A Box of Letters…And A Sword


Hello friends! 40 feels good already! I’ve spent the week wearing my birthday boots, lighting a favorite candle and settling into a big, cozy chair where I’m happy to sit for hours savoring every word in this box full of letters.

And for the first time in a long time, I’ve had no words. What do you say in response to a stack of love poured out on you? How do you take in all that love at once? Well, you don’t. Which is why I’ve been quiet this week…sitting with my box of letters, reading slowly, and giving so much thanks for every sweet soul who participated in this glorious gift.


First, a huge thanks to my husband. He’ll tell you the box of letters wasn’t his idea {I’ve learned to ask for what I desire instead of hoping he’ll figure it out and feeling disappointed when he doesn’t}, but he did all the work to make it special. He hunted down the perfect box {an antique letter writing box which he miraculously scored the day before my birthday}, he searched for just the right paper, and gathered and printed all the letters. When he handed me the antique box, I was giddy at the sight of it! I think I squealed. I couldn’t have picked a better box in a million years!




And of course, what’s inside the box is the best part! To those who sent a letter: thank you from the deepest part of my heart. I’m savoring each letter as if it were the best piece of dark chocolate on the planet! But unlike chocolate, words last. And the beauty of letters is that you can re-read them as often as your heart desires. I couldn’t believe one of the letters I received: a copy of a note I wrote to a high school girl almost 20 years ago! She was one of my Young Life girls in a Bible study I led during my four years at Vanderbilt, and all these years later, she humbled me with words of her own. I thought of all the moms and mentors out there: you’re making an eternal difference in someone’s life today…even if you can’t see it yet!

IMG_0684PINITAnd then there were the letters from those who knew me as a much younger version of myself: family, my favorite high school teacher, camp friends, my first boss at Enron…. The history shared with each of these people means so very much, especially in my new town, where I don’t have much of a history. It’s so good to have people in our lives who can call out the wonder of who we’ve always been. 


And to those of you who wrote without ever having met me, I’m particularly touched by your brave and beautiful hearts! You wrote such life giving words, reaffirmed my gifts, and revealed the unseen impact that sharing my gifts has had in your life. What an encouragement you are to me! Your words reminded me that God has given each of us particular gifts, and when we bravely share them and walk in them, be it on a blog or in our own home, the impact is far greater than we could ever imagine. Be brave with your gifts! Someone else needs what you have to offer today!

And as if all those letters gathered together in an antique letter writing box weren’t enough, I received this incredible gift from my dad:


A real sword! Surely every Bravehearted Beauty needs a sword! As you know, I call my camera my sword, but deep down, I’ve envisioned a real, preferably antique and beautifully etched, sword. I’ve even checked ebay a time or two, but I wanted a story, not just an object. Little did I know, we had a sword in the family! Can you believe it?!?! When I discovered this at Christmas, my eyes teared up on the spot. My dad didn’t understand the tears or the significance in that moment, but he made a point to clean up the sword and send it my way.




It belonged to his father, Charles Finley Lewis. He received it as an Army officer upon graduation from Caltech back in 1928. On top of the stories of his brilliance, I’ve always been told he was on the front lines in World War II as an engineer responsible for designing and building needed bridges in Europe. {Did I get that story right, Dad?} He was serving in the war the day my dad was born, and he wasn’t alive the day I was born, but on my 40th birthday, I felt a deeper connection to his story…and to my own.

A sword with a story and letters to remind me of who I am. Could I be any more blessed?!?! Thank you, Lord. Thank you, family. Thank you, friends.

Wishing you so much goodness today,

Linsey signature 100pix



P.S. This year’s birthday was particularly redemptive and wonderful, but it’s been a fight to get to this place…to believe I’m worth celebrating and to allow myself to be celebrated. If you’re wondering whether you’re worth celebrating, last year’s birthday post might speak to your heart. {Hint: you ARE worth celebrating!}

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  • Gracia @ Gracious Offering - Linsey,
    What a sweet, caring, and loving husband you have! He listened and responded to your wish in such an awesome way. I’m sure those letters will be a treasure for years to come. I often save thoughtful notes and cards that my family (especially my boys who don’t always express their feelings often!) or friends have written and read them when I feel I need some encouragement and validation. May the 40’s be a decade full of love, adventure, and more beauty than you can imagine. Warmly, GraciaReplyCancel

  • Shirley@Housepitality Designs - When I read the letter that your husband wrote….a call for letters as you wanted for your birthday, I felt, yes, this is what it is all about…not the gifts and a store bought card with a signature attached…it’s about the people near and dear to your heart, the ones you have touched through your blog, your church, your mentoring … the ones who want to tell you how much you mean to them in their lives. I am so glad that you had a most memorable birthday and the antique letter box and the sword are truly gifts from the heart that you will treasure forever.ReplyCancel

  • paige - oh friend…what a priceless gift he gave you of rounding up all these special blessings. and what beautiful blessings they are indeed!
    i remember finley is in your family names too

    just beautiful
    and the boots! you KNOW i love those as well

    much love sweet oneReplyCancel

  • Amy - I love all the many ways you were celebrated. You are worth it, Linsey. You are a precious lady and friend. I love you.ReplyCancel