Living the Reclaimed Life

On The Lookout For Grace ~ Wendi Lou Lee Ep. 107

August 07, 2023 Denisha Season 3 Episode 107
On The Lookout For Grace ~ Wendi Lou Lee Ep. 107
Living the Reclaimed Life
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Living the Reclaimed Life
On The Lookout For Grace ~ Wendi Lou Lee Ep. 107
Aug 07, 2023 Season 3 Episode 107
Denisha

Send us a Text Message.

Do you know what hides itself in the challenging moments of our lives? Grace, and not just the grace we define as the lavish, unmerited favor and redemption of God, but the unexpected, obscured beauty that is often ready to bloom in the best and worst times. So how do we train our eyes to see it and our hearts to receive it? In this episode, we will learn how to ready ourselves to be on the lookout for grace.

Wendi Lou Lee is a follower of Jesus, a former child actor, and author of A Prairie Devotional and Red Tail Feathers. The four seasons she spent on Little House on the Prairie playing Baby Grace Ingalls are among God’s greatest blessings. In 2015, Wendi was diagnosed with a brain tumor that changed the direction and purpose of her life. Her surgery and recovery led to a newfound freedom, sharing her story of God’s goodness through life’s most difficult circumstances. Connecting with people—one person at a time—brings Wendi the most joy. Her soon to be released new book, Red Tail Feathers, trace Wendi’s journey of discovering God ’s grace in all of life’s circumstances and challenges you to do the same.

Wendi's new book, Red Tail Feathers, releases on August 13th wherever books are sold.

Connect with Wendi:
Website https://wendiloulee.com/
FB Page
https://www.facebook.com/babygracewendi
Big-Time Grace Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/417541796268722
Instagram @wendiloulee
Etsy Prairie Shop
https://www.etsy.com/shop/Wendilouleeshop





Here are two FREE Ebooks for you!
1. Shame Off You: 10 steps to shattering shame in your life,
HERE.
2. ABC's:
CLICK HERE for a FREE E-book to help you combat lies and replace them with God's truth. For more encouragement, check out some of our offerings at www.reclaimedstory.com

Did you know we have a jewelry line that speaks to your identity in Jesus?
CLICK HERE to shop. Every purchase helps support our mission to provide healing and hope to women worldwide.

Would you partner with us to spread the message of hope and healing? You can
DONATE HERE. Living the Reclaimed Life is a Reclaimed Story, Inc. podcast, An Arizona non-profit corporation.

If you would like to connect with a safe group of women doing real-life together, join our private Facebook page,
“Living the Reclaimed Life” or on Facebook or Instagram

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Do you know what hides itself in the challenging moments of our lives? Grace, and not just the grace we define as the lavish, unmerited favor and redemption of God, but the unexpected, obscured beauty that is often ready to bloom in the best and worst times. So how do we train our eyes to see it and our hearts to receive it? In this episode, we will learn how to ready ourselves to be on the lookout for grace.

Wendi Lou Lee is a follower of Jesus, a former child actor, and author of A Prairie Devotional and Red Tail Feathers. The four seasons she spent on Little House on the Prairie playing Baby Grace Ingalls are among God’s greatest blessings. In 2015, Wendi was diagnosed with a brain tumor that changed the direction and purpose of her life. Her surgery and recovery led to a newfound freedom, sharing her story of God’s goodness through life’s most difficult circumstances. Connecting with people—one person at a time—brings Wendi the most joy. Her soon to be released new book, Red Tail Feathers, trace Wendi’s journey of discovering God ’s grace in all of life’s circumstances and challenges you to do the same.

Wendi's new book, Red Tail Feathers, releases on August 13th wherever books are sold.

Connect with Wendi:
Website https://wendiloulee.com/
FB Page
https://www.facebook.com/babygracewendi
Big-Time Grace Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/417541796268722
Instagram @wendiloulee
Etsy Prairie Shop
https://www.etsy.com/shop/Wendilouleeshop





Here are two FREE Ebooks for you!
1. Shame Off You: 10 steps to shattering shame in your life,
HERE.
2. ABC's:
CLICK HERE for a FREE E-book to help you combat lies and replace them with God's truth. For more encouragement, check out some of our offerings at www.reclaimedstory.com

Did you know we have a jewelry line that speaks to your identity in Jesus?
CLICK HERE to shop. Every purchase helps support our mission to provide healing and hope to women worldwide.

Would you partner with us to spread the message of hope and healing? You can
DONATE HERE. Living the Reclaimed Life is a Reclaimed Story, Inc. podcast, An Arizona non-profit corporation.

If you would like to connect with a safe group of women doing real-life together, join our private Facebook page,
“Living the Reclaimed Life” or on Facebook or Instagram

Transcript is auto-generated

Valerie: Do you know what hides itself in the challenging moments of our lives? Grace, and not just the grace we define as the lavish, unmerited favor and redemption of God, but the unexpected, obscured beauty that is often ready to bloom in the best and worst times. So how do we train our eyes to see it and our hearts to receive it? In this episode, we will learn how to ready ourselves to be on the lookout for grace. 

