Writing a note of encouragement - The Ribbon in My Journal

What Makes a Personal Note of Encouragement so Special

Phyllis Inspiration 21 Comments

I love people who are encouragers! I have a friend that sends cards at just the right time, and I find myself thinking, “I wish I had done that.” It is amazing how a note of encouragement or a letter will transform your day.

I tend to be someone who moves way too fast in an already fast-paced world. My mind thinks that I should send a handwritten note to a person who has accomplished something or just needs a little encouragement, but then I become distracted and let the moment pass.

Now mind you, I am fully stocked on beautiful stationery and pens. In fact I love pens and beautiful inks—a wonderful thing I learned from Alexandra Stoddard. I have the materials ready to use, in the right-hand drawer of my desk, along with stamps. Even then, many times I still let the moment pass.

I have a new plan. First thing in the morning when I get to my desk, I will write appropriate notes before I get my day started. If I don’t, then I never get back to it. In the quiet of the morning, I can best collect my thoughts and words.

VIDEO: How to Write the Perfect Thank You Note

There is something very therapeutic about ink flowing across the paper and the sound of the pen as each letter is formed. Expressing gratitude, condolences, and congratulations gives an opportunity to reach out to a friend to let them know they are remembered.

I know how I feel when I get a letter, card, or note. I put that envelope aside, and after the bills and other less personal mail is read and handled, the ceremony of opening the handwritten correspondence begins. Each word resonates in my mind as I read it.

Encouragement comes in many forms. The important thing is for the person to know they were thought of fondly and remembered for a moment in our day.

In the days ahead, I want to become an encourager and make a difference. You never know who needs a little note from a friend to get them going and on their way to a better day.

What is your favorite memory of a note or letter?

Cooking with Paula Deen September/October 2015 cover



Comments 21

  1. What lovely thoughts. I, too, have a large stash of stationery and pens as I do love both but often find myself passing along my day without making an effort to jot down a quick note to someone. This has inspired me to do better. I also loved reading all of the comments. It’s amazing how a simple gesture can mean so much to someone. Thank you for sharing, Phyllis.

  2. Yes people please let us not lose the art of writing cursive!!! I love to write always have from the day I was taught to write, it is what I have a passion for. I put much thought in every note I write…. Love pens, note cards, pretty blank cards where I write my own sentiment. Whenever I feel the need to send that special person a note I know that it makes that person feel so good. I love to make it extra special and put my personal wax seal on it! I use my wax seal glue gun and what a finished look it gives to your correspondence. If anyone is interested go on Nostalgic Impressions website and you will find a lovely selection of waxes and seals among other items. Thank you Phyllis you touched my heart!

  3. I concur with the sentiments of earlier writers here. Sending a note and card to a friend gives me a wonderful feeling as well. It is these things that help carry us through trying times as well as the joy filled moments of our lives.

    The art of cursive writing is being lost. It is not taught in many schools these days…very sad.

    Thank you for your blog and work with the magazine. I look forward to it arriving each time.

  4. Phyllis, I have 2 large boxes or stationary, Birthday, anniversary, and sympathy cards. I mark my calendar first of every year of people to send to. I have funny and sentimental ones and a variety of note cards to fit any occasion. I love sending cards to my friends I’ve made over the years and they always write back that on many occasions I’m the only one that has remembered them. That makes my day to feel I have blessed someone’s life I either went to school with or worked with in my many careers. I was a journalism major so it is just part of my persona.
    My Grandmother was my first pen pal and I cherished every letter she wrote me. I felt so special and that feeling of correspondence has always remained with me. It brings me comfort to share love through cards and correspondence, this morning I purchased all my Halloween cards to send out to family and friends and I will be busy tomorrow writing notes to all. By the way Happy Halloween to you Phyllis! your secret pen pal, Carmel

  5. Sitting at my desk every morning has become my tradition. A note or a card doesn’t take long but gives me joy as I love stationery and a great fountain pen. I feel as though I’m talking to the person I’m writing to and the miles between us melt away

  6. Dear Phyllis,

    Thank you for reminding me this morning of both my mom and dad, who passed away two years ago within four months of one another. As I was going thru their home and belongings, I found Mom’s stationery box with all sorts of lovely notes and envelopes. She was a great note writer and encourager to all her friends and never forgot a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion. In the box I also found small snippets of photos of flowers — she and Dad both loved to garden and often took snapshots of their iris, tulips, or other beautiful flowers — then she would paste them at the top of a blank sheet of stationery and add an extra “day brightener” to whoever she was writing to.

    Many thanks for a special memory today — and for continuing to keep the values we cherish and hold dear alive and well!!

