Welcome to the second installment of the “Valentine’s Editions.” Despite the fact that Valentine’s Day has historically been focused on romantic love between couples, we all know that love comes in so many different forms. Today I am turning that rose-colored spotlight specifically on moms and daughters.
I originally wrote this last year when my daughter was struggling through a stressful time during her freshman year of college. Moms, you know what I’m talking about: you get that 1 AM phone call, she’s falling apart, and there isn’t one doggone thing you can do about it. In the end, she stays awake most of the night working and 600 miles away, you stay awake most of the night worrying and praying. These are the thoughts I woke with the next morning, updated with a Valentine’s twist.
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.I dreamed of children & God gave me you. My precious quiverfull. And you were enough. Click To Tweet
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 — a beautiful sunset, walking in a crystal clear stream, a cold night snuggled in front of a fire. 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.There's value even in unfairness. Leave the hurt, but keep the prize. Click To Tweet
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.Let the lines on your older face tell the story of a woman whose smile brought joy to every person… Click To Tweet
7. Manners matter.
Say please, say thank you. Hold the door. ‘Nuff said.
8. Use lotion.
Everyday. Everywhere. Liberally. ‘Nuff 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. Take time to reflect.
Life is busy, and you are in the busiest season you have ever experienced. There is so much you have to do, and so much more that you want to do. You would love to do “all the things,” but you’ve learned that in college you are lucky if you get 2 out of 3: time studying, time sleeping, or time with friends. In the midst of it all, stop. Just once in a while make yourself stop, think, journal, dream. Be still and relish where you are, who you are, and Whose you are. You will never be here again, in this exact place as this exact person. Freeze this moment in your heart; your mind will make many wonderful trips back to this memory over the years.
17. Lipstick is your best friend.
Somedays you’ll oversleep, or you’ll be exhausted, or no matter how much coffee you drink, you will feel and look like you are living “the morning after the night before.” Those are the days a girl pulls out her secret weapon: that little tube of glorious color. And if you’ve got a pair of big sunglasses, you’re golden!
18. 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.You'll have hard days but your response is up to you: choose JOY. Click To Tweet
Do you want to strengthen your bond with your daughter as she grows into adulthood? Made to Last…45 Ways to Nurture the Mother / Daughter Relationship is chock full of ideas to help you intentionally cultivate this uniquely wonderful relationship. Click here to get your free copy!
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