Letters of Love is a Lenten Meditation for the whole family, featuring Scripture, inspiration from the saints, and suggestions for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. You’ll build a collection of “letters” to God and each other as a keepsake of your family’s spiritual growth.
(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for details)
Every time my father gave me a book, he wrote an inscription in the front.
Some were short, like when he gave me a copy of Molly Bang’s Goose:
I hate to see you leaving the nest, but that’s the way of God’s Creation!!
I love you!!
Others were longer, like this he one scribbled in the front of William Bennet’s The Children’s Book of Home and Family:
I couldn’t resist a copy of this book for you – you’re still my little girl and these are the kind of stories a loving father would want to share with his girls. I know it’s premature, but even as an adult I enjoy stories like these. The maxims extolled in this collection are as those followed by your grandparents in the family my siblings and I were blessed to be in. I admire the compiler of these tales, and would hope that you and Dan (God bless him) would want to use them should our Almighty Father bless you with little ones. You have a very special place in my heart and I will always think of you as my baby. I love you and am proud of you and wish God’s blessings for you, always!!
Merry Christmas, 2003
It pretty much started the day I was born:
And continued until his death 27 years later (though I must admit that, even after his passing, he still sends me notes from time to time).
My father wrote on everything. He’d leave love notes for my mother on the bathroom mirror; scribble “Yes!” and “A-hah!” inside his faded paperback Bible. Later in his life, I even caught him correcting grammar and spelling mistakes in books he checked out from the library.
Dad couldn’t help himself. The written word was part of him – a vehicle for the deepest expressions of his heart. He lived and loved language, sharing that joy with all of us.
And now it is part of me.
If you’ve followed my writing for a while, you know that G’s first (and only) year of school was traumatic. It started with a massive meltdown in late August and cascaded downward from there. G’s school days were fraught with tears, anxiety, tantrums, elopements, physical altercations – you name it, it happened. And while I knew deep down the best choice was to pull her out of school, I couldn’t. At least not yet.
So I wrote her letters instead.
Every day, twice a day, for 180 days, G got a note written on a paper towel and tucked into her lunch and snack bags. Some days, they were silly:
I think we should make Pinecone Pie for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the idea, Little Brachiosaurus!”
Other days, they were profound:
Do you know that I sometimes kiss your cheek at night when you are sleeping? Well, I do.
On still other days, they were reminders of unconditional love and behavioral expectations.
You are my sunshine and I love you forever. Remember to ask for help when you need it. Stay with your class!
I couldn’t be in the building with her. But my words could be, and that mattered to G.
Now if I had been on the receiving end of these notes, I would have read them, smiled at them, and thrown them in the trash. But that’s not G.
She’s a still waters run deep kind of kid.
On afternoon in the late fall, I unpacked her book bag to find a missing assignment. Down in the bottom among squashed granola bars and broken crayons were scores of those lunch and snack notes.
She had saved every single one.
Four years later, I have three shoeboxes jammed full of love notes (that’s approximately 360 paper towels) written to my daughter in a time of deep, aching need. In hindsight I have begun to see them as more than expressions of love from mother to daughter: they are desperate prayers for healing, their simple words and drawings a record of our journey to Christ and to each other.
When I stumbled on the boxes again a few weeks ago, I felt called to renew this connection and share it with the rest of the family. We’d fallen into an afternoon screen time rut, and I felt as though we spent more time tapping and clicking than praying and talking. Our need for lunch and snack notes has diminished as s homeschool family, so I resurrected our family notebook and decided to use it for Lent.
Lettets of Love was born.
Letters of Love: A Lenten Meditation for Families
Letters of Love is a Lenten meditation for families that combines prayer, fasting, and almsgiving with Scripture, wisdom from the Saints, and family writing activities.
Don’t let the writing part scare you off, especially if you have littles or reluctant writers. While writing is at the core of Letters of Love, it doesn’t always mean forming letters and sentences on paper. I’ll walk you through including everyone, from the very young to the very hesitant.
When you sign up to join the Letters of Love Lenten Meditation, you’ll get a Sunday email with the focus for the week. The activities, prayers, and prompts are easily adaptable to all age and ability levels. And best of all, by the end of Lent, you’ll have a permanent record of your family’s spiritual Lenten journey.
Each week includes:
- inspiration from Scripture and the Saints (including St. Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Bernadette, and more)
- ideas for living out the three pillars of Lent (prayer, fasting, and almsgiving) in accordance with the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy
- writing prompts (with variations) for family letters
- suggested crafts and family activities
We’ll begin on Ash Wednesday and carry all the way through Lent, into the Easter Triduum. When all is said and done, I’ll share how you can continue the tradition into the Easter season and beyond, building a culture of writers in your home and a deeper union with Christ and his Church.
Are you with me? I promise it won’t be overwhelming. You can pick and choose what you want to do and modify as you see fit. I’ll even be there along the way to support and pray with you. Sharing Letters of Love is a way for me to pass on the gift my father gave to me: using the written word to grow closer to Christ and to our own beautiful families.
If you’d like to sign up for Letters of Love: A Lenten Family Meditation, you can do so here:
This post is part of the CWBN Blog Hop for February: How We Pray, Fast, and Give During Lent