Today I ordered the food for your open house that we’re having for you in 2 weeks. I’ve already sent out invitations and have you looking through pictures to display. I’ve even made up soap bars for the people who come as a gift to them for being part of your life. You chose the scents :).
It’s all a little surreal. You’ve grown up. You’re in college already, finishing your first semester this week. You’ve got a part time job at Dairy Queen and I realize more and more that the next 5 years for you will be pivotal in you becoming fully independent.
I love you. I still love the way you text me when something good or bad happens. I love the way you come in by the side of the bed at night sometimes to talk about hard stuff. I love the way you joke around and even when I shush you from time to time I still enjoy hearing you sing, dance and goof around. You’ve been giving our cats a voice for so long I think we all actually think they communicate with words!
You’re a writer through and through. Can’t imagine where you might have gotten that from :). All you want for you birthday are nice notebooks and pens!
As your mom I hope you look back on your childhood with good memories and that I’ve given you a good foundation for life. It’s not perfect. Sigh…
I guess if I could fix anything…I just wish that I could help you see yourself more confidently. I wish that I could get you to believe in yourself more and to find yourself more beautiful inside and out. I wish I could erase the self doubt you feel, the tendency you have to not engage because of fear.
But then again, if I could step back in time and see myself I have a feeling I was all of those things and more when I was your age. God will work these things out. He will speak truth and His love to you over and over and over and at some point it will really settle in and you’ll awaken to the reality that you are delighted in by the God of the Universe. I would say that didn’t really ring true for me til my 40’s. I hope it becomes real to you far before that. But if it doesn’t this will be alright too.
In this season I have to realize more and more what is my job and my part and what isn’t. I am your mom…not God. Sometimes I forget. I can trust God to work in your life and lead you. I will trust Him to love you even more than I do.
I want to remind you as I have so often over the years…God has good plans for you, really good stuff, stuff that will cause you to feel more joy than you can imagine, stuff that will take you by surprise and warm your heart, and some stuff that will cause you to cry and acknowledge broken places in you. It will be ok…He will heal the broken areas of your life and cause them to radiate with beauty more than you can imagine right now.
You have been an amazing daughter. Seriously, amazing. You have become one of my best friends. I hope for life. I look forward to watching you ‘become’. You have filled my life with great love, pride and joy. I have needed grace from you in ways that I probably have never needed it from any other person on the face of the earth. And you have given me grace. You have needed grace too…and I hope you know that my love for you covers anything that might not have been perfect along the way.
Dream big. Listen to your heart. Pay attention to what makes you come alive. Love with everything you have. Believe in yourself. Trust God. Listen to His voice…you will hear Him in the silence of your life. Engage with life in every way you can. Don’t be content to watch others live…you get out there and live. Set goals. Take on projects. Move forward. Grow. Learn and read the rest of your life. Treat others the way you want to be treated and it will come back to you. Go the extra mile. Be generous. Take good care of yourself. Exercise. Eat healthy. Again, another lesson that has taken me years to learn. Be true to yourself. Don’t live in dread or by counting down days. Each day is a gift from God. If it doesn’t seem so than figure out why that is. You have so many choices before you. Don’t get stuck in a rut. No career has to last a lifetime. Surround yourself with people who are positive and encouraging. Notice your thoughts…if they are garbage or negative than start filling your mind with the good, lovely, praiseworthy and true things of this life.
You will always be my baby girl. Always.
Someday when and if you have your own kids…we will sit down and talk about so many things, I can already tell. We will have stuff to cry about and a ton of stuff to laugh about. And oh the stories and memories I have to share with your kids someday.
I’m so very proud of you. All of you…even the stuff that’s hard and not perfect. Ease up on yourself. Learn to breath in grace everyday. You need it and so does everyone else around you.
So the food is ordered…the party is planned. The childhood years fast coming to a close. Everybody told me it would go by in a blink of an eye and I guess it has. But oh Lauren…we have filled the years with a whole lot of living. For that I have no regrets.
You know I believe the best is always yet to come…even now with you I believe it’s true. This is not an ending…it’s just a new chapter, a new way for us to get to know and love one another.
You are God’s gift to me. You are evidence daily of how good God is. I love you more than I can even express…for always.
Love your momma who will always be your momma.