Category Archives: Letters

This category will feature personal letters. Written by me toward certain people in my life. Mostly people I know and love. Maybe some to people that I don’t know and/or love. Maybe even to some inanimate objects. I can’t make any promises.

Dear Jameson

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My sweet bear,

I’m so sorry for all the ways I’m failing you and will continue to fail you. I never realized just how selfish and easily angered I am until becoming a parent. Especially since you’ve entered toddlerhood. You’re this tiny person who is developing ideas and opinions, thoughts and oh-so-big feelings. And my tendency to be selfish and easily angered is so far from where I want to be when I see you expressing your thoughts and declaring your independence as a little boy.

I love you, son. My favorite definition of Love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. I tend to overlook these verses because I feel like they’re overused but the Word of God can’t be overused in my hateful heart. I need it more than I could ever realize. Verses 4 and 5 speak of love being patient and kind. It says that love never demands its own way and that love is not irritable. Well, my dear Jameson … I have shown you the very opposite of love today. I have been anything but patient and kind. I have demanded my own way even when it came at the cost of hurting you. And I have been terribly irritable. I’m so sorry.

I want you to grow up seeing two strong, kind, loving parents who lead you well but still give you the freedom you need to grow. I want you to see that we aren’t afraid to apologize and make amends when we screw up in any situation, toward any person :: including you. Hopefully we’ll screw up less and less.

I know that you are watching us, taking it all in. And I want for your father and I to be examples of all the good things. I want to be an example of creativity. I want to be an example of health. I want to be an example of wisdom. I want to be an example of truth. I want to be an example of joy.

Above all else, I want to be an example of Christlikeness. I want you to see the fruit of kindness and patience in me. I want you to see the fruit of self-control and peace in me. I want you to see the fruit of love.

And for you to see that… to really, truly see that… I must remain deeply rooted in The Lord.

Whenever we put you in time out we always hug and kiss you afterward and tell you that it’s okay. We tell you that whatever the cause for discipline was that you’ll remember next time.  For example: “You’ll remember next time that we don’t hit sissy.”

Well here I am. I’ve had my time out and I’m telling myself. “It’s okay, Kelly. You’ll remember next time to be patient and understanding. You’ll do better.” And I will.

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I love you, baby bear. Thank you for growing with me as I try to become the best mom I can be. The mom I want you to remember. The mom you deserve.

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Love, Mama

Dear Sarah Becca

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Dear Sarah Becca,

Today you’re a quarter of a century old. Happy Birthday to a most precious friend.

When we first met, I thought you were snooty. Part of me hoped that it was just because you were nervous but the other part of me figured we would probably never be friends, even though our fiancés were old friends. It would have been unfortunate. We talked over dinner and were polite and asked all the right questions. I’m not sure when we saw each other the next time but I remember coming to your wedding rehearsal and feeling extremely awkward. You were SO nice to me. You didn’t have to pay attention at all to me. You had a million other things going on. But you included me in on all the events of the evening that included your family and close friends. I was so uncomfortable, I ditched as soon as I could. The next time we saw you was at our wedding two months later. Then a few months after that, something happened. The four of us hung out again and we had a lot of fun. No first time jitters. No masks. We were ourselves. That was almost five years ago and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

The four of us have been through a lot together. We’ve fought. We’ve embarrassed each other, both in funny ways and ways that deserved apology. We’ve made each other cry. We have laughed. And laughed. And laughed. We’ve been stupid. We’ve been creative. We’ve explored. We’ve celebrated. We’ve mourned. We’ve carried each other through some tough situations. We started a band. Weeeeee ended a band? We spent bookoo’s of money on gas driving to see one another. We had babies.

This last adventure of ours has been my favorite. How many people can unexpectedly find out they’re pregnant days apart from their best friend? It has been a relieving joy to go through this season of pregnancy and motherhood with you. Thank you for listening and sharing. Thank you for eating comfort food with me. Thank you for shopping with me. Thank you for your advice and help. Thank you for serving me. Thank you for questioning me.

You have taught me such kindness in these last few years of our friendship and I feel myself learning from you regularly. I appreciate how honest you are with yourself, even when it stings. Sarah, I have seen you grow into such a beautiful woman. When I look back at that timid girl I first met I realize now that you hadn’t even discovered yourself yet. I guess marrying young makes you figure it out pretty quick because who you became in my first year of knowing you is who you’ve stayed. I feel fortunate to have a front row seat to your triumphs and failures, joys and sorrows. Scratch that. I feel fortunate to have a best friend who allows me in the ring with her to dust her off and point her chin to her Savior. Thank you for helping me learn how to be a better woman, a better wife, a better Christian.

