Day 97



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…)


Your tender haired girl


fmf: other.

*( where timer stopped.



Day 23



Um, can we talk for a second? I’m scared. Scared of this word, “favor” keeps on coming up. Seriously, it just showed up in a skit guys video. I’ve seen it before, but today I was drawn to the girl talking about how You called Mary, “highly favored.” She said she’d like to be thought of that by You. And today, my brother called “the chosen one,” and I looked at him, shook my hand and told him he is too. He is. But it is sticking because I feel he’s said it before lately. I’m pretty sure I do the blank stare too.

Just as I think I did when my dad came home and looked at me. He walked over with a bag, almost hesitant but not, set it down and walked away. I’m not going to lie, hoping maybe pretzel m&ms were in there. And I thought they were huge bags, but it was a surprise to find my youth in there. Two bags of cheddar cheese pretzel (pretzel kind are my fave you know) and a shareable size of mint m&ms. My heart & mind are like in awe. I don’t know how to say thank you. You are stopping at nothing to show me You love me. One of these days I’m going to sob of happiness at this love.

In a devotional earlier, I read I am chosen and delighted in. You are really stopping at nothing. And then I read in a blog post that if my dream is dead, it’s good. Because it’s a really dream So me not caring about writing a song with Ellie Holcomb or writing a book (that keeps coming up somewhat) is good? Or not wanting to launch books anymore? Really, serious burnout right there. It’s fine I want to read a book one on one and the Bible? 9% left to go. It’s so weird thinking back to how motivated to read it and yet unsure I’d finish it. And now I’m here with a little more than a month to go. It’s been my one and only goal this year. I want to finish.

I want to receive more of this love. I know I keep asking You over and over, but it is still hard especially when my soul is shaken by circumstances My heart starts getting all, oh I did something wrong. I don’t deserve this. When I did nothing at all. You wanted to bless me that’s all. You wanted to make me smile. God, why is that so hard for me when I don’t deserve it? It’s like I cant take what I didn’t earn. But even that wouldn’t be a thing because I cant earn Your love. It is a gift so I can’t boast, but I’m always so afraid that if I start actually taking Your love, like through letters, (as in opening when I get them), Starbucks drinks, books in the mail (opening when I get them). Little treats like the combos/m&ms, I will become all, I deserve this. I don’t want to do that, God. So I push it away. I deny Your love. I deny You to Your face.

You know why the conference was so hard for me this year? Because I didn’t deserve first class. Or the bag of chocolate from the airline just because I liked it. Or the convertible my dad suggested the first day. Or the whattaburger. Or to spend hours meeting a friend from instagram, picking at tiramisu and talking. And not buying a thing. And more time with the very first friend I made through my blog. I think it was so hard seeing how loved I am even though I run from it. Stare at it. Lose words. Like when she said I don’t have to earn her love.

You were talking to me through her. It makes me cry how I hear You say, I just want to be your friend. You don’t have to try so hard. I love you. Rambles, singing, sobbing & all—so loud through her actions and what she says and just see You. And ugh, how You weave friendships is so wow. And that I get to be a friend too, so overwhelming.

your tender-haired girl


previous letter from letters from a tender-haired girl found here.

wrap me up. 


I am overcome 

by my lack – my 

inability to feel the

sorrow my heart 

keeps bringing up.

up to my eyes asking

out out out. 

you think I would have 

last night – her words still 

Echo. It’s okay to cry. 

No it’s not, I said. Yes, if 

is. She was giving me permission to fall 


And I felt the tears come 

again now. Jesus I need 

help. I want a person to come

fmf: overcome

I want to give commentary to this poem, but I’m tired. I’ve felt all the way around tired since Thursday. I’ve been in a daze and listening to friends ask me how this concert was or family ask me if I’m okay. And I just keep saying, still processing and yes, just really tired. And in the midst of that I want to sit with a friend and just let whatever comes out, out. I try to with Jesus and what comes it is I can’t believe I said that. That was stupid. I couldn’t just say thank you?  Why doesn’t it feel real? You must have been protecting me. Why couldn’t I just cry? Why are her words making me remember the way she looked at me and my wanting to back away, but she wouldn’t let me? Over and over I said I can’t do it. And over and over she said, yes you can. And I felt something within well and then pass. But I wanted to cry so much and I don’t understand why. 

