Snail Mail Vs. Email: the Pros and Cons of a Lost Art

The new stamps we bought!

The new stamps we bought!

When was the last time you put something in your mailbox or dropped off a letter at the post office?  Probably a while ago, right?  If not, good for you!  However, in today’s age of instant messaging, texts, emails, and tweets, most people’s only reason to use the postal service is to mail out a check.  Sadly, sending hand-written letters or cards have become a lost art.

But I am here to convince you to pick up the pen, because the advantages of snail mail far outweigh its downfalls.

To prove this to you, I am going to employ the time-proven tool of teenage girls who go through the agonizing decision-making process of whether or not to like a boy – the pros and cons table.


SNAIL MAIL

Pros   Cons
Aesthetics: You have the fun privilege of choosing the card or stationery design!   Price: Cost of envelope, paper, and pen, plus $0.49 for postage.
     
Content: Studies show that handwriting heightens brain activity in regions active in creative thinking, language, and memory (“How Handwriting Trains the Brain”by Gwendolyn Bounds, The Wall Street Journal).  You are also less likely to get distracted when writing (“4 Benefits of Writing By Hand”by Chris Gayomali, The Week).   Speed: It’s slower to handwrite, and it takes 1-3 days for delivery.
 
The Wow Factor: Don’t tell me that receiving a pretty envelope with a pretty stamp in the mail doesn’t excite you!  Also, the sense of touch (and even smell – ooh la la!) can heighten your friend’s emotions.  How do you think retailers get you to buy?  😉
 
Emotional Investment: The time and thought you invest in picking out a card and handwriting your note are automatically conveyed the moment your friend sees your name on the return address label.
 

EMAIL

Pros   Cons
Price: Cost of internet, which you can get for free at the library   Aesthetics: Typically, there is no aesthetics other than font style…and even that is limited.
     
Speed: It’s quicker to type, and delivery is immediate.   Content: You are more likely to get distracted and not write as well.
   
  The Wow Factor: …non-existent
   
  Emotional Investment: You might invest time in constructing the email and typing it out, but it just doesn’t send the same message…

Don’t get me wrong.  Technology is useful.  I use them quite often.  There is always a right time to send a quick text or post an uplifting comment on a wall or write a reassuring email.  But think back to the last time you received snail mail – that special feeling you got when you opened your mailbox and found that someone was thinking about you, took the time to pick out a unique card, and made the effort to handwrite a note of encouragement to you…nothing can replace that.

Proverbs 15:23 says,

“A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!”

Send someone snail mail today!

In Numbers: Two is Better Than One

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“Two is Better Than One” Thank You Card

Ps.133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

When I (Ophelia) first read this verse, the person that immediately came to my mind was my best friend Grace Yang.  The two of us are 2 peas in pod, BFFs, bosom buddies!  We were joined at the hip – that is, until I moved away.  But even still, the distance could not weaken the bond we have.  Not simply because we understand each other or even love each other, but because we love Jesus Christ.

To give you a peak into our friendship, we decided to interview both Grace and yours truly as the final segment of our In Numbers Interview Series.   Thankfully, Grace didn’t embarrass me too much!  =D


 

Grace and me at one of our good friend's Kentucky Derby themed bridal shower!

Grace and me at one of our good friend’s Kentucky Derby themed bridal shower!

IP: Who is your best best best bestest friend ever?!  ;D  And how did you meet?

G: My best best best bestest friend ever is Ophelia (Ophy) Dunk. We met when I was 5 and she was 3 in Hong Kong, where she is from. Our dads were roommates at National Taiwan University studying to be dentists, and we were in Hong Kong for a dental reunion. It wasn’t until Ophy moved to Los Angeles a few years later when we became best friends. To this day, our dads are still very close friends and serving at the same church.

O: She is Grace Yang, and she is the most understanding and patient woman I know.

IP: What do you think makes you two connect so well?

G: We love Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is by His grace that we are sisters in Christ and desire to love, serve, and sharpen one another. Over the past 25 years, we have shared in the greatest joys and deepest trials. Most of my memories since childhood include Ophy in them. Through it all, we have been there for each other to point to God’s sovereignty, goodness, and care towards us in every detail of life.

O: I echo what Grace said.  She and I knew each other since we were itty-bitty, so our spiritual walks alongside each other have been long, sometimes difficult, but mostly joyous ones.  Together, God called us to salvation, built up our understanding of Him, and grew our love for Him.  It is through our belief in the same Savior Jesus Christ that we have developed such a strong connection.

IP: Tell our readers a funny story of you two.

G: Hmmm… where to start?? There are experiences better left unmentioned. =) But I distinctly remember sitting in the backseat of her Mom’s car driving to various church functions, each holding a huge bowl of cut melons and secretly eating the melons the whole way to church, only to cover up the dent we made before getting out of the car. This happened on numerous occasions. Maybe that’s why I’m now allergic to all melons. It must be punishment for eating too many melons. However, I can still live vicariously through Ophy as she gets to eat them still!

O: As I attempt to remember a funny story of the two of us, I keep thinking of funny stories of just Grace!  Haha!  But I won’t divulge those here, since she could have chosen one of my numerous embarrassing moments to share with ya’ll.  =D  Let’s see…one Sunday after church, on my 12th or 13th birthday, I found myself alone and abandoned by Grace and my other friends.  Everyone had left without a word!  I was furious.  To make things worse, my mom comes up to me and tells me that she has to make a Costco run and I was stuck going with her!  Throughout the entire Costco trip, I was fuming.  By the time we left Costco, though, I was exhausted from the church activities of the day and, apparently, my indignation.  So, I fell asleep in the car.  I am not sure how long my family and friends let me sleep in the garage, but when I finally woke up and walked into the house, all my friends and family were waiting for me!  This whole time, Grace and my sister were throwing me a surprise birthday party!…  And there goes my indignation.  =}

IP: How has your friendship been different since Ophelia moved away?

G: Since Ophy has moved away, our friendship has continued to grow and strengthen by God’s grace. I miss her a lot, and there are definitely times when I miss her a lot more than usual, especially when I have a tough day and can’t just drive over to her place to talk it out or just cry on her shoulder. Even though we don’t get to see each other as often, when we do catch up over the phone or Skype, we can easily pick up from our last conversation and keep going.

O: The long distance and time difference have required us to make a greater effort to keep in touch.  We definitely had to adjust at the beginning.  It is a lot more difficult now to find times to talk that match both our schedules.  This challenge forces us to work harder at our friendship. I think it is a blessing in disguise though, because (1) it is that much sweeter when we do see each other face-to-face and (2) it keeps us from taking our friendship for granted.

IP: How have both of your relationships with Christ influenced your friendship?

G: Christ has taught me to love and forgive. Since He loves me, I am to love others with Christ’s love, with patience, kindness, and a quickness to forgive. As we grow in our love and worship of Jesus Christ, we are better able to love and care for one another. God has taught me to trust Him no matter where He takes us in life, whether as roommates or all the way across the nation. My friendship with Ophy is truly a blessing and encouragement. I am forever thankful that I get to share this life with one of the most gentle and humble women I know. What an evidence of God’s grace.

O: Being so close to someone provides many opportunities to practice the “one another” commands of the Bible, sometimes even without realizing it.  Encourage one another (1 Thes.4:18; 5:11).  Show hospitality to one another (1 Pet.4:9).  Teach one another (Col.3:16).  Admonish one another (Col.3:16).  Exhort one another (Heb.3:13).  Seek to do good to one another (1 Thes.5:15).  Stir up one another to love and good works (Heb.10:24).  Confess your sins to one another (Jms.5:16).  Pray for one another (Jms.5:16).  Forgive one another (Eph.4:13).  Bearing with one another in love (Eph.4:2).  Serve one another (Gal.5:13; 1 Pet.4:10).  Comfort one another (2 Cor.13:11).  Love one another (Rom.12:10; 1 Pet.1:22).

