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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Releasing Them: Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 5)

DSCN7473Dear Little Me,

You don’t care, do you? You don’t care at all. Their opinion doesn’t sway you one bit. Their perceptions of you and this whole situation? Doesn’t phase you a second.

That 6th birthday card, those wrapped-up presents with pretty pink bows on top, the birthday party that made you feel oh so special? You’re just loving it. Loving it.

You don’t care if they thought you were too happy, too proud, too excited about this thing just for you.

You don’t try to get inside their heads, wondering how they feel about this or that. You just are. And they just are.

You don’t change yourself to accommodate them. You’re happy. You’re excited. And you’re showing it. You’re living it.

It doesn’t really matter what they think, does it?

Little girl. Hear me out. Don’t spend a lifetime getting in their heads. Don’t worry what they think. Don’t bend to their every need.

Don’t change you. for them.

And another thing…

The weight of the world is not on your shoulders. The weight of their world is not on your shoulders.

What they think, how they perceive you, how their world compares to yours? None of it’s your weight to bare. It’s your weight to share.

Care, but don’t worry.

Share, but don’t concern yourself to the point of fatigue.

Dare to believe that your opinion counts just as much as theirs.

Their happiness is not paramount to yours. And your fulfillment in life is not dependent on their fulfillment.

Listen…

They won’t be fully themselves, unless you’re fully you.

So little girl, keep being you. And don’t worry so much about them.

Because if you’re not you? Then God’s great big world isn’t fully itself either.

greensig

 

 

 

*This series is inspired in part by a blog post I wrote in January 2014 titled “Go. Like It Matters. Go. Like It’s Your Life.” And in part by Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. For more information about WHY I’m writing this series, click here to read the first post of this series titled “Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 1).”

Inviting Her Back: Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 4)

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Dear Little Me,

I stared at this picture of you forever.

Something about it’s paralyzing to my soul.

I can’t capture what it is.

Why am I staring at a girl so brave? A girl so free? A girl so pure?

Where did she go?

When did she get lost?

Why was she kidnapped in the darkness of daylight?

Little girl, I invite you back.

Trust, with me.

Smile, with me.

Love, with me.

Wait, with me.

Be, with me.

I need this little girl. This little one. Blindfolded, but free.

Little girl, teach me, tell me.

How do you trust with such abandon?

How do you wait so patiently?

How do you know, without thinking once, that it’s going to be alright?

How do you smile in the unknowing?

How do you love, just love, love your life?

Little girl, you’re welcome back.

I need you now.

It’s time for you, little girl, to be me.

All of me.

pinksig

 

 

 

*This series is inspired in part by a blog post I wrote in January 2014 titled “Go. Like It Matters. Go. Like It’s Your Life.” And in part by Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. For more information about WHY I’m writing this series, click here to read the first post of this series titled “Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 1).”

Loving That Hair: Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 3)

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Dear Little Me,

Look at that hair. Just look at that hair.

You don’t care about your hair.

You let it be. Wild and free.

Big.

Flowing.

Part wavy. Part straight.

Bushy, but beautiful.

Beautiful.

Why not leave it at that, little girl?

Leave it at that.

Let it be.

Wild and free.

The way God meant it to be.

Perhaps you’ll learn to hide it, spray it, tame it, sleek it.

Perhaps you’ll wonder if you should just cut it all off.

Be gone, bushy hair.

Be gone, you ugly, not pretty wavy mess.

Be gone.

Be gone.

Perhaps they’ll tell you it’s like Brook Shield’s hair.

Perhaps you’ll believe you need a celebrity stylist to manage this bush.

Perhaps they’ll tell you it’s not like hers, hers, hers or hers.

Perhaps they’ll say you can’t cut it this way, can’t style it that way.

Perhaps you’ll want to replace it. Perhaps you’ll wish it wasn’t yours.

But don’t, girl. Don’t. Don’t wish it away.

What if you wore it wild and free?

What if you just let it be?

What if you just didn’t care about that hair?

What if you embraced it, let that hair keep being what it wants to be, let that little girl be who she wants to be?

Because girl? You’re wild. You’re unbridled, running and frolicking free.

That hair’s flowing. That hair’s growing. That hair’s letting loose.

Girl, it’s not so much about your hair as it is that you care.

It’s not so much about your hair as it is that you dare. To be wild. To be free. To let it be.

It’s not so much about your hair as it is that you’re aware. That beauty runs deep. In heart places, in soul places, in places unseen.

So little girl? Just let that hair be. Who cares.

Let your beauty shine however it wants to shine.

Wild. Free. Big. Flowing. Wavy. Straight. Bushy. Beautiful.

It’s all you, girl.

It’s all you.

Leave it. at that.

Let it be.

orangesig

 

 

 

*This series is inspired in part by a blog post I wrote in January 2014 titled “Go. Like It Matters. Go. Like It’s Your Life.” And in part by Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. For more information about WHY I’m writing this series, click here to read the first post of this series titled “Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 1).”

 

Tara Dorn - Love it! I have been visiting my little girl self through these posts too (like Monica said). Your poetry flows so nicely and I could really see these “restoring the little girl” posts being a published book for young girls/women!August 21, 2014 – 4:20 am

Monica Anderson Palmer - I’m really LOVING these posts and have been mentally visiting that “little girl me” myself. Thank you for the vulnerability…as always you amaze me!August 21, 2014 – 2:26 am

Waking Beauties: Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 2)

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Dear Little Me,

I love this picture of you, of me.

Look at you, little you. There’s something you need to see.

See the care in your face.

See your smile.

See your love, your patience.

See your arm resting gently on her shoulder.

See your concern for her. Not anyone around.

See the way you’re looking deeper, peering longer into the face of that sleeping beauty, wondering if you should wake. Or wait.

See the way she’s trusting.

She her arm’s resting.

See the way you’re in this together.

See the quiet. See the space. See patience in the knowing, patience in the waiting.

See you. Holding that book close, tight.

You. You’re wise. Keep holding your dearest things close, but your dearest even closer.

Keep looking, little you. Keep loving. Keep wondering how you’ll wake her.

And keep your smile. Because it won’t always be this easy.

But this. This. Is really all God’s called you to.

The simplicity of this.

To be present.

To love.

To see.

To wait. Patiently.

To know. When the time’s right to wake, to give voice to those slumbering beauties.

To hold your dearest near.

Yes, dear.

Stay this way always.

orangesig

 

 

 

*This series is inspired in part by a blog post I wrote in January 2014 titled “Go. Like It Matters. Go. Like It’s Your Life.” And in part by Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. For more information about WHY I’m writing this series, click here to read my blog post titled “Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 1).”

 

Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 1)

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Go is my one word for 2014, the word that guides everything I do.

I published a post titled “Go. Like It Matters. Go. Like It’s Your Life.” on January 6, 2014. I loved that post. So much so that I’ve kept it on the home page of my blog all these months. It’s linked to a graphic on my sidebar.

So why am I referring to a post I wrote back in January when it’s mid-August? Because there’s one part of that post that especially excited and moved me when I wrote it. For the past couple of months, I’ve been feeling the need to revisit those words.

“Go. tell them all the beautiful things they never knew about themselves.

Go. tell them what they really need to hear. Tell them you see them. Tell them you noticed. Tell them they’re loved. Tell them they’ve not been forgotten. Tell them they’ve been heard. Tell them they’re precious, worthy, irreplaceable. Tell them there’s a plan for their life. Ya, Go. Do that. And do it again.

Go. where little girls laugh. And big girls are free to laugh again. Go. Restore the little girl voice.

And don’t forget the vision. Go. Continue becoming the beautiful, old, wise woman.”

There’s something about those words that speak to me deeply. When I wrote that post, I knew what every word meant, and much of it is playing out in real time. But I’m believing those bolded words in particular hold the greatest meaning. Those words flowed out. Those words got my heart racing. Those words had power. Those words felt right. Those words gave me life, joy and peace. Those words felt like my future.

Seven and a half months into the year, I can say with confidence that those bolded words will carry with me into 2015 and beyond. I’m not even close to being finished with those words.

But there is something I feel called to do with a handful of those words right now.

Five words have been calling to me. They’re the five words that have stuck in my mind since I wrote them in January.

Restore the little girl voice.

I’ve wondered. Is there something in those words that’s not just for them, but for me, too?

So in late July, I began brainstorming an August series titled Restoring the Little Girl Voice.

