When my husband and I were engaged, he lived in Dallas and I lived in Virginia Beach. Texting didn’t exist. There was no FaceTime or Skype. We communicated through marathon phone calls and the good old fashioned love note. James is very creative, so my notes were rarely addressed to my maiden name. Oh no, they were addressed to:
My Soul Mate
And those are just a few of the names he had for me on those envelopes. My mail carrier loved to deliver my mail because every day it was so interesting. She always had a sly smile for me!
We lived long distance for about six months before we were married so I amassed quite an impressive collection of love notes. I bought and decorated a white mail box to keep the letters in. Seventeen years later, I still have that mailbox and all the love notes.
I’ll let you read a little bit of my mail from November 22, 1998:
I daydream about holding your pretty little face in my two hands and looking at you in the airport.
I am forever yours,
I can’t help but smile when I read those words and remember for just a moment the great anticipation that used to be associated with the Dallas airport! We tend to daydream about our spouses a lot less with every year of marriage.
Love notes, especially when they are dated, can give us a beautiful sense of perspective. Look where we have come from as a couple. Wow, I can’t believe you felt that way about me! That’s funny, I remember that!
So maybe on your spouse’s birthday, holiday, or a perfectly ordinary day, take a piece of paper and write down what you love about your husband or wife. Give a sincere compliment. Say something encouraging about an area of life that you know your spouse is struggling with (mean boss, difficult client, colicky baby…).
My husband once got the advice, “Don’t write anything negative down in a note because after the problem is resolved, the note is still there.” That was good advice.
When you have a problem to work out, talk face to face. Don’t write a nasty letter that will be re-read and fuel the fire long after you have resolved the matter.
Instead, save your ink for a love note. Write the kind of message you want your husband or wife to remember and dwell upon. The kind of note you’d want your children to find 50 years from now to show them what kind of love you had together.
We each have a love story with our husbands. Let’s not forget the poetry and magic amidst the day to day bustle of life. Pens ready…
By the way – the small but mighty love note works great with kids too. My 5th grade daughter has a math test ahead of her, so I’ll slip a note into her lunch bag that says, “You are doing a great job working hard at math. Praying for you to be calm and relaxed as you take your test. I am proud of you! Noelle knows numbers!”
Let’s be quick to encourage one another in our families, beginning with our spouses and then with our children. The small but mighty love note might just be a highlight to your loved one today!