Of course, both of us have failed numerous times at this, but learning from the forgiving character of our Savior has spurred us to forgive one another and come out of the situation closer than before.  And when we do not fail, when God gives us the grace to live together in unity…Boy!  We do feel blessed!  


For me, our “Two is Better than One” card was designed with Grace in mind.  Do you have a Grace in your life?  How often do you sit and ponder the gift that is her?  More importantly, how often do you tell her that you appreciate her?  Don’t wait!  Tell her!  Text, email, call, or write.  Whichever method you choose, your friend will be grateful.

Close to Your Heart: A Mother’s Influence

 

"Close to Your Heart" Mother's Day Card

“Close to Your Heart” Mother’s Day Card

“My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.  Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck.  When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.” – Proverbs 6:20-22

A mother’s influence on her children is matchless.  Our inspiration passage talks about how her teachings should be cherished – held close to one’s heart as well as lived out – as if adorned around one’s neck.  John MacArthur comments in his study Bible on how binding something to our heart and tying it around our neck means letting it “become a part of us – outwardly in our behavior for all to see as an adornment of spiritual beauty, and inwardly as the subject of our meditation” (notes on Proverbs 3:3; 6:20-21, 22).  Maffrine and I just love this imagery and its meaning!

This is how we came up with the design for our Mother’s Day card.  The charming necklace, set on top of a chalkboard backdrop, serves as an elegant yet fun way to tell our mothers that they and their teaching are valuable to us, similar to how jewelry can be valuable.

Maffrine "wearing" the necklace

Maffrine “wearing” the necklace

The card is designed such that you and/or your mom can “wear” the necklace!  For this Mother’s Day, hold the necklace close to your heart and adorn it on your neck!  Take a picture and post it on our FB page with a comment on something that you have learned from your mom!  This card is meant to express not only the beauty of a mother’s influence but also its significance to her son or daughter, so why not express it not only to your mother but to the world?!  You don’t have to do this with just your mother.  This card can be for your grandmother, your mother-in-law, and even your spiritual mothers – women who have served as mentors in your life.

To voice our love for our mothers this Mother’s Day, we would like to share with you one teaching that our mothers passed on to us (and a few wedding photos)!

Maffrine: My mother passed onto me how to be a good steward of my resources.  She is the thriftiest person I know, and I learn from her example.

Maffrine and her mom on her wedding day

Maffrine and her mom on her wedding day

Ophelia: One of the things I admire most about my mom is her generosity.  She is always giving of her time, money, and energy.  Watching her continually give of herself always convicts me and inspires me to be more selfless like her.

My mom and I on my wedding day

My mom and I on my wedding day

So what have you learned from your mother?  =D

 

Grand Opening!

Our first line of cards!

We have launched “In Numbers” – Our first line of cards!

Welcome to our blog!  We are very excited to present the grand opening of Intwine Paperie!  In God’s perfect timing, we get to see our dream come to fruition, and we get to share that dream with you!  Our vision was to start a home-based business through which we can marry our passion for design and our passion for God and His people.  The product of this vision is Intwine Paperie, a business dedicated to creating beautiful and Scripture-inspired art in the form of greeting cards.  You are welcome to read more about our business and who we (the partners) are on our “About” and “The Partners” pages respectively.  Please also check out our first line of cards, titled “In Numbers”, on our Facebook page and in our Etsy shop.  Feel free to like us, share us, and make a comment.  We would love to hear your thoughts on our business and our products.  We also want to simply get to know you, so don’t be shy!  We will be introducing our “In Numbers” line of greeting cards on our next post.  To make sure you don’t miss it, you can follow our blog via email.  To celebrate our grand opening, we are offering a one-time 20% discount on your entire next order made within the month of April to those of you who follow our blog or like and share us on our Facebook page.  Just make sure you either tag us on the post or message us so that we know you did it!  We look forward to starting a relationship with you!