Because she wasn’t going to be upset if cried. She wasn’t going to tell me to stop. And maybe the biggest thing is she was by my side. And I got to watch her share her heart and me just stare into space. I mean I said things but really, I don’t think it was about me. Not that it ever is. 

I mean, yes I want attention. But honestly, Jesus, it’s so much bigger than me and yep, I can’t comphrend it. Please give me more good moments I can fully present for/in instead of dazed. Please. Please. Please. 2 months and 3 days of delight please. And help me please process this more. Please. 

(I love how this post probably makes no sense. But to me and Jesus and maybe some if you read my last post. More will come soon I hope.)

visual locket of youth

while scrubbing away

the previous day, I find

I miss you. Me. Your lady 

plushbottom (because I

sit so still) listening as you 

sang, when the moon hits

your eye like a big pizza pie,

that’s amore.” The look in your 

eyes, a joy I struggle find when 

I miss her these days–you calling

me girlfriend, even though I know 

The love you share is evident in

the memories I keep closer, a


fmf: miss

sometimes grief is sneaky. You hear an artist, which triggers a memory of when you weren’t sad. Or skeptical of joy. I have this memory of being with my grandparents and my grandpa was singing Frank Sinatra and the joy in his eyes was a glimpse into God’s heart. His joy for me. It was beautiful and still is.

And another with my grandma taking a bit of toilet paper and making it fit to my head with a red lipstick cross. In my memory I still see flickers of that same joy in her eyes. The lipstick seems like a blessing: you go and bring some healing to people. We were pretending to be nurses.

I love when random memories flow out I don’t really think about and then start writing. And crying. I’m thankful God gave me this outlet and that he understands I’m missing my youth so much that I don’t get it. Everything is so heavy, but he is gentle and understanding. I love him. 

binding ties

all the memories

come hazy, old

photographs I hold

in memory–playing 

video games, army,

hide n seek while he

wears a Scream mask 

& tries to scare us, always

me, but he made you laugh.

the hours we’d spend every 

Sunday morning wrestling, only to be 

welcomed by a huge pancake breakfast & 

cut up fruit: cantaloupe, melon & oranges 

donuts some other weekends with

drives to the movies. I love you signs 

thrown up followed by uncontrollable 

laughter. Fuzz.

Muzz. Life sized Glinda smiling down at 

you while you sleep.

Rugrats in front of the entertainment 

center. Taking 

the build-a-bear, mercilessly 

mocking my “first love.” But,

it’s the way you’ve stood beside,

held my hand no matter break or

bend, sorrow or shame, distance–

reminding me the strength of family 


prompt here

Apparently today is national sibling day. I am blessed with a brother and sister who have given me memories to look back on that are hilarious. And challenging, but has only strengthened our relationship. It’s an honor to be their sister. And to watch the way they’ve loved me for a quarter of my life, especially over the last two years, it’s a tearing up thing. They’ve loved me through a lot grief. Stood beside me, held my hand, sat in awkward silence, gave me sweets. They’ve supported this crazy writing journey I’m on. They’ve welcomed my friends as their friends have welcomed me. They’ve teased me about everything, from boys to having Cerebral palsy and saying I can’t keep up, and loved me regardless. They show me who Jesus is constantly and I’m so thankful they are mine. Yay for cheesiness!

