Happy Mother’s Day {to my kids}

I’m not a “Hallmark holiday” kind of girl. You know the holidays I mean…the overly commercialized, gift-of-obligation type days. Days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to them…just to the commercialization that comes with them. And the notion that you should only acknowledge those people, things, occasions once a year.

That being said, here’s my Mother’s Day wish list.

To my children:

As you grow, don’t spend money on gifts for me for Mother’s Day. Just live your life well.

Chase hard after God. Pursue Him above all else. Dive into your Bible…even the parts that are crazy boring (like the chapters and chapters of genealogy in the Old Testament.) There are lessons for you in all of it.

Be kind. To everyone. I promise you that even the most unkind person has a story that you don’t know.  You don’t have to be their best friend, but be kind. Always. Be kind to those who are different. Be kind to those with differing view points. For some, your kindness may be the only evidence of Jesus they ever see. It counts. Be kind.

Practice gratitude. Be intentional with gratitude. You aren’t entitled to anything. The blessings you have could be gone as quickly as they came to you. You’ll take them for granted…the reality is, we all do. But always show gratitude.

Own your mistakes. You’re going to make them. We all do. I do. More often than I’d like to admit or that you probably realize. But when you do, own it. Don’t blame others. Don’t lie about it. Just own it. Then learn from it.

Forgive with grace. And let it go. People will hurt you, betray you. And the law won’t let me handle it the way I’d like to, so you have two choices. Hold on to the offense. Or forgive. The right choice is ALWAYS to forgive. Release yourself from the hurt. When it’s hard to forgive (and it will be) remember what Jesus did to give you forgiveness. You can do it. You have to do it. Then let it go. Don’t ever let bitterness or resentment take hold in your heart. Ever.

Pursue your passion. God will place something in your heart that just makes you feel alive, that gives you purpose. When you figure out what that is, pursue it with everything in you. Don’t chase someone else’s dreams or passions or plans for you. Follow God’s path for you. Even if it seems crazy. Even if everyone around you thinks you’re crazy. Pursue what God leads you to. You will be happy, fulfilled and totally blessed.

Never ever compromise your beliefs or your standards. Because you love Jesus, you’re life will look different than a lot of your friend’s. That’s ok. Anyone who pressures you to compromise isn’t a friend. And isn’t worth your time. Stand firm. You will NEVER stand alone. Dad & I will stand with you. ALWAYS.

Be unapologetically YOU. God made you exactly the way you are. He didn’t make you to be a duplicate of anyone else. Embrace your quirks. Embrace the things that make you different. Be fully confident in who God created you to be.

Guard your heart. Choose wisely those you allow to be close to your heart. Not every friend will be worthy of access to your heart. When you begin dating (although I’m in complete denial that this will actually ever happen), be picky. Have high standards. Don’t give your heart freely. It’s more fragile than you think. Never never never give your heart to someone that doesn’t put God first. If God’s not first, that person will never give you the priority that you deserve. Be friends first. If you’re not treated well as a friend, you’ll never be treated well as a boyfriend or girlfriend.

To my son. Treat girls with respect. Avoid girls always involved in drama. If she doesn’t seek to embody all that is Proverbs 31, don’t trust her with your heart. When you do finally have a girlfriend (seriously, in total denial that this will ever happen), treat her heart as the fragile, precious treasure it is. Be a gentleman. Open her door. Use your manners. Tell her she’s pretty…not hot, not sexy…pretty.

To my daughter. Hold tightly to your values, your standards. If a boy isn’t following hard after God, he’s not good enough for you. Be slow to give your heart. Not every boy that shows interest in you can be trusted with your heart. It’s a precious, fragile thing and should be treated as such. Never never never doubt your self worth. Never compare your beauty to what the world calls beautiful. You are beautiful.

You will have dark, difficult roads to face. There will be times in life that just plain suck. But even in those times hold fast to two unwavering truths: 1. God is always there and always will be. 2. Dad & I will always be here. Cling to God and lean on those that love you most. You’ll get through it. I promise.

Know how you drive each other crazy? Remember that even though sometimes you each wish you could trade the other in for a new furry pet, your greatest advocate and defender in this life is your sibling. You won’t always like each other. And that’s ok. But remember, your brother, your sister will be the first to come to your defense. And will probably be the first call you make when you’re all grown up and have news to share. You’ve been given a gift in having each other.

Laugh often. Be silly. Dance like you’re Justin Timberlake, even if you really look like Elaine from Seinfeld. Have fun. Make fun happen. Enjoy this life God has blessed you with.

See, if you do these things, you will live a happy, fulfilled, blessed life. And that, kids, is the best gift you could ever give your mom. So live these things every day. And every once in a while buy your mom a cup of coffee.

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