{Letters to My Daughter} {No. 2}

Sweet Girl,

You wrote me the most lovely letter. Thank you. Because I know you are dying to know — yes, it made me cry! Big. Tears. I didn’t cry just because you said nice things about me and to me. I cried because as a momma it is pretty awesome to see God working in your life.

God used you and your words in that letter to encourage me. That makes my heart swell to the point of bursting. Do you hear me? God used you. Let that sink in. 

There are three things I want you to know and remember.

1. Words are powerful. Use them well.  Speak life. Speak hope. Speak words of encouragement. Once you release your words, it is impossible to get them back. It’s like squeezing an entire tube of toothpaste out onto a plate and trying to put it back inside the tube. (I used to do that on the first day of school in front of the class. Trying to put toothpaste back into a tube is quite messy!) It’s the same with our words, you know. If used unwisely–carelessly–words hurt, leave scars, cause damage to relationships. And always, always remember your words reveal your heart. Guard your heart and use your words well. Let every word you speak be a reflection of Jesus’ love being perfected in you. The letter you wrote me is a glowing example of what I’m talking about. You spoke life and encouragement to me. What a gift!

2. God will use you. Look around and listen to Him. I am sure when you wrote my letter you didn’t think you were doing anything extraordinary. Yet the words you wrote were exactly the words I needed to hear in that very moment. You should know that there are people around you who need the same kind of gift you gave me–words of life. Can I challenge you to look for them? On purpose. Ask God to use you to encourage someone each day. Ask Him. I promise He will. This is not the first time you’ve used words to encourage. You have a gift of encouragement. Once you wrote an encouraging message to a kid who was a few years younger than you. You leave sweet notes for your siblings and for us. Keep doing that. Remember, you may never know how God uses the words you speak and that’s ok. You just be brave and bold. Be obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and speak life.

3. I love you. You are extraordinary. If I could line up all the girls on the planet and pick one to be my daughter, I would choose you. Every single time.

I’m glad you’re my girl. (Even when we’re having a bad day!)

XOXO.

{Letters to My Daughter – No. 1}

Remember our first mom-daughter date. We put on nice dresses and went to a fancy restaurant. We talked. And laughed. I might have cried a tiny, little bit. We had fun being together.

You looked beautiful. Your sweet smile lights up the room. I love your smile.

Do you remember what we talked about? It’s been quite some time since our date. So, I want to remind you. We talked about being a girl who knows that she is God’s masterpiece. I reminded you that being this girl means that you make choices for yourself that reflect that very important truth. This girl knows who she belongs to. She cares about modesty and purity. She values good character and integrity.  She is the daughter of a King.

You are valuable and beautiful simply because you are YOU. You are created by the God of the universe, the Master Creator. You are unique. A masterpiece. That is what Scripture says, which means that what God says. About you!

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that and even harder to really believe it. There is so much pressure to look like everyone else and fit in. There are so many competing voices and ideas. It’s hard to make choices about some of the important things – like modesty and purity – without worrying about what all your friends will think. After all, we all want to belong. To be accepted. We were created with that basic desire (every single one of us). And you, my sweet girl, belong to God.  That is the truth. When it seems hard to make choices that reflect that truth, come talk to me. And, talk to Him. He hears you and sees you and is concerned with all the details of your life.

Let me also remind you that real beauty is not about what you wear or how you fix your hair. Please do comb your hair. And brush your teeth. And wear clean, stylish clothing. But always remember that there’s more to it than that. It begins with a heart that loves Jesus. It begins with believing what He says about you and carrying those truths with you into every moment of your day.

Remember who you are and who you belong to. Make choices that are wise. Be the girl God created you to be. Make those wise (sometimes really hard) choices even when you don’t feel like you are that girl. Then pray that God will help you really believe what He says about you.

You were created on purpose. For a purpose. You are highly favored. You are valuable. You are His masterpiece. Believe it. Live it.

I love you. So does He.

Playing Catch-up

It’s been a little while, so I’m catching up! I really don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just dive right in and trust you to bear with me. 🙂

[Long Pause]

On second thought, I think a “Top 5” list will be more manageable!

