3.17.23 7 Letters I Can’t Send: Dear Stars


“Not just beautiful, though–the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me.”
― Haruki Murakami

Dear Stars,

I am simply writing to tell you that I love you. I love you so much, and I have for absolutely ever. From the time I was a little girl, my mom taught me that I should give compliments when I feel them. If that is true, I should have whispered this to you or sung it to the sky a million times before.

There are so many things about you that are magical and meaningful, but I think I can sum it up quite simply. You give me the space to dream, and for a dreamer like me … the kind that requires a lot of room to spread her thoughts, and wonderings, and whims, I can’t tell you how much I adore you for it.

But the thing I love most, is the way you are the guardians of wishes. Collecting them from every corner of every hemisphere until you are swollen with a million, glowing possibilities … until you are so heavy with hope that you fall, giving the assurance of dreams coming true.

Thank you stars.

For cascading silver dust.

For the language of light.

For holding the history of the world in a billion crystal particles across the floor of heaven.

Did I mention how much I love you?

3.15.23 7 Letters I Can’t Send: Dear Poetry


“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” – Carl Sandburg

Dear Poetry,

To put it quite simply. Thank you. Thank you for always giving me a place to sit with my thoughts. You never rush me, or force me to explain myself. You let me invite only the words I want to entertain, and give me just enough space to get cozy with them. You allow me reflection and pause. You not only inspire me … you give my voice a platform.

Somehow, you always find a way to turn my chaos and confusion into stanzas that make sense. You block and build, settle and swell. And even though sometimes you take the long route to take shape–you are always lovely and dressed just exactly right for whatever mental occasion I’ve invented.

With or without the accessory of punctuation, the confines and constructs of labels and rules, even there you are the elegant expression of every emotion a story would be too watered-down with words to tell. Thank you for your gravity … for grounding wild hearts and wandering minds. Thank you for giving my fleeting thoughts a place to land and my imagination the space to expand.

You are the last ringing note of the song of my spirit, and for that, I love you.

3.13.23 7 Letters I Can’t Send: Dear Perfectionism


“But I am learning that perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy you if you let it.” 
― Emily Giffin, Something Borrowed

Dear Perfectionism,

I am going to keep this letter short, because I do not believe you warrant any of my attention, though you certainly command it often enough. That being said, you have been making yourself known more and more as of late. And so, I would like to make one thing irrevocably clear–you can’t have her.

Throughout my life, you have haunted me like a vampiric shadow–leeching the light and the joy out of even the most accomplished moments. You have dwindled in the echoes of thoughts stuck-on-repeat and it has taken me decades to push you into background noise. Then, after all that work, you have the audacity to come back again, full-force, at her.

How dare you.

To haunt me was painful, but to make her precious mind your sordid sanctuary is unforgivable. She is everything good and beautiful in this world. She is every best-intention, every kind word, every hope for a better tomorrow, and I will not stand by and watch you beguile her with poisonous promises that bind her to an ideal that doesn’t exist.

Hear me clearly, Perfectionism, because I will only say this once. She will not fall to you … because she is strong. She has the legions of Heaven behind her, and what’s more–she sure as hell won’t be fighting you alone.

2.23.23 Earned


I like the holes I earn myself–the worn denim jacket and the life I had to live with just enough fray to make it happen. I like the scars that tell stories and the incidents and accidents that turn into tales.

The more I see of life, and the more I genuinely, intentionally try to live it, the more I see that we are given so many opportunities. Every day. Every week. Sometimes minute-by-minute. We are given first and second chances, happen-by encounters, and “fancy meeting you here” moments that offer us glimmers of possibility. Like catching the glint off of a fallen penny, waiting head’s up for you to claim its luck, these opportunities shine coppery-gold, the color of hope personified. 

So what about you … what holes are you going to punctuate into your imperfect, beautiful life?


2.12.23 A Special Request


This past week I got the sweetest request! My best friend called and said that her son, my godson, was chosen to read a poem in class. She said that he would really like to read one of his auntie’s poems, and could I please send her one. I decided to write one instead. This one is for you sweet boy! I hope you read it with confidence, knowing YOU inspired every word.

If you know anyone as bright as this perfect combination of curiosity and wonder … well … I happen to know he has the most generous heart and would be most willing for you to share it.