Welcome to living the reclaim life podcast. I'm Denisha. We're glad you're [00:00:35] here for conversations that revive hope, inspire healing, and encourage you to [00:00:40] live a vibrant life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with [00:00:45] today's guest.

[00:00:46] Valerie: Welcome to living the reclaim life. It is [00:00:50] Valerie back with you. It's so good to be back. And if you have been following us the [00:00:55] last couple of months, you know that we have been inviting you to join the [00:01:00] journey with us. And that is a journey toward healing. All of us [00:01:05] have experience pain, hurt, suffering in our stories, and we just want [00:01:10] life to be better.

We want to move forward, but we often feel [00:01:15] stuck. And last month, we talked about how courage is needed to [00:01:20] take that first step and how even though the thought of opening back up chapters [00:01:25] of our stories may seem scary. Susan Habegger helped us to see that the [00:01:30] journey through suffering towards healing can actually awaken courage and [00:01:35]peace.

But what else is needed for the journey? Well, this month we [00:01:40] are going to dive into grace for the journey. How can we find the beauty of [00:01:45] God's grace in all of life's circumstances? And I am so excited [00:01:50] because joining me for this conversation on grace is the child actress who [00:01:55] played Baby Grace on the beloved television series, Little House on the Prairie, [00:02:00] Wendy Lou Lee.

And I just gotta say, I'm a little giddy, you guys, because [00:02:05] I have a fun fact here. Wendy and I went to the same Bible college back [00:02:10] in the day. We won't say how many days back in the day, but a little [00:02:15] while. So I am so excited to introduce you to my friend, and [00:02:20]here's a little bit about Wendy. She is a follower of Jesus, a former [00:02:25] child actor, and author of A Prairie Devotional, and Red Tail Feathers.

The [00:02:30] four seasons she spent on Little House on the Prairie playing baby Grace Ingalls are among [00:02:35] God's best. greatest blessings. And in 2015, Wendy was diagnosed [00:02:40] with a brain tumor that changed the direction and purpose of her life. Her [00:02:45] surgery and recovery led to a new found freedom, sharing her story of God's [00:02:50] goodness through life's most difficult circumstances.

Connecting with people [00:02:55] one person at a time brings Wendy the most joy and her soon to be released new book, [00:03:00] Red Tail Feathers, traces Wendy's journey of Discovering God's grace in [00:03:05] all of life's circumstances. And she challenges us to do the same. [00:03:10] Wendy, welcome to Living the Reclaimed Life. I am super excited to have you on the podcast [00:03:15] and to see your beautiful face.

It's been a while. Thank 

[00:03:18] Wendi: you. It's so fun to see [00:03:20] you, Valerie. I'm just thrilled to be here with you. I can't believe it's been so long. [00:03:25] Let's 

[00:03:25] Valerie: begin, Wendy, by you telling us the story of how you even [00:03:30] got casted as baby Grace, because there's the key word, baby, right? [00:03:35] You got casted as a baby on Little House on the Prairie.

So share with us a little [00:03:40] bit about what that was like being on TV at such a young age, and what are some [00:03:45] of your special memories from that time? 

[00:03:47] Wendi: Yes. Well, this wasn't like something my [00:03:50] parents had planned or, you know, we didn't have headshots when we were born, but my [00:03:55] grandmother was friends with the executive producer and the casting [00:04:00] director who were married.

So they were friends and they were having lunch one day. [00:04:05] And they were talking about, of course, the house in the prairie. What else do you talk about in the late seventies? Right. [00:04:10]And they couldn't find a baby grace. And all of a sudden my grandmother was like, Sue, what are you [00:04:15] talking about? What about my granddaughters?

And she was like, Oh, you're right. [00:04:20] And so we just like, she sent them a picture and they showed it to Michael [00:04:25] Landon and they were like, great, bring them in, you know? And my mom was like, are [00:04:30] you joking me? Like, Oh, okay. And I think she almost thought that. [00:04:35] Maybe we were just gonna be like an extra for the day and then we get there [00:04:40] and She meets Michael Lennon and realized that we're actually gonna be his [00:04:45] youngest daughter For four seasons.

So yes, that's how we got the [00:04:50] role Totally like a fluke if you want to call it that or you could just call it the grace of God [00:04:55] because it came at the perfect time for my mom my mom was [00:05:00] In a very unstable marriage and shortly [00:05:05] after my dad left the scene and she was a single mom with three little [00:05:10] girls and little house was really a godsend for her, not just [00:05:15] practically financially, but.

