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a letter from the future

November 4, 2008

tam, im writing you a letter from the future. well, actually, you’re writing you. i’m sitting here 10 years down the road from where you are right now…

kass and kota have left the home. they are happy and well adjusted.

you and brent…still happily married.

but i’m, you’re, sitting here now going over things quietly in your mind. every thought seems to begin with an, “i should have…”

i should have spent more time with the kids.

i should have spent less time worrying about what others thought.

i should have built up my husband more often.

i should have bought stock in Nabisco.

i should have spent more time with the lady in the cereal aisle that day…i knew she was hurting. but i was too tired to stick around.

i should have listened more. i might have learned more.

i should have apologized to that friend. i miss her.

i should have put others first more often.

i should have lived with more discipline.

i should have stepped out in faith those times I knew God was saying… Go, child. Trust Me.

tam, i sent you this letter because i believe in you. because last night, you wept over lost time. tam, you can do more. you were made for more. you’re capable of more. invest into others. believe in the abilities God gave you. believe in the dream He planted in your heart. believe in others. i don’t want you to look back with regrets. instead, i want you to look back on this letter and say, “i’m glad i…”

also…oreos becomes its own food group.

if you received a letter from your future self; what might it say?

(note: i am not being down on myself here. i am being realistic and taking stock of my life. there are many things i know i am doing right. but there are just as many, if not more, that i can do better.)

24 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2008 4:06 am

    wow, this was so good. poignant. timely. even for me. it’s like a letter from future tam to present alece. (well, except for the kids part. and the married to brent part. and the oreos part.)

  2. November 4, 2008 4:55 am

    Oreos as it’s own food group? Dang, woman, it’s been ten years and you’re STILL lying to yourself…

    From the 40 year old me, to the near-50 year old you:

    As the years have passed, and the packages of Oreos have continued to disappear from the cookie aisle, it’s becoming more and more apparent that you have a serious problem. I feel it my duty, as a still devoted blog-reader and sister-in-Christ, to host an intervention on your behalf. I’m presenting to you a petition, signed by all 5 of your remaining readers, urging you to seek help. Brent and the kids have located a clinic in sunny Cali that deals with lesser-known addictions. He’s written in about your case, and they are willing to take you on.
    You are scheduled to arrive at the clinic in 3 hours, so we need to leave soon. Kass came home after you went to sleep last night, and she’s ready to get your clothes and hair products ready to go. Kota will meet you at the clinic, and make sure you get settled in nicely. He’s willing to use force if necessary.
    We’ve done these things in an effort to bring you freedom and peace in life (as well as take care of some of your digestive issues which are no doubt a consequence of the amount of animal lard and sugar you intake due to this addiction).
    We want nothing more than the best for you and your family.
    We love you dearly.
    Now, put down that Oreo and GET IN THE CAR.
    ~mandy & Love & Bwan & Papa & Darla

  3. November 4, 2008 5:10 am

    10 years from now my letter may come to a nursing home where Ed, mama and I will share a room! :o{ !! 75 plus ! oh my! We will be wearing bibs with Oreo crumbs all over us – mama and I trying to remember where our bible’s are (Ed keeps hiding them!).

    I hope that in ten years our letter says, “not bad – you need to go to Oregon one more time – Mandy will drive!”

  4. November 4, 2008 5:22 am

    Wow, that’s pretty good. I’m going to have to think about what I would write. BUt it’s worth doing.

  5. heidi permalink
    November 4, 2008 5:34 am

    Tam: We are in our 50’s girl (okay you are close!!) our kids are gone… I stop by for our daily walk with a newspaper in my hand. I stuttering and stammering not because of my speech impediment but because of excitement, you with your calmness and reserve stroll outside with your shades and meet me at the doors.

    What is all the commotion Heidi?? “Here it is!!” Two women cured.
    Do you know what that means girl…

    “Every time we had strolled the California Beach with our 3X5 cards praying for everyone else needs, the sea air, the sand, the prayers, the sunsets/sunrises (well sunsets you are not a morning person), the waves, and the shells at our feet … God our awesome Father God, was going through every joint, muscle, inflammation, rash, hair loss and rejuvenated, refreshed, and Healed us through…

    Amazing!!! ……………. Simply God!! …..

    I love you Tam and I will in 10 years too!!

  6. November 4, 2008 5:46 am

    thank you for sharing this. i think in some sense all of us can relate to this message…thank you.

  7. November 4, 2008 6:57 am

    I know you’re being all serious and stuff…but can I just say how wonderful Oreos are? And how they most certainly SHOULD be their own food group? And healthy, too. Oreos should make you lose cellulite. I stand with you on this issue, sister. If loving Oreos is wrong, well, I don’t wanna be right. (And most would argue that I am definitely not…right.)