His is a smile full of mischief and eyes that twinkle
just so … bright blue and curious

He is wonder-filled
in love with each surrounding he surrounds himself with–daring to daydream
wanting to wish on every star

His joy is the kind that’s contagious
the sort that inspires others to be as happy as he is, like a little beam of sun
he lights every conversation with bright words
that come fast and free–
firefly words that make magic when they’re spoken aloud

He is a difference-maker (and a risk-taker)
equally sensitive and strong

What a perfect world we must live in, if for no other reason
than that he
is in it

2.5.23 Seven Small Truths: Day Five


“How strange to see the wrinkles on the sides of my eyes growing and getting deeper the older I get. I laugh. A lot. This is the proof. They are my scars of happiness.” – Tyler Knott Greyson

I am so grateful that this mini truth series is resonating with so many people. What a beautiful reality to recognize that we are not alone. Whether a kindred spirit reaching out, or someone helping me see their own personal truth, it has been a joy to converse with you. Speaking of joy, that’s today’s focus.

DAY FIVE Truth: Laughter and I are well acquainted. From teaching middle and high school for more than a decade, to having a particular talent for embarrassing myself, I’ve always found that the best way to take myself seriously is to laugh. The short and long term health benefits are one thing, but the contagious joy is quite another.

My grandmother was one of the people to teach this to me; her life was far from easy, but she approached each day with tenacity and laughter. She was a big believer of dancing in the kitchen, of watching I Love Lucy, and teaching me songs that she could only remember half of the words to. She loved to laugh, and her laughter filled the room, bubbling up and into and beyond any situation.

I once heard someone say that they didn’t have bad days, that they only had bad starts to good days. It isn’t that positivity is always the easy choice, but to me … it is the only choice. Intentionally choosing joy, pursuing laughter–it is a lifestyle I learned, and one I’m proud to practice.

What about you? How does laughter play a role in your day? What or who always brings you joy?

2.3.23 Seven Small Truths: Day Three


“… love covers over a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8

I am so grateful you’re traveling with me on this short-and-sweet voyage. Traveling any distance is always better with company, and I have had so many remarkable conversations that have burgeoned out of this tiny truth series. Next stop? My very favorite thing of all time in the history of ever.

DAY THREE Truth: I love.

I love a lot.

Life. People. Places. Ideas. Travel. Books. Quotes. Dreams. Things I can explain, and even more, the things I can’t.

I love folklore, and legends. I love nature and creatures. I love the mistakes that have led me to the friends I adore, and the family that came from one right decision.

I love memories. Music. Mysteries. Faith and feelings. Passion and poetry. Questions, curiosities and the character I see in others.

I love, and love, and love.

And when the magic of living feels slippery, I dig in my heels, close my eyes, and open my spirit to what I know that I know that I know–at the essence and core of the fiber of my being …

LOVE is always the point. It is always enough, and I am enough because I am loved too.



Without deserving it … and wholly grateful in spite of the fact. 

Tell me kindred, what and who and how do you love?


2.1.23 Seven Small Truths: Day One


For the start of a new month, still relatively new to the year, I decided to give myself a little challenge to share seven days of small truths. I think honesty is not only rare, but undervalued. Though I’m not even sure these truths will matter to anyone, they matter to me, and so, at the risk of being too transparent, I plan to share them anyway!

Sometimes I am surrounded with truths about myself that even I don’t understand. And that in and of itself is the epitome of confusion, isn’t it? Truth. Something you know to be so, and yet … don’t necessarily comprehend. Be that as it may, here is the reality I find myself keeping company with. The what is always easier than the why, to be sure. I am forever working on my “why’s.”

C’est la Vie.  

DAY ONE Truth: I have little to no tolerance for shallow conversation. I find it tedious, needlessly exhausting, and–after about two minutes–yearn to “get to the good stuff.” I would 100% rather know the song to your life’s soundtrack than how work went for you today. I’ve never understood why we waste precious time with getting-to-know-you ice-breakers instead of starting out with relevance. Is it because we don’t trust one another with something real? Probably. Is it that we don’t trust ourselves to share something real for the fear of being judged. Even more likely. Still, I don’t think things need to be this way. I believe in the possibility to have genuine conversation that moves proverbial mountains, shakes the foundations of societal norms, and makes day-to-day conversations a whole lot more interesting. Imagine a world where, “Hi, how are you?” instead becomes, “Hi, if you had to name the purpose of your life today, what would it be?” Am I a naive optimist … 100%. But I’d still like to know. 🙂

What about you? Where do you lie on chit-chat? Could you idle and swim in the shallow end forever, or … like me … do you long for the deep end of discussion where substance and intention collide? If so, what question do you wish was a daily occurrence?

