Dear Moms and Dads,

Dear-Mom-and-Dad

Moms and Dads,

I’m not a big one to write any kind of “open letter,” but I don’t know how else to say these things that are on my heart. You see, I spent the last week with some of your sons and daughters, teaching through the Old Testament. We talked about God’s love and protection and how from the beginning of time, He’s simply been calling us back to Him because of His great love for us.

We talked about how there is really nothing more loving and caring than the truth that because of God’s great love for us He has spent all of time warning us of the danger of His judgement and wrath, and showing us the way to be saved from it through our  faith in and allegiance to Jesus.

As we talked about the times of the prophets and how God sent them to His people for over 400 years, we reasoned together that it really made no sense for someone to hear a warning for their entire life and not respond to it. In fact, they thought that seemed just crazy!

They also reasoned that even if the time was 300 years, or 200 years or 50 years or 10 years, the only logical response to a warning of this magnitude was to respond, run to and stay in the care of the One who could save you from the impending danger.

And so they responded. They shared their hearts about how they were like the people of the Bible. They, too, knew these things of God, but weren’t responding. But now, they wanted to be different. They no longer wanted to be like those who knew, and did nothing.

As we shared about their lives when they returned home, a common thread could be found woven into their stories. They felt as though even though they knew God was with them, they would be humanly alone in their families.

I heard student after student share that their families were no longer following the Lord. Parents and grandparents who love their children, know God, and are connected in some way to a church have lost their way–so much so that commitment to God and His church have become an afterthought in their lives. The same parents and grandparents who sent them to church camp are not camping out with them in church!!!

Parents, hear this. Your children want to go to church. They want to be a part of what God is doing. They want lives that are different, they want to be a part of making a difference, and they want to do it with you!

Please, please, for the sake of your children, your children’s children and for yourself–I want to remind you and warn you that you will be held accountable for your actions–COME BACK TO THE LORD. Put aside your hurts, busy schedules, sins, fears or whatever it is that is keeping you from walking with the Lord TOGETHER WITH YOUR CHILDREN and start walking with them, beginning today.

Your kids hearts are breaking. They are breaking for you. Your kids need you. They want their families together with Jesus, forever. They want to be with you!

Think about it. High School students who want to go to church. With their families. They want to live for Christ. They want your help.

It seems like to not give it to them, would be, well, just crazy.

“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not be done.” Romans 1:28 NIV

5 Things to Know About Social Media and Your Child

Today’s blog post is adapted from a parent talk my non blogging kidmin son, Trevor Farris, has put together for the church where he is a children’s pastor. I asked him if I could share it, because I believe every parent needs to be aware of what’s going on in their child’s social media world. Trevor ministers to some super amazing kids and with some even more amazing volunteers at Valley Real Life is Spokane Valley, WA. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to check it out.

Social Media is big, but think about it—it’s the smallest that it is ever going to be.

Every day, more videos, tweets, pictures, and blogs are being uploaded onto the Internet than ever before. This chart from domo.com gives some pretty convincing evidence that social media is big–every minute of every day. Go ahead, take a second and check it out really quick.

every minute of every day

Those are some insane statistics! As more and more websites and apps are being created, it’s nearly impossible for adults to keep up . . . but. . . it’s not for your kids.

So here are 5 things you need to know about Social Media, your child, and what you can do to be more informed about it.

1. Your Kids Probably Know More Than You About Social Media
This is by no means an insult. They simply have the time to learn! With texting, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, KiK, AskFM, Omegle, and a million other options, they can absorb more budding technology than we can dream of. And they use it for everything! So what do you do?

2. Ask Them to Teach You
You don’t know if your child is ready for SnapChat? Ask them about it! Are you not sure how Instagram works? Ask your son/daughter! You need to know what your kids are doing, because there is so much that they are able to do on their iPods and phones. But please understand this—you don’t need to know more about technology than them…just being aware is a huge step.

3. Remember ANYONE Can Use Social Media
Speaking of being aware…it is really easy to lie about who you are on the Internet. Your children may not be sharing information with the person that they think they are. Make sure that your kids are using appropriate social media (Honoring age restrictions is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED), and are familiar your rules on Internet etiquette.

