When I was a child, I loved checking the mail. I hoped, with a hope that renewed every morning, that inside our mailbox I’d find an envelope addressed to me: a letter from my cousin in Iowa, perhaps, or a chain letter from a classmate. Or, better yet, a mysterious package whose contents would jump-start the adventure I knew I was destined for!
I’d settle for junk mail, if only it bore my name.
My daughters check our mailbox with that same optimism—that same perennial hope that maybe this time one of the letters will belong to them. Cards from grandparents arrive, properly emblazoned; so does the occasional party invitation. Most often they bring in coupons and flyers for me to discard. But once each season and again at Christmas, they burst jubilantly back inside, clutching a package adorned with decorative tape: the newest issue of Wildflowers Magazine.
Opening an issue of Wildflowers is like opening an accordion file of pretty things. Inside are drawing tutorials, DIY projects, short stories, poems, book reviews, missionary biographies, and nature projects, as well as pages girls can cut out and interact with—coloring pages, stationary, full-page paintings for display. Most of these are created by the magazine’s contributors (confession: I am one of them). But several of the reviews, poems, and art are submitted by young readers, and that is, for the young readers at my house, the most inspiring part of each issue.
Wildflowers founder Maegan Keaton—-a mother of seven who produces this magazine with her family-—writes: “One of the reasons I named the magazine Wildflowers is because I wanted to inspire girls to live like wildflowers—bringing life and beauty to unexpected places.” To that end, she has crafted a magazine that points young readers gently to the One who is the original source of all things living and beautiful.
I still check the mail with a measure of optimism. Most days I find it full of catalogs and bills (that, sadly, do have my name on them). But every so often, a flat package fills the mailbox, and I know it by its decorative tape. Quietly I close the door and retreat to the living room, where one of my daughters invariably sits reading.
I make a show of being busy with something dull and adult as I ask, “Sweetie, would you mind checking the mail?”