The Pen & Ink Project

February 4, 2014  - By Gretchen Saffles

Africa StationaryAs I was reading my Bible in January, the Lord planted an idea in my heart. It is an idea I pray reaches to the ends of the earth for His name. It is an idea that He is watering and growing for His glory. It involves you and me and those around us. It’s an idea to  impact His Kingdom and further the gospel. Ready to hear it? I’d love for you to be a part!
I’ve always had a passion for the art of writing hand-written letters. In high school I had a ministry where I would secretly leave letters in my friends lockers to encourage them. I have  had several pen pals over the years and have kept up with many friends through writing with pen and ink, not an iPhone or computer. There’s nothing like the joy of finding a hand-written letter in the mail!

Jesus Only JesusAll of the epistles in the New Testament were hand-written letters. In John’s letters, he said “I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.” (3 John 1:13) My dream is for us, as Christ-followers, to write letters to our friends **ALL OVER THE WORLD** and encourage them with words of Scripture and prayer! It takes time to write a letter. It takes discipline and it takes thought. Let’s reclaim the missed opportunities that slip by us each day to touch the world with the hands of Jesus. Let’s put down our cell phones and truly live for God’s glory and do what He says. What if we flooded the mail with letters that are glimpses of God’s love?!

Hebrews 3:13a commands us to “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today.” Today is that day. With someone in mind, pick up your pen, write out your thoughts, seal the envelope and mail it to strengthen and inspire your friends.

It’s as simple as that! Rediscover the joy of this lost art through the pen & ink project.

Write Soon!

Your Pen Pal,


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  1. Amanda Ellison says:

    Hi Gretchen,
    I just found your blog through Instagram. I am so encouraged by this post. I felt the Lord telling me to start writing “Love Notes” to women that I know to encourage them. I purchased post cards through the great Lara Casey and I am sad to say they have set blank on my office desk. I’ve had this thought that I am inadequate and what could I offer someone, or that I’m crazy for having the thought to send letters to people I know, even random people. This post has encouraged me that indeed the Lord put the desire in my heart, and I need to just do it. Don’t let my fears get in the way. Thank you for this. I’m going to send off my first letter this weekend.


    • gretchensaffles says:

      I love this! God has recently been teaching me the same thing. And challenging me to expect Him to do great things when I respond in obedience to His call (even in writing a note of encouragement to a friend or stranger). Honestly, it’s exciting! God created words to have power and can use words of encouragement and Scripture to bring life to someone! We are in this together. Praying for you today! I am going to write more letters this weekend with you:)

      Your Sister,

  2. Elizabeth says:

    LOVE this post! so encouraging!

  3. Bertha says:

    HI Gretchen. I’m so glad the Lord led me to find you on Instagram. I have been reading your posts and have been filled with a lot of encouragement. This post is one of them. I’m inspired to write letters to friends and people in general who need an encouraging word. I would love to also have other pen pals who would love to do this with me. I hope that you can be one of them. Please let me know. I pray that God continue to use you and I’m very grateful with what you’re doing. By the way, I’m looking forward to purchasing the journal soon. Such a wonderful idea and I have been looking for a journal like this. So thank you and God bless.

  4. Gretchen,
    I likewise was so blessed to stumble across your instagram page. The radiance of the King truly shines through you and reaches the hearts of many. I thank you for following your God-given dreams and talents. Your site truly epitomises the beauty of the Lord! I have a passion for words and for the power of hand-written letters, and love that you feel the same way. May you continue to transform lives dear!

    May God richly bless you always,

    Abundance of Lovely

    • gretchensaffles says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement today! It means the world to me!These words are water to my soul today. God is so so good!

  5. Bonita Rose says:

    I am a firm believer in real mail… it’s somehow been lost in the current age.. so sad.. I’m the Ministry Coordinator at our church for the Secret Sister Ministry, and I’ve been trying to get the 40 or so women that signed up to do more, to encourage more.. to let them know.. how hard is it to put a note/card in the real mail with a stamp???I think the problem is that most feel too hurried, too busy, too stretched.
    I think more women need to just slow down and spend more time in His Word.
    More women need to slow down and just spend time in His Presence.
    Love this! xo Love your art.. I love playing with paints and art too!

  6. I love this idea! How do we go about getting started? I love getting something in the mail besides bills. 🙂

  7. Corné Lombard says:

    Hello Gretchen,Its a cloudy morning in Australia and I stumbled across your beautiful IS page through Heather Boersma! Wow such a God lead thing as I have been searching for the perfect journal but just cannot find one until this morning! So I just purchased my first 40 day journal and I cannot wait to receive it!

    I too am one who absolutely ❤️ sending hand written notes to my friends & loved ones! Haven’t done it in a while but was inspired by this post to do something about that today!
    Bless you sweet one of Jesus and I can’t wait to learn more about Jesus and dig my well deeper with my Father!
    Love Corné

    • gretchensaffles says:

      Corne, I am so excited you purchased a journal! I love how God brings together His people! 🙂 We definitely share the same heart! I hope you are doing well in Australia! 🙂
      Your sister,

  8. Bernadette says:

    Hi Gretchen,
    Unfortunately, I can’t even remember the last time I hand wrote and mailed a letter. Of the many things God has taught me this past year, it’s the importance of my brothers and sisters. That we weren’t made to run this race alone, rather together. I’ve only recently discovered your website, but am in love with this beautiful place on the internet. Thanks and all the best. Off to write a letter now.

    in Christ,

  9. Kate says:

    I love the idea of this. I also think it’s a great idea if we could do some kind of pen pal …thing!? I had a pen pal when I was about 11, and I loved it!
    If it’s something anyone is interested in, I’d love to hear back!

  10. hope says:

    Good Morning, I so elated I found this blog. Is it still open. It was placed on my heart to reach out to others through writing notes and letters. I am not a fan of social media, so I asked the Lord, what are other ways to reach out, and I heard His still small, voice say through notes and letters.
    Thank you for the post. I hope this blog is still going strong on August 28, 2021. I hope to stay in contact with all of you.)

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