Having a community of people around her, [00:05:20] so it really was just God's grace for sure, you know, being on [00:05:25] TV when you're little, you don't really remember that much the last season we have some [00:05:30] memories, you know, I'm about four and a half during season eight of little house. And so I [00:05:35] do have. Some memories, but a lot of the memories that I have are stories that [00:05:40] my mom told or I'm watching the show for, you know, 40 plus [00:05:45] years, but we do have some memories.

I say we, because I shared this [00:05:50] role with my twin sister. So if I ever say we, during this interview, that is. The other [00:05:55] part that I'm talking about, which is 

[00:05:57] Valerie: common, right? Often, 

[00:05:59] Wendi: yes, [00:06:00] when they're that little, when you're that small, you really can't work very much. So a [00:06:05] couple hours on screen a day. And so that's just not really [00:06:10]practical for a TV show to get what they need.

And so when you have [00:06:15] twins, you basically double that time. So yeah, but there's one memory, the [00:06:20] famous Christmas episode in season eight where everybody gets looks [00:06:25] back and this totally goes with our topic today, looks back at their [00:06:30] childhood Christmases and their memories. They will never forget. And [00:06:35] of course, baby grace does not get to look back, but you know, ma does.[00:06:40]

Almanzo does and Laura does and baby Grace [00:06:45] just gets to, you know, sleep in Ma's lap and lick a candy cane and, you know, do all that. But we [00:06:50] actually remember filming that scene and I didn't get the part that I wanted. I got to sleep [00:06:55] on Ma's lap and that's not what I wanted to do, but that's okay. But I do remember, [00:07:00] you know, a few months later, cause it takes a long time for things to get filmed and edited and all that.[00:07:05]

I remember watching it. At my grandparents house, like the Monday [00:07:10] night before Christmas, and I remember this magical [00:07:15] thing of sitting there and waiting for it to come on and going, I [00:07:20] cannot believe that's me. It was just [00:07:25] totally psycho. You know what I mean? Just so. Weird. And that was one of our [00:07:30] last really big episodes because shortly after that, the show was over.

[00:07:35] Well, Baby Grace was over because the Ingalls family moved away and, you know, [00:07:40] Baby Grace kind of had to go with them, so. 

[00:07:42] Valerie: But we're going to talk a little bit more about how that time [00:07:45] impacted you. So, your new book. Wendy, Red Tail Feathers, which [00:07:50] releases on August 13th, which I found out is your birthday.

Is that correct? Yeah, 

[00:07:54] Wendi: I [00:07:55] had to pick a date and I said, why not? 

[00:07:57] Valerie: Well, I think that's cool. It will help, you [00:08:00] know, help you remember right forever. So, and this book, I had the privilege of reading [00:08:05] it and it is so, so good. And it chronicles your reflective journey of [00:08:10] seeing and discovering God's grace in all of life.

circumstances. So share with [00:08:15] us a little bit of how this journey started and how [00:08:20]this memoir, this reflective journey of seeing God's grace [00:08:25] differently maybe than you ever have seen it before. How has that impacted your relationship with [00:08:30] him? And even as you look back at your story, how has that been?[00:08:35]

The 

[00:08:35] Wendi: journey of actually thinking of grace in a different way started [00:08:40] about seven years ago after my brain tumor diagnosis, like I just sometimes you [00:08:45] have like a crazy health thing or. Anything, and it just makes you look [00:08:50] at life differently. And that's what that was for me. And God just [00:08:55] opened up my eyes to so many things during that [00:09:00]season of recovery.

When you're kind of faced with like a [00:09:05] moment of like, I don't know if I'm going to like wake up, you have to [00:09:10] deal with some of those things that maybe you've been ignoring for a while. And [00:09:15] there's just. You know, pain and trauma that I just [00:09:20] hadn't ever really, like, looked at. In the face, you know, and dealt with, so [00:09:25] I think writing the book now, I say it's like one big [00:09:30] therapy session with some actual professional therapy, helping me along the [00:09:35] way, and it was really this like sifting.

Through [00:09:40] the stories of my life and looking at them from this new [00:09:45] perspective and if you haven't read the book, you're like red tail feathers. What the heck does that mean? Well, [00:09:50] at a very low point, God revealed himself through this [00:09:55] little bird and this little bird had red tail feathers that I hadn't. I [00:10:00] couldn't see until all of a sudden there they were.

And so sometimes [00:10:05] God does that in really small things as opens our eyes like, [00:10:10]what have I missed? And that was really what it was. [00:10:15] And then I was just on the lookout for all of the things that I had missed through my [00:10:20] whole life. All the things that I thought were just. Really hard. And there was nothing [00:10:25] redeeming in them.

And I thought, wait a minute, like God is in it all. [00:10:30] And so I just went back to like the very beginning and [00:10:35] just really wanted to find God and every single story of my [00:10:40] life. And so that is really what this book is. It's a memoir, but it's not [00:10:45] just me telling you about my life. It's really like, how does every story pinpoint [00:10:50] God's grace in that Yeah.