  8. November 4, 2008 6:58 am

    You forgot, “I should have spent less time on the computer…”

    Hopefully in ten years, you’ll find yourself in a place of contentment and peace; knowing that your labor was not in vain. There isn’t always visible payoff, but sometimes you get a glimpse.

    @papa – you gonna have your teeth in ten years? you might be getting your oreos from a blender…

    anyway, you asked what my letter would say…

    “You see? I told you love wins.”
    “You see? God has richly blessed and protected your family.”
    “You see? God had your back all this time.”
    “Love really is the most excellent way.”

  9. November 4, 2008 7:04 am

    Tam asked: “if you received a letter from your future self; what might it say?”

    That’s easy: 1. Stop worrying and 2. Hit the gym

  10. November 4, 2008 8:21 am

    B4d – not sure about Ed’s teeth, but mama and papa’s are in great shape! Oreo’s w/milk in a blender don’t sound too bad! Maybe I can get Mandy to wipe my chin now and then – Tam will be too old by then.

  11. November 4, 2008 8:31 am

    maybe with a shot of Bailey’s…that sounds good.

  12. November 4, 2008 8:45 am

    Mine would say this…


    dont give up!


  13. November 4, 2008 8:55 am

    Tam – great letter one I could write to myself too! Thanks for making us think!

    Tiffany tried to reach your blog (re: her letter posted on my blog to Senator Obama) and couldn’t get through, so I left her a message with a link to this blog. I hope the two of you get to communicate because you have a similar message and you both have beautiful, godly hearts!

  14. November 4, 2008 9:47 am

    hi all!

    have you voted?!

    i havent. yet. im waiting for brent to get home from the Pastors retreat, then we’re off to the polls ๐Ÿ˜•

    im loving your letters!

    and kelli – mmm-hmmmm….perfect!

  15. November 4, 2008 9:54 am

    Wow, what a great post Tam! I love the idea of writing a letter from my future self.

    Although, when I think about that I also think about Dwight on the Office receiving faxes from “future Dwight.” ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. November 4, 2008 9:55 am

    Wow, what a great post Tam! I love the idea of writing a letter from my future self.

    Although, when I think about that I also think about Dwight on the Office receiving faxes from “future Dwight.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    I tried posting the link to YouTube but it wouldn’t add it in the comment. Look it up on YouTube if you haven’t seen it.

  17. November 4, 2008 10:46 am

    First thing first:

    FROZEN oreos. I mean, if you reaaalllyy want a good treat, freeze the little suckers. This is why it’s good I can’t go get my own groceries… I avoid buying them altogether. But if I had them, they’d be in the freezer.

    Second thing second:

    Such a good letter. Such a good thing to do. Something I just can’t bring myself to do. Looking back is easier now; I look fondly instead of longingly. Living in the now is easiest; I deal with what comes as it does. Looking to the future… I can’t picture where I’ll be, how I’ll be, what I’ll be. If I do picture it… well, I just shouldn’t. I’ll just stick with the now and hope my present self is paying enough attention that my future-self won’t be worried.

    Now go freeze an oreo.

  18. November 4, 2008 10:59 am

    Sara said it perfectly:

    “Iโ€™ll just stick with the now and hope my present self is paying enough attention that my future-self wonโ€™t be worried.”

    That’s where I am…living in the moment…intentionally. (That’s from Sara, too. I think it was yesterday’s post)

    Love you, Tammy Jo!

  19. November 4, 2008 2:07 pm

    Alece’s and Mandy’s comments made me laugh out loud!

    What a great idea – writing to yourself.

    I watched The Notebook last night … and cried SO hard. My husband is SO MUCH like that guy in the movie … and I was washing my hands in the sink, looking at myself in the mirror, and thought, “I am living in the past. Right now. This is the past that someday I’ll look back on and think, ‘that was the life.'”

    So in a funny way – I had this same experience last night, too.

  20. November 4, 2008 3:56 pm

    I love this, I have often thought of what would I write today if i could send it back to me when i was a teen or even in my early twenties…then I wonder if I would have listened to me. LOL my brain….

  21. November 4, 2008 9:58 pm

    dear cathi…
    even if you think gray is the new pink – recede the need to go “natural”
    when you think you’ve made it, look and see that you’ve only gone half way {insert ubiquitous footprints poem}
    now that you have realized that oreos are a major food group, suggest a sub-group for double-stuffed

  22. November 4, 2008 10:01 pm


  23. November 4, 2008 11:21 pm

    an addendum to Cathi’s letter to herself. She begins…

    “now that you have realized that oreos are a major food group, suggest a sub-group for double-stuffed” (addendum here) and invite your friend Sara to help you promote said idea and enact it into law. Her payment will in turn be free double-stuffed oreos delivered for life.

    End of letter.

    Can someone please second the motion so we can put this puppy into action???


  1. will you be my teacher? kthx. « inProgress

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