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.

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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.

at tears within me.

God,

I’ve lost my mind. Really. Can someone be this emotional? I never said I wanted a child. Well, with Michael I did. Not for right reasons though. I was so overcome with the fact he thought I could write or that I could raise someone. A baby. I am one, you know? My emotions are all over the place. I can’t stop touching the incision, the place where there will be a scar. God, I should trust you with this healing. I am afraid of what’s on the other side. I want to be held now, so tightly. I want to be told everything will be alright and weep wh

FMF: should.

So, I’m trying something new: writing letters to God in actual paragraphs. This is as close as I got in 5 minutes. I don’t think it’s that bad. I honestly thought it would be a poem. I’m so used to breaking up my words that putting them together is weird and almost foreign.  

Everything feels that way. This letter is about my recovery of healing from a hysterectomy. I’ve wanted to write about this for awhile, but have felt afraid. I don’t how to articulate the sorrow, the way I saw God show me His face. The compassion of the nurses and the way I learned as much as I want to talk, so does everyone else. There was a night nurse I learned this from. We all long to be heard.

She fed me jello and lingered with me when other patients needed her. We talked (well, I don’t know how much talking I did with my medicine loopiness) about books and TV. She told me about buzz lightyear and woody. I immediately smiled when she said she got her nephew a pull string Woody. Her smile was glorious. What I felt in my heart to be heard, noticed and seen, I saw in her eyes. 

It showed me how when God wants to spend time with us even in very difficult circumstances, it isn’t a “hey, do this for me, would you?” It’s more, hey, I wouldn’t mind if you asked me questions and I share my heart with you. I don’t always want you to do something. I want to be with you. And you with me.

All I’ve thought about since coming home from the hospital is, how does a woman leave her children to go take care of others who may or may not acknowledge her? And do it with such joy, patience and kindness at 12 AM, 2 AM…? It was Jesus right before me as I was weak and sad and alone, but when He spoke, something quieted. I just wanted to stay there with the ginger ale and the jello, the smile.

Presence changes everything, especially when you’re still enough to appreciate not only the receiving, but the giving of ears to listen too.

I could go on, but it will make me cry most likely too. Learning a lot about myself lately. Like this:

 

And this:


I’m on the launch team for this new devotional book from Bonnie & ughh, so good. There’s probably going to be more graphics and rambles until I review later this month, so look out for those. ☺️

All this aside, the fact that I’ve been afraid to write here and this came out clearly shows the lie I’ve been believing I’m not a writer with no purpose is just that: a lie. Oh Lord, let Your light and love be my trust. My hope. All these new things that feel risky, You will continue to light the way and keep my feet from slipping. You will uphold me with Your unfailing love. Support me. And when my emotions swirl and spill before You, may Your comforts delight me. Thank You for healing me today.