Some days are hard, we know this full well. There are so many things I wish I could say to my children, things they are too young to understand, or maybe not. Given our difficult day yesterday, I have written a letter that I wish I could send... though writing it out might just help enough. I have purposely not included any names because while I have one child in mind this morning, tomorrow it may be someone else. Writing and remembering why I do what I do... that is what I needed today. I hope it helps you, too.
Dear Little One,
It's time we have a talk. Yesterday was not a good day. We ended the day, both you and I, worn out and used up and sad and frustrated. And maybe you felt like we had a talkthen but I think we need to clarify things, get on the same page, and start again. How 'bout that, honey?
First of all, I want what is best for you. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with helping you get ready to become the person God intends you to be. He has a plan for you, Little One. He dreams about the things you will get to do, the places you will go, the work you will do in the Kingdom. I want all of this for you... nothing more and not one thing less. So, when I ask you to do it again or do it well or read it through or think about things, I am not punishing you. I am dreaming for you. I am dreaming for who you are which will surely lead to who you will become. Believe me, what feels like the "hard way" for you is no easier (at all) for me.
Next, respect matters. I will never pretend that it is does not. You have no option but to respect your Daddy and I because it is right and good and because it teaches you something big. Today, you listen to us. Someday, you will listen to someone else. You might like them. You might not. You might like what they have to say. You might disagree. But, learning to handle all those feelings in a way that is respectable matters much more than you can guess. When you are grown and in a tough situation, being respectful may help you be heard. And you will need to be heard. I want that for you. And, my sweet baby, you will learn that respect is something we offer and something we expect. You grow into being respectable... and you learn it about yourself. So, if I say, "Stop." and you keep going, and I say it again, and you keep going, the situation will not go well. Not today or tomorrow or any other day. My "Stop." is trying to help you. It is trying to teach you. It is important and by stopping, you show respect. You are respecting my words and my request. You are respecting yourself by growing into this big lesson. We need to work on this, you and I.
Lastly, words have power. They communicate to others something about you. Your thoughts. Your desires. Your dreams. My honey, use them carefully. Think about them. Roll them around your mouth. Evaluate them. Ask yourself if they are kind and true. Ask yourself if they are necessary. Because it matters that they are. Today, your words are given to me, to classmates, to a teacher. Soon, they will be offered to a professor, an employer, a spouse. Use your words to help them see you, you in all your glory. Help them to know who you are and who you are becoming. When your words are twisted, untrue, it shows your struggle and struggling is okay. But, do you understand you can use your words to let us help you come out of your struggle instead of settling there? A lie will never be okay with me. Never. Lies hurt and lies break and lies separate us from those we love. I don't want that for you. I want you to use your words and your desires and your dreams and your thoughts to draw close, to build a bridge, to let us come alongside you and help you out. Yes, Little One, words have power. I want to help you learn to use yours well.
This world is not an accidental place. God, who loves us more than we can imagine, has His mighty hands all over it. His plan is all for good. This is not to say it will be easy. I think we know that, you and I. But, it is to say that it is planned and it is made for good. Our family is "on purpose", honey. These two parents, all four kids, all our strengths, all our weaknesses, all our sadness, all our joy, all "on purpose". From the beginning of time we were meant to be here, together in this place. Because we need each other. It is God's gift to each of us every single day. Together we are all becoming those people we need to be. And it is big work. So, I will keep showing up and keep being the momma and keep raising the standard and keep teaching you all I think you will need to know. Because I love you. And I know you are a gift to me. And I am thankful for that.