“By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭MSG‬‬ 

It’s like that. And I love them both very much.

without retract

I can still see
your blues peer
onto mine: don’t
be too hard on
yourself. cut me
in halves. bread
you warmed for
him every night,
buttered. this
one truth you spoke
calmly over the kitchen
counter or family room
couch, watered me in
love I wait bloom, open

dear me; don’t take yourself too seriously, please. let Jesus show you the unforced rhythms of grace. rest in His love, His hands are on time. don’t worry you may be missing out. remember His leads through a narrow path, so don’t bother looking behind, right or left, look ahead into His laughing turning into His mouth. What a kindness,what grace upon His faith, What love illuminating the holiest face. Don’t be afraid to walk slow. Let Him love you.

looking down without mo(u)rning

with an infomercial
playing on about
weight loss—I
see you. eating
a peanut butter
& raspberry jelly
sandwich, you
are suddenly
awoken & gazing
in my eyes, before
laying back down.
golden girls comes
on the screen & i want
tears falling, but they
don’t—only sting you
are gone.

i love how Jesus holds me when I go back to a memory. when my grandma was here, she used to watch Golden Girls, or read the paper while I ate a chocolate muffin my grandpa and uncle picked out. sometimes it was healthy… most of the time, chocolate was it. so, i’d be sitting in the chair in the family room, while she’d be on the couch reading. i’d watch some of the show, but I was always struck by how she sat and read. really, being in her presence. i loved the morning quiet where we never had to talk. when we did, she typically told me good morning and i jumped.

she asked me a lot why i never said good morning   was i scared? yes. i don’t know why. i think maybe though it was excitement.. i’d get to sit with her. i don’t know why I miss this so much. or why another person can remind me of so much. unknowingly, too.

the way you hold me

i am his poem

& we are here–

a breath tangled

inside a heavy heart. 

i can tell my fear, you.

God, the way you watched me 

cry in the middle of night,

pretending she is at my bedside.

“you’re okay, you’re alright.” but 

the memory comes where she slips 

a pendant of a saint into my purse.

to protect me, give me strength.

the way she said, “good luck.” –

her eyes watery when i passed 

the test the second time. this

joy welling inside, careful for a spill.

i miss her. the reassurance quiet:

you were made for more.

here’s something I’m learning: grief, whether or not you acknowledge it, will find a way back to you when you least expect it. Like when you’re trying to sleep. And you’re staring into the dark when all of sudden, you’re crying.

not full on sobbing, but enough to feel the ache in your heart. and these memories come in a silent movie in your mind.

and you’re standing before this person you love. you can’t see her because everything is fuzzy, but your heart knows. and you can’t move.

you don’t want to lose her. you don’t want to say goodbye anymore. you want to tell your heart, “you’ve known goodbye. you can do it. Jesus will be there. you can sob on his shoulder. Go on, now.”

and you fall asleep. I start to well when I think about this.

Thankful Jesus is with me.

God from a hotel room 

Sunlight against glass–

I watch yellow shimmer

across his sleeping frame.

He breathes in.
I close my eyes,

smiling at the sun.

He breathes out; i’m closed in 

presence sweet brought by aged love 

living deep my grandpa’s bone.

Author’s note: Sometimes when you’re watching Holes in a your grandpa’s hotel room, you can’t help but soak in moments, like peek a boo with the sun & knowing God is singing above you in heaven while your grandpa sleeps on in the chair beside you. His presence means so much to me, peace he leaves with me. 

I had to write this before I forgot. I’m thankful for probably the most mundane things, but those are special.

Dear God, you have something to show me all the time. Maybe grandma was right: you will open a window. or my eyes to look up out the window.

Don’t let my heart go blind to the good before me, please.

couldn’t replace what i miss

i can’t hide my thoughts—
the way i caught his smile
in the summer, between
blinks across a table where
other campers sat. how he
spun round & round with me
powering, pulling him circular,
while laughing as if the world

FMF prompt: hide. sometimes i really miss moments with people i loved. like swing dancing with a boy, whose smile made me feel special and a laugh that makes me forget sadness exists.i love how God watches me have these memorized and then blab on about how don’t understand. and holds back the flood of tears i can somewhat get out. and the realization this boy still makes me feel i never have to be afraid to be myself.

God, you do things i don’t understand, but you say it’s all going to be used for good. i’m a little intrigued.