And a [00:10:55] lot of the experiences are hard experiences. There's a few that aren't and God's works in the good [00:11:00] and the bad. So that's it. And you know, I'm still like working on this. Like I've noticed that [00:11:05] you can look back and hindsight is definitely 2020. So you're like, Oh yeah, God was there. [00:11:10] I can see it.

The challenge is how do you actually live your life [00:11:15] and. Not just look back, but you can actually begin to see [00:11:20] grace in this hard day, you know what I mean? And tomorrow. And so I'm [00:11:25] definitely still working on this. And the goal is to see God all around us [00:11:30] all the time in the past, the present, and the future.

So that's what I've been learning. [00:11:35]

[00:11:35] Valerie: With our ministry, with Reclaim Story, we do encourage. I mean, that's our [00:11:40] whole mission is to encourage women to Have the courage to [00:11:45] take that step to open up the past, which can be so hard because [00:11:50] we have to walk through the hard and we have to open it back up to heal.

And I [00:11:55] know this is a key chapter in your book. For you, pain entered [00:12:00] pretty early on, even though you were young. You know, of course, A lot of times when we're young, [00:12:05]you know, as we grow up, we hear the details get filled in right by our parents, by [00:12:10] our friends, siblings, but share with us when pain first entered your [00:12:15] story and how God began to reveal grace in those 

[00:12:19] Wendi: [00:12:20] early years.

This is where like the information that you get from the people around you when you're [00:12:25] too young. I don't remember a lot of the early years, but when I was about two, [00:12:30] that was when my biological father kind of left and so I [00:12:35] don't remember that necessarily, but I do remember being [00:12:40] really little and my mom like Being a waitress at night and getting tucked in [00:12:45] by a babysitter, I remember, like, hoping she would come home.

So I was [00:12:50] that, like, very fearful child. And in elementary [00:12:55] school, we even had this neighbor. Now, we had moved away from Southern California, which was where my [00:13:00]biological father lived. You know, near us, we moved away when I was [00:13:05] about fourth grade. And so after we moved, the spear just followed me, even though he [00:13:10] was, you know, four hours away.

And I remember as an elementary school kid, we [00:13:15] had this neighbor and his voice sounded exactly like [00:13:20] my biological father. And I remember he would call and I would [00:13:25]always panic and think. Oh, no, he wants to come back, [00:13:30] you know, and I remember having nightmares that he would like come take one of [00:13:35] us like, so I really had so much fear as a little kid [00:13:40] revolved around this father figure, even though he wasn't really a father figure.

He was [00:13:45] one of those fathers who didn't want you. But then when my mom remarried my [00:13:50] stepdad. Then all of a sudden, he didn't want somebody else to have us. [00:13:55] And so then he kind of reinserted himself and demanded visits. And it [00:14:00] was just really, really hard on us as kids. And we just were confused. And [00:14:05] we just.

I did not want to go there. And so it was hard. It was really [00:14:10] hard. That was probably my growing up, just that the pain, the abandonment, [00:14:15] feeling like why wouldn't he want us, you know, but then being scared of [00:14:20] actually, if that even would happen, you know what I mean? We just didn't trust him anyway. So [00:14:25] that was that.

[00:14:26] Valerie: On Little House on the Prairie, as you kind of mentioned when you first [00:14:30] started sharing with us, how that opportunity came and [00:14:35] how, you know, when your dad left, it really was a blessing for you. Yeah. [00:14:40] Often, right? We watch TV and sometimes we're like, are these people really as nice as they look on [00:14:45] TV? You know, but for you guys, how was that a blessing of [00:14:50] grace for you to be with that TV family?

Share a little bit about. Especially [00:14:55] with this fear and pain going on with your dad leaving. How was that being a [00:15:00] part of that family a blessing? 

[00:15:02] Wendi: Oh, yeah. Talk about like [00:15:05] the greatest example of a loving family with such grace and [00:15:10] warmth and kindness. Like, I feel like I learned what a real [00:15:15]family and they're not even real.

Like what a family is supposed to [00:15:20] look like from Little House on the Prairie. Like, I remember thinking that Pa was actually [00:15:25] like my dad, like when I was little, but the weird thing was he just didn't come home with us, but he [00:15:30] was still my dad, you know? And so I think I wanted that. [00:15:35] I wanted that more than anything.

And when my mom married my stepdad, we totally [00:15:40] got that. Like we literally became like this little house family, like eating together, like [00:15:45] every single thing that. I had in my mind of what a [00:15:50] family was supposed to be, we got, but then there was this kind of weird, scary thing on the [00:15:55] side that kept trying to interrupt that, you know?

