About the Author

Dawn Camp shares God’s gift of essential oils in her newest releases My Essential Oil Companion and It All Began in a Garden. She is a photographer, essential oil slinger, Mom to eight and Mimi to five. Dawn enjoys movie nights with her husband and steaming cups of Earl Grey.

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  1. “that I remembered what I held and decided to set it free.” that is such a huge part of our relationship with god, it is the forgiveness we’ve been given, the hope we carry, the source of love in action, not just feelings. the way we can always give even when our hands are empty. i love, love, love that dawn.

  2. I’m a huge fan of the handwritten letter – it’s a lost art, really.

    I’m a college student – a native New Yorker – who’s been studying abroad in Ireland for the past four months (I’m flying home this weekend!) At the end of October, my grandmother died, very suddenly, and it has been…well, I don’t have many words except that it’s hard and it hurts more than I can describe. And I’m thousands of miles away from so many of my loved ones, which hardly helps things.

    A few weeks after this happened, I came back to my apartment after a particularly difficult day on campus. I was crying even as I unlocked my door…and found a small, square envelope peeking out from the mail slot. It was addressed in a close friend’s handwriting. Now, this friend writes to me mail fairly often, so I didn’t think much of it.

    But it wasn’t just from her.

    The envelope held a card crammed with notes…variations on “I love you” from eight of my friends…and a photo of all of us, from a happier time. In a season of feeling terribly alone, this was a gift.

  3. Left my first anonymous (hand made) love letter with that same website tacked to the end of my signature at the local high school last month. It was such a thrill to love someone I’ll most likely never know so extravagantly. I know Jesus loves me in over-the-top, unexpected ways like that too. A paper card with cursive is something you can keep and remind yourself that someone loves you, so much easier than text on a screen! LOVE! Keep encouraging the world, Dawn. We need Christ’s love to spread over us thick…

  4. Brilliant and beautiful idea! I’ve been blessed by handwritten letters and packages from strangers in the dark first years after my son’s brain injury. It indeed was like kisses from heaven! Now I get to pay it forward! Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I just love the power of the written word. Thanks so much for the reminder that we can be encouraged by encouraging others1

  6. Dawn, this is an awesome encouragement/challenge…. Thank you!! And… I pray that Jesus continues to encourage and uplift your heart in these days. Blessings to you. Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us here. It’s precious.

  7. I dont know if you’ll remember me, but I was at your first workshop at Becoming this year with the baby (I think you even asked how old she was from the front during your session 🙂 Anyway, after reading your post last time about your Love Letter for a stranger, I really wanted to do it too. I did write a couple short letters and some slips of encouragements and my 4 year old son and I had fun hiding them for people to find at our local Walmart. I want to do it again! 🙂

  8. When my son was arrested, I was inconsolable . . .I had seen his depression, I knew he was sleep deprived, had financial difficulties trying to pay over 300 a week for therapies for his autistic son . . .but never would I have believed he, a law officer, would be so desperate that he would rob a bank. I was grieving, angry, confused, embarrassed, worried, without much hope. And I got letters and cards from people in our community and in our church. I have kept them. Every one of them . . .and on days when I miss my son (amazingly once he was on medication, got some sleep and medicare paid for his sons treatments when Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield wouldn’t he is back to being his old self – however he was given a 20 year sentence) I still read them. And now I am a part of a Mom’s of Prisoner support group and we send birthday cards to one another’s children, and I get letters from some of them saying how it makes them feel human, cared for, not so alone. Occasionally one of them will write and ask if I could send a card to someone in the prison whose parent died . . .or to someone who never gets mail. This Christmas I sent cards to several of them . . .I know our family is small and I am the only one who writes my son, so I know how much he appreciates and cherishes cards and notes from others.

    • Susan, as a mother, my heart aches for you. I am so very sorry about your son, but thankful for the positive changes he’s experienced. What an amazing blessing you must be to those prisoners that you write letters to. This is a valuable work you do! Thank you for sharing your story.

  9. Oh yes, yes! So many that I keep stuffed in a little bag my mother used to use to go to chapel, holding her Bible and notebook.
    One vivd memory that came to mind was of a seminary professor telling me he had a note from me tucked into his Bible, a note I’d given him while he was in grad school and it was an encouragement to him. How honored I felt to hear that!
    When I talk of myself as a writer it is sort of undercover because what I most often write is letters.
    But they can matter a lot in a different way from books and blogs, right?

  10. I used to have a card from my husband that I would read that helped me get through anything. But now I can’t stand to read it. We’ve been married 9+ years and he’s been cheating for 4+ off and on. I wish we didn’t have kids together so I could just walk away!

  11. In 2003 I was told I had stage 4 cancer of the tongue. A man from our church wrote me a letter of encouragement filled with Bible verses and things he felt led to say. I still pull that letter out and reread it. I am thankful he took the time to share what the Lord layed on his heart. I am cancer free and very thankful to still be here to bless anyone that will listen to my story, with Hope and Healing from the Lord!

  12. My husband and I run a youth group together. A few years ago I had to have foot surgery and was off my feet for about a week and then slow for awhile. The day of my surgery one of our teens dropped by the house with flowers and 2 cards that were signed by all of the youth. It blessed my heart so much to realize that the people I cared for and ministered to week after week cared about me too.

