By Heidi McLaughlin:
Have you ever written love notes to your teens to encourage them?
“Thanks mom,” was all he said, but the big smile on my son Donovan’s face expressed unwritten words of pleasure and gratitude. I saw him pull a piece of paper out of his pocket. He’d found my love note!
Every stage of my son and daughter’s growing up years was fulfilling, but I especially loved the school and social activities in their teenage years.
It got a little frantic at times though, as we began to eat fewer meals together and often left messages on our kitchen counter because schedules didn’t allow us to talk face to face. I could feel our closeness slipping away. I also felt my children’s friends were becoming more important to them than their family.
This is when I dug in and made intentional efforts to let them know I loved them, that I would continue to be their place of comfort, trust and above all, love.
I started to write them love notes. I tucked love notes into every imaginable place. When I knew they were writing a test, I would leave a note in their lunch bag that said, “Please know your mom is praying for you today.”
I wrote prayers and reassuring promises of my love and tucked them into their shoes or pockets when I knew they were going through tough stuff at school. I left funny, silly cards on their pillows and in their books when I wanted them to laugh. I filled their pockets with messages of love. They became accustomed to the notes and did not say much about them, but every once a while they would pull a piece of paper from one of its hiding places, wave it in front of my face, and smile wistfully. They knew they were loved.
During this time, my husband Dick and I had to take a business trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. After flying for twenty-five hours we arrived in that huge city absolutely exhausted. All I could think about was getting to a hotel room, slipping into a comfortable bed and sleeping for a few hours. I opened my suitcase to look for my toiletries and found love notes – tucked everywhere!
Wrapped around my sun tan lotion were the words, “Be careful of the hot sun and wear this lotion – I love you!” I pulled more notes out of my pajamas, my clothes, my wallet, my shoes and all my pockets. Although I was thousands of miles away, their love transcended time and space and invaded my heart. Tears flowed down my cheeks as I continued to discover notes in every conceivable place.
With exhilaration I realized that my messages of love, prayers and promises that I tucked in their pockets had carried them through their struggles in their teenage years. Here was the proof. Those notes kept our love relationship secure.
When struggles and disappointments show up in my own life I need to be reassured I am not alone, and that I am still loved. God’s love notes in the Bible give me reason to stop and celebrate that His love is unwavering, relentless, and transcends all time and space.
“…and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves..” (Ephesians 3:18 TLB).
Why not try this little exercise with me. Let’s write down this message of love and stick it in someone’s pockets. You never know when they will need to pull it out.
© Heidi McLaughlin. For over two decades Heidi has taught women how to become “beautiful from the inside out”, applying God’s powerful truths via bible studies, mentoring, and Heidi’s own poignant stories. Visit Heidi at www.heartconnection.ca, or her blog. Follow Heidi on Twitter: @heidiheart
Here’s another way parents send notes, via text: enjoy this cute mini-movie from Igniter Media. Even if it is a Mother’s Day video, it’s a good fit for any season. And it offers a great illustration of how a teen who is encouraged will grow up to be a man (or woman) who encourages others, including Mom and Dad.