 

I love you. Happy Birthday.

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cheers, ka

 

Dear Becky

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Dear Becky, 

I remember a lot of things about our childhood, but more than anything I remember you looking out for me. 

We were normal kids. We argued and we pinched each other and we took what didn’t belong to us and we definitely both tattled our fair share. Okay, I admit I tattled the most. But more than anything, I remember you looking out for me. If we were climbing trees, you would help me climb a little higher. If we were in the pool, you would stay in a little longer even though you’d been ready to get out for thirty minutes. If I got hurt, [which was a lot – I’m still so clumsy] you would comfort me until Mama got there to take over the comforting. If we were imagining, you would let me pretend to be a dog or baby, even though it irritated the mess out of you. This was all of course before you started middle school.

I hated middle school. Or maybe I just hated growing up. As soon as you started middle school I became a pest in your eyes. I wasn’t allowed in your room when you had friends  over. You stopped climbing trees with me. You didn’t want to play mermaids with me anymore, you just wanted a tan. 

We both kept growing up and growing into little women. The ultimate change in our relationship came when I was 12 and you were 17 and announced your pregnancy. I had such mixed feelings about it and ultimately didn’t understand the situation at all. But once that little girl arrived, of course I loved her dearly. Watching you become a mom was insane and unfortunately I don’t fully remember what that first year was like when you stayed home with Kaitlyn before you and Bryan got married. But since then you’ve had another kid and gone through phases in parenthood. You’ve come out of the fire as an incredible mother. You’re so patient with those kids. I watch you with them and sometimes think, “Oop, they shouldn’t have said that. She’s gonna blow!” But you usually don’t. You respond in love and firmness. I hope I can be that way. You do everything with them and for them and give them so much and more. These children are not without. I hope they know how lucky they are.

One of my favorite things about you, which is a rare quality, is that you do not complain. Like, ever. Even when you get a regular migraine, you’ll just state the fact that you have a migraine and then go about your business as much as you can. You don’t complain when things go wrong, even if you’re entitled to it. And that’s just it. You’ve struggled through so much and survived so much that you see every little thing as a gift. You don’t take anything for granted. But you also don’t take anything too seriously. You have a very light hearted way of looking at life. You love your husband greatly but you’re not hard on him or your marriage. You’re silly when you need to be silly and serious when you need to be serious. But I’ve never had to tell you to lighten up.

Your voice calms me. If I’m stressed or hurt or tired or confused, you can just say that you’re sorry or you understand and it genuinely relieves so much tension in my heart and mind just by the sound of you voice. That has nothing to do with the care and advice you do give. Which is golden in and of itself.

I hate living far away from you. It tears me apart when I can’t cuddle with you and play with your hair and make your troubles go away. I also hate that I’m so bad at communication. I see other people text their sister daily or talk to her daily and I think, “Well, I love my sister too!” I just suck at calling. And I respond when people text me but rarely text them first. I don’t ever wanna be that ‘out of sight – out of mind’ kind of person. And I don’t ever want to take you for granted. You deserve better. I’m so lucky to have you. 

 

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I love you.

Love, Booger

 

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cheers, ka

Dear Luke

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Dear Luke,

We used to smile at each other when we’d hear people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. And then we’d say, “If that’s the case, we have it made!”

Well, that first year was cake. Heck, the second year was cake. And now that we’re approaching the fourth year of marriage, I can distinctively feel it getting harder. A lot of things have changed for us and we’ve both grown in many ways. We live in a different place and we have different jobs and our schedules are all out of whack. And as a result a strain is being put on our communication skills, our attitudes, and our intimacy. I am such a weak person that there truly are days that I’ve woken up and thought to myself, “It can’t be done.” But it was never about me or you, was it? We agreed a long time ago that the primary purpose of marriage is to glorify God. So, if we still believe that, then we have some work to do because we’re both lacking in some areas.

Thank you for truly listening to me. For sitting down in front me, eyes and ears fully open, and taking it all in. Thank you for believing me and believing in me. Thank you for loving my fully and deeply. Thank you for apologizing, usually first. Thank you for always accepting my apologies and never holding grudges.

I hate that it’s getting hard for us. I’m ashamed of myself for those times when I allow the Enemy to plant seeds of discord in my heart. And how when I don’t seek the Lord daily, I myself am the one watering those seeds.

Thank you for honoring your wedding vows to me, part of which include these words,

“I will love you, provide for you, take care of you, guide you and honor you as my partner and my equal. I will speak truth to you in love and encourage you and strengthen your walk with God. I promise to always make you laugh and make you feel safe. Kelly, I will be there through sickness and health, house or RV… or even a little hut in Africa. I will be there for you until God calls us Home.”