So yeah, Little House was just [00:16:00] amazing. It was like the foundational part of my childhood. [00:16:05] That God gave back that kind of got stolen, I felt, and then God said, No, no, [00:16:10]here it is. It's just going to fill in the blanks, you know what I mean? And so [00:16:15] it's amazing. And my little house family is so dear to me right now.

I [00:16:20] mean, still just such a part of my life. It's 

[00:16:23] Valerie: so beautiful. Like you said, [00:16:25] God's gift of grace to, you know, even though. Quote unquote, it wasn't your [00:16:30] real family to be able to have, you know, just that picture of what [00:16:35] God really has designed right for us from creation of that. He [00:16:40]wants us to have that loving picture, that grace filled, loving home [00:16:45] that reflects him.

And you mentioned a little bit about your stepdad, [00:16:50] the father that came into your life at an early age. And I know you mentioned about how it was [00:16:55] complicated because in your biological dad. All of a sudden wanted to, you know, [00:17:00] reinsert himself. So your stepdad never officially adopted you, [00:17:05] is that correct?

But I like how you say in your book, it was a heart adoption, [00:17:10] which is so, so beautiful and sometimes just as valuable [00:17:15] as putting it on paper. But share with us a little bit about him [00:17:20] entering your life. And how that relationship with him, that gift of [00:17:25] grace really helps you to come to know God in a deeper [00:17:30] way of as a loving father that you could trust.

And that wasn't going to abandon you. Share a little bit [00:17:35] about 

[00:17:35] Wendi: that. I think people that have these like You know, [00:17:40] fathers that have failed them, the idea of God as a father can be really [00:17:45] tricky. I've had three earthly fathers now, one that [00:17:50] abandoned me, one that died, and now I've got a third one in my life and [00:17:55] we're doing good.

So yeah, God as father has always [00:18:00] been, it's a very complicated part of my life. Walk and learning [00:18:05] to embrace him as father. My stepdad, Lanny, was [00:18:10] incredible. He was just silly and quiet [00:18:15] and very dorky. He was the one that took us to church and he [00:18:20]modeled what following Jesus looked like. Every morning while he ate his [00:18:25] bowl of Wheaties at the kitchen table, reading his Bible, like, and I remember [00:18:30] waking up to that spoon clinking on the bowl, like, he was a [00:18:35] quiet follower of Jesus.

I would say he served the widows at his church. He would help. [00:18:40] Anyone who needed help and he wasn't very vocal, but his [00:18:45] faith was so quiet, but his life was so loud. It was just so loud. He [00:18:50] was incredible. Yeah, he definitely redeemed that part of like, [00:18:55] okay, you actually can trust a father. He really did that for [00:19:00] me.

So 

[00:19:01] Valerie: that's what God does, right? That redemption. But [00:19:05] share with us a little bit. We know that, you know, even if it's [00:19:10] nothing we did, like, you know, like your biological father leaving, that was [00:19:15] his choice, but often the impact people's choices [00:19:20] can create such a deep hurt and a deep pain that [00:19:25] can even lead to bitterness and unforgiveness.

And I know, I [00:19:30] mean, you I've walked through that in my life. I know a lot of our women have of any kind of [00:19:35] pain or trauma that they've suffered. There's that element of, okay, how do I [00:19:40] forgive? You know, how do I forgive what I can't forget? And how do I forgive somebody I [00:19:45] may never see again? You know, why is that even necessary?

And you have a very [00:19:50] intimate experience with this. And I thought it was so powerful when I read this part in your book, [00:19:55] how you, Yeah. Finally had to say enough. So share with us [00:20:00] about that kind of convicting moment where god said it's time 

[00:20:04] Wendi: So I [00:20:05] just thought that like I was good with god I was a teenager [00:20:10] and you know like I did all the things and checked off all the boxes and I was good and like [00:20:15] I could just like go cruise control and then I went to summer camp and this whole thing [00:20:20] of like forgiveness came up and it was like My whole idea [00:20:25] of like being a Christian just got like totally, I just got hit over the head [00:20:30] and I was like, I have to forgive him.

And I was like, I couldn't even [00:20:35] fathom doing it, wanting to do it. I was one of those that just like to keep [00:20:40] track of all of the things that he had done and how he didn't deserve my [00:20:45] forgiveness. And that camp speaker, I tell you, I don't know if it was that. [00:20:50] You know, you're at such an impressionable age and it was the perfect time [00:20:55] for me because my sister and I, we were just very much floating through [00:21:00] kind of that Christian walk and we were not maybe [00:21:05] taking a stand.

We were just kind of blending in, I guess that's what I would say. And so [00:21:10] this was one of those times where the rubber met the road and it was like, are [00:21:15] you just going to say you do? But you're really [00:21:20] not going to obey anything that I have asked you to do. And so it [00:21:25] was crazy because, you know, that moment at camp where they say, you know, [00:21:30]if you need to have business to do with God, like just stay in your seats and everybody else like [00:21:35] go outside, you know, and so everybody goes outside and I just had to like [00:21:40] deal with this overwhelming feeling of like, how do I forgive him?

