Every single day I think of something else I want you to know, something I want you to understand down deep in your bones. Sometimes I write it down, usually in no particular order. And occasionally, I share it.
1. You are enough.
When I dreamed of having a house full of children, God gave me you. Just you. You were never a big or little sister, you were my only. My precious quiver full. And you were enough.
When you feel overwhelmed, when you don’t have the strength or the will power or the perseverance to keep going, God does. When you just can’t do it, He can. You can’t do it on your own, but He supplies the grace. And you can be enough.
When you have dreams that seem out of this world, beyond your reach, impossible for one little girl to attain, not only do you not have to do it on your own, but you cannot do it on your own. However, with God, you can bring to fruition any dream He gives you. You will be enough.
2. Sometimes easy is worth it.
The world likes to tell you that anything that comes easily isn’t worth having. Don’t believe it. Some things are very hard, and are very worth the fight. But there are some things that come easily and are more valuable than the world. Don’t miss the joy you can find in the easy moments.
Being your mom has been the easiest thing I’ve ever done, and it is so worth it.
3. Enjoy your coffee.
There are many sources of caffeine when you just need a pick-me-up, but if you’re going to drink coffee, enjoy it. Every sip. Guzzling a cup of black coffee may wake you up, but your day has a completely different start when you take a moment to sit and sip the really good stuff.
4. There is value even in unfairness.
Sometimes things, and people, just aren’t fair. But every encounter and experience you will have contains something of value for you. Find it. Recognize it. Learn from it. Leave the hurt, but keep the prize.
5. People are moody; that doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
I wish we were all on our best game all the time, that what we felt deep in our hearts always reflected on our faces and in our words. But we have bad days, we get grumpy, we snap at those close to us. But we still love. That doesn’t, however, make it right. Therefore…
Your smile is your greatest asset, never let it go unused. Let the lines on your older face tell the story of a woman whose smile brought a moment of joy to every person she met along the way.
7. Manners matter.
Say please, say thank you. Hold the door. ‘Nough said.
8. Use lotion.
Everyday. Everywhere. Liberally. ‘Nough said, again.
9. Get up early.
Watch the sunrise. Have a quiet moment. It’s like finding a treasure trove of extra hours in your day.
10. Once in a while, sleep late.
Because sometimes, it just feels good. And that’s okay.
11. Read good books.
Get lost in someone’s story. Find joy, feel heartache, experience redemption, learn to love, benefit from forgiveness…all from someone else’s experience.
12. Always know I love you more.
I never understood how much a mother loves her child until you were born. Believe me when I say, “I love you more.” It’s not a contest, it’s a universal law.
13. You can have many “best” friends.
You can have a friend who best talks you through your insecurities at 2 AM. You can have a friend who best loves to play. You can have friend who best encourages you to work to your highest potential. You can have a friend who best inspires your creativity. You can have a friend who best knows your past. Each friend is a unique gift. Don’t limit every individual’s “best” to one person.
14. Expect a gentleman.
Acting like a gentleman doesn’t mean not acting like a man. Those two terms are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, a real “man’s man” will know how and when to be gentle.
15. Make your bed.
It makes you feel in charge. Sometimes that little illusion is all you need to conquer your daily giants.
16. Choose joy.
Though sometimes easier than others, it is still a choice. Circumstances change. Things get hard. Stress encroaches on your happy little bubble. Your heart breaks. At the end of the day, how you respond will always be up to you: choose joy. Everyday.
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