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Sunday, March 4, 2012

a letter to me.

there's a brad paisley song i love. he sings a letter he wrote to himself, telling his younger self things he wishes he would've known. things he wishes he would've done.

well today, i am writing one.

if i could write a letter to me... and send it back in time to myself at seventeen...

"dear 17 year old me,

you have no idea the sunny mountains you're gonna climb and dark valleys you will face in the years to come. i wish i could take your baby face in my hands, and as a 20-something woman, keep you from the mistakes you will make, people who will hurt you and things that will break your heart. i suppose, though, this is what will make you stronger. nevertheless - here's what i would tell you, if i could send a letter back to that little girl with the world at her feet....

darlin', i know you think you're not gonna make it through high school algebra, but you will. don't worry.

i know you don't like it at all right now 'cause you think it's bitter, but start drinking coffee your first year in college. it'll help you get through. but please don't take it too far. when you pull all nighters and resort to eating chocolate covered coffee beans and washing 'em down with black coffee -stop. that's just gross.

next year, someone you love very much is going to leave your life forever. it's okay to cry. cry it out. this is just the beginning of your heartbreak. but the lord jesus is going to take your pain and make it into something beautiful.

photographer: esther martin

it breaks my heart to tell you this ... but when 98% of the church you grew up in and gave your heart to don't act anything like christians and when they stop loving you - forgive them. and don't blame it on the's them who hurt you, not him.

hug your great-grandma and your uncle... every chance you can.

when you're in college, in the dorm and you wish you were all grown up and out in the world... don't let your impatience steal your joy. laugh with your girls, use your time wisely, and enjoy each minute. it's gonna fly by so fast. and you're gonna miss it. alot.

don't start going to tanning beds. it's dangerous, doesn't last, and you'll regret it.

don't fall for that one guy with the cute car and muscles. trust me - the cuteness will wear off and when you see his true heart. beauty is skin-deep.

read more books and practice the piano when you don't want to. someday you won't have time.

don't make big decisions when you're sleep deprived, emotional, or heart broken. it's okay to take time to rest, heal, think.

after you say "no" to that one boy and kick yourself for a year 'cause you wish you hadn't....don't lose sleep over him. 'cause years later, you'll be ever so happy you said no.

you know that boy you are just sure you're going to marry? he's not the one. but it's okay. because even though you don't think you will ever forget him, you will.

and you know, there's gonna be this one boy with really pretty eyes. don't fall for him!! you'll know the one. he'll just play with your heart and then move on to someone else. (not worth it, babe.)

this one woman is going to tell say you can't sing. don't listen to her - in just a few months, you're gonna sing in front of 4,000 people. and you'll smile and prove her wrong.

don't try to please everybody because you're afraid of losing them. you'll lose many of them anyway, and you'll wish you had stayed true to yourself.

you're gonna make some big mistakes, fall flat on your face, and people you loved won't understand you. run to jesus.

there's gonna be this one summer when you'll try to be cool and hang out with people who aren't your true friends. spend time with people who encourage you to be who you are, even though they aren't as exciting. you'll wish you did.

don't take your sister for granted. love her. she's your best friend. she's not always going to be just a wall away from you. and you're gonna miss her like crazy someday when she's married.

i know it doesn't seem fair when he breaks your heart and walks away, but someday you'll be okay. pain like that is rare. and doesn't last as long as you think it will.

don't forget to fill up the car with gas when you drive to the beach all by yourself ... actually, nevermind. that one turned out to be kind of awesome.

be there for your friends. show up. ask them how you can serve and help them. don't be so selfish.

sometimes, it's okay to say "no".

one day, you're gonna be in a plane flying to dallas, texas and you'll see someone you've wanted to meet since you were 10. run after them, catch up with them, introduce yourself. you'll regret it if you don't.

you can't imagine it now, but there will be this one day when you can't get out of bed because you've been crying so hard since midnight and you can't stop. it's okay, darling. someday, you will laugh again. i promise.

for job interviews, remember the 3 c's that you'll make up with a friend some day: cute, calm, and confident.

do your homework. all of it. on time. stop messing around!

please, please, pleeaaase save your money and stop spending it on clothes at abercrombie and american eagle.

i don't wanna scare you... but your house is going to come dangerously close to burning down in a fire this year. listen to the firemen who tell you to not worry. you're gonna be scared, it will be okay.

in those moments (and they're gonna come...) when you feel like you can't do it - take a deep breath, pray, and do the next thing.

and someday, you're going to have this blog and meet these amazing people through it (i know you are asking "ummm, what's a blog?" right now. well, they don't really exist yet but you'll see.)

and you know what? in your darkest moments, remember - god did not forget.

please, don't rush things.
you have time.
you're just a baby.
you're only 17.

your older self,


ps -

tell me....
what do you wish you could go back in time & tell yourself?


  1. I love that song, and I love the letter you wrote to yourself. I don't know what I'd say to 17 year old Holly, other to make the most of being healthy because it won't always be that way. :S

  2. Okay that almost made me tear up!! I LOVVVEEE this idea so much, and I just might be a copy cat. Seriously such an awesome letter you wrote to yourself!

  3. You are just so beautiful, Erin! I am inspired by your every word & LOVE your rare & precious heart. I'm so glad that the Lord has brought you so far in this life! You've been through a lot, but you have come out so much stronger. And you are such a light to people. Where would so many of us be without your words - without your heart? You are a precious soul & I'm so glad that I am able to consider you an eternal friend. :) Bless you today, girlie! P.S. I also love this song so much!

