With COVID’s end nowhere in sight, we all know what toll guaranteeing has done on people’s mental health, physical well-being and general livelihood.
The word ‘epistle’ comes from the Greek word epistole, meaning letter or message. Epistles were primarily written communications during the time of the New Testament. For example, Paul, Peter, and John wrote epistles or letters to churches or individuals (Timothy, Titus, Philemon).
Jesus has given His people His love letter, which is His revealed Word. The apostles sent letters to churches to instruct the people there.
With the premise of loving the Lord and loving handwritten letters, the idea of The Epistle Project came about.
For those of who know me, I LOVE receiving mail from family or friends that’s something other than bills. Letters are a great way to allow the elderly to feel included and loved on during this pandemic.
COVID-19 UPDATE (accurate to-date): I am still accepting letters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is a better time than ever, I feel like, to support those are often times forgotten.
The CDC, World Health Organization, and Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail. hehe
Thank you for supporting our elders during this critical effort to fight loneliness. Physical isolation is important for public health right now, but our elders deserve to feel supported, too.
I’d love it if you’d write a handwritten letter today to support what I am hoping to do – bring joy who need it the most.
HOW IT WORKS:
LETTERS THEY LOVE:
In anticipation of Letter to An Elder Day on February 26th, I are collecting cards and mailing these to elders in a local Asheville senior community.
Take a few minutes, sit down and write a letter to an elder (a stranger). Tell them about yourself, tell a joke or a riddle and include a picture if that’s something you feel comfortable with. The biggest thing is to let them know how loved they are.
If might feel difficult at first to be writing to someone you don’t know. My advice: pretend like it’s a normal conversation. What kinds of things would you want to talk about with a stranger?
Letters must be legible (large print) and handwritten. Don’t fret if you are not artistic – make your card as what you’d like to receive.
Exclude the date (date/month/year).
Embracecreativity! Recipients love it when the letters are personal. We encourage you make your letters colorful an fun – photos, crosswords and drawings are great!
Be kind and thoughtful. This is a one-way letter exchange, so you will not receive a letter back. Receiving nothing in return is part of the beauty of your act of kindness, and recipients aren’t burdened by feeling obligated or unable to respond.
Envelope your letters if you can! It’s so much nicer to receive an enveloped card. If you’re sending more than one letter, leave your enveloping letters unsealed and unstamped to send them in a larger envelope or box.
Share your act of kindness! Tag us @theepistleproject, #theepistleproject and #lettertoanelderday.
Send as may cards as you’d like! We accept letters year-round, so there’s no deadline for when you must send them by. If you’re cards are holiday-themed or seasonal, send them a month before that holiday or the end of that season. (If your letters are late, we’ll definitely say them for next year)
Ready to mail? Yay! Send to:
The Epistle Project
8 Timber Court Apt. D
Asheville, NC 28803
If you have any questions at all, PLEASE feel free to message me. I would love nothing more to include your cards with mine and to enandate them with hundreds of letters to read. Help me to jumpstart this “idea” of mine and join me in this journey to see where it goes and how it grows.
If you aren’t ready to write a card just yet, help me in getting the word out. Share this blog or the Epistle Project’s Instagram below.
Y’all. We are less than two months from a new year. Let that sink in. Two months… I think one thing we can all agree on is that this year has been difficult. 2020 has brought pain, grief, loss and has thrown us headfirst into charting the unknown in dealing with a global pandemic. Life has been hard.
On the flip side, however, 2020 also has brought much joy and has also taught me more about myself. This year has taught me to more aware of others needs before my own. It has taught me to reflect more on what’s going on in the world and around me, to be more accountable for my own actions and to not be afraid of praying boldly before the Lord.
It has also brought me a move to Asheville, our one year wedding anniversary, adopting a kitten and new friendships.
As we enter into the last month of 2020, I have pondered and prayed upon what the next year will look like for me personally and for my marriage. I want this to be a year a year of exponential growth personally, spiritually and socially.
In order to take tangible steps in the right direction, I have often found myself writing out lists or drawing pictures. In order to incorporate both, I decided to try something new in bullet journaling my goals for the new year. I’ve also posted previously on creating a vision board, which is another great way to visualize your dreams.
Blogging has quickly become a passion of mine and has been a safe place for me to process what is going on in the world around me, while providing me a place thousands of thoughts running through my own head. Above the likes and follows, I want my blog to be a place of inspiration for others and as a way to keep my many ramblings together in one place. With that being said, I do want to set goals for my blog for the new year.
GOAL: First of all, I want to be more cognisant of supporting fellow bloggers as there are thousands of bloggers who share incredible content and spend hours of time and effort in doing so. They deserve every follow, like and view they receive and then some. As more of a tangible goal for myself, however, I would like to grow my own following to >100 by the end of 2021 without sacrificing the integrity of my own content or the enjoyment of why I started blogging in the first place.
