6/23/18

God,

One could say I have 

an ocean of tears welling 

from the inside & I’m sure 

You can see them as one fell

down and off my noise. I heard, 

the lie I know now I believe so

deeply: you can’t love with passive 

agreessive nature I don’t wish to have or 

knew,

the way I can quickly envy when minutes

before I was content to sit with you, be. 

You are faithful and true when you tell 

me you’re not leaving or forsaking me 

And to you I am 

Altogether lovely. And you’re planning 

good things for me, not to harm me. And 

you provide for me. Trust me, you say, 

fmf: ocean. 

Because the prompt is ocean, it reminded me of this graphic I made today:


This is from day ooe from Holy and Set Apart by my lovely friend, Kelly. A 30 day devotional to this:

Beloved, you are cherished – so don’t you dare doubt your worth. Your Papa is not a self-deprecating Being. You are no rough draft or a caricature version of Him. You are His masterpiece come to life! Your Father is proud to see Himself in you! You are holy. You are set apart by God, for God. When you know this personally, then nothing will stop you from living with purpose!

  I started it yesterday and had to stop to sink into the refresher in who God is: provider, LORD of Lords, Bright Morning Star, the God who hears, the Reseemer. Favorite part so far? The prayer at the end.  It really helped to be still and be guided into prayer instead of rambling. (Not that God cares about rambles. He loves them.) it’s just nice to be still from someone’s heartfelt and see what I stop on. 
I love this sentence from the today’s prayer. And the way this graphic of a girl staring at the ocean, how it flows in and out, kept in place reminds me  God keeps all things in order. There are bigger things. And I don’t have to strive, but rear in his love right now. He gives me what I need when I need it. He’s my father after all. 

He’ll come through. Always does, always will. 

I can’t wait to see today’s day, after these 30 days. And clearly I went from talking about the ocean to this devotional..but apparently I needed to preach to myself and remember who God is – the one who tells the oceans proud waves to hold up! with boundary markers. 😂

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4/14/18

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Day 97

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God.

I know no other way to tell You of these flashbacks. On this day last year, to was Good Friday, but I really never saw the good in having a hysterectomy. I woke up crying. And ice chips. And my brother wearing plaid and walking toward the bed to hug me. He was so happy to see me awake. Then the next day which would be today. I am having flashbacks of the music playing in my ears. I am drifting. A knock. Two knocks. She comes in with the coloring book and the colored pencils I used today today to color more of the leaves in the book. The only difference? She isn’t here (on this planet, yes. In my life, no. I hate how the memories hit me gently like taps on the shoulder: hey, remember this song? And then I tell You I’m thinking of her again. And then I want to cry. And now, this song is playing, You know, Ellie Holcomb’s, He Will and ugh, more far away, but close up memories-the painted He Will in green on the paper and my pain in my heart of feeling stolen from when I originally wanted to share. This weird feeling I couldn’t share my heart, I couldn’t have more taken away. But music is meant for sharing. And she shared two books, two of her faves—one I’m still working through. There was the chaos of goodbye. When I read that in the book thief earlier, it really does describe my struggle with letting go. But this space has given me time to see I want to be a better communicator— a better listener, encourager. Not so, oh what about me? What about me, God? It doesn’t help anyone or me. I know You understand it. My ability to turn things to me when they should be on her. I know there is a time and place for me, but You are greater and You can put things back together better than ever. Seriously, I think You’re taking over my spotify with all these hope songs…)

Love,

Your tender haired girl

 

fmf: other.

*( where timer stopped.

A Place To Land (Book Review)

As soon as I saw Kate’s book, I knew I wanted to read it. Not just because the cover makes me remember the first time I went to visit a friend in Texas. Or that I’m captivated by how the sun looks, It was title and the blurb of how she struggled with her parents divorce and the longing for home. I felt interested that maybe someone could put to words what has been hard for me. She did. 

Kate Motaung’s memoir, A Place to Land tells her story of her struggle growing up torn. From her parents divorce when she was young and all that went along with that. Two separate houses. Holidays. Friends that had married parents. To moving to Cape Town, South Africa where she met her husband and the longing for there and home in America.

Kate also tells of her mom’s battle with cancer. I had a really hard time reading parts where she longed to be with her mom, but couldn’t be because she was on the other side of the world. Her bond with her sister, Sarah during this time was fascinating to me. Through all of the stress and just complete overwhelm during that time and even after, the bond between them only strengthened.

Through all these changes, Kate’s faith remained steadfast. The way she cried out to God with each new change gave me hope. Her story gave me hope that God does hear us when we call to Him. He comforts us when things are hard and loss is heavy. God remains faithful through all things.

I learned a lot about South Africa culture while reading this book. Table Mountain sounds really cool to look at in person. Wine Gums are not anything to do with wine, but are fruit flavored gummies that taste really good. I even asked two friends about them who live in Cape Town about them and took the plunge to buy them. 


