Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Connecting with comfort via greeting card verses April 17, 2018

Each of these boxed card collections from Warner Press includes a greeting card verse that I wrote. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS, I’ve walked into a Minnesota church basement or fellowship hall and noticed boxed greeting cards from Warner Press for sale. I write greeting card verses for that Indiana based Christian company and have done so for many years.

Typically, a half dozen or fewer of my submitted verses are selected for publication annually. It’s not a lot, but still an opportunity to challenge myself. Writing greeting card verses is difficult because you need to come up with something creative and new, something that hasn’t been published a million times already in a card. And you need to deliver those words in a succinct message.

 

My verses are published in these four recently-released cards, included in the Warner Press boxed card collections. Two are in the “Get Well, Comfort in God’s Care” collection, one in the “All Occasion, Peaceful Pastures” and the fourth in “Confirmed in Christ.” Because the verses are copyrighted, I can’t show you what I wrote.

 

I’ve found that I am most gifted at penning verses which encourage people, whether they are facing health issues, the loss of a loved one and/or other challenges.

I expect that ability to offer hope is rooted in my own experiences. When you’ve dealt with health issues—for me debilitating osteoarthritis followed by total hip replacement at a fairly young (50) age, three months of battling whooping cough, healing from a broken shoulder and more—you can empathize. And empathy translates into words of comfort and hope.

Likewise, I’ve lost enough loved ones and friends to pull sympathetic thoughts from the grief of my heart to offer comfort and hope.

 

One of the things I most appreciate about Warner Press is the company’s recognition of the writer and designer with their names listed on the back of each greeting card.

 

Comfort and hope. Those are powerful words. I hold the ability to offer healing to others through the ministry of greeting cards. More than ever today, we are a nation, a people, in need of healing. We each have the power within us to show empathy and care to others whether through our actions, written words, spoken words, prayer and, yes, even silence. Sometimes it’s better to remain quiet and to just listen, love and support.

In this day and age of instant communication, printed greeting cards still hold value. They connect us on a level that a screen can’t. When you give a card, you take the time to pause, to pick up a pen, to sign your name and perhaps add a personal note. For the person on the receiving end, that’s a gift—tangible evidence that you care. And that can make all the difference to someone in need of comfort and hope.

 

TELL ME: Do you see value in printed greeting cards? Do you still give and receive them?

Disclaimer: I am paid for the greeting card verses I write for Warner Press.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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23 Responses to “Connecting with comfort via greeting card verses”

  1. ~~~beautiful cards, Audrey. Such value and power to make one’s day!
    Such a dying art, right?
    Funny you should ask ….
    because I’m obsessed w/ cards.
    I buy them everywhere I go & send them out
    to people I know, friends, and even strangers.
    I love Cat Cards.
    My husband started hiding the stamps!

    Xxx from Duluth.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    I love that you use your gift of writing to share with others in this way. I still use printed greeting cards at times but prefer to use my own creations when I can. That is not always possible and I have found that there are so many wonderful cards out there to purchase that I can almost always find one that says the right words I want to express. Or I buy a blank one and use my own words. Like you I love to send cards that help others during difficult times.

  3. Kiandra Judge Says:

    That’s awesome you do this! Another way to connect through words.
    I still send cards often and not just for holidays. We grew up always sending thank you cards after birthdays so I’ve started that practice with my 4 year old son. He just had a birthday and we sent out each gift giver a thank you card. He actually just got a book from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library about that very subject! “Ten Thank You Letters” by Daniel Kirk. It’s about being grateful and showing that gratitude.
    Soren, our son, loves getting cards in the mail and was sad when he didn’t receive as much as we did. We tried to explain we’d rather not receive the “cards” (bills) we were getting 😉.
    I sent messages to my family & best friend and now Soren receives a least one card a week and he is over the moon!
    There is something so heart warming about getting a card in the mail over a text message. A card means you made an effort; you found the card, wrote it out, got the stamp and finally mailed it. It’s the extra work and thought that go into it that makes it even more meaningful.

    • Kiandra, I absolutely love that you are teaching Soren the importance of writing thank you notes. I did the same with my kids, no matter their protests.

      And that request for weekly cards is brilliant. Those cards show Soren how much he is loved and also teach him the value in card-giving/receiving.

      I agree with your final paragraph fully. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. You have given us all additional reasons to send (more) cards.

  4. Bernadette Says:

    This is a wonderful use of your talents, Audrey. Our generation is still attached to greeting cards, unlike the generation we raised and those coming up. For them it’s a quick dash to Facebook to send an electronic message. My children, however, do save the cards given them especially those given by their now deceased grandmother.
    I’ve taught my granddaughter Charlotte the delight of drawing a picture, signing her name and putting it in the mail to her faraway grandmother. Charlotte loves the whole process of licking the envelope, putting on the stamp and dropping envelope in the mailbox. Now when someone is feeling sad or needs a cheer-up, she often draws a picture to express what is going on.

  5. What an awesome ministry. I love to send hand-written cards. These are beautiful.

  6. Valerie Says:

    It’s fun to know you do this for Warner Press. I still send cards and usually my own creations, except sympathy cards…I find sympathy cards are the hardest for me to find the right words.

  7. Jackie Says:

    Those cards are so nice, I know because I have personally received one from you! I still think hand written cards are the best thing. I send them out frequently and always enjoy seeing that surprise in my mailbox. You have a gift Audrey, you have blessed many by your encouraging and thoughtful words.

  8. Congratulations, I’m sure your verses are beautiful. I love sending and receiving cards. I keep every card that is sent to me even if it’s just a thank you note.

    • Thank you. I keep many of the cards I receive also. I noticed on my last birthday that I didn’t get many greeting cards. I don’t know if it’s because people are too busy, they didn’t care or they simply forgot.

      • It’s more likely that they were too busy. We live in such a busy scheduled world that we often forget to stop and live life. That is likely the reason why I always have the desire to go back to the family farm and simpler times. However, those memories are probably distorted by youth.

      • I’m like you. I crave simpler times. There were fewer distractions back in the day, all around. Family meant more. Faith meant more. A sense of community and of place meant more. Yes, some of this is distorted by youth. But definitely not all of it.

  9. Virgil Says:

    Yes we do and had the joy of recently sending a card that had your credit on the back. Very nicely composed. Thanks!
    Last week with the snowy weather outdoors we tackled cleaning our “card” drawer. Fun looking a special cards, many homemade, from our family and granddkids. We will share with them the cards their parents helped them do when they were very young, it will be fun! One son always finds that special humorous card for Dad. I told him I’m going to give them back and he can recycle them.
    Our granddaughter recently did a blog on the same topic.

    • Virgil, I appreciate that you value greeting cards as much as I do. And thanks for sending one I authored.

      Sharing those long-kept cards with the senders is a great idea. My aunt returned letters to me that I’d written to her decades ago. What fun to read through them. I also have a stash of cards that my mom kept for decades. I hope to return some of those vintage cards to the senders.


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