If I were to write a Christmas card this year what would I write?

Would I boast about my kids? About what John Mark is doing and little Duke is saying and by-the-way, Matthew has turned out to be an amazing man?

Would I paint a picture of perfection that everyone knows can’t be true—though that’s the way I see them all?

Would I dare admit that this family of mine is flawed?

That we don’t always agree, sometimes argue, and don’t know if and when and how to say those things we’re not sure we ought to say at all?

Or would I just pretend… again?

That life is perfect and if only everyone would be like me, they’d be happy too.

And would I write my worth in deeds I’m doing?

Rushing here and doing that and making sure my right hand knows my left is busy blowing trumpets of glory-be-to-me?

Or would I tell of deeds not done, of flaws untouched, of people mad and me the same? Would I admit that marriages died and I couldn’t help and I made a mess when I tried?

Dare I recount the struggles and the failures, and all those doubts?

Or boring days of sameness?

Or mornings I slept in and didn’t listen to what I needed so much to hear?

And maybe that’s why I can’t write Christmas cards anymore.

Because real life isn’t pretty… and the beauty I’ve found in all these ashes can’t be pictured in accomplishments and accolades.

And yet there are people I love and haven’t told enough of why.

Grown kids and husbands and wives and little ones and Mom and Dad and sisters too; friends and brothers whose lives have mingled long with mine.

Could I craft my letters just for them?

Tell them who they are to me and why I love them so and sprinkle just a bit of courage back to those who’ve shown me more than most?

Would I take the time to write it down, to point it out, to let them know I noticed too?

Dare I do just a few? Thought-filled words of loving hope of things I see about their hearts?

Might this be what Christmas cards could be about?

Dearest Daughter,

This Christmas I just wanted

to take some time to write

what I love about you…

From my heart,


Would you join me this year in writing just a few cards of encouragement to those who need to know? Those who need the courage that comes when someone sees them through the lenses of the One whose story started all this celebration?

I guarantee you that those letters won’t be tossed in the trash. They’ll be read and reread and tucked away to read again.

What greater gift to give the King than words of love to those He loves?

Would you share with all of us how it goes?

“That their hearts may be encouraged…”

Colossians 2:2

“Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another…and we urge you, brethren…encourage the fainthearted…”

I Thessalonians 5:11,14

“Encourage one another day after day…”

Hebrews 3:13

My HeartIntentional Parents