Also, Sweppes isn’t ginger ale like it is in the U.S, but seems like it would be good to try. I also learned Rand is African money, tripe is the second stomach of a cow (yes, I know a really random fact, but I never knew.) and vulvuzelas are plastic horns.

I loved Kate’s writing throughout the book. It felt like I was sitting down with a friend, listening to her tell me her story while being reminded of God’s faithfulness again. That He is the giver of all things and where we find true belonging.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“When you notice that you’re getting to the last of the presents under the tree, you start to unwrap the gifts more slowly and deliberately, careful not to tear any piece of the paper-thin moment.”

“Though the Lord doesn’t always answer my prayers the way I want, He always grants the gift of His presence.”

“We’re all needy—in desperate need of grace and redemption, groaning to be clothed in our heavenly dwelling (2 Corinthians 5:1–2). We’re all living in a temporary homeless shelter, ready and waiting for something better—for a home that lasts.”

“Some people say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I say absence just plain makes the heart hurt.”

“Sometimes it just takes the right words at the right moment from the right friend to shift perspective and help the light come into view.”


If you are going through or have struggled with:

• Divorced parents

Moving frequently

• Feeling unsettled

• Longing for more

• Dealing with cancer

• Grief

• Loss of a mother (or loved one)

• Living cross-culturally

 

this book will bring hope and comfort. It definitely has to my heart. 

Read a free chapter here

3/3/18

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Day 76

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God,

the cover of the book
reminds me of flying
to Texas, staring out
the window with dad
at my side. I was looking
at the clouds with enough
adrenaline pulsing through
my blood—excitement for
A place to land—this place
I felt at home the first time
I ever entered the airport.
the intimacy it wasn’t only
place, but the welcome—
goldfish & a piece of a chocolate—
when I walked into her house
A hug bringing me back to my child-
hood. just as tonight, Lord, sitting
with my parents watching the end
of Toy Story, laughing as if in a month
I won’t be turning twenty-eight, with
an empty Hershey’s pudding cup
dad brought to me after coming
back the store. I am a child, God,
Your’s and this gift to be their’s too,
remind me home can still be found
if I’m still.

Thank You.

Your tender-haired girl

This is the book I’m talking about in this poem. It’s so good. I love the way Kate writes and writes of the struggle of finding home so far. I also may have wine gums after reading how she was welcomed to Cape Town… lol. There’s going to be a review later this month hopefully. But for now, take my word for it, it’s good stuff. ☺️

2/17/18

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Day 68

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God,

This book:


is very interesting. The challenges this week have been um, intense. There’s a better word. Like yesterday: find a mentor. You know, I find Trisha very mentor-y. She takes all my insane ramblings and tells me I’m too in my head in the gentlest way. And prays for me. And if I could sit across from her once a week at Brahm’s, Starbucks, or that place we once went for tacos, every week, I’d probably tell her all of my woes and some joys (like with the skit guys.), but I think I’d mostly want to sit there and go, YOU WRITE THAT BOOK, SISTER. WORK THOSE WORDS. (maybe not that loud but it’s hilarious to think about..hook me up with a pom-pom and Beckah Shae jams and Ellie Holcomb and we are good to go..oh please, Lord, one day. 😂 it makes me want to fall on the floor with laughter.) It could also be very distracting but I think she’d take it, hahahaha. I’d make sure I’d write some stuff. Probably one of these. Lol. I love that she believes in me as much as I believe in her. 

She helped me with another one of those challenges in #100daystobrave. When I loathed the idea of asking a guy to coffee. No, I really thought it was hilarious. But once I told her and she told me to do it while waiting at the dentist, I wanted to try. And yes, I dreamed a little sitting in the dentist chair what would it be with yes. And no. And she told me not to think too much (I need to be told that. I get a little too lost in there. What is it all writers?) Through the miles, she holds my hand and reminds me I’m not alone. I’m loved and can go crazy, just don’t stay there. Ugh, how easy it is. But the beautiful thing about You, God, is in the process of needing a friend and having to put myself out there, I’ve gotten to encourage her too. It boggles my mind. 

I know I’ve told You, but I love You a lot for putting her in my life. I can tell her all my crazy dreams and I can along side her in her’s. And I get to see more of You- through her marriage and kids and the way she is a friend to me. 

This book, LORD, has made me look at my dreams – the way I wanted to write a book so long ago and did. But the reason – to prove myself as a writer-was wrong. I don’t have to. A few weeks ago when one of the days was about my thesis and I said it was to be the friend who encourages and helps with their dreams, made me think. I don’t get anything any more lately. Not sure I have ever. Nope. It came out so fast and you know I’d help in a heartbeat. But I know I can’t push my way and You will clear the way in Your time. And if You did let me go to Texas for any extended time more than days, I’d need so much encouragement it’s crazy. Cause just because I say I love it over there, I’m so used to the valley. The pain and the shadows. It’s hard for me to see the places You let me rest my head. 

