overflowing boxes, the (in)courage giveaway, my 26th birthday, and the Holy Spirit teaching me the importance of taking TIME for others... I have decided..... (pause for effect)....... to send one card a day (I'm allowing one day off a week).  I don't imagine that any movies will be made due to this new endeavor, but I do imagine this being a really good thing. Here's to making EVERYDAY special... 

God is love,

PS. Please ignore typos... it's late... and it's my birthday! ;)

PSS. Here are some "greeting cards" from God:
II Corinthians 8:2, TLB. "Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, they have mixed their wonderful joy with their deep poverty, and the result has been an overflow of giving to others."

II Corinthians 9:7, NIV. "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

II Corinthians 8:12, TLB. "If you are really eager to give, then it isn't important how much you have to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you haven't."

Luke 12:48, NIV. "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

Luke 6:38, TLB. "For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you."

John 3:16, TLB. "For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Proverbs 17:17, TLB. "A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need."

John 15:15, NIV. "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you."

Philippians 2:3-4, TLB. "Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don't just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing."

Proverbs 27:9-10, TLB. "Never abandon a friend—either yours or your father's. Then you won't need to go to a distant relative for help in your time of need."

Proverbs 27:6, TLB. "Wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy!"

1 comment:

  1. Vanessa I love your writer's voice and thus I love reading your posts! Thank you for your giving heart and your inspiration to others!