    • Danielle, this is a powerful thing you’ve said. Even though we should serve as unto the Lord, it’s discouraging to feel like it goes unnoticed by those you serve. What a gift you received!

  13. I agree with you so much here. But I find myself struggling with writing those kind of comments on public sites like fb. I find that I’m coming off as “attention seeking” and stuff. I agree we all need to hear and say these words I just worry about coming off as insincere or too personal on those public sites. ….maybe it’s just me…and fb isn’t my cup of tea!

    Possibly just the venue of a personal “in your hand” card has way more power! Someone took the time!

    Great post 😀

  14. I remember the post about Anonymous love letters. I book marked that and plan to get a bunch of young women together to write loving words of encouragement. I am so excited about this. What kind of places have you hidden your letters?

    • I’ve hidden in Barnes and Noble and BJ’s; my daughter has hid them in Walmart, TJ Maxx, and I think even the grocery store. We are both participating in the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing at moreloveletters.com

  15. I have some cards from parents, & other family members that I truly treasure! It’s the thought of the card & the note inside that really opens my eyes to how they feel! It makes me laugh & cry at the same time!

    I always try to encourage people–especially with hand written notes. I feel those are the best kind around–in fact I can’t give a card to anyone without writing a little note inside!

    • Beth, I agree. Those family notes become even more special when those family members pass on. I appreciate having something as simple as recipe cards that my mother gave me that included little notes from her to me.

  16. Such a sweet heart you have Dawn. I will remember the idea that when I am most in need of encouragement, I need to remember someone else is hurting and I can do something about it.
    I was five months pregnant with twin girls. So exciting! Then I lost them. So devastating! They were too small, too young to live outside my womb. The outpouring of love through cards and notes was unbelievable. And many women shared that they too had suffered a miscarriage, but it was in a time that you didn’t speak of this. Those words, those hearts laid bare to encourage me changed my life. I have never felt so loved!

    • Elise, I’m sorry you lost your sweet babies.

      You worded this so well: “I will remember the idea that when I am most in need of encouragement, I need to remember someone else is hurting and I can do something about it.” I need reminded of this daily.

  17. I went threw breast cancer this past summer ad all of my Bible study were praying for me. One lady in paticular sent a card every week and she had told me that she would pass by my street and each time she would pray for me. At times like that you really get to know how other people funtion and this lady is a dear, dear friend. Thank God for her and the others that prayed for me.
    Becky

  18. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A SAVER OF CARDS AND LETTERS WHICH MAKES NO SENSE TO
    MY HUSBAND, BUT WHICH MAKES TOTAL SENSE TO MY SISTER! ONE OF MY FAVORITES
    IS A VALENTINE SENT TO ME BY MY MOTHER ABOUT TWO WEEKS BEFORE SHE DIED.
    EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN ALMOST 20 YEARS, I STILL MISS HER AND MY DAD, WHO DIED 10 MONTHS BEFORE SHE DID.

  19. Ruthona, my mother passed away shortly after Valentine’s and those cards and gifts were the last she gave my children. That’s a sweet memory for me, too.

  20. Notes of encouragement received in the mail ten years ago, when an extremely difficult time in our Foster Care life chapter was destroying our family … I still have them and read once in a while. The peace that warms me still sprouts as I read them now. We also received notes of discouragement at that time, letters I chose to discard a few years later … those became a weight that broke shoulders. Encouraging and supporting friends are part of that multitude of saints that surrounds us.

  21. Loved this post! I love handwritten notes…there is something special about the excitement of getting it, and then tearing it open and reading it.
    My Grandmother recently passed away (September) and my Mom mailed me a package shortly after I returned home from the funeral. It was a huge manila full of every note, card, memento, etc. that I had ever given her, from my earliest scribble to a purple napkin from my wedding. Also included was the last note I ever wrote her, when we didn’t even know she had cancer yet (she was gone in just 35 days). My Mom informed me that she had an envelope with the name of everyone in the family on it. She literally had HUNDREDS of cards, notes, etc. that she had saved from every family member. And now they have come back to bless me. Amazing.

    • Leah, what a treasure! Obviously your grandmother treasured both you and your notes. I know my mother kept cards like that when I was a kid; I’d love to know where they are now.

  22. I remember a card that spoke of hope…a friend who believed in me…in an amazing work of God in my life…and I excitedly displayed it on my desk, thanking God for sending me such a friend. And life was good for a time…and sometimes it was hard…bit it was a kind of hard that felt like growth and progress and learning about Love…
    But crisis crashed down upon me…and life became a sea of pain…drowning me in such deep hurt that I was unable to surface…and that same friend walked away.
    I packed that card away…boxed in a collection of bittersweet memories from a time when I could hold onto hope.
    I wish I knew how to treasure the memory, without feeing the hurt of abandonment.

    • I’m sorry for the feeling of abandonment that you feel towards your friend and the hurt it caused you. I pray one day you can feel the blessing of the words without that memory connected to it.

  23. I have always been a sender of cards, letters and notes but your ideas of leaving anonymous letters of love and encouragement were never a thought. I am definitely planning to do it and thinking of gathering a group to do the same.

    I have cards and notes from friends and family during times of loss or crisis tucked in to a special box to reread as needed. Such a blessing!

  24. I have a letter my son wrote to me many years ago when he was at AA and struggling to overcome his alcoholism. He had thrown it in the garbage, I rescued it, creases and all, and still treasure it!