Bless Your Heart

Dear Eli,

Thanks for letting me keep your paper today. You reached for it. I held on tight and asked you if I could save it forever.

You smiled a little, somewhat embarrassed, I think, and said “sure.”


You probably wondered why I wanted to keep something you had scrawled on the back of a note from school. It wasn’t anything special to you. Just some letters, written a little crooked, and hyphenated where there should not have had a hyphen.

But I want those words forever.

I want to keep them. Treasure them. Pull them out when I doubt.





use BR”


I did have to ask what the B.R. represented. Baton Rouge? Bayou Red? You recently asked why where we live is called Bayou Blue. I don’t know. There’s no such thing as a blue bayou. I know this. So maybe you were making up a Bayou Red? ILoveGod

Nope. Boys Rock. Oh. Well, then. BR it is.

I loved the multiple colors you used, the scented markers that made the page smell. Loved how you hyphenated inappropriately.

Most of all I love that you put “I HEART God” first. To that, I would say three words that I have secretly sworn would not come out of my mouth, except under extreme duress.

“Bless your heart.”

I recently learned at a beautiful mother-daughter tea party that true southern girls say “bless your heart.”

“But I don’t,” I thought to myself. “I’m not going to make myself say that.”

But tonight, when remembering your note, I kept thinking those three words.

“Bless your heart.”

Bless your heart that loves smelly markers and makes me sniff each fragrance. (Who knew they even made cinnamon-smelling ones?)

Bless your heart that loves your rag-tag clubhouse in your friend’s yard.

But most of all, bless your heart that writes “I HEART God” at the top of the page with multicolor letters for anyone and everyone to see.

Bless your heart, Eli.

The heart that loves God. The heart that thinks of something to write and decides to put “I HEART God” first.

Before the boys’ clubhouse. Before Boys Rock.

I know there may be other letters of yours I read someday that I may not want to save. Words that don’t make my heart swell with love. If those days come, I plan to pull out this note of yours.

And when your heart hurts or is torn in different directions, it will be my prayer for you. That God would bless your heart. That he would heal your hurt. That he would turn your eyes toward him. That the things of this world would fade and eternal things would be magnified.

Bless. Your. Heart.

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