11/15/17

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Day 12

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God,

I don’t want to sing right now. If I don’t though, my soul will sink. My heart. It is cold in this kitchen. This hat makes me think I’m in the Arctic (I’ve been spelling/saying that wrong all along I think.), but I don’t want to be cold. Or make my ear hurt. I feel pressure in both now. 

I’d really like to sleep and not worry something will go wrong if I’m not awake. Like the dogs will go nuts. And then I’ll wake up. I’d like to stop dreaming of spiders, too. Looking up the meaning of them I can’t even get past the picture before jumping like it’s in front of me. And then seeing that they mean manipulation – God, I’m sorry if I am doing that anyone. Really, the amount of fear it put in my heart freaks me out. Because you know I want things but honestly I just want to be still with You for a while. And sleep. And if I’m being manipulated at all, we both know I never know or I’m being kind. Or trying to be which most likely means I’m trying to please. Never goes well. Ever. 

I don’t have energy for people. I mean, I do for the one relationship I feel peace. And honestly, I think You’re giving me the energy for it. But everything else feels off. Makes me tired, wears me out. I’m weary, God. And I want to tell another friend how I am, but I think about what I could type or call and say – which could be a whole lot of rambling – but I’d like to ask if she’d come sit with me. I feel so much peace in writing that even though I know that unless you did a miracle, it can’t be today. 

Thank you for the quiet and doing the dishes with Nolan. And this jacket with fur inside. And the water. And this hat. And the slippers. And mom checking on me. And the dogs being good. And a conversation with Raechel. And the show Speechless. Thank you there’s a show where an actor who actually has a disability plays the person with the disability. And for the way the cast is so patient with him. Helps me see You. I love how the mom of the show is so focused on listening and making sure he is heard. Ugh. They all are but You know how I am with the moms. And reminding me I can expect good things because I’m precious to You. 

Please help me see Your favor today. I don’t know why it’s so fascinating since the verse I showed You yesterday, but I will not leave me so here’s me asking again. Thank You. 

Love, 

your tender haired girl. 

Ps. And thank You for the skit guys thanksgiving goodness video. So good.

 —

previous letter from Letter From A Tender Haired Girl found here. 

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11/14/17

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Day 11

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God, 

Can we talk about this verse for a minute?

And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. (‭2 CORINTHIANS‬ ‭9‬:‭8‬ AMP)

You know what I’m stuck on? What is in the brackets after “every grace”. [Every favor and earthly blessing.] It is like a hush and something whispered in my ear: hey, you know God is able to bring every favor and earthly blessing come to you. I mean, I’ve read this verse before in other versions and have always been stuck on: abounding in every good work. Not exactly what You can give me. And yes, even thinking about it now holds some kind mystery. Because I want things. Like it would be awesome if Sarah texted randomly (I know it was You) asking if I would like Starbucks again. Just the being asked does something to my insides. You see me. It’s always when I feel like crap — where You seem to surprise me most, where my heart remembers again You see. Me. 

I know this verse isn’t talking about what You give me because I know what You give goes beyond just me. But I’m so stuck on the favor. And the earthly blessing and what that means or how to even see Your favor. Would you show me these today. Please. Is it like yesterday when I bought books for me and Kallayah, even though money is tight, but I still want her to know she is loved? And that I see her and want to read through The Shack together as we wait for you to give us the go for meeting each other? 

Because I think I take Your favor to mean sometimes that someone will give to me. Or that You will honor me somehow. Make me smile. I don’t know why I think of You pointing a finger, that’s my girl and I’m going to love her today. And I think Your love lately is time to rest, and pour into as I’m being poured into, too. You’ve given me time, God. Time I don’t think I would’ve had if I would’ve kept going a few years ago pretending I was fine. 

I did really well with that. Pushing away friendship for a degree that was being pursued more out of fear than to better myself. I ran away, but You’ve refused to leave me.

When death came so suddenly before Christmas and I knew nothing but crying. And just feeling lost. Confused. Aching. But you deepened Megan and my friendship. She brought laughter at random times when I didn’t think it was possible. And listening ears. And cake pops. And hugs. And book recommendation. And prayer. The days I listened to Sara Groves on repeat, feeling You just surround me. 

And then at the end of 2015 and sorrow over wacky hormones and blood. So much blood. And crying. And why is this happening. And Gwen, who sat there with me for a week, just her presence alone makes me relax (I know you know this) and let me drink tea and vent and cry. About a myriad of things. And read parts of a book to me. I felt small in the best way. Like Your child, wrapped in love. And how she played Come Be Who You Are by Sara Groves one day and by the end of the week, we were singing on a bench together. 

And then last year, the idea of getting a hysterectomy (really this year too.) terrified me. The loss of not being able to have kids and just yearning to spend time with You was overwhelming. To be able to read and talk to friends. And just the loss of energy, not really wanting to do anything. Oh wait, I think I colored still. 