  4. I love posts like this!! A very beautiful post sweetie:))

  5. I love that song :) cute pictures, as always!

  6. what a great idea! I love that song and that you did this. I might have to do one to myself. Have a great day love!

  7. I definitely wish I could go back and tell myself to just run to Jesus in every situation that came up!

  8. love the letter you wrote to your younger self! <3 i think i'm going to give this a try tonite and write one

  9. This is amazing. Thank you so much for this, I am 17, and my name is Erin too..coincidence?

  10. Oh E =) This is so sweet =)
    I LOVE it! You've made me want to write a letter to myself =)
    This post might be my favorite...although I have a lot of favorites on your blog =) =) =)
    The Lord has worked so many wonderful things together for your good in a lot of these situations, I love you so much girl! =)
    You are precious and so beautiful =)
    Would love to give you a hug right now! =) Thanks for sharing all your painful & beautiful memories =)

  11. Aww my dear friend... thank you for sharing your heart. I can very much relate to the fact that all the friends you grew up with and hoped to become forever friends with changed, and the Christianity began to become more of a label than a walk. And I can relate to the heartbreak... and that's what I would tell my young self. That I would get over it. My heart would heal eventually. One thing I couldn't imagine going back and telling myself though is that I would get sick and be sick for so long. I don't think I could have handled the knowledge at that time. And maybe that's a good thing that we don't know some things sometimes. Hugs my dear!

  12. Erin!
    I loved this!
    I know it might be crazy, but I feel like I know you 10x better after reading it.

    Such a good idea :)

    And I loved this line, "you're gonna make some big mistakes, fall flat on your face, and people you loved won't understand you. run to jesus."
    SO TRUE.

    Hope you hd a great Monday sunshine :)

  13. This song makes me cry! It's so true and there is so much I would tell to my 17 year old self. I'm sure when I'm 30 there's a bunch I'd tell my 25 year old self! lol Great post.

  14. Dear Erin,
    One day all your dreams will come true. You will be just as beautiful and loved. You won't do everything right and you will wonder why, but I always say live with regrets (some people don't agree). Why, because some of the biggest lessons you learn are from your regrets. They shape who you are so you learn to do the right things.


  15. This is beautiful. A lot of the things you said are things I want to tell my younger self. Wouldn't it be nice if our older self could be comforting us now. Or there was some voice that would just tell us little things like these. It would be wonderful, but that would take the living out of life I supposed.

    - Katelyn

  16. This is a very sweet post. Sometimes I wish I could tell myself so many things and I would love to write a letter to myself but then I realize I wouldn't be who I am today if I went back and changed all that. So I guess I'll just have to live with the mistakes of the past and be grateful for them.

    new follower :)

  17. This was such a sweet letter!
    I don't know exactly what I'd say to a teenage me. On one hand there are so many mistakes I could try to prevent, things I desperately needed to know back then. But also... all those mistakes and the process of coming to know what I do now was a beautiful, though difficult journey. It's part of who I am and I wouldn't change that.
    I guess what I would say is this, "Hey sweetheart... please realize you wear A LOT of masks. Don't be so afraid to show others that you make mistakes and you're weak! But have hope... one day you will begin to take off those masks and throw them away forever. Life is going to be so much harder than you imagine, but also more beautiful than you can conceive right now."

  18. stumbled onto your blog and just wanted to leave you a little blog luv! Def enjoyed reading this post!!

  19. O my goodness Erin I loved this so much. I saw my "younger" self so much in your words. If only we could have protected ourselves from what we know now... but then again this is how we learned. Such an inspiration Erin !

  20. Hi Erin! I stumbled across your blog via Captivated by Grace and I am your newest follower. When I clicked over to your about page and read "my dream is to
    foster a sisterhood of women who want something more out of life.
    who may love finding a fabulous recipe or that perfect high heeled shoe,
    but are ultimately desperate to find Jesus. to live for Him.
    & for eternal things most of all", I just knew I had found a gem of a blog. After all, I love food, fashion, interior design, and all of those things but above all else I want to pursue Jesus! Thanks for sharing your heart!

  21. I love this so, so much. I'm still a teenager, but I often wonder what I'll think when I look back at these years. It was really neat and encouraging to read what you would have said to your teenage self. Such wise words. Thank you for sharing this!

    looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  22. Erin, what a wonderful post!!! My sister just did this and I think I have to too... precious!

  23. PREACH IT!!! love, love, love this, gorgeous girl!!!

  24. Erin - this is an amazing post, Ive heard that song but never stopped to ponder it for myself. i LOVE reading your heart and seeing how God has met you. amazing. i may have to do this post someday, love it. :)

  25. thanks for following my blog! i'm so glad i found yours! i love all that you stand for! i'm now following!

  26. I am going to write a letter to my 17 year old self, also! Thank you the encouragement you gave me while you wrote this letter.

    Things do not grow on the mountain tops, but things grown in the valleys.

  27. Love this!! Just beautiful. There are so many things I would want to tell my 17 year old self.

  28. you are so so so beautiful!!!!! :)

  29. This is so great. I may have to be a copycat as well. Such an awesome idea!


  30. i love love love these words. i am going to save this post to my bookmarks so that i can look back on it. thankyou so much for these reminders. even if you can't tell your seventeen year old self... you're encouraging people like me.

  31. Marry someone else.


sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.


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