Especially here and now where everything feels hard and tiring. And most days lately even though I don’t feel that desperation in my heart (to be saved from a human) as often anymore, I still want a friend to come over here. To eat food and watch movies and talk and just be together. I’d do that with Kelly and Megan in a heartbeat. They are my friends in the valley and although it is hard and confusing and most times right now I’m content being with You, I still want to fight for our friendships. That feels like the bravest thing right now with the lies that scream for me to give up, you’re losing all your friends, you’re so selfish, no one cares.

And if it’s anything you’re trying to show me is that I can’t give up even if things get lost in translation. And I know this is completely random but I seriously need some more encouragement today. Plwase. 

Thank you,

Your tender haired girl 
Ps. Going to pump up worship music now. So much. 

2/1/18

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Day 62

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God, this is how I beat book buying temptation today: 

Book: Come on! My cover has converse on it. You know you want to know you’re unique…

Me: yes, I do. 

Book: so, come on? I promise it won’t hurt. Just one little press of Buy Now. It’s not like the prick of pain the doctor gives you to check your heartbeat..

Me: yes, well my heart is still beating and this temptation shall not overcome so. Nope. 

Book: you really know how to take the joy out of temptation. 

Me: 🙋 this is my hand waving goodbye to you. Bye! 

If I can make jokes out of it, it helps. It’s so alluring though. It has that allure. No, not like on the show Miranda, but an allure nonetheless. All shiny. And pretty. And new. 

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1 John 2:16

You know, God, when new things come it is like a momentary joy, these gifts from You. But if I’m not careful, it can turn into, can I have more? Can I have something else? Something better?

And the one thing I can miss is, these things can’t have relationship with me. They can’t look into my eyes and tell me things they love about me. We can’t have long convos, these books and me. But I can tell You about them. I can tell You about my dreams. And hopes. And You can woo me with Your love. You can draw me in with unfailing kindness. Lovingkindness. You can send Yourself through a friend who can make me laugh or hold me while I cry. And a book can bring comfort and make me laugh too. But it’s not someone I can say, hey, I’m hurting right now or hey, would you like to do this with me?

A book can only give me words. Words I can read over and over if I choose. But You are the Word, who will forever tell me, I want to be with you.  And I will never grow tired or done with you. I promise you. 

And that is something, God, I struggle with now, but want to believe is true. I’m slowly starting to, but I need more please. 

love,

your tender haired girl
Ps. Thank you for everything today. Friends. Some hope. And this. can’t stop watching it. And mom getting trail mix. And joy. Help me be more away when it comes to me. C

Whispers of Rest

Rest. It is so much more than a nap or a good night’s sleep. 
In Bonnie Gray’s new 40 day devotional, I’m learning about the ways God calls us to be still and relax in his love. Whispers of Rest has come into my life when I’ve been recovering from a hysterectomy. For the last few weeks, I’ve felt no where near worthy to be God’s beloved. From the way my emotions have flip flopped every other day to wanting to nothing at all, or completely running away, I’ve watched God gently meet me in this journey of being his Beloved. Hearing him say, over and over, “It’s okay. Embrace my grace.” through friends and family.

This journey takes through 6 parts of being God’s beloved, with a word or phrase to center the day on. There is personal stories from Bonnie, Scripture, God’s words to you, questions to help you through your own story, prayer, Beloved Challenges, and trail notes of research found about the challenges, and more.


One of the things I’ve been loving most is the different ways to pray. On Day 4 we are invited to come write a letter to Jesus. This helped me so much in letting go of a lot of anger and sadness I’ve been feeling lately, laying it out before in something different than a poem. A challenge that follows the prayer is to write a letter to someone we love about how much we appreciate them. As I wrote this letter to a friend, part of me struggled to get the focus off of me, what I should say, how long it needed to be, but as I sat there with my thoughts in the quiet, I noticed a shift inside. A shift from what I feel I lack to the gift this friend has been to me in a time when I’ve experienced a lot of grief. It was good to focus on how God has provided me laughter through when I’ve struggled to believe I could anymore.


Other prayers such as making song lyrics as prayer and kneeling to pray have been helpful in getting me away from rambling on. It’s helped me be still for a few minutes (hard for my brain), and listen in the silence with God. Some of my other favorite challenges so far have been drinking chai tea and listening to favorite worship music for 10 minutes (hello, Ellie Holcomb!). I get excited everyday to see what the next prayer practice and challenge will be.

Trail notes I’ve found really interesting:

  • flowers are a natural mood booster
  • coffee helps fight depression while tea lowers anxiety. 
  • vitamin c helps us come back from stressful situations faster. 

I don’t think I’m going to be able to look au flowers, chai tea, or tangelos the same.  Learning all these facts has been fun.
I’m only a little more than half way through this book, but I have loved watching God show up for me through this book. I can’t wait to see what happens when I finish. I pray he meets you in this book, too.


Let’s rest and be still for a spell.