I can never say I Love You enough nor will I stop 😉 It’s crazy you are now thirteen. What would I be doing once your sisters left home if you had not come along? How blessed I am to be given a second chance at mothering. In some ways I have grown and often times I feel green. You are very unique and so different from your sisters. A decade later I have found that technology has changed the parenting dilemma. Regardless, I know God choose to bless us with you for such a time as this. Together we sharpen one another. So I complied 10 thoughts I desire for you to remember as you continue your life journey.
1) Never forget you are fearfully and wonderfully made, yes made in the imagine of Christ who delights over you as He is a masterful creator. (Psalm 139:13-16; Ephesians 2:10 ) Comparison is the joy killer of being content with your many beautiful features. Never allow the media or others to dictate what true beauty should look like.
2) Love the Lord with all your heart and get into the habit of beginning your days by putting Him first. You will often feel that there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Time is something we all treasure, something we wish we had more of, but it just seems to slip so quickly through our fingers. We think if only I had more time I would spend it praying or reading the Bible, helping people, or making a difference. (Proverbs 16:3; Luke 4:42, Matthew 14:13) The poem The Difference is a good reminder of keeping God first.
3) Remember to love and listen to your sisters as they are two of the wisest women I know. Support one another. Talk to one another regularly by being the initiator as you have more free time. Be there when they need you and they’ll be there for you. They really do love you that is why they both flew in to surprise you for your 13th birthday. Sisters are forever friends.
4) Be bold, take chances as those who don’t take chances don’t make advances. Dream big because you serve a BIG God. Strive to reach the full potential of your calling in life. (Jeremiah 29:11). Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to everyone through your speech, by the way you live your life, in your authentic love, your faith, and your purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
5) Continue to travel while you are young. We hope that through our various family excursions we have given you a love for adventure, exposed you to various cultures, taken you out of your comfort zone, and shown you how big and yet small the world is. May you bring the good news to those wherever you go in the future. Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15
6) Enjoy life! Gather often with your friends, have fun, laugh a lot and enjoy the relationships God has given you. Also your best friends will be those who bring out the best in you. Never substitute face-to-face interaction with that of the internet or social media. According to a study, people are happier and laugh 50% more when talking face-to-face with friends or via webcam than when they use social networking sites.
Cari, Cayley, & Laurena
7) Cherish your human connections with friends and mentors who invest deeply into your life and you will grow wiser and richer. Appreciate and remember those who have poured richly into your life (your sisters, grandparents, teachers, Sarah T. Danielle A., Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Teresa, Ritz, Mrs. Cheryl D., Grandma Coleen). Allow them to speak truth into your life so you can learn something new. Proverbs 13:20
8) We love you unconditionally, always, and forever. No one will ever love you like your dad and I love you.
9) Be humble, teachable, and enjoy the learning process. Be a lover of learning as you gain the education needed to carry out the tasks for which God has designed you. (Proverbs 9:9; 12:15; 11:14; 19:20-21; 15:22; Psalm 1:1-5).
Some of my greatest lessons have been learned through the pages of books. I have gained incredible insight, knowledge, and experience of various authors. Reading exposes you to a world of imagination, showing you nothing is impossible.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” Charles William Eliot
10) Smile a lot and keep singing God’s praises. A smile draws others to you. The joy and love of the Lord are yours – so smile! Aim for joy found when putting Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last which creates true JOY. Being happy and enthusiastic is always a good choice and the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Psalm 28:7; Nehemiah 8:10)
In conclusion, do all things with Love. Love is so important to God that is is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. Love is referred to as the greatest commandment of all. Christ is love. John 13: 34-35 As we learn to love God’s way we provide the world with a tangible picture of Christ to the world.
I look forward to finishing the book Love As A Way of Life by Dr. Gary Chapman who writes, “Love is an attitude, that says, “I choose to focus my life on helping others.” I appreciate those who use the following seven characteristics to define a loving person providing so much room to grow:
- Kindness: Discovering the Joy of Helping Others
- Patience: Accepting the Imperfections of Others
- Forgiveness: Finding Freedom from the Grip of Anger. Life’s way too short to constantly be mad at someone.
- Courtesy: Treating Others as Friends
- Humility: Stepping Down So Someone Else Can Step Up
- Generosity: Giving Yourself to Others
- Honesty: Revealing Who You Really Are