Like, I don't even know [00:21:45] how. I knew that I had to like, try to forgive him. [00:21:50] And I knew it wasn't going to be easy, you know, and it was crazy because [00:21:55] I'm sitting there with my head down and little did I know that Brenda was [00:22:00] about three rows back doing the exact same thing. [00:22:05] And we both were like. We can't actually do this [00:22:10] Jesus thing if we don't deal with this unforgiveness.

And [00:22:15] so it was like, I'm so glad that we weren't sitting next to each other because then it [00:22:20] felt like we would have to both do it. You know what I mean? And at that moment [00:22:25] we finally realized and we like came together and we cried and we talked about it. [00:22:30] And then we had like partners in crime to like go, okay, like we're going to do [00:22:35]this and really not just this part of our.

Walk with Jesus has to [00:22:40] change, but there are so many other things that actually need to be more than what they are right now. And [00:22:45] so we really entered high school with a total different perspective, a [00:22:50] different fire, a different conviction than what we would have had without this, [00:22:55] like, experience at camp that was really just a surrender for the first time.

[00:23:00] Surrendering that One thing that you feel like you have the right to you [00:23:05] have the right to hold a grudge and you have the right to judge someone for what they've done to you [00:23:10] and to release that and to say, I'm releasing it and it's not [00:23:15] even for you. It's for me. Because he didn't know we had no [00:23:20] contact with him.

And so it wasn't like I could say, Hey, I forgive you. It was like, no, [00:23:25] I need to do this so that there's not this barrier between me and God. You know [00:23:30] what I mean? Yeah. 

[00:23:31] Valerie: So I love what you say that forgiveness [00:23:35] is grace. With no strings attached, which, you know, that is really, like you just [00:23:40] said, true surrender is that we don't say, but we forgive [00:23:45] without the, but, and the ands and the what ifs.

So that is [00:23:50] so, so beautiful. And so you talk about your teenage years and [00:23:55]entering, you know, with this new found conviction and, you know, what I love about your [00:24:00]book, Wendy, is that I felt like, because. You chronicle, like, [00:24:05] these kind of key moments in your life, like, even if the details weren't the same, obviously [00:24:10] we didn't live the same life, I could see Myself at those different stages [00:24:15] as you shared with us a little bit about you have a twin sister And you know, I [00:24:20] think as women right?

I think more than Men, I could be wrong, but I think [00:24:25] women we have a tendency to compare ourselves a lot and I think That's part of our [00:24:30] culture. I don't know, but I can imagine having a twin sister. The [00:24:35] comparison game was probably really heightened at times. And, you know, a [00:24:40] lot of our women, especially in our ministry, as we talk a lot about how [00:24:45] hard sometimes it is to share our stories, how we often suffer in silence for [00:24:50]years, because we may feel like Nobody's gonna understand what I'm going through [00:24:55] or, you know, the fear of rejection.

Maybe we have tried to share how we feel and we were [00:25:00] met with just, people just said the wrong thing. And that's hard. We can feel [00:25:05] unseen. So how did some of your years of feeling invisible impact [00:25:10] you? And just kind of share what The grace was in that and how, [00:25:15] you know, how God really shattered kind of the silence so that you could really feel [00:25:20] like, Hey, this is who I am.

This is who God's made me to be. And I can walk in that with [00:25:25] grace and confidence. 

[00:25:26] Wendi: This is like probably one of the biggest issues in [00:25:30] my life and I have not always dealt with it very well. Being a twin [00:25:35] comparison was just, goodness, it was just this dark shadow over me. I [00:25:40] felt like it was so hard. My twin sister is incredible and she's so driven and [00:25:45] determined and successful and she's good at everything she does and [00:25:50]sometimes it's so hard.

When you have someone like that always next to you [00:25:55] and you just feel like no matter how hard I try, I just can't measure up. That's what it felt [00:26:00] like growing up and sometimes we don't know how to. [00:26:05] believe that God has made us how we are for [00:26:10] a reason. We always just think, well, how come I can't be like that?

You know what I mean? [00:26:15] So I just struggled huge with that. It was just so, so hard. I [00:26:20] mean, my, my sister married her first boyfriend. She sang in the worship band at church. [00:26:25] She led a Bible study. I mean, just everything. She was valedictorian [00:26:30] scholar athlete. Like it was like, ah, you know, MVP of every team. It was [00:26:35] just, it was all around me and I just couldn't find anything that I felt like I was good [00:26:40] at.

And so then I just kind of lived in this shadow and didn't know [00:26:45] how to branch out and do my own thing [00:26:50] until actually the first time was like going away to school, like going [00:26:55] to college and being there. Nobody knew I was a twin unless I told them, you know, like it [00:27:00] was one of those things that I just really needed to.

