A Mark Twain Kind of Thank You

This is a belated Thanksgiving post.  I tried to send it out early last week but had trouble with my computer.  I know.  You wouldn’t have had time to read it anyway, right? 


Mark Twain, a master of letters, once said, “I would have written you a shorter letter if I’d had more time.”  To commemorate the season, I want to tell you a short story about a Thanksgiving letter I once received.  And then I’d like to present you with a Mark Twain challenge. 

I met my friend Toni when we lived in Philadelphia. We were kindred spirits from the start. Toni is an amazing person.  She has a big heart and a boatload of friends to glean from her wisdom, as well as her great sense of humor.  I ached for my friend as I watched her slowly lose her precious husband, Don, to cancer.   She hardly had time to grieve before she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It’s been a difficult battle for her but Toni is a true survivor.  Instead of whining or complaining, she’s become an encourager to others who struggle with the same dreaded disease.  

Toni continues to connect with her many friends via email, visits, and phone calls.  That’s why the list keeps growing.  Everyone needs a friend like Toni, especially me.  The first year we met, Toni sent me a letter at Thanksgiving, expressing how much I meant to her and thanking God for our friendship.  She explained how every Thanksgiving, she sent a letter to a special friend she’d met in the past year.  “This year,” she wrote, “you’re that person.”

You can imagine how this made me feel!  Loved, appreciated, honored.  All that and more.

SO, dear ones, I challenge you to take the time this season to write a letter of appreciation to a new friend, or perhaps an old one.  You might even want to make it a Thanksgiving tradition. 

By the way, Consider using pen and paper versus email.  I know. No one writes letters anymore.  But emails, unlike Mark Twain’s letters, are quickly read and just as quickly forgotten. 

In his book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn says when we find joy in God and long for Him, it does not kill our joy in and longing for others.  “Rather,” he says, “it fuels it.  The joy and longing we have for other people is directly derived from our joy in and longing for God.”

Meanwhile, I thank God this season for YOU.  I wish I could write each of you a personal note, but I do want you to know how pleased I am that you’ve chosen to join me on my blog journey.  I especially appreciate the comments and feedback.  They help me to know we’re connecting, and that means a lot to me.

Continue to celebrate the season as you enjoy your family, friends and lots of good food.  And don’t forget to give a special thanks to the One who makes it all possible.


11 Responses to “A Mark Twain Kind of Thank You”
  1. Martha says:

    I love reading your emails Elizabeth! Your words are wise, thought provoking, encouraging and so deep in a world that is flooded with superficiality. Thank you for taking the time to share your life with us in a meaningful way. I have been blessed and hope that you are too!

  2. Mary Beth Welsh says:

    I am glad you got the computer thing worked out. I love you and I am thankful for the example that you are not only as a wife and mother but as a friend.

    • Thanks, dear one. I’m just sorry we’re so far apart, but thankful we’re able to communicate often. I appreciate so much your giving spirit and loyalty to those you love, family and friends.


  3. Toni Williams says:

    Oh, dear Liz, THANK YOU for your beautiful words. They served to remind me how special you continue to be in my life! Blessings given and blessings returned ten fold! How I praise God for our enduring friendship and that special day when He connected “kindred spirits”!! Love you, Toni

  4. harriett salley says:

    Sorry about the E-Mail letter but you couldn’t read my handwriting! Always, but especially at Thanksgiving, I am greatful for wonderful friends. You and Jay mean so much to Bruce and me! Your quiet influence and
    sharing “faith, fun, and food” is the best! I am so glad we got reconnected!! Hurry Home!!! harriett

  5. Lisa Tyler says:

    Funny, I was just going to post a Thank You for being such an awesome Mom and Wife for me to follow and learn from…but then I read through the other posts, now I have tears in my eyes that I am trying to see through to type!! It sure is fun and exciting to see your wisdom and gift of encouragement pouring out into your blogs! I love you and agree with Harriet…Hurry home!! 🙂

  6. Millie says:

    Gosh – I have to join the “love-fest” or “tear-fest” and say I also got weepy…but then that’s not really anything new for our family, is it?! 🙂 I am deeply grateful for you, mom, and all the many many ways God uses you to spur me on but many others as well! So this isn’t a hand-written letter — but I’m guessing it still counts?! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: