Dear Mr. Peterman…

During the last 18 months I have had a renewed interest in old fashioned letter writing. There is something magical about putting pen to paper and letting energy flow as words onto paper. With this heightened desire to pen messages, opportunities appeared to write encouraging letters to people needing cheer and to express gratitude to those who have inspired me on my journey.

So imagine my delight when a company that I have long admired and appreciated offered an Ink and Paper Letter Contest this month through their Facebook page. I was in!

Today’s cold temps and icy conditions encouraged me to tuck myself in this afternoon. I’ve sipped on hot tea, read, and gathered pen and paper to write a letter to Mr. Peterman, of the J Peterman Company.

I have loved this company for many years. The catalogs feature beautifully unique clothing from around the world, captured in colorful drawings. The accompanying text doesn’t just describe the article of clothing, it weaves an imaginative story that enchants.

The above photo is snapped from my most recent catalog. How marvelous to read, “People invariably make assumptions about you based on how you dress, so why not wear things that nudge them in interesting directions?”

The contest the company is sponsoring this month presented me with the opportunity to write Mr. Peterman and express gratitude for the years of inspiration I have received from browsing through the catalogs. Long before I could afford to make a purchase, the gorgeous clothes and fun stories gladdened my heart. Many cutouts from those catalogs adorned my vision boards over the years and sparked expansive dreams.

In the past year, I have made several purchases from The J Peterman Company. The style of clothing appeals to me, with its vintage old world charm and its nod to a more romantic, intriguing era. I continue to look forward to receiving each new publication. J Peterman is still inspiring dreams.

And, the company is fun to follow on Facebook and Instagram. They frequently sponsor contests and I have found them to be very responsive to viewer posts and comments. Their current contest runs through the end of February and every participant wins a prize. Find their Facebook page by searching for The J Peterman Company, and to get details on how to enter. You can check out their website and request a catalog, called an Owner’s Manual, HERE.

Thank you Mr. Peterson, for inspiring dreams and giving my imagination wings. Thank you for encouraging me to travel and have adventures of my own. I am, and will continue to be, your customer for life. And keep those amazing catalogs coming!

Sending Cheer Through the Mail

This has been a day devoted to writing. I polished up a couple of essays before sending them out. The Inspiration Starter for today involved more writing, of a health piece. That was my afternoon project. This evening I am excited to kick off the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing, sponsored by the organization More Love Letters.

I first participated in this annual campaign last December. The objective is simple and beautiful. More Love Letters posts a new name each day, December 4 – 15, and a brief story about the person on their website. Letters of encouragement, cheer and love are sent to a family member or friend who then delivers the bundle of notes to the recipient.

I was deeply moved last year by the stories shared about good people who were struggling with illnesses, loneliness, discouragement or life changing situations, such as the death of a loved one. None of the recipients know they have been nominated to receive a bundle of love letters. I hope the surprise brings them the intended cheer and encouragement, and helps them to know that their lives matter and they are loved.

This year, on Day 1, the first love letter goes to Chris, a young man who feels very isolated and despondent because of a severe medical condition he was born with. As a child he was cheerful and sang to others, in spite of numerous surgeries and frequent hospitalizations. Life is feeling much different for Chris now, who is in his mid twenties. He still lives with his parents and relationships are difficult for him because he fears no one could love him due to his medical conditions and his physical limitations.

Chris’ story touched my heart. Although I don’t know this young man, when I thought about him and opened my heart toward him, I sensed his courageous spirit. He has been an overcomer and a thriver and the world so needs his light and his courage.

A new name, and another story, will be posted tomorrow. It only takes me a few minutes to write a love letter and my intention is to sit quietly each evening and send hope and cheer to the day’s recipient. More than just writing the words, I want to remain mindful of each person and energetically send them love, comfort and encouragement.

I hope Chris is feeling waves of love tonight, even though he is unaware that people around the world are thinking of him and putting words of love onto paper, on his behalf. I hope, for him, that there is a lifting of his spirits in anticipation of what is to come…a great outpouring of love and encouragement.

If you would like to participate in this uplifting experience, and send cheer through the mail to dear ones needing encouragement, please visit

Together Rising Letter Writing

Last year during the holidays, I discovered a group that practices the Twelve Days of  Christmas by promoting the sending of an encouraging letter to someone each day. I loved that daily activity of pausing to gather my thoughts and then directing them toward another in need of comfort or cheer. 

