1/31/18

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Day 61

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God,

Like a skin

You are shedding slow 

the pride within me –

not the, hey, look at me,

I got this! I’m fine! though 

we both know internally 

I act this way. You’ve steadied 

me each time this last week I said, I need 

your hand. Would you help out with this, 

please? I need to go home – I don’t feel 

good. I’m not sure if I said the last part, 

but I remember her gentle reassurance 

that it was fine if we went home and 

watched Miranda on the couch. 

All of these were different scenarios, but 

each made me confront my fear of 

rejection –

each met with, yes, here! I’ll hook you up. 

(Not sure those were exact words either). 

I thinkthe wind is for you. 

She cranked up the air conditioner and 

opened up the windows. If it gets too 

cold, let me know. I know she was cold, 

but she was trying to cool me down while 

I sang to distract myself from the pain. 

Each time it was a reminder: Your grace is 

all I need. Your power is made perfect in

weakness – my asking for 

help/connection when I feel I least 

deserve it, don’t know if I will be met 

with rejection. 

But You are here. You are aquatinted with 

all my ways. 

You know every word I will utter

before I speak it – the worry, the  

fear, the joy, the mystery, You know it all. 

Could You be this good, God? 

Understanding me

so intimately I can’t deny the ways You 

woo me?

I want to see. And thank You at every thrill that finds me. 

love,

your tender haired girl 

Ps. Seriously? That was fast. I’m pretty sure that’s Reba doing the kfc commercial. Ugh, it makes me miss grandma and the way we would watch Reba’s show,  and grandma  would say ‘Moron’ like Reba. I miss her, God. A lot. It made me laugh or smile every time. Grief isn’t fun. Especially when it hits out of the blue.  

1/30/18

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Day 60

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God,

I’m writing this to You while the cat is kneading my neck. Oh wait, now she is gone. She teaches me so much about presence. And this photo:

So much precious. Ahh. There’s much I want to tell you. 

1. Thank you for friends I can send random things to and share my heart with. 

2. 7 days and and a few more hours until SKIT GUYS WITH MEGAN. Please let this whole thing be better than I’ve asked or imagined. Especially the road trip part, okay whole thing. Please & thank you again. Surprise away. Thank You for giving me the push to ask and Dad being excited to help with a hotel. And Megan taking off time to do this. Don’t let me forget anything from this time, open me to receive it. 

3. Thank you for the reminder of the love of family and a new friendship with Kelly that has brought laughter and prayer and romance movies (never thought I could watch those again), singing, good food and learning about each other. And book recommendations/books with highlights given accidentally (that was no accident, God. You know I love seeing what touches others) 

4. A graze box. Seriously snacks in a box hand selected for me. And the inside says YAY. it’s a slice of happy every month. Can’t wait for a full 8 snacks next month. And thank you for Sarah, who let me try a free box this month. I wish I didn’t eat it so fast though. I love that it’s so easy for me to grab and open on my own and savory/sweet snacks I’d probably never have alone. 

5. Emailing my boss lady, Trisha. I love that I can just unload all of my thoughts in an email about what you are doing in my life and know everything is out there and my heart is seen, known.

Thank you for taking my list of gratitude. 

love,

your tender haired girl. 

1/26/18

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Day 59

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God,

I surrender 

to the melody,

to the words You speak.

You make no mistake.

I am worth more than gold

to You. My beloved. My friend. 

Come again now & reassure 

my heart: these ashes will find 

new blooms. I will find my voice, my 

laughter, redemption in You. You are 

making me new,

loving me through the doubt to

sing / I love you. 
Your tender haired girl. 

fmf: surrender. 

1/24/18

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Day 58

//

O Lord,

You have searched me 

& have known me (like how I REALLY want to see the skit guys with Megan & help Kelly with her book).

You know when I sit down 

& wonder: she really bought the tickets…? We can’t travel that far In one day. That’d be exhausting. Could you do a favor with a hotel? Lord, is this real? I know I said please please and held off until yesterday, but I’m just wondering how You’ll come through. And sitting at Steak n Shake with Kelly last night, laughing so much I thought I might just go to be with You. I couldn’t catch my breath – but I remember the way I told her about a dream I have & the way she thanked You & then asked me if I’d write the foreword. For her book. And God, this is where I’m in awe of You. So in awe. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I always thought famous people wrote forewords, and I think a part of me is afraid I’ll mess up, but I’ll lean on You for help. And there You go playing

Songs of Deliverance by Ellie…

Your intentions are not shaken

Everything that once was breaking

Tear me down and bind me up

In You I place my trust.

You are really redeeming something. I can’t wait for this weekend. Way too excited to see a movie and have a girls weekend with Kelly. Whoa. God. I just realized last night was like the Beloved Challenge in Whispers of rest, the girls night and this weekend will be like another one, plan a fun weekend (think that’s what it’s called..) I think you may actually be answering one of my prayers. You are, aren’t You?

love, 

your tender-haired girl 

Ps. Actually, I think multiple prayers. Deep friendships, yes please.  Thank you. 