And this year, the hysterectomy had to become a real thing. And the fear and the worry surrounded my heart. What will happen? What if I die? But the doctor’s eyes held so much compassion. I never thought I’d like staying in a hospital because a nurse went out of her way to feed me jello and talk about her life to me. Just being with me and allowing me to be. 

I don’t know how to tell you that in all of these memories, Your favor was with me and blessings too. I just wish I was more present in the moment, instead of looking back, oh, that was you. Help me. Be present to You. 

Love,

Your tender haired girl. 

Ps. This ear infection really will help me be still. And hear You. To know You are God. And you know my heart. Intimacy or group. One on one or group. God, You know I’m leaning toward intimacy more. I think that’s what I’m going to do. Fear of missing out shall not plague. I’m not missing out when I’m doing something with you. 

Letters From A Tender Haired Girl. <—-previous letter here. 

11/12/17

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Day 10

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God,

What can I tell You that don’t already know? A day and a half with him reminds me moment by moment: it’s okay to go slow. It’s okay to be still. It’s okay to drift off to sleep for awhile. 

It’s the way he calls me lady plush while I’m walking to the fire that I hear You: I see you. Or when he tells me he sees her covered dish and I don’t know what to say. But I stare at it for awhile, empty. I miss her too. Much more than I can understand sometimes. Sharing the silence is best. I know You were there too. Because I don’t always have to articulate the pain but sit with. 

I watch him butter the bread. 2 slices. Patiently. Meticulously. And place it in my hand. Warm. Just like I’ve been asking for months now. You’re funny, you know? 

I love you. I love my grandpa. The hugs from them all. There’s more I want to tell you. But for now, thank you. For turning me toward you. Your love. Always. 

I don’t know how you do it. But thank you for being who you say you are: faithful.  

Love,

your tender haired girl 
Ps. Thank you for reminding I’m your child. 

Letters From A Tender Girl. <— previous letter found here.  Missed a day but it’s okay. Okay, it frustrates me a tad but I missed a day in the beginning. So need to go easy on me. It isn’t a competion, but a drawing closer to Jesus. A noticing of his presence. His love. Reminders for my soul. He sees. He cares. He loves. He cherishes.  He loves a share a meal. 

11/7/17

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Day 6

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God,

I’m pretty sure I dug into keeping pace with my sister today while taking a walk with the dogs. It’s always that I have to keep pace because no one will slow down for me. At least that’s what I believe. I hear my thoughts. I have to keep up. I’m going to make it. Keep focused. Eyes ahead. 

But You, my living water love to whisper: You are loved. Through Megan’s reminder My love will stay. To remember I will fight for you, My love. Even if it hurts to walk from trying to keep up. Even if you weren’t running. Through your walk with your sister & her offer to get Starbucks. Through a text from Trisha. Through the leaves covering the sidewalk, just as I cover you. And the hard places just to delight you. Through Anna and the email hugs and a song to remind you I am with you in the valley low. Through your brother calling you Julius Burger. And the Voxes from Kallayah to check on you just now. And the GIFS with your moo. Just because you don’t know what I’m doing and feel no one gets you doesn’t mean I’m going to stop loving you. Ever. Child, I am faithful. 

So how can I not be grateful for your love today, God? How can I continuously remind myself, don’t forget His love, Julia? when my soul is crying, Jesus, I hurt for all these people I love and myself. Do You see? Do You hear?

But then I put Ellie just now and the memory floods back to singing we’ve got this hope on the floor of Trisha’s guest room. I didn’t think I could get up, but she let me stay there and Your love broke through the minute I sang. Though I was scared and trembled, You were there. 

You are so gentle & tender and my soul needs constant reminder You see me here. And Your goodness will follow me everywhere and go before me in the valley, calling Yahweh, the One slow to anger, compassionate, and abounding in love. Today I’m alert to this, but tomorrow I’ll forget. 

And yes, I know I’m writing to Ellie’s music again but ugh, the pull is magnetic. God, please bless her. You have given her such a gift with writing songs with Your Word. I wish I would have told her, You help me remember God. Thank you. But instead I said, I’ve been wanting to meet you forever & I want to write a song with you so much. 

But you knew the right time to let me see her in concert. I didn’t 2013 would find me sitting on the floor in my grandma’s house captivated by her song, Magnolia and hearing my name instead. And how I felt the tears. Because I didn’t want to try anymore. And I ran right back to a place I said I’d never go anymore. Ever. I said this many times actually. 

But I did, and Ellie singing the Truth of who You are has carried me this far. All the nights I cried listening that You wouldn’t let go. And that You can turn the broken beautiful opened me up. Or the time I got rejected by a magazine and felt crushed but then sang marvelous light. Or maybe it was before. But I do remember telling mom or singing it to her. Or the time Gwen came and we sang how we shall always be with You, Lord. We were going to the mountain, but I remember the way Gwen harmonize. 

I felt fear, but I think pushed through it a little. Because I could feel you there. Sometimes, I think (okay all the time) You overwhelm me. 

Like that. This version of My All in Thee by Young Oceans (never heard before) where Ellie sings along with them. I honestly think You do it on purpose sometimes. Play songs with her singing along. It’s the vulnerability and how every song is like a prayer. Not just the joy (which I need to hear), but the lament. You are the man of sorrows and her honesty gives me hope You understand the tears I can’t explain lately. 

May I continue to see Your love never fails. Tonight. Tomorrow. I want to be free to bask in it. Laugh in it. Rejoice in it. Not just the sorrow though I know You love me deeper and I recognize You. But God, let me see You in the joy too without thinking something horrible will happen tomorrow. 

You are good. You are faithful. And the only hope I’ve got is You. I can ramble when music is on. I don’t know where this focus is coming from or how I can write this when I just want to sing along. 

Seriously getting emotional. Thank you for reminding I am loved. And now the fighting words song:

I will fight the lies with the truth 

Keep my eyes fixed on You…

You say I’m worth fighting for..

Seriously going to start quoting songs to you. 

I know You’ll come around

I know You’ll hear my cries 

And there in my weakest hour

You offered grace 

You gave me love unfailing..

I know You’ll answer me

You’ll give me love unfailing 

Keep singing the songs of deliverance, please. Thank You for doing it now. And wow, these suggested songs, right to heart. Seriously, God, how do You do that?

Love,

Tender-Haired

Letters From A Tendered Haired Girl 

(Previous letter with link to others at bottom of posts.)

my shelter

Hey God,

Would you please 

invite me into your heart?

Your peace, I long for my 

anxiety to drown in it. I hear 

the voice of the enemy louder,

You don’t deserve that! You are 

not even looking for a job. You don’t even 

care to start. It is true, God. I’m afraid. 

The louder

the condemnation, the more I shrink 

back. I need you, Lord, to

come rescue my heart. I need you, my 

only place to start. Come hold me in your 

arms. 
fmf: invite

This prompt made me think of the ways I’ve been invited this year. To a Facebook called group called Glory Writers. (Facebook and I are no go right now, but eh. It’s okay.) To the whispers of rest launch team by a friend. To Declare by another friend (really I think we may have both invited each other 😂). To go back again to Texas. 

But what this also made me think of is how I’m desperate to be invited into Jesus’ love – to understand those unforced rhythms of grace. To understand that church really doesn’t have to be scary, though it’s terrifying to someone who wants to bolt every time worship songs come on (says the girl who can listen to Ellie Holcomb on a continuous loop if you let her..). 

This week has been one of those weeks where I don’t know what Jesus wants me to do. I don’t want to go to school or get a job and I don’t want to work for approval. In the middle of the week, I got an email saying Ellie Holcomb tickets were available (a few) for a show that was sold out, and I about lost control inside. I texted Megan and exploded with joy. I also texted my brother a few times since he said he was cool getting tickets for us. And then I waited. Told Jesus, PLEASE SAVE A SEAT FOR MEGAN AND ME. PLEASE. And then maybe an hour or so later, I think, I text many friends like: I’M SO PUMPED RIGHT NOW! AHHH! 

Jesus planned it perfectly. He knows my heart, my fears and my lack of trust in him right now, my fear that he doesn’t understand me at all and won’t come through. How I need gentleness and so much kindness to change my fearful heart. Because honestly I don’t think I deserve the things he is gifting me with this week. Ellie Holcomb tickets. Time with Megan and another friend this weekend. Ellie Holcomb on the 26th with Megan. In the midst of all the good, my heart is still terrified. 

You can’t possibly love me like this, Jesus. I won’t even try because I know I’ll give up. Don’t care enough about me. How are you still mindful of me? Mindful that I’m on guard. Mindful that I can hear the enemy. Mindful that I really REALLY want to write a song with Ellie. So much so that it feels like I could burst when I’ve only written one song ever and who knows where it will lead. If at all. Mindful that desperately need you. 

Please come to me. Please come invite me. Please. Thank you for loving me. Amen. 

wish to share 

Jesus,

help me

depend on You,

my friend. My savior,

do you see me here, 

unsure of how your kindness

can turn my heart continually

to you. My healer, do you know

the wound, the scar I may bear

makes me think of the kindness 

then when I was so unaware. Could you 

do it again this week? Even if I cry, even if 

I say I’m sorry, may your love

be clear. You care and you know the plans 

you have once 

I take to the air and open my hands to  

all you 

fmf: depend.

