I’ve been reading Jesus Every Day and part of the prayer is remembering 20 ways You’ve been good to me. It’s a bit of a struggle right now, but here You go:
- The cats. Juno provides a comfort You knew I needed when I came back here. I find it hilarious she kneads me like I’m her mom. And Baby—since she had her surgery shortly (or the same day as my hysterectomy) and can’t go outside, she seems to find my room a sanctuary. It’s nice.
- Jamie Grace. Specifically how You used her music to comfort and help me cry out to You. And getting to see her/meet her with Megan. I’ll never forget when we waited in line and Megan goes, You’re like a kid in a candy store. But most of all, I was glad she was with me There is no one else I want to go on adventures like that – really any adventure.
- Adventures in the valley—Ellie Holcomb concert/meeting her, Marc Martel, Skit Guys. All with Megan. I really never imagined any of that would happen. Or that I would go to that many concerts and that Megan loves music as much as I do. All the Jesus jams. It just amazes me when I thought my only concert would be Hilary Duff.
- Grandma/Grandpa/Grandna from Dad’s side. They taught me so much about presence. Giving time, themselves. From the symphony, fish fries, the movies almost every weekend and lunch, the library. Everything always felt so precious, sacred. Like grandma making dinner and putting on Reba. Or when we made fun of the side effects of medicines. Or mimicked the weatherman’s sweeping hand motions. Or watching the food network Or the time she gently and firmly told Michael that I understood that I was beautiful when he just kept telling me over and over: you are beautiful, did you know that? Over cantaloupe. The way she told me I’d look back and wonder why I dated him just as she did with someone.
- The way You saved me from Michael. The way You gave me the courage to say no to going further than I was willing. The way mom pumped up S Club 7 and drove through a storm so we could get home earlier. I know now she wasn’t trying to ruin fun (there wasn’t any), but You were protecting my heart through her knowing we had to go. I love her so much for that even though I was stubborn (still am) and wanted to be in love. Still do.
- Just like when he broke up with me over text weeks after, asking how my mom was(still will never forget it), and gradually moving into we need to see other people. But I still have the words from a coin he said made me think of him. One side said: Love is patient. Love is kind. The other: True Love Waits. I’ve never forgotten it. Even though uncle Scott has the coin now. I know now You were reassuring there would (will?) be a guy who will wait for me. And now, I think You’re gently telling me to wait and see.
- This bed and the bath chair 2 ways You provided abundantly. In the midst of grief when mom’s mom passed.
- This computer from dad.
- When the neighbor from the old house came over before getting it and abruptly (okay maybe not) sang a song about waiting for You. Showed me the verses in Lamentations and reassured me she had to wait a long time too. Still not sure if she meant in general or specifically. But it was so reassuring in the moment.
- Sara Groves music. Her vulnerability. And meeting Momsie from fmf, who also loves her stuff too.
- The whole five minute Friday community, which I didn’t know existed until Trisha encouraged me to try it one Friday in October and almost 4 years later, I still love it. I look forward to it every week. And, I get to be a part of Kate’s launch for her book. Seriously? All You!
- As is the 12 launches I’ve been part of before where I’ve met, Teri, Julianna, Shannan, Kallayah, Mandy, Jamie, Tonya, Deanna… Also, wouldn’t even know what a launch if Trisha didn’t tell me she was applying to one..and I wanted to do one..and then Emily Freeman did a post about her’s and boom. Has it really been 12?
- Anna. Who I met through the happiness dare. I will forever forget time difference. When we start sharing our hearts and music, everything fades. I love that You know my heart so well and the people I need. The Netherlands need to be a little closer.
- Kelly. She’s helping me become more myself. Seriously, one of these days I feel she may try to make me have a car concert. I think about this and I want to laugh and laugh. But I want to have many many more car jams to Beckah Shae with her. And movies. And deep talks. And grilled cheese from Panera. Hahaha. I’m so thankful for her and her love for You.
- Declare last year. From the first class flight (which Kelly said was Your favor. Funny it’s my word this year.), to meeting Miah, to more time with Trisha, meeting Desiree and Kayla. Winning the unashamed book (THIS BOOK, LORD. I don’t know what You are doing, but it’s intriguing) to someone buying me coffee, all the sobbing, meeting Linda, the rainbow, Brahms’s ice cream (take me back please ), time with dad in the convertible and whattaburger, that sunset.
- These pajama mom got before the hysterectomy. I love you more too, God.
- The doctor who did my surgery. And the nurses. I saw you so much.
- The time you’ve given with my family. It is hard, but there are moments that can overwhelm me at the goodness, like watching a movie or laughing about the dog. Small stiff.
- My blog. I didn’t know You could and still are bringing so much good from the pain I needed to get out. It’s beautiful. And I’ll never forget when I freaked out on Gwen about taking the step and she was chill and excited about it. Thank You that she continues to encourage my writing and be a friend and know when something is up from so very far.
