A Letter To Ann Voskamp


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Dear Ann,

Last night I had a dream that you invited me to stay at your farm for a welcome retreat from the battles I face. You were so excited to share healing with me, and I was overwhelmed by your generosity and nurture. But sometimes Ann I look at your pictures, even of your messes, and think you don’t understand pain. But I know better. I’ve read your book. Purchased several copies to share. Counted to 300 something. And even though I know your life has been harder than most, you’ve decided. Now I decide. I decide to see beauty in struggle as my ugly caterpillar self waits in quiet darkness for what comes next. For my embryonic state only declares to me that new birth is coming and I can choose, if I dare. I can choose to be content in the warm and safe place of His arms, trusting His hand to craft wings of color to my worm body.

I can choose as my heart breaks in two for the desperation of others to see my most prized possessions: two bushes ablaze with beauty, one with lilac and the other with pearly peony.

I can choose to be relieved that my cocoon is dark because then I can not see the scalpel performing surgery on my broken pieces.

I can choose to see hope in the hard, singing in the sad, trust in the trial and love for the lost.

And you know what? It’s my choice, not anyone else’s. I can choose to be grateful. No one can take this from me. Because as you have so beautifully said, “when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.”

So I’m starting my list over and this time I won’t stop. I will come to the place you’ve created as a retreat for me and other weary travellers. And I will rest on the front porch rocking chair. Back and forth, back and forth, to the rhythm of His heart beat. I can not walk this road alone, so I will re-learn gratitude, with your beautiful list, a respirator of thanksgiving, I breathe in, out, in, out. Breathe out thanks, breathe in gift, breathe out thanks, breathe in gift. I will learn to spirit-breathe again, but I might cough and sputter a little, because I have allowed my air to be polluted with death wishes and dream killers. So let the breathing treatments begin. And Ann? Thanks for the invitation.

1. For the invitation to really see… herehere

Three things orange?
2. #2 pencils scratching on lined notebook paper
3. Daughter’s orange scarf peeking out of basket.

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4. Splash of orange cheer on my Dunkin

…sharing a playdate with Laura:
and at a new place for writers Unforced Rhythms of Grace.

and with beautiful Jennifer Dukes Lee…{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252
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And with my dearest Emily…

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27 thoughts on “A Letter To Ann Voskamp

  1. You’re so right KD, it’s so easy to simplify other lives off their pictures. And it’s also too easy to magnify our problems if we don’t take the time look away from them and see the beauty. It’s a battle I too fight.

  2. This says it all, KD:
    “I can choose.”
    That’s what I have to remind myself often too. It’s my choice to be whiny or be grateful. I want to choose grateful more and more. Beautiful post.

  3. Hi KD,

    Nice to meet you. I’m hopping over from Ann’s link up. Yes, that choice to stop, see and name the things we are thankful for help us stop and see God huh? I too easily forget and too easily complain but am working to learn and practice this too.

    Sorry for your pain, for this time in the cocoon, and for this discouraging time. Our God loves you and is weaving beauty and good for you, my friend. Count with me… 🙂

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

  4. KD,
    Thank you for the poetry in this: “…a respirator of thanksgiving, I breathe in, out, in, out. ” Giving thanks with you ..so grateful we can give thanks and lament at the same time and God understands…praying comfort for you today as you breathe thanks 🙂

    (Visiting from Kelli’s)

  5. Kimberley, isn’t this book one you can come to more than once? I know I have…. I love your phrase about ‘breathing treatments.’ I practice this as often as I can. A great reminder of a post.

  6. How lovely. The waiting of life is one of its trials, and as the caterpillar transforms into the beautiful butterfly, it is worth it. Hard, but worth it. I fight waiting and forget that it’s part of the transformation process and have to be reminded again. Thanks for that reminder. Grateful to have found you over at Emily’s this morning.

  7. Here from Sacred Rhythms … and I have to say it was your title that drew me in :). Yes, yes, yes to chose. Not always easy, but I have more power over things that I realize 🙂

  8. kd, i’ve had so many of these same thoughts. Ann always helps me to choose what’s best. her heart for God is stunning. Yours is too, friend. Hugs to you for the unspoken pain. Much love.

    • Dear Laura…Wow! You and God are right on time…I am sitting here, tears in eyes feeling burdened down, and your comment notification came through! A shot of sun bursting through stormy clouds. Thank you.

  9. Kd, this is just gorgeous. Raw, poetic, painful, honest, and ultimately, hopeful. Because there IS that choice… but friend? I’ve been in a similar dark cocoon as you, and I’ve had many of these thoughts and feelings. And they’re painful. And it’s hard to even know how to choose sometimes with all that pressing in. So I appreciate you and your honest heart. And I’m praying encouragement deep down to your bones today and in the days to come as you continue walking this journey. You will get there. We will get there. He is faithful. I’m glad I found you today ~ visiting from Unforced Rhythms

  10. “making a place for God to grow in me.” Wow. I think that’s exactly what you’ve done here, friend. Thank you for sharing the honesty of this process at Unforced Rhythms. So good to have you with us.

  11. Pingback: Passport of Peace | Journey Towards Epiphany

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