From the moment I learned how to pick up a book, reading has always been something I enjoyed. As life has progressed and “adulting” happened, reading hasn’t been a priority like it was in the past.
GOAL: Read 20 books. I want to also challenge myself in reading different genres than the normal fiction I tend to pick up at the book store.
*If you have any book recommendations, drop them in the comments below! I would love to hear some of your favorites!
☆ Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
This will more of a “challenge” for me than the others in that I have never been really conscious of what I eat, which has caught up with me in my late twenties and also having a slow metabolism. It’s not that I don’t enjoy eating healthy, but more about being conscious about not eating “mindlessly.” I also work full time at Chick-fil-A, which does not help AT ALL with having a balanced diet. We all know those nugs and waffle fries with Polynesian sauce hit a little differently. However, today is a new day to create new habits!
GOAL: Plan out meals for the week and be better about cooking ahead of time. A majority of weight gain for me comes from eating out of boredom and not having healthy snacks readily available, so this will definitely be a challenge for me. On the flip side, meal prepping will also help in saving me money by not eating out as much!
My husband and I have been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit in our dating life and well into our marriage. With the global pandemic putting most of our travel plans on hold, this year hasn’t been the greatest for checking places off of our list. With that being said, it has allowed us to dream for the future and has kept our bucket list growing.
GOAL: Travel to five new places in new year. I also want to travel internationally with Chandler at least once before we have kids.
**Bonus: We already have a weekend getaway trip to Dahlonega, GA booked for January, so that is a plus. We are also hoping to get tickets to the Kentucky Derby in May. Fingers crossed!
☆ Get plugged in to a local church.
Growing up in the church, I have understood from an early age the importance of being surrounded by a solid body of believers. A christian community is so important, especially in this day and age. Pre-Covid days, my husband and I visited a local church and really enjoyed the setup of its service. Once the virus hit and churches were quickly shut down, we weren’t able to really find that our niche. I am very thankful for technology in that we were still able watch sermons from the comfort of our home and still be connected to weekly scripture teaching. Now that churches are opening up again, we have made it a goal to get plugged in.
GOAL: Find a church that aims to teach scripture in its truest form and keeps the Lord at the forefront, always. We honestly haven’t done the best in making church together a priority in the past, so I want 2021 to be a spiritual awakening for my husband and I, allowing us to grow together in the Word as a married couple and also individually. I want to join a small group that keeps us accountable in our sin and to do life with weekly.
☆ Join a service group.
Now that I have been in Asheville for almost a full year, I feel like its the right time to invest more of myself into a group who aims to meet the needs of those who are less fortunate. Since my mom joined the Junior League of Spartanburg two years ago, I have watched her enjoy all aspects of the JL in grant writing, organizing food drives and so much more.
GOAL: Be invested into a group that invests its time and resources back into the local community. As someone who has has grown up with food on the table, a roof over my head and given countless ways to succeed, I want to help do the same for those who might not have the same opportunities readily available.
Above all else, 2020 has taught me to not take the small moments or the ones you love for granted. Difficult times affect everyone. Life doesn’t discriminate against social class, race or gender. Life is tough and can be relentless. Covet those who you love and make it a priority to let them know how much you care, as the smallest acts of kindness often mean the most. People appreciate being “seen” and knowing that they matter. Be intentional in all things and love your neighbor. This year has also taught me that in each day you wake up, you were placed on this Earth for a reason. Make every minute count and aim to make an impact for good. Do not waste the precious time the Lord has given you. More so than anything else, I aim to be more vulnerable. I aim to be a safe space for those who are hurting or need to talk. I aim to not put off for tomorrow what I can do today. We are not guaranteed the next moment, so why wait? Life is too short to simply go through the motions.
At the beginning of each new year, I typically find a word to claim as my mantra. Stewardship was what came to mind randomly during a busy day at work. By definition, stewardship means “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”
My previous operator at Chick-fil-A was really the first one I heard use this word regularly. I honestly cringed every time he mentioned it. I subconsciously knew I was not doing a good job with what I was being freely given.
In the last few months, however, I have caught myself pondering what it truly means to be a good steward. For me, being a good steward means a lot of different things. Personally, I want to be a better steward of my money by better investing in various aspects of my future and saving. I want to be a better steward of my tongue by speaking uplifting truth and not speaking in haste. I want to be a better steward in my walk with Christ and allowing him to //. The Lord has entrusted me with much and there is no reason I should take that lightly.
QOTD: Have you thought of any goals for the new year? If so, what are they? I’d love to hear what you’ve set for yourself and how you plan to keep yourself accountable.