- You. That listen to me and let me go on and on and on. Being with You like this makes me so happy.
I think this is more than 20 and I could do way more I think. But I’m going to jam to Beckah Shae. Seriously just want to head bob all night. And also? The majority deals with presence. Relationship. It’s very interesting.
Your tender haired girl.
I could ask You why. Why do I feel so numb/afraid after time with a friend last week? Why did I ask a guy who I haven’t talked to since he gave me his condolences for my grandma almost 4 years ago out for coffee? It’s not me. I didn’t get a yes or a no, but a maybe. Which I guess is a yes with an TBA time. Why do I want you to allow me to out with a guy once to see if maybe we could be friends without me getting all, he likes me. Why is being brave even to dream about this, so vulnerable? I didn’t even want to do it. But in the dentist office with a friend’s gentle nudge to do it, I did. But now, I’m confused. Not in a bad way, just like what if I’ve been hiding from myself
This letter is pretty self explanatory. When I experience good things – I shut down for a while and don’t know how to process except, oh my gosh! look at this!
and then I want to tell everything while wanting to savor and process. And this week, thanks to this book, I asked a guy to coffee. I laughed a little too much reading the challenge for that day (on valentines Day./Ash Wednesday.) because I told God, hahahaha, God. I’m not going on a date. My pretend date. I don’t know any guys. Then, later while I’m telling a friend this, I think of a guy I sorta know. I think this friend is hilarious when she says, do it! I debate because me with guys is: I really want you to like me more than a friend because I don’t know how to be friend/dont know if you want to be my friend/I don’t want to get hurt again/come off as I NEED YOUR ATTENTION (because I’ve been that way before..) I know these are all girl feelings. Normal. But this girl would like to fool herself into thinking she doesn’t need to be in love. Or dreaming about it. I have a love/hate relationship with it. The thing that cracks me up is God knows even though I’m all, NOOOOO. (but maybe.) ugh,
I don’t even know how to end this post. I’m going to catch up on the latest skit guys podcast (saw them last week. There will be a post once I can wrap my mind around it. But, they are so much better live than the million times I’ve seen videos/heard podcasts. The gummy bears were AWESOME.) and eat another strawberries and cream Lindt ball thanks to my sister 🙂
Here I am again. This joy scares me. The way I keep giving little things and the way I feel from inside, wow. If this is how You feel, even a fraction, it feels so good. It’s like Nolan told me a few weeks ago. The element of surprise. I can’t wait til one friend checks her email and another one checks her mail tomorrow. Literally I can’t wait. CANT WAIT. I hope she is so shocked. I hope they both are. It makes the grief dissipate. And I know You put Beckah Shae’s I’ll be alright on right now. It’s a little weird I can’t listen Christmas music but I can’t help it.
When the way was dreary and my heart was so oppressed, Your voice it lulled me to calm and rest.
These lyrics by Sara Groves, What a Friend have been playing in my head since this morning. Like You are singing to me or my heart is singing to You. It won’t stop, Lord. It’s like my heart keeps returning to them. My heart is oppressed with the negativity and the grief of last week that is lingering and grandma’s birthday being tomorrow but her not being here and then remembering that she passed two days after that and then Christmas. God, it hurts. And I don’t know why giving gifts to three friends and waiting on the one for dad is helping me not stay completely in the sadness. I mean I’ve been in the sadness of having to let a friend go, but this week is like added grief.
But I can go back to how the one friend I sent a gift to checked on me repeatedly. Told me I could call whenever I want. It didn’t matter. The texts of how are you? and offering to get me ice cream if I was there. And You know what I just realized? You made that happen this year. And here come the tears. Whoa. I love you. You weave things so beautifully. I know I tell You constantly but I’m so thankful for this friend. And You. You just put the Lol song on. Oh, God, You’re going to make all the memories flow. Like I remember talking and her doing the hand move for LOL and talking about wanting joy. She’s got it. Yours. It is beautiful. And I know You’re giving more.
I don’t know where this letter was going, but please bring Your joy this week. And comfort for this grief that apparently wants to come like a tidal wave.
Yay, Ellie’s, Don’t forget His love.
Who redeems your life from the pit & who crowns you with His love.
And now magnolia..
O magnolia, won’t you rest your head on my shoulder?
Yes, I will.
your tender-haired (& hearted) girl
PS. I just want quote songs to You – good thing You like to sing. Thank you for telling me the best is yet to come and the meat loaf and the tea. And just loving me as You do.
Previous letter from Letters From A Tender Haired Girl here.
I tried climbing up the stairs by myself today. The dog had to go the bathroom and kept doing that whiny thing he does and basically sat there waiting for me. Yeah, good. Play We’ve Got This Hope by Ellie again. And now, Songs of Deliverance.
