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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Writing to myself by Claire Musters

I had the fascinating experience of being asked to write a letter to myself recently. I was coming to the end of a two year course on biblical knowledge and leadership development. The delegates were asked to consider what things we felt God was challenging us to implement in the next few months as a result of what we’ve learned. We were each then given an envelope and piece of paper and were encouraged to write a letter to ourselves, in which we challenged ourselves to see whether we’d actually started doing them. The letters and addressed envelopes were then collected up and will be sent to us in six months’ time.

I found it interesting to write to myself – I seemed to adopt a persona to begin with (possibly as a way to distance myself or find a way to relate to my other, slightly older self!), and then found I was asking myself a lot of questions. I think the letter will be a great way to maintain some personal accountability (although I have to admit I also wrote a list of what I’d included in my notepad as my memory is so bad I thought I’d have forgotten everything way before the six months was up!).

The experience got me thinking as to when else I have written to myself. I think my journal is the place where I do it most regularly. What I write can often be directed to God, or simply be a splurge of my thoughts, struggles and reflections, but sometimes I do write directly to myself. I may be giving myself a pep talk, like David does in the psalms when he asks his soul why it is so downcast, or reminding myself of scripture if I’m struggling to hold on to God’s promises in a situation.

I have also found myself writing down questions to myself about the type of relationships I want with my children as they are beginning to get older (my daughter is now a tween). I find writing those things down really help clarify issues in my mind.

So, while writing is usually something I do for others, in the form of Bible study notes, articles or books, I have recently discovered afresh that I can actually glean a lot of encouragement, wisdom and insight from writing to myself.

How about you? Have you ever written to yourself before? How did you find the experience? What other examples of writing to yourselves do you have?

Claire is a freelance writer and editor, mum to two gorgeous young children, pastor’s wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire’s desire is to help others draw closer to God through her writing, which focuses on authenticity, marriage, parenting, worship, discipleship, issues facing women today etc. Her books include Taking your Spiritual Pulse, CWR’s Insight Into Managing Conflict and Cover to Cover: David A man after God’s own heart and BRF Foundations21 study guides on Prayer and Jesus. She also writes a regular column for Christian Today as well as Bible study notes, and her next book, Insight Into Self-acceptance, is due out in October. She is currently working on another co-written book, Insight Into Burnout, as well as her own book Taking off the mask: learning to live authentically. To find out more about her, please visit www.clairemusters.com and @CMusters on Twitter.

4 comments:

  1. I have never written to myself although I have been to God in a similar way that you describe. It might be quite interesting to do. I think I will give it a go. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  2. It's an intriguing idea, Claire. I once wrote a letter to my younger self as part of a blog link up prompt. It's surprising what can come when we gain a bit of perspective! You may find yourself surprised by your questions or how you might answer them in six months' time. Journals are a great way to write out our thoughts and look back on them later on. Thanks for inspiring us! :) x

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  3. I so admire you Claire for writing stuff re your kids. I wish I'd done that! Now they are grown and actually are people to be proud of, but it would've been so helpful to aid thinking back when they were tweens and teens!

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  4. I admit to being a devotee of the Christmas letter to old friends that I rarely see now. I recently re-read all my old letters - dating back some 25 years - and found it fascinating to see what I was obsessing about years ago! I guess letters to self might be a bit like that?

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