1. We have a contract pending on our house, which has been on the market for over a year! We are waiting for inspections, appraisals, and bank approval. Yay! God answered our prayers.

2. Madeleine and William DID survive the first week of school. In fact, they are both doing really well. Id say we’re in full swing, complete with book reports and projects! I promised pictures. This is what we saw on the ride home after the first Friday of school…

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3. Baby check-up went well. I am feeling much better, though there are still days where nausea (and all that comes with it) is wreaking havoc. As of tomorrow, we are at 19 weeks! Our next appointment is September 26th. This one will be an ultrasound. Boy or Girl? What’s your vote?
We also have a fetal echocardiogram scheduled for the 27th. Because of my history, this is considered routine. Please pray that all is well and Baby is perfectly healthy, heart and all! Everyone around here is getting a big kick out of the baby belly. Here is a snapshot…(I’m not sure what all the fuss is about!)

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4. Fall sports are here! We are coaching Madeleine’s volleyball team again. So far, so good. William has opted for tennis this year. He’s doing well and having big fun.

5. Today, Poppy and Grammy officially move to Louisville! We are very excited.

That’s all I have. Consider yourself updated! 🙂

Back to School

Despite thinking we were well-prepared for the first day of school, Wednesday smacked us in the face this week! It always amazes me.  Almost instantly, we felt more busy.  We will settle into the routine soon enough. Until then, it’s likely we’ll have mornings similar to the one we had yesterday. Good, with a hint of frazzle.

Normally, I document the first day of school with cute little pictures as we head out the door. We failed at every attempt to do that this year. Madeleine thought it was a funny and unnecessary thing to do. William was suddenly overcome with shyness and ducked under the table, then around the corner. We’ve agreed, however, that we will celebrate on Friday by taking “We survived the first week back to school!” photos.

Madeleine

I can’t believe Madeleine is in 5th grade. Fifth grade. The time has gone by more quickly than I care to admit. I find myself wanting to sit and stare at her. I remember 5th grade. I chuckled quietly to myself when she explained that she would probably pass on breakfast.  When I asked her why, she explained that she would be too nervous (the good kind of nervous) and excited to bother with eating.  “I mean, it’s 5th grade. It’s almost middle school,” she said. Yikes!

Wednesday morning she was slow to rise! But, I can’t blame her. I gave her a little shake and told her to hop up. I can always remind her that she doesn’t want to be late. (Already, she carries around a little planner and writes her daily schedule on her whiteboard.)  After a few minutes of prodding she told me, “I am up!” Of course, she wasn’t. I returned about 10 minutes later to find her still sprawled out on her bed, fast asleep. Once she got up, she was a champ. That is until she discovered her shoelaces were “dumb!” “Mom, these are the WORST shoelaces ever. These are dumb!” Mind you, she had picked these new laces the day before! At the time, they were the BEST shoelaces in the world!  Besides that, all was well.  She brushed her teeth and combed her hair (twice) before I could remind her to do so. I dread the day she asks to borrow my blush and my lip gloss! I have a feeling that day is just around the corner.

William

Second grade is a big deal.  It’s a big deal because there’s a lot of hard work to do, AND because it’s better than kindergarten! William was thrilled to find out the privileges granted to big second graders. He jumped out of bed quickly and was ready to go! He was so excited that he was slamming drawers. He just couldn’t get dressed fast enough! After he dressed himself, he came and asked me to fix his hair. I worked my magic and off he went to the table for breakfast. A few minutes later, he came back into the bathroom, where I was checking on Madeleine.  “Mommy,” he said, “I don’t want to be mean, but I wanted a faux-hawk and this isn’t a faux-hawk.”

After school, he was happy to report that he received 12 compliments (11 of personal compliments and 1 for his whole class). “And it’s just the first day,” he explained!

It’s going to be a good year. I can feel it. I am so thankful for such a wonderful school. I am thankful for wonderful children. Sure, being a parent is hard and exhausting, but watching these little people grow into big people is breathtaking! When I catch myself sitting, gazing at my kids, marveling at the pace at which they grow, I remember God’s promise in Jeremiah 29.  I remember that He loves them even more than I love them. And, they love Him too. That is priceless.