The Grove: Letter to Self

Last’s week’s time at The Grove saw over a hundred beautiful, honest, soul-inspired comments and linkups.  We all showed up with the One Word God has placed in our lives for 2014.

Something is happening here, ladies.  We are finding this a place to be known, a place to be understood, a time to shout, “Yes!  Me too!!”

Today we are getting real with Letters to Self.  Sometimes the person knowing exactly what you need to hear is…you!  Here’s what happened when I sat down to do mine…

Dear Me,

I see you there standing in the high school conference auditorium.  Your hands are lifted high in worship.  The anticipation is beating in your heart.  You know it’s coming.  They are going to make the altar call for those who want to commit to serving the Lord full time.  You’ve thought and prayed this through.  You know in just a moment you’ll be walking down the aisle.

Perhaps while you’re at the front, I’ll slip in quietly and place this letter on your chair.  Some words for you to hang on to through the years that follow this night.

I know what this  means to you.  Tonight is a mark of surrender in your soul, an altar of acceptance.  You’re grabbing hold of God’s hand to say, “I’ll go where you lead.”

So I’ll not keep you from that stage tonight.  Because it’s going to be powerfully life changing for you.  But even in holy, anointed moments, lies can creep in.  And I’d like to keep you from this lie.

It’s the lie that says there’s a hierarchy in the kingdom, that if you do and go and serve with a career label, you’ll be the best kind of Christian.

You need desperately to know that there’s no “God will love you, like you, be proud of you for this.” God is already, always and forever heart bursting crazy about you.  

Take that truth and wrap it up in the center of your soul, because sometimes, dear, you’ll forget.

In the years ahead, you’ll get so wrapped up in the striving to please Him that you’ll forget the heart of it all.

He’ll whisper, “Come be with me, love,” and you’ll say, “Can’t you see I’m busy serving?”

And you’ll swirl with all the needs, needs, needs of this world.

But he’ll wait for you.  He’ll wait for you to come weary and worn, crying, “Why is this so hard?”

He’ll hold you close until your soul is quiet enough to hear him say, “You’re trying to be the heroine, but the Hero’s already come.

He’ll tell you, “If all this is truly for Me, then don’t let it pull you away from Me.  Be with Me in every little to-do, every big pressing need, every hurting life, every hungry soul.

And then, then dear one, put it all aside.  Yes, turn your back on it all, for times to be only with Me, truly with Me.  I’ve made you for Me.  Don’t lose hold of Me.  Me in you and you in Me.  The embrace of joy and life and rest.”

It’s then that you’ll find there’s no more striving to please Him.  No more trying to be more.  You’ll love and serve not because that’s what the best Christians do (and you have an image to uphold).  You’ll love and serve because you are full to the brim and splashing over with Love, yes, Love Himself.

That’s what I would have you know tonight, my young high-schooler self.  Now take this letter up off your chair.  Nip that lie before it sprouts.

You are loved…You are enough…Always.




Whew, that took me to a tender spot!  Now, it’s your turn.  Share with us your Letters to Self, your images and art.  For more ideas to get you going on your letter see here.

Here’s how to post your letters:

  •  If you don’t have a blog, share with us in the comments.  We have the amazing NEW ability to post images in our comments!  So post your images and/or your words there.
  • If you have a blog, write or make art based on the prompt.
  • Be sure to add the Velvet Ashes link ( to your blog post.  Feel free to use the button code from our side bar.
  • Please select the permalink from your post (so not your blog’s url, but your post url:
  • Use the blue linky tool below to enter your link.
  • It will walk you through selecting which image you want to show up in the linky.
  • Then your post will show up in The Grove’s linky.
  • Then go visit other’s sites and share some comment love!  It’s the rule.  We applaud brave hearts!


P.S.  Are there any other striving, would-be heroines out there?


    1. Jennifer January 9, 2014

      Emily, I cannot read what you have posted, just the small part which shows on the page. What is the link to your blog where you have posted it.

      1. Danielle Wheeler January 10, 2014

        If you scroll up to the bottom of the post, you’ll see Emily’s picture and name.  Click on that to go to her blog.  You don’t want to miss it!  She’ll have you laughing and crying.  So, so good.

        1. Jennifer January 10, 2014

          Danielle, I am sorry but this is simply not true. I cannot see Emily’s picture or the link at the end of her post. Because all I can see is what is on this page.
          “Dear 2008 Self… ‹ emily thomas writesemily thomas writes Reply
          Jan 9, 2014
          […] exercise was fun, but I feel like a schizophrenic. I’m linking up today with the ladies at Velvet Ashes. Click over and read some other notes to self. I bet they manage to pull it off sounding less crazy […] ”

          Her link simply does not show. There is nothing that I can click on within the post which takes me anywhere. The link to wherever she has posted it is simply not there.


          1. Danielle Wheeler January 10, 2014

            Sorry for the confusion.  At the bottom of my Letter To Self, after the instructions on how to link up, you’ll see where blogs link up.  It’s not part of the comments section, but above it. Just to be sure you have it, here’s address to Emily’s blogpost:


          2. Carolyn January 10, 2014

            The links to all the individual blog posts are listed at the end of Danielle’s original post for the Grove today, right after the instructions on how to link up…. it’s right up above the whole comment section altogether.