Tomorrow, I leave for Texas. All this week has been a battle of my mind with doubt, a spider in the bathroom (that looked like a trantula to my brother..), lots of itching from bug bites, and thinkining I was getting an ear infection… in the midst of this hard stuff, God pours on the good.

1. Watching Hey Arnold, Rugrats, and Doug with my brother (90s children forever.) 🙋

2. Krystal burgers and a chocolate shake from my brother, too. 

3. Finishing Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin. The audiobook is so good. 

4. Yellow butterflies. I think I’ve said this before but I had them for months before I went to Texas last year. Sometimes I think it’s God, like, hey, I’m leading you. Nothing to fear. 

5. Chocolate pretzel milano cookies, Twilight Delight candy bar (I didn’t even know the name until we got home the other day. God is HILARIOUS getting my  word of the year in when I’m not looking for it.) AND CORN. my dad thinks I could it forever. And honestly? If it was in harvest all the time, I’d be shucking it to eat it. 😂 

6. This podcast episode from Emily Freeman. All about expecting to be surprised. This couldn’t have been more timely and made me feel less alone about using song lyrics/titles for things. There are way way WAY too many poems thanks to Ellie Holcomb’s music that I just can’t help but write 😂 also, now totally want to see a sunrise. 

7. Learning on Tuesday that my seat for the plane ride there is now first class. A friend said, look who’s fancy now? 😂 I’m still in awe since I barely fly and this is just..Jesus. 

8. Great is your faithfulness, O God. this was in my head yesterday and I couldn’t figure out what song it was. And then I looked it up and was like, yeah, I remember this from a playlist I listened to somewhat repeatedly the last summer I saw my grandma. I used to walk half way around the block with my uncle and get lost in music. The warmth of the sun. The fireflies. It was a reminder to me then God pursues..and will continue even now.

God, you are good. You are faithful and true. Let me see your goodness and delight this week. Imprint it on my heart. Fill me up like only you can do. Thank you. Amen. 

won’t stop you anyway. 

Jesus,

pave the way 

so I may see

myself through Your

eyes, help me accept

Your love. Let me open

my arms and embrace You.

You are wonderful and faithful 

to woo me beyond my every no. 

Don’t let me go – let me dance with you 

right here. Don’t mind

the tears, this is all new and the lies I 

don’t deserve this – I don’t deserve such 

mercy to cover me though I will turn 

away tomorrow 

fmf: accept

Tired doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel lately. Weary maybe. Worn out. Burned out. I have not come through on two things this month (one including reading a book I’m supposed to help launch) so far. In between telling God, I’m going to do it. Yep, got distracted again. I don’t have the energy. 

I keep doing devotionals (whispers of rest. I can’t quit it.) and reading the bible. And rambling to God about how things don’t make sense and blah blah blah. Not the things are supposed to make sense but I need I don’t know, more than physical rest. Though some solid rest would be cool. Can I have a hug? A looooong one. I know you’re here, God. I know it. I know it. I’m just a little I don’t even know. And all ELLIE HOLCOMB TICKETS SOLD OUT, ughhh God, I want to go! Please. Please please please. PLEASE. I’m going to wait and pray to you. 

In the midst of all my rambling there has been:

1. Yellow butterflies. I know they mean guidance. Always come when I’m least expecting. 

2. An explosion of snacks brought from dad from his last trip. Included: trail mix, candy bars, pretzels (eating soon) and chips. 

3. Oreo shake from my mom. 

4. Pop pies and laughter from my brother until my sides hurt. 

5. My dad getting me a window seat for trip to Texas in 9 days.

6. Late night Voxer (this is a very interesting app where I feel like I’m a cop with a walkie talkie but nice to be share our hearts and come back later if we need to) with a friend. So much laughter and goodness last night. 

7. Anticipation to hug another friend in 9 days and possibly sing all Ellie until I can’t 😂 and possibly this:

8. I can pave the road for you. seriously so catchy and I love how she dances with her daughter and she says: yeah. 😍

9. This friend coming back to blogging!!!! So excited you don’t even know. 🙋🙋🙋
Thank you again, Lord, for all the abundance in the hard places. I may not always recongnize or acknowledge it because I’m so busy asking for heaven now and for you to come comfort me. Hug me literally. Give me what I want right now. Because I am a child and sometimes I’m wanting, wanting, wanting. Wanting relationships to be better, vision, things. But it doesn’t compare to the way you sing to me. The way you dance within me when we are. The way it’s like heaven has come and I just want to stay with you in this moment, alone. Stay sith me and whisper how you will never leave even as I cry for home. You are good. And everything that isn’t yet is because you either want me to wait or isn’t meant for me. Everything that is coming or here, let me rejoice and feel you burn with me. Such delight within me. Promised for eternity. Amen.