to the gypsy mama

Dear Lisa-Jo,

I’m writing quick because there is always another email or another call or another worry, and I wanted to put something in my space, reach out across these clicking computer keys to tell you, like I told you the other week – your book is a beautiful thing.

It’s beautiful in all the unexpected ways you taught me to think about beauty. It is the beauty of brave, of encouragement, of moving outside yourself to give something real and living and true to the people that you love, to the people God calls you to. I’ll never forget how I first met you – my heart racing and worried about what you would think, since you know my dad and I didn’t want to disappoint. And you opened your arms to me. You hugged me onsite.

You took this 20 year old lost sheep in DC inside your heart, told her to hold fast to Jesus, to hold fast to the heart she hoped to have, to love bigger and wider. And then you lived it out for me.

You lived it in Himalaya (turned Tandoori Grill, but still with that lunch buffet).

You lived it when you let me marvel at your pregnant Zoe belly in November at Family Night Dinners.

You lived it when you brought me to Relevant (now Allume I think) and let me learn the dip and sway of afternoon naps, and I still hear you and Zoe when I hear “Winter Song” and “Poison and Wine”.

You lived it, this big, bold love of Jesus when I got to meet Ann and Holley and I about fell over with amazement, that such women could look at me instantly with love, me, “the baby whisperer,” as you called me. It might be the best title I’ve ever had.

You live it every day, gypsy mama, and now there is going to be a book about it, about this marvelous rich love, about this parenting journey, about how God breaks our hearts open with His good gifts. And every time I look at you, my eyes full of uncertainty about those boys, you know the ones, and the longing to be with them and the not-sure-how-it-will-ever-work-out – you give me back a gypsy mama love.

You give me a love that believes God calls us to a bigger life than just a job. That God calls us to a bigger love than just quid-pro-quo. That God calls us to dance silly in our kitchens at 22, drink caramel mochas without thinking about calories, to listen to one song on repeat 1,009 times.

I love you, Lisa-Jo. I love this book of yours, this beautiful idea. I love this bold new step. I wanted to tell you, so that you knew it from my words to yours, from my heart to yours.

Someday I hope I am a gypsy mama too, all bold love and wild grace. Someday, I hope my love looks like yours.



2 thoughts on “to the gypsy mama

  1. Oh Hilary girl. you are a gift to this mama who was so worried about having a daughter. you are the grown up version I so pray my Zoe grows into. you encourage with such unabashed enthusiasm, you live out loud, you are generous with your friendship. your mama – she did so much right by you. I must meet her one day just so I can learn how to shape such love and roots and foundation and wings into one girl. you are lovely and beloved. I hope you know that.

    yours from Panera today

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