Forever curious,


12.31.22 Hopeful Expectancy


“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me … Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

– Shel Silverstein

Here upon the dawn of a fresh new year, I wanted to write you poetry. I wanted to write you dreamy, sweet, recollections. But yesterday, I called my sister in tears, and so instead, I decided to write you truth. Here it is. Being a dreamer … a wisher … a doer, is sometimes overwhelmingly heavy. Waking up each day with stories you know need to be told, but don’t have the time to tell–stepping into new days and weeks and months that pass without your permission or intention–finding that there were so many meant-to’s still in a wishful pile of haven’t done’s … it’s a lot.

This year, I have been a mom to two teenagers. I’ve been a wife (albeit one who owes her husband about a million date nights). I have started a new job teaching an entirely new level of (high school). I’ve continued my blog. I’ve been a guest speaker. I’ve written for my favorite magazine for another year. And yet, oh friends. Yet, I am the farthest thing from satisfied that I’ve done enough.

So I called her, my sweet sister, in tears. I’m not much of a cryer–until I am. Then, it seems, I have no choice but to let it all out. I called to confess that I have so much more to do, so much I’ve not done, so much I started without finishing. I told her I wanted to be someone my kids could be proud of for chasing and pursuing and “making” something of herself. I asked her why I have so many words in my mind, spinning and itching to be sent and spoken. I asked her why I can’t get farther. I asked. And I cried. And I muttered, “Why can’t I get farther?”

“Oh, sweetheart,” she said. “It’s because you’re not arriving. You’re already there.” She went on to explain (in the patient way that only sisters can) that the standard I hold myself to is not the same version of me the world sees. She told me that my children, my husband, and my family are already proud of me … and that the only one who isn’t, is me.

The truth, it would seem, is just as heavy as all of those other feelings. But where self-doubts seem to weigh me down, this spoken truth, was more of a blanket statement … settling over and comforting the parts of my heart and mind that are so often restless.

Dear ones. I wish you many things in this new year. I wish me many things too, but more than anything, I wish you truth and hopeful expectancy. May you hear the words that need to be said. May you feel the prayers that need to rest on and stay with you. May you allow yourself to be loved exactly as you are, not as you think you should be.

Here, on the eve of a brand new shiny turn about the sun: my fears have been cried, my tears have been dried, my wishes to heaven have been sent, and my busy brain has begun plotting and planning without strings attached. Maybe things will work out … maybe something better than my own plans will come to be … maybe nothing what-so-ever will change. No matter what, it is with a tenacious heart and winged-spirit that I step into 2023.

Ironically, or not so ironically, this particular verse popped up on two different apps of mine, two days in a row. “God’s timing is perfect,” Ecclesiastes 2:11. Work on believing it with me.

Delight and unabashed joy for what was, what is, and what will be, or won’t. Regardless of circumstances, sparkle and shine. Smile and trust. Love and be loved. Peace and optimism and effervescent hope be yours!


12.26.22 Gold, Frankincense, & Myrrh


“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11

A few weeks ago, I was asked to speak a Christmas message to a group of mothers. I was so honored to be able to reflect on the joy of the season, and also the night Jesus was born. As a mom, I think that mysterious night … that holy night captures my imagination, and pulls at my heart. I think about the ways that I utterly adore my children, how I loved them before they were born, and how, the moment I became a parent, nothing was the same.

What I often try to reflect on, that I really struggle with, were the gifts of the Magi. As a new mother, everyone brings you gifts that promise hope, and a future filled with fun and love – but those weren’t the kinds of gifts Mary received. She received gold, a gift fit for kings; frankincense, a gift offered to the gods; and myrrh, a gift offering for death. Regardless of your faith, of your religion, of whom you dedicate your life to … I wonder if just for a moment, you can imagine this mother’s heart. Can you imagine the weight on the shoulders of this young hope-filled girl knowing that her child was destined for things she couldn’t fathom?

I think there is so much we as people can learn from this story, about ourselves and our place in this life. There are gold, frankincense, and myrrh moments we all face. I invite you to watch my speech on these things, and I’d love to hear any thoughts you might want to share on the gifts you face in your life.




I wish you and yours a beautiful and blessed holiday – one filled with life, and light, and hope. You are all worthy, and known, and loved. I appreciate you so much in my life … you are who I write for.

Elle Harris