Recently I was thinking about that letter writing campaign, and lo and behold, another organization asking for hand written letters was revealed. Ask…or even wonder…and you will receive. 

Together Rising Letter Writing
Together Rising, founded by author and blogger Glennon Doyle Melton, has this purpose, as stated on their website:

Together Rising offers support and assistance to people who have no where else to turn. As we give and receive we become connected to one other– understanding that sometimes people just need a little bit of help during difficult seasons of life. One of the most beautiful things about Together Rising is the remarkable number of recipients who turn around and become givers, adding their gifts to our community so that others may rise as well.

Together Rising receives requests for help every day from individuals with needs great and small. Your donations go directly to help families in crisis. Often all people need is a little help… gas money to get to the hospital, groceries to put food on the table, or shoes for kids who don’t stop growing during difficult times.

One of the ways Together Rising offers into the lives of others, I just discovered, is through writing letters of encouragement. This evening, after spending time planting and watering in my backyard garden, centering myself and opening my heart wide to the flow of love and joy, I read through a list of requests for cards or letters and picked out four people to write to. 

Together Rising Letter Writing
Kyle is an 11 year old survivor of abuse. Spencer has a painful eye condition that may result in the loss of that eye. Ben is celebrating his 100th birthday on July 31. And Bob and Cathy have had many health challenges recently as they journey together. 

I wrote encouraging notes to Bob and Cathy, and to Spencer. In Spencer’s bio it said he is so excited when he receives letters that he sleeps with them. Ben would like to receive postcards from all 50 states in the US, for his birthday. I will go to a local truck stop tomorrow and see if I can locate a Missouri postcard. 

Kyle’s story touched my heart deeply. He was sexually abused for two years by someone outside his immediate family. He is struggling, and understandably so. His parents asked for light hearted letters that do not mention the abuse. His bio says he likes animals. 

I appreciate how inspiration guides me. I began a card to Kyle without knowing exactly what I was going to write. But I began the action anyway. I wrote that I have cats…and then a funny story came to me. I shared with Kyle about the friendly possum who has let himself into my house, using the cat doors. I hope the tale brings a smile to his face and his heart. 

Tomorrow these missives of hope and encouragement will go out. I appreciate the opportunity to write, making life a little more tender for these four recipients. 

If you feel drawn to send letters to people who could use some extra love in their lives, please visit Together Rising. And then grab a pen and a stack of notecards. 

Together Rising Letter Writing

The Purest Form of Friendship

I couldn’t locate the source, however I love this quote:

“Writing letters is the purest form of friendship we humans can possibly express. We capture ourselves in a moment, and then we give that moment away to someone else.” 

I totally understood that sentiment today, as I completed the 12 Days of Letter Writing, a project created by the group More Love Letters. The goal was to write encouraging, uplifting letters to 14 strangers who are currently struggling in their journeys. 

I appreciated this opportunity to participate in such a soulful project. I wasn’t sure how the experience would be, writing to people I don’t know who are facing life challenges. Of the 14 letter recipients, three are children, two have serious medical issues and the rest have all recently lost a loved one. 

I did not need to be concerned about how the letter writing would go. 

As I read each person’s story, shared by the friend or family member who nominated them to receive love letters, my heart was stirred. The words flowed easily onto the note cards I purchased, along with compassion. I didn’t know these people, but I am familiar with their journeys. I’ve walked the same paths. With each person, I found a strong point of connection, and from that place of empathy, I could express sincere love and encouragement. 

In that moment, as I focused on the person I was writing to, I reached out to touch them with my words, my heart, my spirit. There was no expectation about how the recipients would respond or react to the letters…just a flow of loving energy going out. There was, indeed, a purity captured within that moment of writing, a sense of transcending relationships and challenges, time and distance. 

There was love, formed into words, flowing with the ink onto the card. As I sealed each envelope, I sealed the emotion of that moment within the card as well. And I prayed blessings, peace and hope over each missive before sending them on this afternoon. 

There won’t be any replies. Yet my heart is full and I have been blessed already in return. I’m cheering these beautiful souls onward and upward. From Joplin, Missouri to these dear ones across the US and Canada, I have sent them a part of my heart. And I have so fallen in love with each one.