  7. Respect and gratitude seem to be lacking in today’s society and simple common courtesy is almost non-existent. Sending thank you notes and cards of encouragement can make all the difference in a person’s day. For a way to practice empathy for others check out the website http://www.moreloveletters.com.

  8. Thank you for this post! You ARE an encourager. As a paper crafter who loves to make cards I love sending– I am concerned the handwritten note is a dying art! Your blog will help remind all it is so important. Julie

  9. I have wonderful friends who always find time to write an uplifting and supportive message when they know that I am going through a rough patch. I save these lovely notes and store them in a pretty box. I sometimes re-read them and think how truly lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life. And in this age of technology, even a quick text to someone can do wonders.

  10. As I read your blog today it reminded me to send a not to a dear friend thanking her
    for her friendship. We have to decline a party invitation due to distance and night driving. I want to tell her how much I appreciate her friendship over the years.

  11. I have written thank-you notes since I was a girl with a scrawly handwriting. The more I improved with my penmanship, the more letters I wrote to Cousins, Aunts, many older folks who were so special to me and remembered me in so many ways. Then, as a teenager, I discovered pen pals and writing and receiving
    letters from other parts of the world was so exciting!! My letter/note writing has continued all of these years..now, I am in my sixties and have come to the realization that if I don’t have a card for a specific purpose (sympathy, congratulations, etc.) it doesn’t matter..I use the prettiest note cards I can find and write from my heart to the person. Sadly, lately, it has been to those who have lost someone dear or who are battling a dreaded disease or caring for someone who is. I, like you, have missed golden opportunities to tell someone how very special they are and always have been to me–and I felt horrible and now, am making it a point to write when you hear someone could use a lift of kindness, etc. Also, may I interject, and suggest to your readers to go to your local nursing home and check with the staff. I’m betting they are aware of someone who is lonely and would love to receive notes/cards from Y-O-U! I know my 97 yr. old Uncle does…and so does the 94 yrs. young widow of my Elementary School Principal. We must keep this tradition alive. Especially when the powers that be want to do away with cursive lettering, and the world is a swirl of texting..it’s time to slow down and bring some handwritten sunshine into someone’s day. Thank-you for bringing this to light!

  12. What a lovely and thoughtful blog you have written. I also agree with you. I am a theorem artist and have been participating in art and craft shows for many years. We reproduce many of my paintings in the form of note paper and am amazed at how many packages we sell at these shows. It’s a wonderful feeling to think that we are helping to keep a lost art alive and also bring encouragement or enjoyment to someone. Thanks again.

  13. You probably have no idea how much of an encourager you are to all who read your blog. I look forward to hearing from you everyday as you reflect on so many aspects of my life that are dear to my heart but too seldom thought about because of the fast paced life we live.

  14. Bravo!

    I soooo agree we have to keep the handwritten note alive! Yes, it takes time and in our fast paced world we often have so many commitments that we push it to …..later?!?

    It means so very much to me when I receive a note from family or a friend…actually handwritten and in the mail. I treasure my sweet thank yous written by my grandchildren.

    I try to send them frequently too. Sadly, we talk in terms of the “lost art”….. Let’s help keep it “alive”.

    Thanks again for the reminder, Phyllis. “Strong work”!


  15. This is such a lovely post and so very true! This year my lifelong friend’s mother became ill and I could not think of something special that I could do from 2000 miles away. I went to the store and bought some pretty colored envelopes and some 4 x 6 colored index cards and began to write to her every day. It was a hit! For four months, every day as I got up, I picked out a brightly colored card and envelope and told her something that was going on here in Texas or I shared a memory of something she had said or done when I was a kid. Right up to the day she died, she was asking, ” Did we hear from Cathy today?” People thanked me at the funeral for touching her in such a special way…..I had NO idea when I started that it could mean so much. keep writing! keep encouraging! keep loving!

    1. Cathy, it certainly does mean a lot to correspond as you did. Several friends did the same for my husband when he was nearing the end of his life due to cancer. I still have all of those notes. They mean a lot to those close to the person as well. Thank you for reminding me how important this was to us.

      Kathy Frederick
      Canton, Ohio

  16. I am President of a local arts organization and I have made this a priority of mine this year. Like you I believe it is not just necessary but gives us a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge others, giving them that thoughtful emotional boost we all need and crave. It is so easy to be nice.


  17. This is such a thoughtful and timely post. It seems we are all getting more and more busy, but you are right, there is nothing as special as a hand written note. You are one of the best encouragers I know, Phyllis, your kind, encouraging words always mean so much to me.

  18. I love that you have moved to sharing your own thoughts on this blog. I was becoming discouraged because for a while, you seemed to just advertise the newest product or publication. I, too, enjoy a beautiful note and try to be encouraging and supportive through words on beautiful paper and with a wonderful ink pen! Keep your posts coming!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *