March 4, 2013

Framing Cherished Handwritten Letters

In an old shoebox under my bed is a collection of handwritten letters from back in the day. From a time in my life before email and text messaging, when sending a message actually required picking up a pen and a piece of paper.

Wow, I suddenly feel old.


Inside the shoebox are dozens of letters from a variety of different people - cousins, grandparents, friends who moved away, and even an overseas penpal. They all hold special memories, but my most cherished letters to reread are those from my grandparents who have passed away.

I was/am blessed to know three special grandmothers throughout my childhood. All of these women are/were unique and wonderful, but there was one in particular whom I want to write about today.

This is my great-grandma Esther. Not everyone gets the chance to know their great-grandparents. I feel lucky and blessed to have known mine for twenty-one years.

My great-grandma was deeply religious, in the most refreshing sort of way. She was the type of person who could incorporate God into ordinary conversation without being "preachy". She could casually share with you what a particular Bible verse meant to her. She was genuine. And spiritually encouraging. To me, she made religion personal.

Because we lived so far apart, many of our most meaningful conversations were carried out through the exchanging of letters. Words written with pen on paper. Letters that I can now reread and cherish. Because she was such a key player in shaping my faith life, I wanted to display a few of her letters around the house.

Part of this letter from my great-grandma reads, 
"One of my favorite Bible verses is this - Romans 8:26-27. Its so beautiful. Sometimes we don't just know how to pray, but then the Holy Spirit takes over and prays for us - we just ask the Holy Spirit to take over- its one of his promises. Sometimes our hearts are so sad we just can't put into words what we want then we remind Him to pray for us...."

To outsiders, this may seem overly spiritual, but in the context of a long letter about current events and daily happenings, her words were a genuine and gentle faith presence.

I had trouble choosing a favorite letter to display, so I ended up framing two. The first is currently on my nightstand while the second is in the laundry room. Don't you just love this deep set rounded frame from Hobby Lobby?

I printed and matted this with regular printer paper wrapped around a thin piece of chipboard. The grey chevron printable can be found HERE for free.

Sharing this project at the link parties listed HERE.

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