There are so many many things that I love the "idea of," but in reality are not easy for me at all. Take being a morning person, for instance. I love the idea of waking up early to get in exercise, a shower, and coffee/Bible time all before anyone else in my home is awake. That feeling of the warm cup in my hands and the toast with butter, cinnamon, and honey waiting beside my Bible and devotional book is so enticing. But man, the night time television and my warm bed in the morning seem to overrule the fantasy about mornings that I have in my head. 

Another thing I love the idea of but doesn't flesh itself out in reality is correspondence. The act of writing letters or even emails with a friend to keep the relationship going when they are not someone you see often "in real life." Thankfully I have a friend who is great at correspondence and has stuck with it off and on for twenty years (though we probably had a ten year gap where we didn't talk much at all.)

She lived in Utah when we were younger and we both went to the same private elementary school and then were both home-schooled when the school closed down. She recently told me I was probably her first true friend (different than sisters or cousin friends we were born with) and I realized she was probably my first true friend too. We had sleepovers together and we even went away to camp for a week together when we were very young. We both wore awkward sweatshirts and stretchy pants. Her hair was dark and silky smooth and mine was dark but out of control most days. We were both "first borns" and acted that way; which seemed to only affect our relationships to our younger siblings instead of our relationship. 

Here we are at Camp Utibica (1994?) - notice my pants mixed with short sleeve sweater! wow! 
One year, her dad's job moved and so did they - to Connecticut! She wrote me all kinds of letters and postcards - stationary must be part of her love language. I sometimes wrote back but not often enough because sometimes the end of her letters had the words, "please write back!" How sad, right? 
I found this postcard in a box of things my parents cleaned out of their home. P.S. write back!
We managed to stay friends for a while and I even flew out to visit her when I was twelve. I rode solo on a plane and her family took me to New York City, Statue of Liberty, (accidental side trip to New Jersey when we got on the wrong ferry), Plymouth Rock, Mark Twain's house, and maybe more? I cherished that trip. 

Well, a few weeks ago I received a letter in the mail....

When opened, I saw a very familiar cursive that brought back memories from twenty years ago. This girl has always had beautiful, flowing handwriting.

I am happy to report I have written back to her and am so glad our correspondence can begin again. She recently moved to Dallas and her and her husband are foster parents. Social media has helped us stay up to date on the happenings in each others' life but it is so nice to receive a real letter in the mail. I am grateful that God places people in our lives to minister to us and for us to minister to. I want to encourage deep and meaningful relationships in my life and I'm glad this relationship gets another chance.

One of my goals for 2016 is to write more often. This includes here on my blog but also in letters and cards. I'm glad I still have 2/3 of a year to foster this habit.