4. Community in Isolation
Kids and teens today have hundreds and thousands of friends. And if they are anything like me, they don’t know who most of them are! If someone sends me a friend request on Facebook, and I have a mutual friend…BAM! we’re friends now. And they can have all these friends at their fingertips while they sit in their bedroom alone. They don’t have to go out and have conversations. Be sure to have “Tech-free” times in your home when personal interaction is required to keep your kids checked in to reality.

5. #Hashtags
For those of you who still don’t understand hashtags, you are not alone. Hashtags are sort of like little file folder tabs that help you created to help you find what you are looking for on a certain topic. Let’s say you and your family go on a short vacation to Six Flags St. Louis for Spring Break. Your daughter posts a selfie from the line of the Batman ride. And the caption says, “I LOVE SIX FLAGS! #RollerCoasters #Family #SpringBreak.” But you need to realize that when she clicks on the “#SpringBreak,” she has access to ANYONE’S pictures that have that same tag. Think about that. I’m assuming there are pictures from Spring Break Cancun on the Internet that you’d love for your kids to never see. Know what hashtags your kids are using, because they can have access to all sorts of things they probably shouldn’t.

In short, talk to your kids about what they’re doing online and on their phones. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to have a different set of family rules than other families you know (or don’t know). Give them rules and guidelines that keep them safe, and as you expand those guidelines as they get older continue to have conversations with them. *

Thanks for the Memories–Mama Mia Monday

camp wordsblackandwhite

I spent last week teaching at our local church camp. It was a great week! Teaching God’s Word is one of my all time favorite things to do, and teaching it at camp is like the icing on the cake of Bible teaching goodness.

While talking with some campers, they asked me how long I had been coming to camp, and although I wasn’t quite sure exactly how long it had ,I did remember one of my first times teaching was at a week of camp I went to when our son, Connor, who is now 26 was in the 7th grade.

“Woah! That’s a long time ago.”

“Thanks, campers.”

What made it especially cool though was that Connor was our missionary for the week. He now serves in Russia as an English and Bible teacher, and I am so thankful for the memories that we have made and are continuing to make as we have these precious opportunities to serve God together even though we are miles apart.

I told them how we used to teach upstairs above our slightly dilapidated bath domes and in shelter houses scattered around the camp. I recounted how I had taught in one of the shelters near our old outdoor chapel (before we got air conditioning in a retreat center) and had written the key points to my lesson in chalk in the beams of the shelter house. And I told them how the last time I checked (a couple of years ago) the words were still there.

So, of course, we took a quick adventure to see if anyone had yet dared to erase the “immortal” words of the summer of 2001, and alas they had not–the words were still there. The picture above is reinforced the heart of lessons on being servants of God.

That summer as I taught those lessons Connor was a camper, and he and I never told anyone that we were related. Oh a few people knew, but as I told stories of my sons and some of our teachable moments, the spotlight stayed off Connor and on God and His Word. At the end of the week, we had the “big reveal” and as I told the campers that my son was actually at camp as a camper, they wouldn’t believe it and we had a great laugh and made a great memory.

In the years since, both my boys and I have spent quite a few summers together at camp. Through those times of serving together, we grew as family, we grew in our faith and we lived out the words of the shelter house as we became servants of God. And we made memories. Lots of them.

Mama Mia! Lots of memories. Memories of rap songs, baptisms, a guy named Pierre, mildew in the camp, catching snakes, heat stroke, “keep away from the water balloons!” going back to the beginning and so much more. Oh so much more.

So Mamas, let me encourage you today that a great way to make lasting memories with your children is to serve with them–side by side. Find a project, go on a mission trip, serve at a camp. . . .let God grow you closer and bind your hearts together as you serve Him together.

Mama Mia! I’m thankful for the memories!

Why I Will No Longer Accept Your Child’s Facebook Friend Request–Mama Mia Monday

like-us-on-facebook

Got another one–

Last week I received another facebook friend request from a child I know, and I just can’t click confirm.

I will admit I have accepted requests in the past. I talked with some friends about it, read some articles and finally relented with the belief that since their parents were allowing it, it was still a chance for me to connect with them and even to keep up with what’s going on in their lives.

But I was wrong.

