Elegant teacups mingle within lace and vintage clothing. White twinkle lights dangle from nooks and crannies while antique windows with peeling paint hang amidst silk roses and hydrangeas. Doilies and old-fashioned hats strung about like a kaleidoscope with purpose. The tearoom is enchanting.
My daughter and I escaped the smelly socks and testosterone this morning for a lunch date. No boys allowed. All things girlie and shabby sheik are a necessity every now and again.
At first, Ella wondered if it would be just us. Would anyone meet us there? Would we be alone? I sensed her insecurity of being alone—with just me. She’s getting close to the tween age, and I can almost see the days when I will be dropping her off down the street a ways…
Yes. Just us.
And it was delightful. Our chatter ranged from the yummy goodness of our meals to friendships, school, and decorations. I even opened the door for her to give me a blunt picture of where my momminess could improve. Surprisingly, the picture she painted wasn’t as bleak as I thought.
But as we sat there, I found myself wanting to speak the important lessons of life into her heart all at one time. You know. If I could just fill the envelope of her heart with a letter she could read over and over again. And remember. Even listen to? There is so much I want her to know. So much I want to burn into her soul.
One day her brother will get his own letter. In fact, as I write this one, I’m fighting a one armed-hook-wielding pirate while chanting, “Argh, Matey!”
But today? Today the letter is hers. A letter that begins with something like…
You’re beautiful. The spirit inside you shines on your skin, lighting your eyes. Because true beauty begins in the heart, and your heart is beautiful. Some of the most beautiful women I know have white hair and deep wrinkles.
Love Jesus with every fiber of your body, every piece of your heart, every single one of your thoughts. When you completely love Him, you are complete.
Give grace. It’s your middle name because. Because grace is the most beautiful gift Jesus has ever given, even though none of us deserve it. Have the grace to see all other humans through the eyes of your Jesus.
Forgive quickly. Forgive every time. Forgive because you have been forgiven. Forgive because bitterness destroys you, not the one who has hurt you. Forgive because it is the most difficult act of love and the most beautiful.
Be courageous. Life will scare you. It will come at you swinging. But remember, courage is acting in spite of your fears. And the life of courage is the life worth living.
Stand strong. Always seek the peace in every situation, but never waiver from your convictions. You can hold fast to your beliefs with dignity and grace. Just look at Rosa Parks or Mother Teresa.
Love completely, but know you will face heartbreak. You will. And momma can’t dry those tears. But life is worth nothing without love. So love so much you think your heart will burst.
Be authentic. Peer pressure is really the evil one whispering in your ear to be something other than what God has created you to be. So be you. Be the incredible you that contains God’s signature on her heart.
Understand differences make up the stained-glass beauty of life. Unique friendships, with those most unlike you, are the friendships that test you to your core. But these friendships will bring sweet memories of childhood and strong shoulders as an adult.
Know that millions of children in this world do not wake up to the love of a parent. To the warmth of a bed. To food on a table. Know that some of those children sit next to you in class. They need your love. Not a turned up nose.
Speak the truth in love. Always. Because the truth really does set you free, and the weight of lies will only chain you to a heavy burden.
Being a woman is a gift. We, too, are created in God’s image. We too bare His mark. Femininity is beautiful. And being a women means you can play basketball with a ballerina bun in your hair. You are as important to the Creator as any man on earth.
You are never a mistake. You will make many. Thousands, really. But those mistakes can become lessons if you allow them to teach, to instruct. Always ask yourself what you can learn. But know this—It doesn’t matter how many wrong decisions you will make; you’re never a mistake.
I will always love you. You may break my trust. You may hurt my feelings. You may fail countless times. Know I will do the same to you. But my love for you can never, ever, be shaken. It is the love of a mother who belongs to Jesus. And that love, my daughter, can move mountains…
Maybe there are other lessons. Lessons that I will need to whisper in her ear and pray into her heart. But this is a start.
So the letter goes on this page, and maybe folded upon her pillow to read when we’ve fought or when I’ve been wrong. Or when life has caused tears to seep out the corners of her eyes and down her face. To be read when she needs to know she’s loved.
Because sometimes love letters are what we need more of in our dark world.
And blessed miracle, there is a love letter more beautiful than any I could ever write. We have one from our Creator to read when we’re angry at Him or when we’ve done wrong. Or when life has caused tears to seep out the corners of our eyes and down our face. To be read when we need to know we’re loved.