        2. Jennifer January 10, 2014

          Thank you. I have found it now. But I had absolutely no idea that those pictures there had anything to do with comments to the current original posting. So have never looked at them at all… I knew it represented some of the people who had blogs, but no idea that it was the link to their present posting. So there are probably things I have never read because I simply didn’t know they were there. It is perhaps a little confusing because they come before the comment section to the posting, and so do not seem part of it.  When people like Emily also appear in the normal comment section as it does this time, it is once you know what a posting like hers means to go and find the blog posting, but two of the pictures which appear in that section now do not have postings in the normal section, so are easily missed, unless someone knows to look for them. I know I have missed them.

          1. Amy Young January 10, 2014

            Hey Jennifer .. the good news is that you can just click “The Grove” above and go back and revisit previous link=ups :). That’s the good part of the internet being forever. Ha 🙂

  1. Carolyn January 10, 2014

    LOVE this, Danielle – I read this quote and took a big deep breath and let my shoulders drop… He’ll tell you, “If all this is truly for Me, then don’t let it pull you away from Me.  Be with Me in every little to-do, every big pressing need, every hurting life, every hungry soul.  

    Loving what I’m reading so far – I’m joining in over my blog today, too.

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 11, 2014

      I’m taking a big deep breath over this again today too, Carolyn.  So glad for the gift of getting to know your kindred heart!

  2. emily thomas January 10, 2014

     “You’re trying to be the heroine, but the Hero’s already come.”  So true.  We get ourselves in SUCH a state because we miss this.  This should be cause instead for rejoicing and rest.  Praying we can stop striving at a job that’s not ours.  Thanks, Danielle!  

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 11, 2014

      “A job that’s not ours” Yes, so much freedom when we realize this!

  3. Colleen January 10, 2014

    You guys. You helped me write so brave this week. Say some hard things out loud. You made me strong with your collective honesty. So, just, thanks.

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 11, 2014

      Standing and applauding your strong brave words, Colleen.  So freeing to say the hard things out loud.  So glad you could say them here with us.

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 11, 2014

      This is why the Velvet Ashes team is so, so blessed to have you!  Grateful beyond words for you! And I heart hand-written letters… 🙂

    2. Kristi January 11, 2014

      Thanks for being short and sweet, Amy.  It helped to rein me in a bit. 🙂 And I thank you for being ALL IN.


  4. Emily March January 10, 2014

    I too try to be the heroine.  I try way too hard!  Below is my letter. 

    I know this is supposed to be a letter written by me – but I guess, as Christ is my life, this too is appropriate…
    Dearest Child,
    Yes, I can see you.  I see you every day.  I see your struggles and your yearning to find peace and happiness.  But all you are focusing on is the world around you.  All you can see is the emptiness and sin in humanity.  The brokenness and wickedness in the human heart, and you’re forgetting to look up to me.  Yes, I see you.  And yes, I am pleased with you and I love you.  Why do you think I bless you and your family so much!?  Why do you think I never give up on you!?  I long to see you enjoy this life that I have created for you.  I long to see you rejoice each day in what I am doing – not worry about what other created things are doing.  The sin and brokenness will never go away.  That is the result of a fallen world.  Please look at me instead.  You know where I am.  See my grace, my forgiveness, and my love.  Extend those to the people around you – even when that is the last thing you want to do.  It will be painful, giving up your self like that, but just like the pain in childbearing – the result is a new life.
    ~Your Gentle Father and Friend from up above.

    1. Morielle January 11, 2014

      This is so beautiful. And I needed to read it.

    2. Debbie January 11, 2014

      The last two sentences spoke volumes to me.

      1. Danielle Wheeler January 11, 2014

        Yes!  I love the last two lines too.  Grace, forgiveness, and love can truly be life-giving pain.

  5. Kristi January 11, 2014

    “L” A Letter to Self
    Dear One,
    Leave your mistakes behind.  They do not define you.
    Learn to enjoy the taste of the bitter and the beautiful.  In both you will taste His goodness.
    Open your heart wide and laugh long and hard each day.  It will refresh your soul.
    Lean into the future as you lean hard on the One who goes before you.  You will not be forsaken.
    Let go.
    Let go of fears and frustrations.  They are not of faith.
    Listen as your Father delights over you with singing.  Can you hear it?
    Labor to rid yourself of the lie that how much you are loved depends on what you do.  It depends on what He has already done.
    Linger over the Word, a child’s smile, a hug from a friend, a blue sky.  They are His good gifts.
    Love big.  Love fully.  Love long.  Love deeply.  Love truly.  Love with abandon.  Love as you are loved.
    Last of all…
    He came that you may have LIFE and have it ABUNDANTLY!
    Believing with you,

    1. Kristi January 11, 2014

      This was supposed to be centered.  Oh, well. 🙂

    2. Danielle Wheeler January 11, 2014

      Oh, I love all these “L” words!  “Linger” is staying with me tonight.  Beautiful. 

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