To My Gorgeous Girl,
I know what you’re thinking. “A letter from Mom?” Don’t groan, or roll your eyes, sister. You might like to hear what I have to say.
I DO get your reluctance to read this, though. You’re almost 14. You start high school next year and the world is truly beginning to open wide with possibilities for you! You want to fly a little, don’t you? The last thing you want or think you need is a letter from me with opinions and advice, right?
But humor me, will you? I have some thoughts on the miracle that you are that you might just want to hear now, and maybe even tuck away for another day.
Here it goes…
I know sometimes you look around and see girls you think are smarter, prettier, funnier, or more popular than you believe yourself to be. But here is the honest to goodness truth:
YOU ARE GORGEOUS. Inside and out. You have an awesome sense of humor and make me laugh all the time (in a good way, of course!). You have more smarts up in that beautiful head of yours than you give yourself credit for. People honestly like you and are drawn to your kindness, goodness, and compassion. (And, BTW, I’m not the only one who thinks so.)
Now. I’m going to let you in on a little secret about those other girls you’ve been looking at: they feel the exact same way you do. It’s true. Right now, their minds are running wild, just like yours, wondering if there’s food stuck in their teeth, if their outfit is cool enough to fit in without sticking out, if the boy in the second row of math class has noticed them, if their butt looks too big in those jeans, and what YOU (yes, YOU) think of them, too.
Here’s the BIG NEWS you may not know: You are ALL a part of something crazy big, something amazing, and something completely and beautifully orchestrated by God.
It’s called “life”.
In this life, the world needs you to become just exactly who God created you to be. To turn your back on that, or to act without the authenticity of who you are, will only lead you to unhappiness and leave you feeling empty and wanting something more.
I only know this from personal experience, my sweet girl.
And while I have your attention for a moment, I’d love to share a couple tips for living this life that I’ve happened to pick up along the way:
- Be God’s girl. Remember how much He loves you and never forget to thank Him for all the blessings He places in your life. Act like He’d want you to act. Make Him a proud papa, honey, and you can’t go wrong.
- Don’t stoop to the level of people around you who hurt you or hurt others. The “low road” is quite literally beneath you. Maintain your dignity by remembering who (and whose) you are.
- As tempting as revenge is (and as fun as it might be to imagine), keep the Golden Rule tattooed on your brain! It’s as simple as this: Treat others the way YOU want to be treated. Let God take care of the judging and the consequences. He’s got it all under control and He doesn’t miss a thing. End of story.
- Notice the people around you and encourage them with your smile, your words, and your behavior. Laugh with friends when they are happy; cry with them when they are sad. Bring them a treat when they are discouraged or sick. Hug them when they need it, and back off when they need distance. Forgive them when they’re sorry. And, you know what? Even forgive them when they act like they’re not sorry! Forgiveness is a gift God gives you to share. Your true friends will return the favor, my beautiful girl. You can count on it.
- Stay away from the things you know are bad and wrong. While we will all slip and fall sometime or another (and maybe even more than once…;) ), stick to what you know is right and you’ll be just fine. (And, um, as a side note here, you should probably be aware that I always pray that you will get caught the very first time you try something outside the realm of what I’d deem “acceptable behavior”. And you KNOW I’m a pretty powerful prayer and know lots of other ones, too, that I’m not afraid to call in for the cause. I’m just saying… 😉 … !)
- Stick up for those who are less able and/or less fortunate than you (and by that I mean ALL of God’s creatures!) Everyone needs a hero now and again. You have a gorgeously strong heart of compassion; don’t neglect it. The more you use it, the more others will see God through you. Be “that” girl – you know, the one people can count on as being fair and kind. Surprise people with your goodness, Elle Belle, and you will be rewarded beyond what your mind can even imagine.
- Lead by example, but don’t be bossy. Nobody likes a “know it all”. Let others feel important by listening well. Respond by using your intellect and lots of encouraging guidance. Never make anyone feel stupid.
- Be yourself. No one can “fake it” forever. It makes you too tired to try and you’ll find you won’t be able to keep it up. Besides, you were created by a glorious and perfect God…so what does that make you???!!!
- Life can get hard from time to time. Don’t let yourself get burned out. Take care of your body by resting when you are tired, eating (nutritiously!) when you are hungry, drinking (again, nutritiously…) when you are thirsty, exercising your body and your mind regularly, and praying all the time. Seek help whenever you need it; never be afraid to ask for it! Important decisions require prayer, expert advice, and your own brain power. You can do it – no matter what “it” is! Relying on God in the tough times grows your faith and your spiritual endurance. He is always with you.
- Finally, Ellie Bean, remember that people – good, honest people – are to be celebrated, not just tolerated, even when they don’t agree with you. God put you here for such a time and place as this, so use this time wisely, joyfully, and in celebration of the life you’ve been given. Life is a great, crazy gift of a ride from God, girl. Stay on His road and it will take you to places you haven’t even had a chance to dream of yet. I can’t wait to see where it takes you.
I love you so much, girlie-cue. I will always be here for you, no matter what. And more importantly, so will God. These next few years will have plenty of great times and a few challenging ones, too, so let’s just keep talking, okay?
In the words of Bob the Tomato, don’t ever forget: “God made you special and He loves you very much”. 😉
Thanks for listening, baby girl.
Oh. And remember how you used to always ask me how much I loved you? Well, my answer remains the same, love bug:
Momma loves every single millimeter of you
to the moon and back…
infinity times infinity times.
Yep. THAT is how much I love you.
I based this letter to Elle on a blueprint of Paul’s advice for living a righteous life from the book of Romans, Chapter 12! Click here to read Romans 12 and see if you might just find yourself motivated to write one to someone YOU love!
And speaking of Romans, if you are following along with us in Seeing the Big Picture: The Book of Romans, you can click here for your homework for this week and a link to our song for this week, “Fix My Eyes” by For King and Country!
Enjoy your week, sweet friends! See you back here next Thursday for our last section of Romans! (Can you even believe it?!)
Peace, love, and OODLES of joy!
Up Next Week: Wrapping it All Up!