Day 7: Words.

Today’s post took me all day to figure out. The task is to post a picture of my most treasured item. My mind ran the gamut from my wedding ring, to my Bible, around to my books in general, on to my camera, then to my scrapbooks. All of these are very treasured items, indeed. However, none of them seemed quite right.

I’ve never really been much for “stuff”. There are other things I find more important. Still, I wanted to stick to what the topic asked for, if I could. I closed my eyes and tried to think of things I have held onto the longest, for no apparent good reason.

It dawned on me.

There are two cards in a cheap photo album I have had since I was a teenager. The only cards I have purposefully saved in a place where I can read them at will. Cards filled with priceless words. Words too precious for me to post them here. I carry them somewhere inside of me, and they come out and bless me on hard days.

Words of love, encouragement, and faith from my parents.

I remember the day this card showed up. I was having what Anne Shirley would call a “Jonah Day” at school. I was in high school, I don’t quite remember the year. All I remember, as though it were yesterday, was opening the door to my bedroom, finding it spotless, and this card resting on my pillow.

Before I even opened the purple envelope, there were tears of gratitude for the woman whom I had blown by with a trifling and sullen “Hi,” just moments before.

I sat down, and I read. I fed my hungry eyes on lovely purple script, and my mom’s distinctive handwriting, then tasted it again. I remember walking out to the living room, where Mom was reading in a chair. I knelt in front of her, put my head in her lap, and cried. I couldn’t speak – at least, I don’t remember speaking. Mom and I had a moment. A moment I continue to draw strength from. I don’t know if she ever knew how much her words fed my very soul that day. (Well, Mom, if you’re reading this – now you know.)

This card came from my daddy. It accompanied the purity ring I had asked for for my 16th birthday, but did not receive until six months later at Christmastime. A beautiful, simple gold band with emeralds and cubic zirconia. A ring I still have, much worn, waiting for one of my daughters to wear.

My dad is not a man of many words, but the ones he speaks are always worth listening to. When he says something, he means it.

His words fill up the entire blank side of the card. Words of pride in his daughter, words of encouragement to stick to the promise I was making by putting on that ring. Words of blessing for my future husband and me. Words of deep love. Words I have never forgotten, and have always tried to live up to.

Really, my dad is so easy to please. I didn’t have to try very hard to make him proud – he consistently made it abundantly clear that no matter what, he would always be a safe place of love and encouragement, no matter how hard I might fall. His precious words, in that all-too-familiar handwriting, are words I fall back on often.

So, I guess that’s it. Words of love and affirmation, written down, from my parents – and anyone else I respect and love deeply – mean more to me than any other material thing I possess.

Here is the complete topic list for this particular challenge, if you’re interested in doing it too.

What is your most treasured material possession? What makes it so special to you? Do share!