A big week. Thanks for being awesome and supportive and putting up with me and my big self talking about the new book. I’m feeling small and thankful and emotional. Here are some reasons why, besides the obvious stuff.

1. Friday Night Lights is over. It’s been over for nearly two years for normal people. But I’ve been waiting to watch it on Netflix because I didn’t want it to end. This week I finally said goodbye to Tami and Coach Taylor and Tim Riggins and Buddy Garrity. It’s sad is what it is.

2. Annie Downs wrote a book. I spent some time with Annie this past weekend. Her book and my book released on the same day for the same audience and can I just be very honest with you? We are technically competitors. But it doesn’t feel that way. At all. The truth is, I’d rather do this with her than without her.

You’ve heard me talk about her book. It’s called Perfectly Unique and y’all? Annie is. She is all kinds of crazy brave and courageous without being obnoxious about it. She has a sweet mix of funny and normal and faith. She is a true friend and a great writer. So I’ve been thankful for her, for the unique relationship we have as writers of books for teen girls. It’s a gift to have a partner in this. Buy her book. And then? Read her letter to her teenage self. It is exquisite.

3. I’ve been thinking through things about church, about the shape of our souls, the beauty of community, the sacredness of truth. Lately, I feel like I’m changing a little everyday. It hurts and also is lovely. The Man and I pray together every morning and there’s something about love, coffee, prayer, and front porch sitting that gets me all teary and thankful.

4. My sixteen year old self needed a lot of tenderness and I didn’t realize it. I wrote a letter to her and I tried to be as honest as I could, to put myself back in that time and feel all of those emotions. It worked. I am a hot mess. And also?

5. Reading other people’s letters is slaying me. I still can’t tell why yet. Even the funny ones are bringing out weird emotion in me that I didn’t expect, can’t explain, and won’t try to.

6. On the Shores by Melissa Helser and Johnathan David Helser. First of all, they were so gracious to let us use their song for the Graceful video (by the way, the video was directed by Jason Windsor and was awesome). This song is powerful and living and every time she sings hallelujah, I have to raise up my hands.

7. The twins have made up a language. It’s ridiculous and awesome and just sounds like a lot of z’s. But they are 8 and they have their own language that they understand. I watch them and I am overcome with emotion, thankful they have a person, a sister. A gift.

What is something bringing out weird emotion in you lately?

graceful for young womenStill writing those letters. If you would like to join in, we would love to read it. Simply write it on your own blog and come here this Friday, September 14 to link up. Here are all the details. Some of my favorite writers who are writing letters today:

Annie Downs – I linked to it up there but I’m putting it down here because I don’t want you to miss it.

Stephen Martin – I love Stephen’s writing and his letter does not disappoint (you should check out his book, too) And also I feel kind of awesome that four men agreed to write letters. Stephen is one of them.

Mary DeMuth – Mary is an early mentor of mine. I’m thankful for her and her willingness to join in.

Kristen Strong – She read Sweet Valley High books as a teenager. Automatically love her. Her writing is lovely and kind.

Gary Morland – My dad wrote a letter. He is also a man. You can learn a lot about your family by having them write letters to themselves.