I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.


a letter to my sixteen year old self

Did you know? Emily Freeman released a sister … or should I say daughter companion for her Grace For the Good Girl book. It’s called Graceful, and it’s lovely.

In honor of it’s release and all the things our young-girl selves are faced with, Emily’s challenged us to write a letter to our teenage selves. You know, knowing what we know today, what would we tell our mall-hair-leg-warmer-wham-loving selves? She’s hosting a link-up and there’s all kinds of fun to be had over there!

So this is me … writing to my 16 year old self.

Sweet girl,

You need to know … you are enough. And there’s a man that loves you more than any boy or man ever will … His name is Jesus. Do you know, if you could just grasp that now it would save you a whole lotta pain!

But I suppose no. You are a stubborn one, aren’t you? You do like to find things out yourself. Experience it yourself. Fail, or not fail, on your own accord and by your own will.

You’ll learn a lot because of that will. You’ll learn good things and you’ll learn bad things. What to do, and what not to do.

You want so desperately to be liked. So desperately to fit in. You’re not popular. You’re not smart.

But you are enough. In all the awkwardness and angst of your teenage-self … please know you are enough.


me & my high school bestie!

You really should pay more attention to your schooling, homework, and education. Yes, I get it … all you dream of being is a hairstylist, and you don’t think school really matters. But guess what? It kinda does. And yes, you will go on to be a hairstylist. But guess what? It won’t be all you thought it would be and eventually you’ll go on to do something else. In fact, you’ll go on to do lots of something else’s.

Oh and sweet girl, for the love of God would you listen to your momma and marry a boy who loves Jesus? Although, you’re not walking in His love, so how are you to know how important this life detail really is?

And little girl … don’t be in such a hurry to get married. You still have a lot of growing up to do. You’ve got issues girl, that need to be worked out.

But if you don’t listen, and you do go ahead and marry your high school sweetheart and best friend … and if that marriage doesn’t work out … know that you’ll get one of God’s greatest gifts from that relationship, your precious babygirl Taylor Rio. And that girl will go on to amaze you with her courage, strength, grace, love for the Lord, stubbornness, and her own strong will … every.single.day!

Oh! and when she’s young, she may not care for the whole mom-and-dad-were-children-of-the-80’s-and-your-middle-name-is-from-a-duran-duran-song-her-name-is-rio, but trust me, she’ll dig it when she gets a little older.

Tracie, please believe me … you are enough.

You’ll go on to do things you’ve never dreamed of. You’ll get your pilot’s license. You’ll own a business … two of them! You’ll be a photographer. You’ll be a writer … you’ll even have your very own author’s page! You’ll go on to accomplish much of whatever you set your heart and mind on.

You will also walk through valley’s of pain. Valley’s so deep … so wide … so painful that at times, you think it might kill you. But sweet girl, by then you’ll have found a Savior that loves you deeper and wider than any valley you’ll walk through. And you will lean on Him like your life depends on it … because it does.

And you will get through. You’ll get through it all. With grace, faith, love, and forgiveness … you’ll get through it all.

Your battles, your courage, your faith, and your strength will encourage and inspire others who watch you … most importantly your children. You’ll have four girls. Four.

Close your mouth … yes, you! The one who doesn’t babysit because you don’t like kids! You’ll be the blessed mommy to four beautiful girls. And they will love Jesus. And you will love those girls ’til the end of the world. They will exhaust you, and frustrate you, and you’ll wonder if you’re doing it right. But they’ll hug you, and love on you, and tell you you’re the best … and you’ll go to bed thanking God for the blessing of those little ladies.

Tracie … at 16, you think this is it, this is life and there ain’t no more to it … but sweet girl, your life hasn’t even begun. I promise you from the depths of my soul, what God has in store for you, hasn’t even begun.

He will go on to show you, all the days of your life, you … sweet girl … are enough.

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Posted in encouragement, random

16 Responses to “a letter to my sixteen year old self”

  1. Lisa says:

    Yes girl!….you are enough! You will be more than you thought you ever could be…because of Him!

