To Oklahoma, With Love

I launched my blog six years ago today. I’d been considering it for a while, but was struggling with what I would write about and why it mattered.

And then the tornadoes struck, and I couldn’t stop myself from writing.

My first post, “My Heavy Oklahoma Heart,” was written in the aftermath of the Moore tornadoes that took out schools and homes and lives.

I wrote extensively about the generosity and perseverance of Oklahomans, and while I no longer live there, it’s as if I still do. My family is still there. My friends are still there. And a big ol’ piece of my Okie heart will always be smack dab in the middle of God’s country…the “flyover” state…the buckle of the Bible belt….Oklahoma. You can take the girl out of Oklahoma, but you can never take the Okie out of the girl. These roots run deep and no matter how far I go, I’ll always be an Oklahoman.

Today, as my Oklahomies are once again taking shelter and finding higher ground in the flooding and tornadoes, I just want to say thank you.

Thank you to the village who raised me to be strong and believe in myself. To follow my dreams. To try new things. Thank you for praying over me. Thank you for teaching me empathy and the value of every life. Thank you for supporting me in hard times and rejoicing with me in good times. Thank you for showing me what it looks like to care about other people more than yourself, and to do whatever it takes to help someone in need. Thank you for teaching me about respect and sacrifice.

Thank you for continuing to read this blog for six years–from the nonsense to the heartfelt. It means the world to me. Thank you for loving me so well even from miles away.

All the way from Utah, my Oklahoma heart is grateful today for the state that built me. Y’all are on my mind as you face yet another tornado season in tornado alley. But I already know that Oklahomans can weather any storm.

Here’s to another six years of writing this crazy blog. Or at least to writing something worth reading…

With love,

P.S. I would have built you a Spotify playlist to which you could ride out the storms, but it just didn’t feel right creating an “Oklahoma Storms” playlist without being able to include The Thunder Rolls, and Garth still refuses to be on Spotify. (wah wahhh.) Go ahead and bust out your 10+ disc set of his greatest hits from Walmart…I know you all have one. Blame it all on our roots.

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