Snailmail revival

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By Ester Fleurke

As a kid, I used to have several penpals: Wilmie and Anja from Holland, Aurélie and Gwenaëlle from France.
When I was a very young teenager I even had a sweet almost daily love letter correspondence with my boyfriend via snail mail! I even kept all of his letters.

The writing: first in draft, then in neat longhand, walking to the mailbox and then the waiting, oh the sweet waiting!

In this world full of distractions I long for simplicity, I wanna go retro, not techno, slower, not faster, prefering vintage to mass production and snail mail to electronic mail and so-called social networks…

How much more delight is there in the once a day chance of receiving a hand written letter or postcard on my doormat, instead of fighting and then giving in to compulsively checking all of my electronic inboxes.

Now I’ve found something excellent which both tickles my fancy for old-fashioned post and creativity.
Postcrossing!

What is it and how does it work?

1. Go to the website: www.postcrossing.com and register
2. Request an address to send a postcard to and a code to write on it.
3. Recycle, buy, craft, photograph or paint away at your postcard. Don’t forget to write down the special code.
4. Send your postcard to the address. I already sent one to Germany and one to Russia! You can send up to 5 postcards simultaneously.
5. When the receiver gets the card, he or she registers the card with the help of the special code. Now it’s your turn to be eligible to get a postcard from another postcrosser somewhere in the world!

Exciting!

Love, Ester

P.s.
If you really start to get the taste of it, there is a possibility of post swapping on the website as well. Good old pen pal style!

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40 Day Devotional: Day 7: Holy Week

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The final week of Lent started yesterday on Palm Sunday.
This week I look forward to ‘reliving’ the events leading up to Jesus’ resurrection on Easter.
Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the waiting on Saturday and the glory of Easter Sunday!

I started a real cool Holy week video devotional yesterday, called The Artists Bible
Click the following link to join:
YouVersion Bible app for Android

Or find it on YouTube:
Watch “”Matthew 21:12-15” – Keith Ellingson – The Artist Bible” on YouTube

This was yesterday’s video (Palm Sunday themed)
Watch “”Matthew 21:1-11” – Rockwagon – The Artists Bible

40 Day Devotional: Day 8: Praying in color

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Today I feel especially creative and colorful and I googled ‘praying and drawing’.

Then I found this AWESOME website I want to share with you today!

God made us in all colors and shapes and therefore we can pray in all colors and shapes and forms and manners too. God has a sense of humour too!

Here goes:

Praying in Color = prayer + d o o d l i n g

When multiple friends and family members received ugly and scary diagnoses, Sybil MacBeth found herself exhausted by the words of her prayers and stymied by a lack of focus. One summer day, she retreated to her back porch for a session of mindless doodling with a basket of her favorite colored markers. She drew a shape, put the name of a friend inside, and added lines and color. She drew another shape with another name and added detail and color. When the page was covered with designs and names, Sybil realized she had prayed. The action of drawing was a wordless offering of friends and family into the care of God. The page of drawings became a visual reminder to pray. This was the beginning of Praying in Color.

Here are some reasons to Pray in Color:

1) You want to pray but words escape you. 2) Sitting still and staying focused in prayer are a challenge.

3) Your body wants to be part of your prayer.

4) You want to just hang out with God but don’t know how.

5) Listening to God feels like an impossible task .

6) Your mind wanders and your body complains.

7) You want a visual, concrete way to pray.

8) You Need a new way to pray.

Here’s what you need to get started:
1) Paper
2)  Pen
3) Colored markers or colored pencils or colored gel pens
4) A table or clipboard or book to put your paper on.

If you want to read more on how to get started:

go to the website:

prayingincolor.com

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelations 4:11)

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40 Day Devotional: Day 10: Free as a bird!

ImageThis afternoon, while I was walking my dog in the cold winter sunshine, we came along some trees and bushes in the neighbourhood and there were a variety of birds cheerfully singing! One female magpie was even making her nest high up in one of those trees!

I got an instant Spring foreboding, inspite of the cold. I felt grateful and free!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? …

 (Matthew 6:25-34 NIV)

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40 Day Devotional: Day 14: Grace

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http://instagram.com/p/VYTjdWMXI4/

Grace

Every year I watch an animated video about Jesus’ death and resurrection when Easter is approaching. It always painfully touches me with the raw truth of Jesus BIG love and sacrifice for us on the cross.
I have a life because of this undeserved grace.
Even though the song is in Dutch, the animation is very clear.
Hoping you will be touched by it as well.
You can watch it by clicking this link:
Your grace is enough for me.

Peace.

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40 Day Devotional: Day 20: Facebook Fasting

Image“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.”

Matthew 6:16 NLT

When reading the above text, I can opt to keep it a secret what I’ve been trying to change for Lent: spending less time on social networks like Facebook, to be able to create more time and space for creating, praying, meditating and living

Nevertheless I am sharing about it, to show you that you don’t die from cutting back on time consuming potentially addictive sites like Facebook. On the contrary.

I’ve been fasting Facebook for Lent for four weeks now. For me that means:

  • not scrolling through the newsfeed like a zombie (ok once in a while my eye might fall on the top story but THAT’S IT)
  • going on it only once every 3 or 4 days to check for private messages
  • using it as a tool to promote my blogposts to my audience (I do that by autoposting, which means I don’t have to open Facebook at all to do that)
  • scrolling quickly through my “notifications” (like I said: only every 3 or 4 days) to see if there’s something I might want to actually react to (instead of opening every single notification)

I think it’s been a success so far, I have been keeping this Daily Devotional up and I am sure I would have had a way harder time to accomplish that (among other things), if I would have been on Facebook, to scratch the unhealthy “I HAVE TO CHECK FACEBOOK NOW!!” urge.

In fact, I like this so much more than the way I used to go on Facebook and linger there and get lost and/or checking it compulsively ten times a day, that I don’t want to go back to my old ways.

Are you inspired to cut back too?

Read this post by Leo Babauta from Zenhabits:

Walled-in: Life without Facebook

or

A survival guide for beating information addiction

Enjoy!

Peace.

40 Day Devotional: Day 25: it’s Compliment Day!

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via Pinterest

Today is national Compliment Day in the Netherlands! Let it inspire you all over the world to give extra compliments to people you meet today. Spread some free kindness. Or print the picture above and hang it somewhere for people to take.

Bless and be blessed!!!

By the way, did you know you are an exceptionally handsome reader audience 😉