Because in doing so, I affirmed to them that it’s okay to lie, that it’s okay to lie with your parents’ permission, and that I, as their children’s ministry leader, think a little lying must be okay.

Yet, that’s not what I believe at all.

I’ve been a part in putting them in danger of identity theft, bullying (from either side), child predators, negative self image (both physical and mental) and entrance to an adult world they weren’t meant to join until they were, well, adults.

Yet, I could never imagine doing that intentionally.

Children are not yet capable of fully understanding the consequences to some of their actions or the concept of marketing. Facebook is designed to target those who sign up for it. So when a child registers with a false age beyond their years, they are now targeted with ads for someone “beyond their years.” This includes sites about drinking, gambling, meeting singles and more.

In the United States it is illegal to collect information on people under the age of thirteen–one of the reasons facebook doesn’t allow children under the age of thirteen to have an account. I find it ironic how often we get upset when the government lies or acts unethically, yet now we are enabling that process. In fact, we have become the very thing we say we abhor.

And why?

I’m not sure. Some of the reasons I hear are so that our children can have friends, have fun or be like everyone else. Some parents have admitted they just didn’t want to tell their children, “No.” They didn’t want the fight. Others have said they felt like the lie wasn’t really a big thing because they are monitoring what their kids are doing on their pages.

We, as the adults in their lives, are supposed to help our kids navigate the waters of character and integrity. We are supposed to model for them virtues like truth, honesty, patience and self control. These underage users–Wow! That’s a startling term considering the addictive nature of social media– aren’t quite yet capable to understand the whole “when it’s okay to lie and when it’s not okay to lie” thing isn’t really supposed to be a thing. Apparently we, as adults, aren’t either.

Mama Mia!

**In 2011, ABC news reported that it was estimated that almost 7.5 million facebook accounts were used by underage children who were using facebook with their parents’ permission. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/underage-facebook-members-75-million-users-age-13/story?id=13565619

Boys to Men–Mama Mia Monday

boys

Well, prepare yourself for a week of post wedding posts! You won’t hurt my feelings at all if you decide to pass right on by, but as I decompress from wedding weekend palooza, there are still so many things that I treasure from our time.

One of those has to do with Trevor’s friends. One of the terms they use to describe their lives and the things they have done is “grown man saga.” I know that as I talked with them and observed them this weekend I’m more likely to choose “Boys to Men.” Not Boyz II Men, the group, but these boys have become and are becoming men, and I am so proud of them.

I don’t know all of their moms, but if their moms are reading this, I want them to know they, too, should be very proud of their sons.

Because as they are transitioning from boys to men, they are growing in character. This weekend we watched them as they cared about others more than themselves. Our sons know how to work and serve. They honor the women in their lives and the women around them. They are friendly, kind and compassionate, all the while exuding strength, masculinity and a strong competitive spirit. They can cook, clean, cry and wrestle–oh can they wrestle. They still love bubbles, wearing sheriff’s badges and silly hats. Those that have already married are devoted to their their wives. They love God, and they are willing to sacrifice to serve Him.

bubbles

nelson

trevor

Mama Mia! These are the boys we dreamed of raising. And how did we do it?

Jesus. Grace. Commitment. Forgiveness. Perseverance. Love, lots of love. Prayer, lots of prayer. Tears, lots of tears.

We’ve allowed them to fail, to fall, to make mistakes that they had to wrestle out with God as He humbled them, molded them and shaped them; and we’ve allowed God to do the same to us.

We’ve encouraged them, disciplined them, maybe even been a bit, just a bit, frustrated with them. But we didn’t give up on them, and God in his infinite wisdom and grace stepped in and where we were weak, He was strong; where we were inadequate, He was capable; where we may have failed, He is bringing victory.

I saw great things in these boys this weekend. I saw the character of Christ in them. I saw it in Trevor, and I saw it in Kyle, Nelson, Sunshine, Chase, Zach, Miller, Daniel, Cameron, Creighton, Austin, Tyler, Ryan, Scott and the boys of Boatman, Williamson and Strong Halls, and it made me proud to know them.

boys 3

Even more, it makes me proud to know the God that is helping moms everywhere raise their sons from Boys to Men. Don’t give up moms, because while this going from Boys to Men thing may not always be pretty, it is a beautiful thing to behold.

boys 2

There’s Still Time to Pack a Shoebox

operation christmas child

Marilyn Monroe said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”  Today I would add, “Give a girl the right shoebox and she can change the world.”

Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child is changing the world one shoe box at a time, and there is still time to get in on the fun. This week, November 18-22, is their national collection week.

If you haven’t taken the time to fill a box yet, let me encourage you to grab a box, head to the store and impact a life.

Operation Christmas Child distributes shoeboxes filled with toys, hygiene products, candy, and more to children in need all around the world. To participate, just go to the Samaritan’s Purse website www.samaritanspurse.org for complete details on appropriate items for your box. Choose the gender and age of the child you would like to purchase items for, pay your shipping costs and download a label which allows you to track where your box will be delivered to.

Then just wrap and fill your box, pop the label on and take it to the nearest drop off location. (Locations are available on the website.) We are fortunate to have a location in our small town. Years ago we would drive about an hour to take our boxes. It’s still a great memory of mine, traveling to a nearby town with a van full of 6th graders who helped me load and unload the boxes. We would then grab a bite to eat a local restaurant and head back home filled with a joy that comes only from giving.

operation-christmas-child

Filling a shoebox is such an easy thing to do with your children or family. I’m continually encouraging people to find ways to help their children grow in generosity and selflessness and Operation Christmas Child is a great way to do both.

So, if you haven’t had a chance yet this year to fill that box, or you’ve never filled a box before. . . there’s still time!!!

Mama Mia!! It’s such a great way to give. Oh! And don’t forget to check out their Facebook page for stories and photos of all the boxes being packed across the country. https://www.facebook.com/groups/46793099481/10151832378269482/?ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity#!/OCCshoeboxes?fref=ts

Happy Packing!

 

 

 

Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave?

WhyCantIGetMyKidsToBehave-COVER-210x300

It’s a Mama Mia Monday and I have a great resource to share with you mamas out there.  Our friends, Joey and Carla Link, have written a dandy of a book. I am so excited to see in print the principles they taught Tim and me, and thousands of others, about parenting our children.

Why Can’t I Get My Child to Behave? is practical and personal, filled with the tools, examples, and encouragement to see us through our parenting journeys on both our brightest and darkest days.

Joey and Carla walk us through the importance of real obedience, and how to bring our children to God’s standard. They share with us the tools of structure, routine, discipline and consequences, as well as how to focus on the inward not just the outward aspects of our children’s lives.

Before I tell you all about it, I hope you will soon find the time to pick up a copy of your own and begin to apply the principles the Links are sharing with us. Why Can’t I Get My Child to Behave? is available at Amazon in both paperback and kindle editions, at Barnes and Noble and through their moms’ notes website www.momsnotes.com/orderingresources

 

 

 

Don’t Scrap This (Part Two)

scrapbooking

Today’s post contains the notes from the second part of a talk I gave recently at the Ladies’ Scrapbook Retreat at Lamoine Christian Camp. I hope you can enjoy it in its unpolished form. Part one can be found under the Mama Mia Monday section of my blog.

 

Adding to the concepts of templates and adhesives, tonight we are going to quickly talk a little about cropping. Cropping is great when it’s a picture. Snip, slice, or chop, whatever method you prefer, we remove unwanted or unnecessary images from our pictures, leaving us with a close up what we really wanted to focus on—the thing which leaves the greatest impact on those who will look back through the pages of our lives.

Well, you guessed it. Not only is God in the template business, and the adhesive business—God is in the cropping business.

God desires to trim us, shape us and crop us in ways that leave a focused image of Him—one that will also leave the greatest impact on those who come into contact with us.

And like we eagerly go at the cropping of our pictures, we CAN eagerly embrace the cropping that God wants to do in us.

We call it cropping.  Some call it chiseling, molding. I like what God calls it—sanctification—a setting apart, being freed . . .  from sin.

John 17:17   Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. –God crops us through His word.

 

I Thessalonians 5:23  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  –God crops us in order to keep us pure and ready for His coming.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13   But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as first fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.   God crops us because we are His.

When we allow God to trim, shape, crop, or prune us, we are allowing Him to reveal to the world more of His character, more His grace, more of Him. As the unnecessary and undesirable parts of our life are cropped away we have a greater impact on those who see us.

Sometimes I think we confuse cropping with corner rounding. Corner rounding is just, well; it’s just making the picture look a little more inviting, a little softer maybe. But corner rounding, well, it’s really just cutting corners. And cutting corners is not cropping. You just can’t cut corners on the sanctification process. It takes commitment!

In I Corinthians 4, The apostle Paul asked the Corinthian people how they would like to be cropped suggesting two methods:  a whip or in love with a gentle spirit.

Ladies, I would ask you the same question, “How would you prefer the Lord to crop you????” Yeah, me too, gentle trumps whipping every time. . . In my mind, but in my actions, sometimes not so much. . . .

Don’t be afraid to ask the Lord to crop away the parts of your life that may need to go. It may be an attitude, a habit, a grudge or fear. Ladies, let him crop so that He can shine through you for the world to see.

Now as we work our way through our weekend, we have talked about our templates, our adhesive, the cropping process and to finish it all off, we embellish.

embellish%20logo4

Just the word itself is pretty awesome. Embellish. . . .It just sounds fancy y’know? It doesn’t really sound like a sit in your pajamas in a big gym in the middle of the night kind of word.

Embellishing is like a work of art. Embellishing is to beautify by or as if in ornamentation to adorn.  And adorn comes from the word adore.

So again, The Lord had this down way before we did. He has adored us, and adorned us since the beginning of time.

Ephesians 2:10 says, For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

I Peter 3:3-4 remind us that the beauty and adornment that God desires doesn’t come from our clothes or hair, but the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit

 

I John 3:1 tell us that God makes us beautiful—he adorns us by lavishing us with His love

I think that God’s embellishing work is really a lot like ours. Most of our books look quite a bit the same on the outside. But when you look inside you see what makes them special. You see the love, the care, and the personal touches that make the stories on the pages captivate our hearts.

That’s how God loves us. He is a God who works from the inside and on the inside. You know our outside is just a shell that will someday pass away, but as we set our hearts to follow His template for our lives, adhering His truths to our hearts, willingly letting him gently trim away that which isn’t needed, His lavish and abundant love transforms the pages of our lives into His-story– A story that reminds us who we are, where we come from and can ultimately point us to where we are going when the One who loves us returns.

 

 

 

Don’t Scrap This (Lessons Learned at a Scrapbook Retreat)

scrapbook lane

Below are the notes/ideas I used this past weekend at the LaMoine Christian Camp Scrapbook Retreat I had the pleasure of speaking at. Ladies, you asked for them. . .now you’ve got them. Well, at least Friday nights. (Ok, minus the naked child making brownies on the counter story!) I wil post Saturday nights notes on next week’s Mama Mia Monday. Sorry they aren’t a bit more “developed”,  (Ha! That’s a little pun, there!) but it is Light the Night week at church, and I’m working on some photo opportunities for our HiSKidZ moms!!

 

As Scrapbookers, we use our photos to preserve memories, tell our stories, and ultimately pass on a legacy… Stories of families, events, trials and triumphs which when assembled reveal much about who we are, where we have been and even where we are going.

 

I think God was the original scrapbooker. He has preserved for us memories and snapshots of himself and His children who throughout History tell a story of who He is, who we are as His people, where we have been and where we are going.

 

This weekend, I hope to take four scrapbook terms and connect them to God’s story in order for us to have a little greater insight into the awesomeness of the God we serve.

For example:  The Template!

templates

The template—God’s Word is the perfect template for our lives. Micah 6:8 says, “I have shown you oh, man, what is right. You should act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” A simple template for living.

 

Or I Thessalonians 4:11 which says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. You should mind your own business and work with your hands as we taught you too. Then your life will win the respect of outsiders.”

 

And of course, Luke 10:27 which says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

All templates for what it looks like to follow Christ, and live as His.

 

And then there’s adhesives. . .

adhesivessquares

We all know what adhesives are for. They are for sticking, attaching, adhering and keeping things in place so that what we put down on the page sticks.

 

Well, I believe God is in the adhering business as well. He would like for us to adhere to His instruction.

 

Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go and make disciples, everyone of you, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded.”

 

He didn’t just say teach them everything I have commanded, he said teach them to obey everything I have commanded.

 

James 1:22 says, “Don’t just listen to the Word, do what it says.”

 

Make it stick.

 

Deuteronomy 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

 

See what  I mean?  It sounds to me like God is in the adhering business.  Because he wants us to remember. Did you know that the word, remember, is in the Bible almost 150 times. God is all about having us remember. Remembering for our good and so we can pass on what has been given to us.

 

Even cooler than us remembering Him is that He is all about remembering us.

 

We scrapbook to preserve, and we scrapbook to pass on. We scrapbook because it helps to know who we are which helps us to live out who we are.

 

God does the same thing. He has preserved for us His words and the events and experiences of our spiritual ancestors so that we will know who He is, and He is faithful, just, caring, compassionate, a shield, defender, father and judge. . . .

 

When we make it a priority to stick these truths, His truths, into the stories of our lives, we are able to remember, and know and share who we are because we are reminded and we know in our hearts who He is and that we are His.

 

His templates show us again and again what it looks like to belong to Him, and as we choose to stick them firmly into our hearts, we live them out in our daily lives.

paper cutter

Tomorrow evening I’d like to share a bit about cropping. Now don’tcha know cropping is such a great thing!! When it’s a picture.

 

It’s also a great thing when it’s our lives, and because we can trust God’s perfect design, we can trust Him to crop just the right things out of the picture so that the very best shine through.

 

As we look forward to more of the truths of God found in scrapbooking, let’s pray about what God wants to stick onto our hearts this weekend, and ask Him to show us more clearly His template for the story of our lives.

Take Note: Thank You Still Matters– Mama Mia Monday

thank you

I went to mailbox Friday and there it was. In its simple white envelope, with my name slightly misspelled, was a true treasure–Real Mail! Not only was it a piece of real mail, it was a real thank you note. I mean real, as in hand made, hand written, straight from Abby’s heart to ours!

Mama Mia!

The message was short, but definitely sweet:

thank you note

In that instant, I remembered, yet again, why thank you notes still matter. That note made us feel special. It made us feel like our niece appreciated our gift and our love for her. It made our relationship two way and not one way.

As we parent our children, some of the greatest gifts we can give them are to learn to make other people feel special, to appreciate not only what they have been given, but those who have given them those things and that relationships are two way streets.

The not-so-simple thank you note is a great way to instill those precious values in our children. It’s not always easy. At first, you may need to require that they be written. There were occassions when we wouldn’t let our boys play with their gifts until a thank you was written.

What began as lessons in respect, love and thankfulness became the character of our boys who would all to soon become men.

Here are a few things to consider when teaching your children to write their thank you notes:

1) Start with a greeting. A simple “Dear Auntie and Uncle” is perfect. (Well, only if that is the name of the person you are sending the note to.

2) Say thank you. Just be upfront and direct. “Thanks so much for the birthday money. I can’t wait to use it when I go school shopping.”

3) Make it personal. It’s great to add a line about how the person is special to you. I love how Abby did this in our card when she said, “Thank you so much for always remembering me, and it’s cool how my friends met you. Some of them told me you were really awesome, and I was like, duh, she’s a Farris!”

4) Humor is okay! Abby did a great job adding a little splash of humor at the end–which I loved! Sometime we think that our thank you’s have to be all business, but it’s good to share something you know will make your recipient smile!

5) Say it again! Close out with something like a “Thanks again!” and then. . .

6) Sign out. A simple “Love, Abby” or just “Abby” is always appropriate. (Again, only if Abby is your name!)

Then just pop that puppy in an envelope, address it, stamp it and mail it. I have to add this final step because it’s not uncommon that after going to the effort to get the notes written, we forget to put them in the mail. And then someone, like me, misses out on the joy of receiving their real, live thank you card and their real, live blessing!!

Mama Mia! Let’s get writing some thank you cards today!

farris women
Here are some of those amazing Farris women–including my niece Abby, some of her sisters, her mom and me after a quick meal at Subway. I’m overwhelmingly thankful for them!