the dreaded post

i am a dreaded, pierced, tattooed artist, soon driving across country in a vegetable-oil car with man and boy… to live in a small Dutch farming community in northern Alberta.

i’m terrified. excited. dreaded. dreading. what?
not knowing… how to be.
how to fit in, amongst a people who sees what i am, not who…

but i trust, they will. with time. look past.

my dreads are a year and a half old. maturing.

i am 29 and 3/4. maturing?

sometimes i think i paint and write to find myself.
sometimes i know.
what is there to find? he asks. my pragmatic math-speaker-teacher of a man.
he looks to Christ. i need look there more.

he is Christ to me. i lean dreaded head on husband’s shoulder and we touch baby’s hair and it’s smooth. sometimes i miss the swish. the pantene-moment. but then i feel the knotted grooves and i know, i’m being me.

the ‘me’ i was born to be.

and that me will stand tall before a Dutch community and say, here i am.
dreaded, tattooed and pierced.

love me.


Making It Home


  1. ugh, moving. So difficult, even if you have dreads and are super cool like that.
    move by me!! You’ll fit right in 😉 My best friend has started tattooing HERSELF with her art as a means of artistic expression. I can’t find anything I love enough to look at everyday. What did you choose?

    Seriously though, I KNOW everyone will love you, piercings and all…I love you (That counts for a small dutch farming community, i checked!)

  2. Well, you know? I’m un-inked. My hair is as smooth as it is flat and lazy. The only things pierced are my ears. And I just love you and wish we could drink tea together and I might kid you about the vegetable oil car, but only because I adore you THAT much.

  3. You may be dreaded, pierced and tattooed, but you have the voice of an angel and the demeanor of one, too. If your arrival challenges the locals, good. God is using you to teach them. If your arrival is a million times better than you expect, good. God is using them to embrace and welcome you. Either way, you will be blessed.

  4. I agree with Meghan. If they’re caught off-guard by your “shell,” change their perceptions, grow their minds. I know the minute they talk to you or read what you write, they’ll see beyond . . . and they’ll like what they see.

  5. Oh Em. If you just be you, everyone will love you. And what’s wrong with dreads in the first place? I think they are cool. And you being yourself and unique will teach your kids that it is ok to be different and unique and will also teach them to accept people for who they are! So I say, more power to you! (I grew up there, and I wore my Dad’s clothes to school, and I survived to talk about it. The only difference is you have the maturity of an adult to handle any people that may be opinionated in the wrong way!) Love you (just the way you are)

  6. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” (What is essential is invisible to the eyes – from Antoine De Saint-Exupery’sThe little Prince.

  7. hi, Well I am just so happy to have you in our little Dutch community.You look great like always. see you soon.

  8. So much rawness and gorgeous depth here. I have a hard time being me sometimes, but I try to remember that I love me, I love my family, I love my art. Then I also try to remember that there are many more out there who don’t even know how to begin to be themselves … and I begin to feel compassion and love for them as well.

    You look beautiful. When we settle down, it’ll be in Murphy, NC, which is not far from where you’re going to be, I think. My mom lives in Kennesaw, which is outside of Atlanta, and we’ll be living about an hour and a half from her.

  9. If THEY are mature, they will take you as you are

  10. I love your post!!! Thanks for being “real” and being “you” for all of us to get to know! I love your authenticity that shines through your writing! It took me SO LONG to let the real me shine through, its encouraging to find other dread mama’s out there!

  11. That fear/excitement of moving. I know it. Wanting good friends, the kind that see inside your heart and love you fully, yet fearing that it won’t happen. I pray that it will, Beautiful One. In God’s timing.

  12. You are a brave and wonderful spirit Emily.
    I too am tatooed and pierced. My pink locks grew out over 10 years ago, but still I remember them with a smile.
    Your new life sounds like a beautiful adventure.
    What an exciting door God has opened for you all!
    Your dreads are amazing by the way.
    But it’s your lovely heart I think everyone notices first.

  13. they will. how can they not? this is my first stop here and already? i am in love.

  14. I agree. If you are as genuine and inspiring in person as you are online, they will see the real you and love you.
    I would love to be tattooed, but I am chicken. :) And I have no idea what I would get anyway.

  15. They will love you – they absolutely will. Your sweet spirit shines through this computer screen. How much more so in real life.
    The Father is sending you to a place He has prepared. There is a spot that only you can fill in that little community. You will find it and you will bloom.
    Did the house sell Em? I owe you a letter. I will try to do it this evening. I am praying for you sweet girl.

  16. how can they not love you! Praying that the transition is smooth.

  17. i followed you here
    from talk at the table.
    i followed just to see
    the hush of the moon.
    i found a bright silver piece of heaven.
    which i have swallowed willingly and without hesitation.
    and placed your “hush” on my saints and sinners list,
    thinking i must lead others here…

  18. It’s somehow much easier to step into courage as I see my children watch me. They stare with curiosity when I hesitate, struggle, gulp down uncertainty. In those moments courage stretches back, a long shadow behind me. And my children cheer as I slay Goliath. And I can’t believe that God would display such glory in my weakness. One day it’s all a story we tell. Even now as you draft the first pages it’s swollen with possibility. Your legacy, His. I can hardly wait.

    So glad to find you too and your blog!

  19. I’d love to meet you in person. Your spirit is so lovely. I know it must radiate throughout your whole being – that loveliness. They will have to see that. It can’t be missed. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid. Praying for you and yours.

  20. Moving? I feel like I should have known this already! Maybe you mentioned it before now and I missed it?

    Anyway, my thought is that no matter where you move or what you look like, that anxiety goes with you, at first. When I first moved from Massachusetts to Nebraska I felt like I’d arrived from Lithuania. I felt different, and I felt like I didn’t fit in, I felt like I didn’t belong with these believing people.

    And then, it changed. And in time I became a believing person. And I don’t know if that would have happened if we hadn’t taken the leap and moved to a new place, deep in the heartland.

    Honestly, the moment you open your mouth and they hear your voice and your amazing words and thoughts, they will fall instantly in love with you. Like we all have.

  21. Your feelings are valid but you have a light in you that shines and will never leave or forsake. Emily you are lovely and lovable.:)

  22. Dear sweet sister in Christ,
    I wished you lived in my neighborhood instead of just in my computer. Then we could sit on a porch and have a glass of wine and talk about husbands and babies and how mine grew so fast, and about art and words, and you could tell me about your dreads. But that gift goes to the Dutch in your new community. May they receive you with joy! Blessings.
    P.S. I’ve stopped by the gallery in eastern CT twice to press by face against the window to see if the piece hanging there is yours. Both times it’s been closed, and I can’t see a signature. But it looks like your work. I would love to find out that it is.

  23. Who couldn’t love you ?
    and perhaps you will give courage and faith to all those fearing their own selves, their own truths.
    perhaps you will inspire and teach and validate.

    perhaps you will find more unconditional love than you ever imagined . I know you give it. perhaps someone will need that grace and offer to someone else because of you.

  24. i laughed out loud at the Pantene swish part! very funny.

    it is not easy being brave, but sometimes it is really fun. 😉

    amy in peru

  25. They will love the gulp of fresh air that is you.

  26. I love this. Your voice, your soul — I’ve only “met” you today, but I would be your friend, in a heartbeat.

    Best wishes on your journey.


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