In early August at my 20th high school reunion, I had the opportunity to visit my childhood friend’s home, the place I spent countless hours growing up. As I climbed the staircase into the treehouse we played in time and time again, as I sat in the corner of her basement eating pickles, reminiscing about the exact spot we played pin the tail on the donkey as kids, and as I sat at her dining room table eating breakfast quietly with my husband that Sunday morning, I was reminded that this restoring the little girl voice was good.

Last week I wrote that post about what a great honor it will be to join Compassion International on a sponsor tour to Dominican Republic and blog on behalf of children living in poverty. I recounted God’s working out His story in my life from the very start, from way back when. When I was still a little girl. I knew, yet again, this restoration of the little girl voice was a good, good thing.

And when Bonnie Gray suggested writing a letter to your little girl self in her new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace, I had confirmation I was on the right track. I needed to do this.

So here’s my plan. For the rest of August, as the Spirit leads, I’m going to be writing a series titled Restoring the Little Girl Voice. Today marks Part 1. I don’t know how many parts there will be. This is a write as needed series, which is totally unlike me. But I’m giving myself freedom to explore with no rushing, no expectations, no boundaries, no specific desired outcome other than restoration. At this point, I’m not sure what restoration will look like. But that sentence, restore the little girl voice, is calling for attention.

Maybe you’re still not sure what this is going to look like? Here are my thoughts…

I’ll be going through old photo albums from my childhood. Anything from birth to 17 years of age will be up for grabs. I’ll be looking for pictures that evoke some sort of strong emotion in me. If it feels like there’s something that needs to be healed, restored, or laid to rest, I’m going there. For each photograph, I’ll write a blog post, a letter to my childhood self. A letter telling that little girl all the things she needs to know, all the feelings she needs to feel, all the thoughts she needs to express, all the things she might want to consider to make life a little easier from there on out.

I’m fully aware that I could journal and make this a private exercise. I’m aware I might make some people a bit uncomfortable. Because I’ll be digging into my past, into my little girl self. I might reveal thoughts that most would keep private. I might dig a little deeper than I thought I would. I might uncover thoughts and feelings I never knew existed, thoughts and feelings I pushed down for years, thoughts and feelings I’ve battled to this day, even as an adult.

But I’ve thought this through. I’ll be wise and prudent. If this needs to go private at any time, I’ll make that happen.

I’m also aware that this exercise will be healing. And I’m aware that exercises like this, when made public, have the potential to bring about healing for others. That’s why I started this blog. To help you know you’re not alone. To help you see we’re all in this together. To help you find meaning in life. To help you discover the purpose of your life. So I’m willing to be vulnerable. For you. So you might bear witness to the bud of my life unfolding into full bloom. And in turn, that you might be inspired, that you might finally allow yourself to bloom. Because don’t we all need a little uncovering, a little unfolding of our best, most authentic selves?

So let’s do this. Now is the time. I’m setting out on an unknown journey to restore my little girl voice, and perhaps, along the way, you’ll be encouraged to restore your little girl voice. And hey, men, I haven’t forgotten you. Perhaps along the way, you’ll be encouraged to restore your little boy voice. It doesn’t sound as pretty, but it’ll work all the same.

Restoration, it’s a good thing.

So let’s restore.

Let’s begin.

Let’s begin again.

Let’s restore the little girl voice.

This is the trailer for Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. The book is incredibly soulful and healing. I recommend it heartily and without reservation for anyone who’s seeking white space, room to breathe. This video is peaceful, breathtakingly restorative to me. It’s a beautiful representation of the tone in which I’d like to write this series, Restoring the Little Girl Voice. Thank you, Bonnie, for your beauty and authenticity.

pinksig

Dressing For You: Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 8) » Divine in the Daily - […] *This series is inspired in part by a blog post I wrote in January 2014 titled “Go. Like It Matters. Go. Like It’s Your Life.” And in part by Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. For more information about WHY I’m writing this series, click here to read the first post of this series titled “Restoring the Little Girl Voice (Part 1).” […]September 5, 2014 – 12:52 pm

Tom Baunsgard - Amy, I think we all have a chance to visit that and explore our own “Spiritual Whitespace”. That special place in our hearts and minds that each of us have… It can sometimes provide a great retrospective of memories both good and bad, and a place to remember happy moments and heal from the sad moments. I’m looking forward to see what you share with us with us all in this new chapter of your blog. TomAugust 16, 2014 – 6:26 pm