giving the gift of words: dear mother.

One of my goals for this year is to be a better gift-giver. The word I chose for 2015 is presence, and a creative friend suggested it could be “presence and presents” as well. I love it. Done.

Tomorrow is my Mom’s birthday. I sent her a gift, don’t worry. But I think that the best gift I can give the people in my life is my honest words.  So here we go.

Dearest Mama,

Grab the tissue box, hold on tight.


Little brother says that you can tell what a girl will look like in thirty years by looking at her mom. For me, Wow, that is exciting. I don’t have your dark brown hair (it’s getting there) or piercingly beautiful blue eyes. I inherited a little bit more of Dad’s height than yours. But people are starting to say more and more that we look alike, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

But I hope that statement really applies to more than just outward resemblance. I hope that I continue to grow in becoming more like the person you are. I want to be strong and stable like you. I want to love deeply like you. I want to invest in my children the way you have. I hope that I gain your desire to impart wisdom to the younger generation, and lead with humor and joy.

You are resilient. You are strong. You have walked through a life that was harder than what you deserved. You have taken it all in stride, with a faith that is steadfast and unshakeable.

You know just what to say to get me off the ledge of my self-doubt and insecurity. The times I have been most vulnerable, most terrified of life and all it entails, I have run to you and cried in your lap. You have hugged me tight and said all the right things.

I often wonder, as I know you do too, why the road God chose for us is one of distance and physical separation. For six and a half years we have been apart far more than we have been together. Life has become characterized by the short but special times we have together. We share the same prayer that God will lead us to a season where are no longer so far apart.

But in all of it, I have been strengthened by your strength and made brave through your trust. Sometimes we question God, but ultimately we know He is good. We finally made it through an enormous season of waiting, and we stand on the other side seeing all the tiny threads He wove together to create what our lives are now. And because of that, we can hold onto the hope that His plans will continue to be good, and we can trust that we are blessed even in the distance.


And now for something a little more lighthearted –

  • I love your enthusiasm and love for music, especially when you dance along to Bruno Mars or Meghan Trainor.
  • I love that you didn’t ever give up on your dream of being a teacher. And now you’re the best one I know.
  • I love that you love Dad the way you do.
  • I love that you know yourself and won’t apologize for who you are.
  • I love that you always want to learn and grow and share what you’re learning.

Sweet Mama, I miss you. All the time. I love you more than words can say, though I’ve tried to convey even a piece of it. That note I wrote you when I was little? Couldn’t be more true.


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I write to process, and sometimes send those thoughts out into the void. Passionate about Jesus and people and bringing those two together. Living in and loving Denver. Working with college students, who are the coolest. Seeking Jesus and JOY in everything.

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