Do me, you know what I mean? So [00:27:05] that I felt like I wasn't invisible sitting next to my sister There were some very [00:27:10] defining moments in high school But I share one of them in the book and it's like really [00:27:15] sad It's a really sad story and some people were like, oh my gosh was crying. I was reading this story I felt so [00:27:20] bad for you and I was like, yeah but I think everyone has like a moment of that [00:27:25] where you just feel so invisible and These [00:27:30]doubts creep into your mind like no one can even see me.

No one understands me [00:27:35] and I had that moment of like. Maybe God's just forgotten [00:27:40] me, like maybe I just don't matter, you know what I mean? And [00:27:45] it took a really long time to kind of work through [00:27:50] that. But there was a moment where the silence was [00:27:55] broken and it was broken by the perfect person. It was broken by Brenda, my [00:28:00]sister.

And it took years for us to talk about this [00:28:05] day. This basketball game that was so shattering to me [00:28:10] and years later, finally, she acknowledged the [00:28:15] elephant in the room. Do you know what I mean? Because nobody wanted to talk about it. [00:28:20] And it made me even more alone and I tell my family, my [00:28:25] kids. Now I say exactly like what I say in that book.

There's this [00:28:30] quote in the book and I say it all the time that silence is a [00:28:35] killer and that sometimes an awkward conversation is worth [00:28:40] it. Just go for the awkward conversation, people, because silence is [00:28:45] so damaging, especially when you feel alone. So, [00:28:50] it really wasn't until after my brain surgery that God was like, [00:28:55] This is why I made you the way I did, and don't you worry, I've [00:29:00] got some plans for you.

So, yeah. If you feel alone, if you feel [00:29:05] alone and you feel forgotten, God sees you. He does. And he has so much planned for [00:29:10] you. It's just sometimes we got to wait a little bit and it's so hard, but that's kind of [00:29:15] my. Oh, good. 

[00:29:17] Valerie: Have the awkward conversation and that's hard. [00:29:20] I'm the peacemaker. I do not. Light conflict, but that's such good [00:29:25] wisdom.

Just have the awkward conversation. It is worth it. It is worth it [00:29:30] Well, and I love what you say. I love this quote you say in your book vulnerability with [00:29:35] God and others creates community It's hard to feel alone when [00:29:40] people know what's going on inside of you. And that is exactly [00:29:45] What we encourage women to embrace in our community and to share their [00:29:50] stories.

And we cultivate both online and in person. We cultivate [00:29:55] that safe and trusted community because it is, you have to feel safe, you have to feel [00:30:00] safe in community with somebody you trust to be able to open up and be vulnerable. [00:30:05] I know you've touched on this a little bit, but share a little bit more about what in.[00:30:10]

to share the vulnerable parts of your story. And especially in Red [00:30:15] Tail Feathers and really to trust your readers right? I mean, with growing up on Little [00:30:20] House in the Prairie, like I said, sometimes people have this certain image right? Of they're stars or [00:30:25] celebrities or people they follow and then all of a sudden they read something.

[00:30:30] And so share a little bit about, I mean, your book's not out yet, but it's like, what are you [00:30:35] feeling right now even about having that? go into people's hands and [00:30:40] hearing a little bit more of the real windy. What are you feeling 

[00:30:43] Wendi: about that? [00:30:45] Yeah. Well, first I just want to say is that I listened to a couple of [00:30:50] your past podcasts of reclaim story and I was like, I can't believe like they're [00:30:55] basically telling you what to do.

What I challenge people in my book to do is like, [00:31:00] go back and deal with the trauma and the pain in your life. And so [00:31:05] I resonated like immediately with your message and [00:31:10]the message that has been shared for many episodes. So I think. [00:31:15] Well, I will share this one thing, is that sharing your vulnerable parts of your story is [00:31:20] super scary, and it's very intimidating, and writing about it even [00:31:25] more so, because your editor is with you, but they're [00:31:30] kinder sometimes than the general public is.

I think that [00:31:35] When you're going to release something, a personal [00:31:40] story to the world, it's frightening to think about what people could say, [00:31:45] but I will say that from the very beginning with my audience, I kind of have this [00:31:50] thing like baby grace in real life that is like you just get the real me. People say, [00:31:55] Oh, I want to be friends with an actor.

You know what I mean? And it's like, I am the real deal. [00:32:00] So I. don't really shy away when I share with my little house [00:32:05] people and they know that they're going to get me, you know what I [00:32:10] mean? And so after my three month appointment, like my follow up appointment [00:32:15] after my brain surgery, I was, like, deep in this work of [00:32:20] going through, like, all this pain and trauma, and I [00:32:25] remember I was in Santa Barbara, because that's where my surgery was, and I had to go back to that hospital [00:32:30] and get my follow up scan, and I was walking on the beach in Santa Barbara, and I just heard [00:32:35] God say, I am doing something with this story like I don't think [00:32:40] I have ever heard an audible voice but and I don't think it was audible but it sure felt like it was audible [00:32:45] like I just want you to share this story and [00:32:50] I don't want you to just share it with your friends like you know what I mean.