And with that being said, I want to refresh your memory of my vows to you, which I still promise today.

“I love you! And I knew I was in love with you when you fought with incredible hidden strength to see my heart reconciled to God. I look forward to being God’s Hands and Feet with you — obeying His command to go out and change lives. I look forward to traveling around the country via RV and motorcycle with you. I look forward to bringing our first baby home from the hospital and raising all of our children with love and passion for God and the people of this world. I look forward to Africa. I look forward to years upon years of submitting to you out of reverence for Christ.

In a world of pain and suffering — you’ve taught me generosity and gentleness. You’re whimsical, passionate and spontaneous … but you’re grounded and patient and you’re wise. Luke, I promise to love you, honor you and support you in everything you do. I promise to make you laugh and hold your hand all the days of my life. I promise to value you and I promise to always come home to you.

I pray that we always clothe ourselves in love and that we never put a number on chances … because you truly are the love of my life. And I promise to love you whether you’re right by my side or not, whether you’re at your best or your worst, in times when God seems so far away and it’s as if the enemy is breathing us down…. I will love you and I will stand beside you and I will be knees to knees with you in the storms that will without a doubt come our way.

I love you! I know with every fiber of my being that you are the man God designed for me. And I know that it’s His love that springs your love and I’m so thankful for that. I praise God that I get to be the woman who has your rib — so, welcome home.”

Well, we’re not with each other as much as we’d like and to me it sure feels as if the Lord is far away. And I can definitely feel the Enemy’s breath on my shoulder. But we know the God we serve and we know what He’s called us to do and how He’s called us to live. The storm is coming baby, so let’s batten down the hatches.

I love you and I will never leave,

Your Rib

Dear Mom

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Dear Mom,

I know I always tell you that I love St Augustine and that I’ll never move back to Winter Haven or even Polk County. And while that is the plan, I want to clear up that I miss you every day. That I wish I could see you every day. That I HATE living two and half hours away from you and the rest of our family. I’m comforted by reminding myself that it could always be a bigger distance.

You have taught me such independence. I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb telling you no. But I’m sure you did the same thing. I’m so much like you, it’s insane. I get aggravated with myself when I realize I’m doing things that you used to drive me crazy doing. But then I get excited when I notice the things about myself that I love in you. I am so very much like you. And that is good. Thank you for being THE most honest person I know. I can truly say that that is most people’s favorite thing about me and I always say, “I get it from my Mama.” I rarely remember lying to you growing up. And any time I did, it just ruined me so much that I couldn’t even stand it. Honesty, truthfulness, real-ness. What beautiful attributes you instilled in me. Thank you for also showing me what it means to be fierce. To fight for good things and to fight against the bad. That’s something you’ve always nurtured in me and I really appreciate it more than you know. I get my passion from you. I know you won’t believe that, but it’s true.

Thank you for always supporting me. And I mean ALWAYS. Well, except maybe for the first time I dyed my hair red and the first time I got my lip pierced. You weren’t too supportive of those things, but that’s okay. You came around. HA! You support my marriage, my decisions, my continual frustration with education, my relationship with God, my creativity. You challenge me to ask questions and to try harder and to rest when I need to. Thank you for that. Thank you for trusting me enough. You spent so many years raising me to be a smart, independent woman and I can’t imagine how hard it is to just back off and watch me do it. Thank you for trusting me but always been right there when I need to ask for help. Or call and cry. We did that just what… last week? 😉 Thank you for being interested in the things that Becky and I were interested in. Thank you for sharing ideas and always wanting to be a part of what we love. I’m sure I went through a faze when that annoyed me and if so, I’m sorry. Because all I can think of now is how supportive and hands-on my Mom is. Thank you for supporting me in any college I wanted to go to. Thank you for supporting me in relationships. Thank you for constantly reminding me that I married the most amazing man, and that I am super blessed. Thank you for supporting me when I want to do crazy things like host Thanksgiving in a 35 foot camper. Thank you for supporting me when I say I want to go to hair school. Thank you for supporting me when I change my mind. Or not. I still haven’t decided. And you support that.

I’m so proud of you. Ever since childhood, you have faced things that were insanely difficult. I don’t know how you kept it together. And I’m so thankful that you’ve surrendered everything to the God who sits on His throne and is control of it all. I’m so glad that you remember and remind me that He goes before us and walks beside us. I’m so proud of you and all that you’ve done.

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You’re beautiful and I love you. Thank you for always being such a divine mixture of kick-ass Mom and close friend.

Love, your baby girl.

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cheers, ka

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