Monday, February 16, 2015

And now you are eight...

Dear Lily,

On the day you were born, I was scared. My life was changing faster that I could comprehend. You were no longer an idea, but a force within my body. You moved slowly through me, and as you did who I was before was getting pulled away. I was scared to love you, scared of not knowing how to be your mom.

Then I looked into your eyes for the first time. 

The moment you were born I felt you like lightning in my soul. You were always meant to be. God  chose you to be my daughter. Which also means he chose me to be your mother.

In that moment, we were both born. You as my child, and me as a mother. 
In that moment, we became a family. 

You are eight now, just beginning to get a grasp on this world and what it means to be human. We still shield you from most of the ugliness of life, but you see more now than you used to. You ask more questions and you show grace and compassion with your actions.

You are exactly what this world needs. 

You are soft, and kind, and caring. You truly love and show your love. You are gentle and fierce with your affection. You are heedless of hurt when you rush in to give somebody your comfort. 

There will be many times this world will hurt you. There will be many times you will look at things and say that it is not supposed to be this way. And you are right. But love the world anyway. 

There are people who will betray you and take advantage of your kind nature. They will manipulate you and hurt you. But don't be afraid to love, my sweetheart. Being broken over loving somebody hurts far less than being broken by loneliness. God created us to love. I believe he also created us to be broken by that love...because the brokenness inevitably leads us to reach for MORE...and the more is often our Savior. 

Be an avid fan of your fellow humans. Watch them, listen to them, study them. Reach out with your words, with a kind touch, with your hands to help. Never be afraid to stand up, to step in, or to give of yourself to somebody in need. God is using you as His hands and feet. You are often His eyes and his instrument. Be open to that. Listen to that voice in your heart that tells you to ask the hard questions, or to be silent and listen. People often need to just know they are loved. Be that person who loves them.

Travel the world. See things I've never seen. Go places I've never gone. Learn from other cultures, and bring that learning back home. Keep in your heart the teaching of other places. Be still in these places, soak up what is offered. Let your eyes take in the wonder of nature and life other than what is in your own backyard. Keep the wonder of life in your bones and in your heart. Never stop seeing Gods great presence in the ocean, in the sand under your feet, in far off shores. Watch the stars, really look at the heavens. See the passing bird and let your feet go bare in the grass. Be in wonder of the world that was created for you.

Pray. Pray without ceasing. If you feel compelled to pray in the open, among others, do so. Do not be embarrassed to love Jesus. Do not be scared to show your dependence on something bigger than yourself. If you put God first and foremost now, in all that you do, you will always have a compass to point you the right direction. You may be lonely at times, and you may be looked at sideways. You may not be "cool". But fix your eyes on the eternal light, and the daily struggles of life will become much clearer by its radiance.

Always reach beyond yourself. Don't dumb yourself down for a boy, to look cooler, to be in with a certain crowd. You are brilliant and gifted. Own it. Study what interests you. Pursue those interests as far as you can. Find what makes your soul come alive and do it. You may find that being a mother is that thing. You may find that digging in the sand of Egypt for ancient relics is that thing. You might sing, or paint, or dance. If you love it, you will have passion. Passion makes you rich beyond money. 

Know that in all things, you are held within my heart. I am not only your mother, I am your soft place. In any and all things I will be here to help you, to cheer you on, to wipe your tears. Winning or losing I am on your side. Mistakes and bad judgement cannot separate my love from you. I am your eternal companion until I draw my last breath, my love. Go out into this big world and change it all, knowing you always have my heart to come home to. 

You are eight. You still nap in my arms. You still sing silly songs in the shower. You read books in your nightgown and socks. You eat cinnamon toast and you turn your nose up at anything green. You are a child still, but deep within you lies the soul of a world changer. I not only love you, I believe in your ability to be more, do more, live life in abundance. 

I will always love you to the moon and back, my sweet 8 year old girl. 

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