And, [00:32:55] like, I knew immediately that, like, God had given me [00:33:00] this platform with Little House fans, which is so weird, because when you're on a TV show, like, if [00:33:05] you love Little House, well, then you love Baby Grace. And we'd been traveling with the cast [00:33:10] for, like, oh, I don't know, 15 years, you know, doing an event or two a year.

And [00:33:15] so, We had this audience that was just ready to hear and you know what [00:33:20]was missing from what we had been doing for those 15 years is like the [00:33:25] story of God like we were there and we were these sweet girls and yes, [00:33:30] we would, you know, maybe mention that we, you know, live like the Ingalls did [00:33:35] and we weren't hiding our faith, but we weren't all out there.

And so [00:33:40] this was like a opportunity. The whole little house community knew that I was [00:33:45] having a brain tumor and that this was totally changing my life. And it was like a [00:33:50] chance to start over and do it the way that God would get the most [00:33:55] glory. 

[00:33:55] Valerie: Amen. Well, Wendy, even as we wrap up today, what would [00:34:00] you tell a woman who feels ready to share her story?

[00:34:05] And as you probably saw, like on our website, we have a place for women to share their story [00:34:10] and to share their stories of transformation, to share what God has done in their life. But [00:34:15] often women are filled with just fear and doubt. Like you were saying just this, you know, like, [00:34:20] wow, I'm about to share the most vulnerable parts of my story.

So in just a [00:34:25] few words or sentence, what encouragement would you give that woman? Like if you were sitting across from [00:34:30] a woman right now who says, I read your book, it was so inspirational. [00:34:35] I'm ready to share my story. What would you tell her? What would be the first step 

[00:34:39] Wendi: that [00:34:40] she could take? Yes. Well, first, I'm going to say the person that says I could never tell [00:34:45] that story that I would say is you don't have to tell the [00:34:50]story to the world.

You just need its first. You need to be open enough to tell the story to [00:34:55] yourself. Walk through that story with yourself and acknowledge those [00:35:00] feelings and after you've done that and you feel okay with talking to yourself about [00:35:05] that story because sometimes that takes a long time just to actually relive that [00:35:10] story with yourself after that, then you got to relive it with one trusted friend, [00:35:15] one trusted friend, one listening ear, one mentor, whoever [00:35:20] that is that you can trust Your deepest [00:35:25] hurts, your deepest betrayals, all that deepest trauma with one person.

And then you [00:35:30] know what you do is you just listen really hard and you ask if God wants him to use it in a [00:35:35] further way. And God isn't maybe calling everyone to use it in a further way. But I think those [00:35:40] first two steps of like walking through it with yourself and walking through it with one other [00:35:45] person is minimum.

Everyone, because when you [00:35:50] allow someone else in, when you allow God in, and I think that's when you're [00:35:55] walking through it by yourself, you're really, you and God are processing this together and you're trying to say, okay, [00:36:00] why did this happen? How do I feel about it? How can you redeem it? How [00:36:05] can you change my perspective on it?

That's you and God going through it. And [00:36:10] then, you know, sharing it, this is community. We don't feel as alone when [00:36:15] we have someone to walk. With especially through really hard [00:36:20] stuff, you know, so that's what I would say right there. 

[00:36:23] Valerie: I love that I [00:36:25] love that first tell the story to yourself and like I say, you're not alone.

You're with God [00:36:30] Yeah, and then one trusted friend such good wisdom. Well Wendy [00:36:35] Thank you so much for joining us so much wisdom and truth, and we [00:36:40] hope you, our listeners have found inspiration and encouragement to be on the [00:36:45] lookout for grace. And don't forget Wendy's new book and memoir, Red Tail [00:36:50] Feathers comes out on August 13th.

We'll make sure to [00:36:55] join us as we continue our conversation about finding grace in every chapter [00:37:00] of our lives with in two weeks here on living the reclaim life. [00:37:05]

[00:37:05] Wendi: Thanks for listening. I pray you found hope in today's conversation [00:37:10] and maybe even feel a little less alone in your story. Stay connected with us [00:37:15] on Facebook and Instagram at Reclaimed Story.

Want to learn more [00:37:20] about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our growing community of reclaimers? [00:37:25] Check out our website at reclaimedstory. com. All of those links and [00:37:30] more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoyed this inspirational podcast, be sure to [00:37:35] subscribe, rate, and review. Not only will you be the first one to know when new [00:37:40] content comes out, but it is also a huge help in helping us reach more people [00:37:45] to live the reclaimed life.[00:37:50]