N ineteeen years ago, I was sixteen.

My hair was curlier, my legs were thinner and my heart was fragile, nervous, and searching. It’s good to think back on those days. I have lots of good memories. But I wouldn’t relive them for any amount of food or money.

On the day when Grace for the Good Girl released into the bookstores on September 1st last year, Graceful slipped quietly, invisibly through the internets into the inbox of my editor.

That was a stressful day.

Graceful was hard to write, not necessarily because what I have to say is so profound or earth-shattering, but because of who it’s for.

These girls, their hearts, their minds, and their futures pass through our hands for such a short time.

We do not have the final say in how their lives will go, the choices they will make, the direction they will take. But we do have a say, a small one.

We can pray for them on our knees and with full hearts because we must.

We can be available to our daughters, babysitters, young neighbors, and nieces and baby sisters.

We can listen to her.

We can see her.

We can also try to remember what it was like.

I’ve been looking forward to this week for a while now. I’ve asked some of my favorite writers to write a letter to their teenage self. I wrote my own letter I’ll be posting tomorrow.

Today, my dear friend Tsh from Simple Mom wrote a letter to her teenage self, complete with photos. (Read more letter examples).

write your own letter

If you want to write your own letter to your teenage self on your blog this week, link it up here on Friday September 14. What would you tell yourself about life? Love? Fear? God? Leg warmers? Big hair? Belief? I hope you’ll think about it, and then I hope you’ll share it with us. Here’s more information about it. And what’s a letter without a cool button? I have a plethora for you to choose from. What would you say to your teenage self?