She will be a senior this year and while I rejoice for the new adventures to come in her life, part of me wants to jump in a time machine and go back to when she was a little girl. When I close my eyes, I can still see her little round face, bright eyes and heart melting smile. Now, I see a little girl who has grown into a beautiful young woman.
This year will be full of preparing for the future. Selecting a college, applying for scholarships and getting ready to leave home. More than anything, I want to prepare her for what's ahead on the road of life. I know it's a journey she cannot take holding my hand. I know it's a journey where she will experience things I haven't prepared her for and I know it's a journey she will face with independence and confidence.
I've taken bits and pieces of experiences in my life and written them down for her. It's my hope she will carry the list in her heart and remember it was written with more love than she could ever imagine.
To my daughter, I want you to ALWAYS BELIEVE:
- Your laughter is infectious and it makes those around you smile. Laugh every single day. It's a gift you can give others that doesn't cost a dime.
- Your love of God can change the life of someone who is lost. Never pass an opportunity to share your faith. Leading someone to Christ is something you will never forget.
- You have hidden strength to get through anything life throws at you. It will come to you when you need it.
- You were created to do amazing things in this life. Follow your heart and you cannot go wrong.
- The way you treat people says a lot about you. Treat people with compassion. It will come back to you.
- Your heart will get broken. Many times. No matter how much I would love to keep this from happening, it's a rite of passage. One day, you will find the man who has the glue to put all the broken pieces of your heart back together. He'll be the one you'll spend the rest of your life with and what a lucky man he will be.
- You will form friendships that will last a short time and friendships that will last your lifetime. Soak up every single one of them and know God had a plan for each friend who was lucky enough to be a part of your life.
- Life will be difficult at times, but it will make you a better person. Struggles are a part of growing up. Learn from them and know they do not last forever.
- You can make a difference in this world. Don't listen to the negative people who say the world is a bad place. The world is what you make it. Make it good, baby girl.
- You are not defined by the girl you see in the mirror. You are defined by your heart and soul. Let people see that beauty first. Your inner beauty far exceeds your outer beauty.
- People will disappoint you. It's just a fact of life. Don't take it personal, but don't allow people to take advantage of you. You are in control of your life and set the tone for how people treat you.
- There will be times when you want to give up. Get a pen and paper and write down all the reasons you shouldn't give up and you'll find giving up isn't an option.
- You are loved completely, fully and without end. You will forever own a piece of my heart and I will love you until the end of time.