Raising daughters is the single most rewarding thing in my life. It can also be the most challenging. But a challenge I welcome and would not want my life any different. Parenting is hard. Period. I do not care what anyone says, it is very difficult. It is something I desperately want to do well, but so many times have felt like the world’s biggest failure. Pretty sure we have all been here.
Sometimes I’m riding in the car with the girls and my mind is going 100 different directions. I’m completely lost in my thoughts and I will later realize I lost a very good opportunity to spend that time visiting with one of the girls. Or, I will feel a “God Nudge” to go lay with one of them in bed, but I want to get just one more thing finished, and I go upstairs to find them already asleep…another missed opportunity. The older my girls get, the more I’m very aware of these missed opportunities and I’m trying hard every day to be more in tune to time I get with them.
I’m not very routine with a lot of things, but one thing that happens every morning is my quiet time. If I do not get my quiet time, my whole day is off. One of the perks of owning a business is, even though we work crazy long hours, I can go in a bit later in the mornings, which if you know me at all, you know this is HUGE! After the girls are off to school in the mornings, I make my “Liver Smoothie” and sit in our sitting room and read one of my devotional books or just sit and reflect. One day last week, I was reading a story about a mom who knew she was going to pass away from Cancer and left her children letters about the things she felt was important in life and also for their milestones in life. After sobbing through this story, I began thinking about my own daughters. I had taught them everything I thought they should know. Was there still “big life points” I needed to teach them? Had I been so busy trudging through life that I had forgot to tell them things I see as important? So I started writing…and every day since then as I’ve thought of something, I’ve jotted it down.
Here’s some things I’ve been writing down – things I want my girls to know. These are things that I may or may not do well myself, but things I want them to know. Some are things I’ve learned from and wish I would have done differently.
For My Daughters: Alexa Kate & Maggie
- You are loved. And you are loved more than you will ever know. By me, by your Dad, by your family, and most importantly by Your Heavenly Father.
- A joyful heart makes you a pretty person. Sprinkle JOY wherever you go.
- Read your Bible.
- Listen to Worship Music.
- Have dance parties. By yourself or with your family.
- Do not sweat the small stuff. Tomorrow there will be another issue.
- Cherish your sister. This is a relationship that should be one of your very strongest. You should want to spend time with her over almost anyone. If you don’t, figure out how to fix it.
- Cherish your family. They are your support system.
- Do not stress about what others think of you. They do not know the “real” you. We do.
- Live a life that pleases God, even when it’s hard. And make sure God is #1 in your life, relationships, EVERYTHING. You will find your TRUE happiness here.
- One of these days you both will be mothers, no matter how hard you try you will have less than stellar moments as a mother. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It only means you’re human.
- Live simply. “Stuff” overcomplicates life.
- Travel and travel often. See the world. It’s beautiful.
- Never leave the house unless you have checked for nose “boogies” and a makeup line. Both are very unattractive.
- And girls, true beautydoes come from within. It’s something that shines through from an inner joy and cannot be faked.
- Do what is right for yourself. Live your life doing what makes you happy. Don’t do what you think everyone else wants you to do. Such as career, college, where to live, etc. etc.
- Do not settle. For just any man. Please, please, please make sure God is #1 in his life. It will make life so much easier.
- After you determine that God is his #1, then make sure he treats you well. Very well. A kind, gentle soul. Never puts you down. You know in your heart of hearts they will always have your back. No matter what.
- And NO MAN will “complete you”…only Jesus can do that. Your Relationship with Him is what will complete you.
- Marriage does not make everything better. Marriage is hard. It takes a whole lotta work to make it good. You will go through good times and bad times, but the harder you work on it, the better it gets. And it does get better with time.
- Never stop chasing/dating your husband. Spend time together. Pray together.
- There are plenty of “bad/tough girls” in the world. Be a good girl. These are harder to find.
- If you do make a mistake, get back up. Dust yourself off and restart. It’s NEVER too late to make a change.
- That being said, be open minding and have A LOT OF GRACE for others. People make mistakes, people will hurt you. Forgive and forget. It will make you happier.
- Growing up in a small town, it always drove me crazy how people would dwell on the bad things about people. Do not be like that. See that good in them. Yes, you make have things that you disagree with someone on, but overcome it and move on.
- SMILE… at everyone. And look them in the eye. Ask them about them.
- Learn to eat healthy, cook healthy, and LIKE EXERICSE! Your body needs it!
- Stick to a routine, it makes everyday life easier. (you know I’m terrible at it!)
- At the same time, be spontaneous. Those are when the BEST memories happen!
- Keep a clean house. You never know when company will “pop” in.
- Practice Hospitality. Make everyone who enters your home feel comfortable.
- Compliment people.
- Have “quiet time” with God. Every day.
- Take care of yourself. Otherwise body parts start giving out. (my liver)
- Do not rush through life. Enjoy it. Enjoy the stage you are in.
- DREAM BIG
- Bring your family up in a strong Christian home. They may stray, but the Foundation will be there.
- Be genuine.
- Visit with the elderly. You can learn so much from them. Tons of Wisdom to be gained.
- Friends are important. So often we forget about this. Have girlfriends. So very needed.
- Cherish and protect your friendships. Go out of your way to find time to spend with them.
- Be trustworthy.
- Be able to keep secrets. No one enjoys a big mouth.
- Send Thank You Notes. Birthday Cards. Get Well Card…etc.
- DO NOT take yourself too seriously!
- Laugh OFTEN! (laughter is my favorite thing, you know your momma loves a home full of laughter)
- Visit the ocean at least once a year. It’s good for your soul. And just sit and watch God’s amazing work.
- Make you bed daily and wash your sheets weekly! It makes getting into bed so refreshing.
- Take Sunday drives. Drive through the country.
- Remember my mottos: Go Big, or Go Home. Work Hard, Play Harder. Kindness is always necessary.
Love & Many, Many Blessings,