It takes me back to singing in Trisha’s car at the gas station. Or maybe it was to it. But before I go off topic, I was half way up there before I became afraid. And you know, I kept trying to think how proud Nolan would be. But then I started sweating. This is too high. I’m almost there. God, help me.
Why is this my life? I’m not going to make it in time. Call Nolan. No answer. Until I went back down to put on slippers. He tells me later he’s not going to deal with my fear of the stairs anymore. Or something. And I already felt the disappointment because I only made it half way the first time when it was just you and me.
Lord, even now I want to cry. Because while he played Elvis and sang along, I talked to You in my head. About my weakness or maybe the verse. Where Your power is made perfect in weakness. And I wondered why even though he wanted to help, it didn’t feel encouraging. Humiliating. That I’m afraid of falling. That I want Your presence encircling around me, Your smile asking me, come? It’s okay. I’m here. Your face.
Because it’s easy for those who can walk to bound up and down the stairs (unless the person is afraid of heights) while I take my time. And yes, I’m a little cynical maybe that I feel like no one understands. And I know that’s not entirely true and everyone has fears. But sometimes I think you think I’m a baby because I’m afraid. And once I get upstairs, I find myself sobbing to Kallayah for reasons I’m unsure of. But I think it’s all this stuff you’re bringing to surface. Wanting intimacy with friends. Hating how I think of marriage. HATING. How the stairs are a small thing to be afraid of. And then I tell Trisha I’m randomly sobbing. And there’s so much I want to say but I don’t how to say it.
Because you bringing all this to the surface is a lot. My heart aches. And I just want a breath. Breathe. It’s like declare all over again. Not that I don’t fit but that I keep crying. Over and over. I don’t want it fixed. But to sit with someone in it. And telling Kallayah I wish she could last night. Physically. But ughh I’m so thankful that this is coming to the surface even though it hurts so much. That she listens and prays and shares her heart with me. And her sensitivity. I can’t wait to give her a hug. And laugh in person. The wait will be worth it. You’ve gone above and beyond the last two years with seeing Trisha. So I need to trust the timing with this and grow in the meantime. I love you for giving me these friends I never expected. Thank you.
No idea where I was going with this letter.
you tender haired girl
previous letter for Letters From A Tender Haired Girl found here.
I love the depth to our friendship. The way You make space for me to be real even if it scares me. A lot. But even as I’m saying it, I feel Your peace. I don’t want my own belief of marriage to stop her from sharing her heart. I don’t want to be cynical (cubical really doesn’t work. Haha.) toward love. Every time she tells me how this boy has loved her, my heart is so happy yet so doubtful it is real. Happy for her. Doubtful for me. And the fact she believes You will change the way I see marriage – really means more to me than I can say.
If You bring a guy into my life, will he know to take care of my heart? Or that I like to be surrounded with words? Books. Notes. Texts. That I’d like to be held forever. Or at least a really long time. And flowers. I’d probably burst into a grin at his just because I love you. Will he want to stay up late with me to hear me ramble on about whatever and mostly You?
Will he let me sing in the car or just offer to put on my fave artist because he knows I love them and maybe likes to listen to me sing even if I get emotional? Will he encourage me to write even if it’s not something I ever get lots of moola, enough to live off of? Will he be understanding when I most likely cry if he talks about having kids and hold me because it’ll probably still hurt? Will he take me to see long distance friends? because we know I’m going to tell him all about the ones from my blog and launch teams. Will he understand that if at any time he hurts my feelings or we argue, that I need calm tones to get me to open up, or I will withdraw?
Will he read books to me or Your Word? Or both? Will he not even see my disability and my just my heart? That I want to love and be pursued? Will he sing to me?
Telling You all this makes me wonder. Will You bring this to pass? Will he be my friend? Because if he’s not that first, we will never work. I’m not breaking my heart again by trying to be a pursuer. Nope. Not happening.
See? I just dreamed a little bit. And it makes me feel this swell of emotion because my heart maybe wants this. But I need this friend to keep on dreaming for me until I believe. And if it happens that I marry, please bring her to my wedding so we can thank You together.
your tender haired girl
Ps. and if he gives me dark chocolate – he’s a keeper.
previous letter from Letters From A Tender Haired Girl found here.
I have no excuse not to tell you how I feel. And honestly? Confused. Hurt. Mystified. These aren’t words that accurately describe it. I hate that I think I hurt her feelings with how I feel about marriage. I hurt with the way I view marriage. Like its not worth it. You are going to wind up hurting each other or divorced. And you know where that leaves your kids? Confused. Hurt. Starving. And bringing all that hurt into other relationships. And it’s not like I want to believe this.
five minute Friday prompt: excuse
previous letter from Letters From A Tender Haired Girl found here.
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.
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.