  2. Leslie says:

    Well, I loved you at 16 for who you were then . . . and I love you even more for the woman that you are now. :-) It’s amazing to look at the journey those *few years have taken us, isn’t it? I think it will be interesting to see how we transform even more in the next *few years. (*because I know it has been more than a few, but it still doesn’t seem like it!!) xoxox

  3. Thank you for your words. I felt as if I was reading a letter to the 16 y.o. me! Keep up the beautiful work!
    May God bless you abundantly.
    xo-Courtney Taylor
    Courtney Taylor recently posted..Give and Take.

  4. marie says:

    beautifully written……and a great idea. just ordered the book for my granddaughter…..

  5. cyndi says:

    Best post I’ve read in a very long time…if not THE best. Seriously, this is awesome and profound and fun and heartfelt and full of love. I laughed and got teary-eyed. Probably because I saw myself in several spots :-) Literally laughed out loud (and knew it was gonna be a good post) when you mentioned Wham! That was the first concert I ever attended :-)

    cyndi recently posted..how fitting

  6. Awesome letter! I’m still waiting on the time when I’ll be proactive enough and reach a point when I could have positive things to say to my former self…Right now, I feel like my 16year old girl hasn’t made much progress.
    Crystal @ Serving Jo recently posted..A letter to me…at 16

  7. Oh, sweet friend, growing up I never felt enough! I wasn’t think enough, smart enough, assertive enough or pretty enough. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found my enough in HIM.
    Thank you for these beautiful words. My younger self would have loved receiving a letter such as this.
    Stefanie Brown recently posted..10 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self About Life…

  8. Loved this, my friend! Just beautiful…you are enough…we are enough!
    Jacque Watkins recently posted..Dear Me … A Letter to My High School Self { Graceful }

  9. Mackenzie says:

    This is wonderful. Absolutely incredible. Thank you. As a seventeen year old I’m blessed daily by the community of mentors in Christ the Lord has placed through blogs and has grown my church beyond the building I worship in on Sundays. Finding the letters bloggers are writing are bits and piece of such important wisdom and I’ll be sure to hang on to them during the times when going to the dance seems like the cool thing to do but I stay home because the 9am service is more important to me. Thank you.

  10. Reeve says:

    Loved getting to Know more about who you are.

  11. Barbie says:

    If someone would have told me I was enough growing, it would have saved so much heartache. Yet, those stepping stones through pain have shaped who I am today. I have loved reading all of the letters in the link up!
    Barbie recently posted..Living A Life In Focus

  12. Southern Gal says:

    Why do we put ourselves through so much because of our stubbornness? I’m the same way. I love your letter. Your girls should be proud to have such a wise mama.
    Southern Gal recently posted..Dear Me

  13. dawn says:

    i finally made it back here! i should have known not to read yourletter in the car-line friday… i was almost sobbing, and then school got out and here came cam! i clou;ldn’t have typed anyway, cuz my eyes were just too blurry. but i’ve been thinking about the raw beauty of your letter all weekend…what you wanted to know, and what you know now…oh, your journey. if only someone had old us then… that we were enough. xoxo
    dawn recently posted..you just have to be you…

  14. Amy Dane says:

    Oh, my. You’ve said several things here I really needed to hear, among them the reminder that our lives haven’t even begun yet. Really, we can still say that even into our 30s and 40s because we could never fathom all He has in store. The best is yet to come. Thank you–xo
    Amy Dane recently posted..Dear Me {a letter to my teen-aged self}

  15. K says:

    This is the most beautiful letter! Absolutely wildly beautiful!!!! I think I learned more about you here than I have ever known before. I would love to give the sixteen year old you a huge hug!!! i would like to write a letter to the self-conscious me at sixteen someday!

  16. kathryn says:

    still true even for our grown-up selves, don’t ya think! :) beautiful words here, Tracie.
    kathryn recently posted..what it means to be alive

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