1/22-23/18

.//

Day 56-57

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God,

Here is my grateful list for today:
1. Shrek the musical recommendation from Teri
2. Dad calling me, Twink before leaving (makes me feel like I shine even if I don’t feel right now)
3. Fighting Words by Ellie Holcomb (reminds me of when Megan texted before the hysterectomy last year: Use your fighting words, Jewelia. Made me smile and calm come to my heart.)
4. Prayer. Praying for friends and family and just talking to You helps me take off of me.
5. Unexpected free box of snacks coming next week thanks to Sarah. Her wanting me to try it even though I know she’s not feeling well was the kindest thing. Threw me off. Most of Your surprises do. Let there be chocolate please.
6. Mom making peanut butter/banana sandwich for breakfast/tomoato soup, grilled cheese and that really good salad. I love the way she loves, God.
7. Beckah Shae. I know I’ve told you a lot but the way she takes really popular songs and turns them into songs about You. Ugh, so good. Seriously if she turns all these covers into an album, I’ll be breaking it down for You on constant repeat
8. Like I will most likely do for Kelly today. Maybe. Thank You for her friendship – the way she brings out more of the me that’s been hiding. By the way she listens and prays and loves by giving her time and presence, It helps me see Your face- the joy, Lord. It captivates me. Help us enjoy each other and the time You give us today.

Help us to love deeply. To give and receive the love, encouragement You so freely give away. Help us to savor the laughter, make room for the tears that water the flower that can grow even from the bitter. You make us better – two is better than one and and a threefold strand isn’t easily broken. You gold us together. You make us better. I can’t stop repeating it right now. Let be true. Amen.

Love
Your tender haired girl

PS. Thank You for everything. For today. For music, an a song that still gets to me.

previous letter.

 

 

1/20/18

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Day 55

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Father,

In the midst 

of the cat puke

(really, so gross.)

& the flu coming 

steady, slow, You

bring the setting sun 

through the living room

window. I sit there & marvel

at something so quietly blinding. For a 

moment,

I let go. Frustration. Sorrow. 

They surrender as my heart 

to the glow. Darkness, no matter how 

small can’t comprehend You. Your love 

can not be controlled, matched, 

yet here I lay waiting again for You. Still 

me. Hush me with Your light speaking a 

silence 

our world demands be audible. 

Love,

your tender haired girl 
Ps. I love You. 

Previous letter. 

1/19/18

//

Day 54

//

Father,

You are intentional 

in the ways You answer

my prayers – I can ask 

again & again if I can have 

time with a friend & feel nothing 

in the asking, in the waiting. In the 

morning when the sun has yet come up, I 

sit in the dark and scribble out Your word. 

I don’t know how my imprisoned 

state could make another believer speak 

Your love loud. 

Or that the way I live turns someone away 

from desires (that bring upon regret). 

Could You settle down within me

now & wait patiently to experience 

how You feel like home? You are home. 

Love, 

Your tender haired girl 

Fmf: intentional // timer stopped at “desires”

Previous letter. 

1/17-18/18

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Day 52-53

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Father,

It is the simple

joy of a Monterey Jack 

grilled cheese sandwich

cut into triangles  

& extra tomato soup with 

a pickle that make me want  

to say thank you. Thank You

for the beginning again with a

friend even as I am still afraid 

& it is slow. It makes me have 

to lean on You – trust You. Thank You for 

the prayers from friends – heys, how are 

yous & cinnamon roll pics – the time with 

mom, watching a documentary about 

Chicago – making me want to have maybe 

3 friends who know me well after 40 

some years. Who have 

walked though mundane, grief & joyful 

overflow. Who’s hugs feel like home & 

laughter fills my soul. Please, Lord. Let it 

be so. – thank You for the snow. And the 

way the sun danced on the floor as it was 

going down.  

& this quiet now. For holding my fear and 

helping me rest in You. 

Love, 

Your tender haired girl. 

Ps. I’d like some joy tomorrow (or actually since it is tomorrow), too. Please. Thank you. 

Previous letter.

1/16/18 

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Day 51

//

God, 

Do you know 

what a gift it was 

to sing with the dog

sitting by my side?

He sat there and listened 

about how You won’t let me

go & like a skin You are shedding the dry, 

cracked pieces that do not bring life. 

The pride, the bitterness, the 

the jealousy. I need not, want not. 

I laughed to myself, the 

way the happiness lifted me 

just sitting with him for however long 

until he laid on my lap in surrender. 

It was beautiful even 

though the day was grey.

Thank You for knowing me

and seeing me today in all 

of the quiet and gentle and unsureness of 

this day. The little sparks, laughter, 10-4 

good buddies. Thank You for the way You 

love me. 

love,

Your tender haired girl 

Previous letter

1/15/18

//

Day 50

//

Father, 

You have searched me

& found I love giving from 

a heart becoming full (never

let me get my fill-let me always 

hunger) of You. Pride and bitterness want 

me to exclaim,

I’m fine. I don’t need you. 

That is why I laughed when 

she wrapped her arms around me

in a long hug before she left. 

I could feel the I’m sorry. The

gentle strength pleading, forgive me.

 You can rest and cry. 

It broke some of my defense, some of my 

numbness away. But I didn’t break fully. I 

didn’t cry. I laughed the nervousness

away. I couldn’t let her into the 

brokenness – the pain of loving her. How 

I never gave (or want to give up) on her. 

How I long to live in unity – with/for, 

never at, against her. How I keep giving 

and giving little pieces of encouragement, 

my heart, memories & in that moment, 

Lord, nothing else matters. 

In the moments after, still I linger. 

And then I wonder as I do now:

Why do I want nothing back?

Why does my heart feel so content, 

compelled to keep loving even if the 

response is small or nothing at all? Why

does it leave me aching at a 

response or nothing, like it was 

a dismissal of my heart? Why do I want to 

see if you can restore trust? I know what 

You say, a friend loves at all times. 

You work all things for good. 

Show me, Lord. Bring my heart 

awake to the pain that is still hiding & 

give it a burial place. Show me Your 

redeeming grace. 

Love,

Your tender haired girl

Ps. I don’t want revenge – but more presence & laughter. A safe place to cry. 

Previous letter.