As I mentioned an earlier post, I had a great chat with Jeff Henderson of Gwinnett Church recently.
One of his top tips to you is to write a letter
(or if that’s not your thing – have your husband do it),
to each child on their birthday if not more.
I am writing one tonight to my Ella.
It’s not her birthday, I was just up with her because braniac over here forgot to take her potty so we had tears, laundry and drama in the night
So, because I couldn’t go back to sleep.
It had me thinking about MY FIRST BORN BABY.
I don’t ever want her to doubt and wonder exactly how I feel about her.
On many days, I’m sure the signals are confusing.
Before you start comparing and getting down on yourself.
You can do this too.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen, take 5 minutes
and pour out your heart to your kidds.
Or, swipe mine and change the names.
Just toss it in their baby book or a drawer for them to have later depending on the age.
LETTER TO MY ELLA
Oh my precious girl. I just had to be sure you knew exactly how I feel about you on this night. It can be confusing from time-to-time because mommy doesn’t always do her best at showing you exactly how I feel. You are simply a great kid. I am so proud of you. You are the greatest, smartest, sweetest, kindest, cutest, patootest 5.5 year-old on the planet. Do I love you because you are pretty? Smart? Kind to others? NO! I do love those things, but I LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE ELLA… and you are MINE*. God made us a match. He knew exactly what I needed as a mom and you needed. You are just perfect as you are – glasses and beautiful thick hair and mommy’s toes and long legs that can run super fast. You are perfectly made by HIM!
I should also remind you that your parents love Jesus more than anything in the world. We love to learn about Him at church and through small groups, through reading our Bibles and prayer. We believe we can trust our entire lives and every little detail with HIM! That’s the very reason we moved to Orlando this year my baby girl. We didn’t just quickly decide. We prayed and prayed and let God guide our family. Someone told me the safest place to be is the center of God’s will. You’re in a safe spot sweet baby. That doesn’t mean our family will have zero hard times. It just means we have a purpose to our lives and a peace that the God of the universe is in control and we love that! I can also tell you that your mommy and daddy adore each other and are committed for life. Sometimes, we may disagree but always know that our marriage is oh-so-important. That’s why we will go on dates and trips away from you so we can keep it strong for many many years. We love you that much!
I cannot believe you are 5 and 1/2 and the changes I am seeing before my eyes. In some ways, you are still my baby. You still love to snuggle, you still need me to fix your wounds, you still shed some tears, and you’re still begging for me to sleep with you. In other ways, I’ve watched you SOAR into the this super big girl this year. You have become so confident. You jump on your bike and FLY down the street. You leap with confidence and smiles onto monkey bars and clmb and never look back for me (except to be sure I’m watching). You love to write and play school and want to read books so bad. You have 3 Bibles by your bed and I hear you pretend you are reading them and it warms my heart. You are saying all of the right things/truths that would be in there, just maybe out of order. It’s so precious.
You have been SO BRAVE with the move to Orlando. It isn’t easy to leave everything you know at 5 and move into a new town and make new friends. You have done it so quickly with a happy heart. Your teachers adore you and so do your new friends. You love your new room and have been so brave being upstairs away from mommy and daddy.
You are so protective of Larson and want to care for her and teach her things every minute of the day.
You two snuggle and touch and somtimes bicker. All sisters do that! 🙂 You’re learning to let her go first and give her some space. I’ve watched you grow in this area and I’m so proud.
You are sensitive like your mother. And you will hear that term and you may not like it. Let me just tell you. Yes, you might tend to get your feelings hurt easily like me. However, the greatest GIFT of that trait is something God loves. You will be the best friend and encourager because of it. You will have this crazy sense to know when something isn’t “right” around you. When someone ELSE is hurt or down. You will use that sensitivity to encouage and lift others up. I am proud we share that trait. We must fight to be strong and courageous and say “ouchy-ooo” when we really want to cry. I love this part of you and I love your precious heart. I see this come out when you are in trouble. You true heart’s desire is to do well. And, for mom/dad and others around you to know you’re doing your best. I can so relate. You do NOT like letting others down. Remember what Grammy says when we spill milk or fall or anything silly… “some days it happens!” I love how that has worked for me/you.
Ella, I love being home with you. Some days, I might not act that way or communicate that. I truly do. I am so grateful that God has blessed our family so that I get to help in your school and pick you up and swing on the porch and just be with my baby. Next year, you’ll go to Kindergarten and I know you are ready. You are smart and confident and will soar yet again. Mom won’t be ready. As we always sing, “never grow up,” I’ll be trying to stuff you down back into my lap like I do.
I love how you love me. You want to simply be with me 24 hours a day. You stare at me and play with my hair and just melt in my arms. I never want that to end. I am so grateful for this season of life when this is the case. You inherited the gift of encouragement from your Meese. You encourage me so often. You just know when Mommy needs a hug or even some words of wisdom from a 5-year-old. I love talking with you about all things big and little. Our bedtime chats are the best. I get a peak into that heart of yours. Always know you can tell me anything. I am here for you to hear what made you sad, happy, mad or scared.
I want to be a better mom that makes you proud every day. When I do make mistakes and make you feel like you’re the problem – just remember that it’s most likely mommy and I want your forgiveness.
You are a great, smart, amazing girl. And, your dad and I are oh so pleased.
I love you, Ella Bella
*The section in purple at the top (I love you because you are Ella) is something I LOVED from Chris Green’s message at Hallie’s memorial service. So great. I’m sure he’d be honored if you swipe it too.
NOTE: If Ron writes her one, it will be 1/8 as long and just as powerful. He has the gift of brevity. 🙂 I hope we start making this a habit for our girls. I suspect those mini-mes will also adore words of affirmation and these will feed their souls on many days.