Saturday, August 9, 2014

Golden Nuggets

Mom of three (girls) sits down to write a letter to her young children. In it she hopes to convey the lessons she has learned, the aha-moments and most importantly, her deep love for them. Here is the result.

Dear beautiful girls of mine,

    I have been fortunate to be with you, at home, from the day you came into this world. Some days I appreciated this blessing more than others but every single day I saw a part of you bloom that I had not seen before. I have watched you discover light and shadows. I have seen your curiosity come alive when you played in the water. My heart has almost burst when you have shown compassion or given something of your own to someone less fortunate. The talks we have awaken curiosity even in myself. Our minutes, hours and days have been spent singing, discussing, learning, playing, imagining and growing. You have been under my constant care and love day in and day out. I hope to continue to be able to be there and cherish every moment possible and to continue to teach you all I can so that you may walk out this life as fully and completely blessed as I have been. However, we never know each day what the Lord has in store for us. If mommy is able to be present with you all your growing up days we will rejoice for that gift we've been given. And if the Lord chooses another path for us, we will walk it out in faith that He knows what is best. Either way, I wanted to share some nuggets of wisdom I have picked up through the years. If you can bury these treasures within your own heart, I believe you will continue to see beautiful blooms come forth all the days of your lives.

1) Jesus loves you. 
    He always has and He always will. The love I have shown you pales in comparison to His perfect, never-ending, never-stopping, never-giving-up, always and forever love for each of you. Fall head over heels in love with Him. It's about a relationship, not rules but love does transform. Love changes us from the inside out. Discover Him and who you are in Him.

2) Learn to trust Him in your youth.
    God places a simple faith in each child. As we grow up, doubts and fears fight to replace that simple faith. You will need to continue to grow in your faith as you mature but if you can learn to place your trust in who Jesus is now, everything else will work itself out in the end.

3) Hearing "no" is not a bad thing.
    Life is going to be full of possibilities, adventures and thrills but there is also a moral code we should all abide by (found in the Bible). Learn to tell yourself no as well as to accept it from others. Believe me, if you cannot learn to hear "no", you will always be fighting against yourself and others. Freedom exists because there are boundaries.

4) Choose JOY.
    No matter where you end up in life, your attitude will determine everything. If you find yourself in a less-than-perfect environment, you are living real life. Ups, downs and everything in between will be a normal part of your years ahead. Decide now that you will keep moving forward and keep a smile on your face. Lasting joy comes from the Lord, not by what you may or may not experience.

5) Stay in touch with family.
    Something I say to you daily is, "Sisters love each other." At times you may need it most, your family can be there for you. Be there for them as well. Write letters. Make phone calls. Visit one another. Be very purposeful to protect these special relationships. They are treasures you will not want to lose.

6) Be a good friend.
     You will have many people cross your paths in the years ahead. Not everyone will stay long and not everyone will treat you right. But, if you will decide that you are going to treat everyone the way you want to be treated, you will find that you have developed lasting relationships. As your daddy has always said, "Selfishness is the cause for every bad thing". Sew good seeds in others whether you will reap a harvest from it or not. 

7) Find ways to give to others.
     Whether it is a handmade gift, listening and sharing your time with them, extending a hand of service, or any other creative way you discover- give. And when you have nothing left to give, give a little more. You will not always feel empty. The more you give, the more you will find you have to give. It is an amazing miracle that we may never understand. Hold back your hand and you will quickly believe you have nothing to give. But, if you will always have your heart ready to pour out for others, you will never run dry.

8) Keep your imaginations alive.
     Build. Create. Explore. Discover. The life you have is a gift. You will discover talents and treasures that God has buried within you. Don't ever let them die. He has placed these in you to bring Glory to Him and for you to enjoy the process. Be a light and shine as brightly as you are able, holding nothing back and never hiding because you shine too brightly. Some may try to discourage you from shining but never allow that sparkle to dim in your eyes. You are alive most when you are imagining and creating. 

9) Do not despise the mundane.
     Whether you go on to become President or a nanny, astronaut or chef, librarian or architect or anything in between, there will be aspects of life that are constant and unavoidable~ laundry, paperwork, phone calls, making your bed, or any number of trivial tasks. Maintain them. Do not allow yourself to believe the lie that you are above such things. We all must live a real life with some tasks more "boring" than others. Remember #4 and be joyful in ALL things.

10) Ask for forgiveness and learn to forgive.
      Others will do things that hurt you and they may or may not be ready to apologize. Forgive them anyway. This does not mean you have to continue to allow yourself to be hurt by them. But do not allow them to steal your (#4) joy. Also, you will make mistakes and hurt others. Be ready to humble yourself and ask for forgiveness.

11) Honesty is foundational to every relationship.
      Your father and I desire that both of you understand from an early age the value and importance of the Truth~ telling the truth, believing the truth, living the truth. Do not allow small lies to creep in and taint your stories or your life. Discovering the truth and sharing it with others is powerful. There is no need to exaggerate or minimize in your re-telling of such things. Remain honest and your integrity and character will lead you to places and platforms you never could have dreamed.

Love always and forever,

Note: After reading the above I encourage each of you to take a few minutes and think about some important truths you value and would want to pass on to others. Knowing what you believe is important helps you prioritize teaching it to others. Enjoy the process!