Day 55: Lakeway, Texas
She said, “Show them you as you are – behind the words and the images.”
The “she” is my friend, Migdalia. We’ve been together since the early ‘80s, and we’ve walked a lot of “as you are” road. We embraced the love of Jesus Christ within months of each other, lived together twice, lost sight of each other in a couple of hard seasons, and have seen God redeem and restore our stories countless times.
The “why” is a newsletter – or what I’m kindly calling a #LittleLoveLetter. It was born from a TinyLetter I wrote to a small tribe of the most gentle folks when I felt the need to step away from all this (makes large circling gesture to encompass all blog and social media things). I needed the quiet, but longed for a little conversation. That TinyLetter felt like having a good, old-fashioned pen-pal.
While what’s in those letters won’t normally end up here (makes second circling gesture) because this is – well, THIS, and life is more than blog posts and Instagram captions, this picture seems a good way to bring back “Shoot Like a Girl.” It’s been three years since I’ve shared stories behind the pictures I carry on my phone. I can count on two fingers the times those pictures have featured my face (one was when I ran a 7K in Kenya, and the other was when my husband reminded me of my beauty – something that I still struggle to receive).
And so, this is the story of my “as you are.” If you received my #LittleLoveLetter, the story will sound familiar. Thank you for being my pen pals. Thank you for writing back, for sharing your “as you are” and letting me pray for you. It means the world to me.
These words are from that #LittleLoveLetter:
“There are squirrels on the roof. Literally. I love listening to them play, but think they might be related to my brain – always scampering.
“I’m at my desk right now in my office, though some might laugh at the sound of that word if they saw the room. There’s a bed behind me – a really comfy bed I’m often tempted to use as a second desk when I need to really contemplate things while wrapping up in a quilt. The books on the floor are giving me greater fundraising smarts, and the little red book on top of the stack is going to teach me Hindi and Mizo because dang it, I don’t want to get to India in July and still only be able to say, ‘I love you’ (though love’s not a half-bad thing to share).
“By the way, “I love you” in Mizo is ka hmangaih che (pronounced kah hmun’-guy chey).
“Guatemalan bags and devotionals are stacked on the chair, waiting for me to take product pictures for WordPainters (we’ve got a fun bundle we hope everyone will love so we can raise more money to encourage more folks to serve orphans). The sun keeps teasing me, so I think today’s the day. There’s a salad on the desk because it is Monday and THIS week will be more responsible and I’ve already done Cardio Pilates and I really want a hamburger (pauses to take a breath). There’s a Diet Dr. Pepper on the desk because it is caffeinated nectar for a gal who didn’t sleep well since her guy is on the other side of the world and her dog – while always present (though blurry) – doesn’t carry on the best conversations. I realized today that I could stay in these workout clothes until Thursday, and no one would notice.
“I love the liberties that come with working from home, but I do miss people.
“Some days, I miss them a lot.
“Hence this #LittleLoveLetter. I know it doesn’t replace a good cup of coffee and a real conversation, but knowing you’re there inspires me to brush my hair and consider what I will cook for you when you accept the invite to come to CasaRock (yes, it’s for real).
“There’s an article for QARA on the computer, about the power of the word ‘why.’ It’s being written for 20-somethings, and it tells the story of how the word can be said two different ways in Spanish. There’s PORque, and there’s PARA que. At face value, both are translated ‘for what?’ but wow, there’s power in that PARA que. Porque is likened to our simple ‘why.’ Para que is more like ‘for what reason?’ or ‘for what purpose?’ You’d think that, at 58, I’d be ALL about the para que by now. Some days, I slay the whole ‘letting go and letting the Lord reveal His purpose’ thing. And some days, that brain (and heart) of mine scampers wildly, trying to dissect the nuance of every small moment like a science project. On those scampering days, I feel so unqualified to share any leadership wisdom. But God is always good to remind me that I’m not the only one with the porque/para que struggle, and He whispers, ‘Wisdom doesn’t make you less human – it actually makes you more whole. I’ve got you – let’s keep walking.’
“He’s saying that to you right now too. Whether you’re killing the day or it’s threatening to kill you, He’s saying, ‘I’ve got you – let’s keep walking.’
Courtney just called me. She’s also a work-from-home, porque/para que gal, and my very much ‘as you are’ friend. ‘I just wanted us to hear each other’s voices,’ she sighed, and then we talked about salads and fickle sunshine and leading with grace and whether or not Brad will eat crawfish. The squirrels have left the roof and a bird is now singing. I can picture the Lord giving us both a wink and a nod.
‘I’ve got you.’
He does. And that’s good.”
Shoot like a Girl began as part of the #31days project. You can learn more about the “why” of my story and see my first 31 posts here.
I’d love to stay in touch with you – and if you’d like to receive a #LittleLoveLetter each month, just subscribe to the website and you’ll be a pen pal. I like that idea.
Oh, and hey, I’d love to pray for you. Send a message my way or leave a comment and let me know how I might lift you up and hold you close.