Saturday, August 29, 2015

Beginning Again

The renewing of the school year; I cannot believe I am a sophomore in college. I cannot believe I have made it this far.

Thank you to all who have brought me here.

This coming semester I have so much I am hoping to learn and to accomplish, not only academically but personally as well. My hope is to do this gracefully, and while I will aim to do it perfectly, I will likely fail or muck up at least once. I hope for the patience I will need when this occurs.

I hope to become more and more a woman of God. I hope for Jesus Christ to be the love of my life and the one on whom I depend. (Not a boy, not myself.)

I hope to be more present in where I am, less focused on where I am going or what is to come. I hope to trust even more in the God who is proving over and over He is worth and desires my complete trust.

I hope to remember the truest forms of blessing are not things (material possessions).

I know I cannot be perfect. God knows I will try and desire to be.

I know I have amazing opportunities. God knows I may forget and need to be reminded of this.

Please pray for me this year if you are reading this. That may seem quite forward of me. But I believe and trust in the power of prayer. And I would love to be even more interconnected to other human beings by just this writing.

Goals for this coming year...

-Going to swing dancing more frequently.

-Making my bed every morning. (This is actually a habit I sadly have not developed. When I had a top bunk it wasn't worth it.)

-Eat mindfully. (Eat when hungry, stop when full. Savor the flavors.)

-Stay active.

-Make time for relationships, for fitness, and for rest.

-Take care of yourself. (Dress nicely, have self-respect, nap when you are tired, know when to take a break, know when to say no and be willing to say yes, be gentle.)

-Make church a priority.

-Appreciate your imperfections as your beauty and/or your humanity. ("Perfection is annihilation. It paralyzes us from working from the heart. Humans by nature are not perfect and imperfections are what make the world beautiful.")

Blessings and my best to you,

Erin E Duffy

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Letter to My Sixth Grade Self

Dear Twelve Year Old Me,

You will have two "boyfriends" next year, one freshman year of high school, another sophomore year, and yet another junior year, and then you will sort of date a guy. You will be asked to junior prom, and ask him to senior prom.

In seventh grade you will get braces. It will feel like a whole new mouth, but they will be off quickly. (Relatively speaking). Then your mouth will feel new all over again, and on life goes. (Just keep wearing the retainers and you'll be fine).

Your school friends are not people who you will speak to in the future. Not even next year. In fact, your taste in school friends is quite poor, and will get you into a lot of trouble. This is okay.
The most valuable friends you have at this ripe age of twelve are those from church (Alli Clark and Jessi Dalrymple), who will continue to pop in and out of your life even to college.


I could try to give you advice, but I know you would not listen to it.

I could try to give you reassurance and boost your self-esteem, but I know you won't feel it.


You are not ready yet for all of the changes that will come into your life to finally alter your perspective of yourself, the world, and the Lord of it all (who loves you so much).

I want you to know though, that although I cannot change your perspective now and in this moment, and although I cannot warn you against all of the heartbreak and mistakes and moments of poor judgement you will face, in the end you will be walking toward the woman God created you to be.

You are shaped with a purpose. There is more for you, and ironically it will come when you think about yourself less (not less of yourself).

The Lord has so much in store for you and He will never leave you.

It is enough to be a child of God.

Maybe not yet, but in the future you will be described as beautiful, patient, kind, positive, calm and purposed.

Maybe not yet, but in the future you will belong somewhere and have a home and people who honestly, tenderly care for you and your heart.

Maybe not yet, but in the future you will know that nothing is inherently wrong with you (however wrong may have been done to you).

Maybe not yet, but in the future you will be heard.


As you endure braces, awkward first kisses (oops, spoiler!), irregular periods, weight changes, food binges, teenage rebellion, not-the-best boyfriends, style stages, being caught in (and told) lies, you will also be blessed. You will be blessed to gain a quality education, understand heartbreak, be resilient, be okay alone too, see the transformative effect of books (funny story with this one!), have some great teachers, support friends, be kissed (well!), and wake up every morning able to start the day and get through the day until finally, in the future, things get a little better.

In the future, I am sitting here wishing in some ways I could take all the heartbreak and pain away from you. A little girl should never have to feel so much hurt and pain. But as I can't do this for you, the next best I can do is reassure it will all transform you into the lovely, kind, and strong woman who God needs you to be.

With all my love,

Erin Elizabeth Duffy

(Inspired by Darling Magazine's article

Saturday, August 8, 2015


I have a really lovely room-mate.

Kimberly is a positive little bubble of energy with a love for people and for service. She doesn't take herself, or anything else, too seriously. This goofy and wild nature has helped make me a more goofy and wild person myself.

Something truly amazing happened by God's hand when we were placed as room-mates. Somehow we have slowly been inheriting the best traits of one another, transforming into better balanced people ourselves. Somehow an original dislike and impatience with one another has turned into a better understanding and a friendship in which we don't have to be "best friends" to know the messy versions of ourselves and the other.

Kimberly (or Kim) is a gifted organizer, listener, smiler, skateboarder (sort of), motivator, and team member. She is also a bit of a neat freak (but thanks to her insistence, no one's room is as clean and spacious as ours), a bit emotional (I am too!), and a bit wild (to encourage risk-taking and pressing past discomforts). Her flaws, which once led me crazy levels of disdain and irritation, are now so beautiful to me because I see how they too have brought transforming power into my life.

Kim, thank you for urging me to love myself more. I miss this most about you now when I am at my house in New Hampshire without that encouragement. Thank you for encouraging me to "say yes" and participate and get out of the room and my comfort zone. Thank you for being trustworthy and for listening without judging. Thank you for being patient. Thank you for reminding me to look at the positives and the different perspectives. Thank you for rooming with me again this coming year.

I hope to not forget when during those last few weeks of finals Sophie looked at me being calm and relaxed over studying and you being in the zone and reminding us of how balanced out our original positions had become between one another.

I don't know what God has planned for us. I don't know why He so insistently placed us together again and why He enabled us to remain in Chase. But I see the work that He has already done for us, and I know it will be great.

My best to you,
Erin Elizabeth Duffy