Tag Archives: living a good story

Beyond Beautiful: A Letter To My Daughter

11 Feb

Dear Baby Girl,

I can’t wait to welcome you into the world.

You are brave to enter this place. It’s big and wide and complicated and dangerous.

But it’s beautiful too.

It’s filled with laughter and the smell of fresh-cut grass,  and light shining on ocean waves and soon, you.

Your arrival will make this place better.

You and your perfect fingers, your smile, your eyes ready to capture all the color and light, to soak it all in and fill yourself up.

You are a brand new member of the human race. But it’s not a race in the sense of a competition where you shove everyone else out of the way to get first place.

To win at life is to ravenously live every moment, no fear, no regrets, nothing holding you back.

 

Right now, as you grow within this protected, temporary home, you are pure and perfect.

And my hope for you is that you will  know that you can always stay that way.

Some people think that the excitement, wonder and awe we have when we first start out,inevitably fades.

They say loss of innocence is a right of passage into adulthood, that “real life,” filled with all its pain and disappointment will ultimately change you.

But as you grow up, do whatever  you can to keep child-likeness.

Play. Giggle. Trust. Hug. Explore. Be silly. Look for the good.

Because the world will try to steal what matters right from under you.

Before you know it heartbreak will come, and if you let it, it will lead to bitter cynicism.

But if you’re real careful not to shut yourself up to the pain, if you still see life as still good through it all, something shiny and new will come out.

Redemption.

And you’ll realize how beautiful all of this is.

Your existence.

 

Baby girl, I want you to always know you’re beautiful.

Beyond the perfect skin I know you’ll have, the gorgeous hair and eyes, the sweet personality,

I want you to recognize that beauty that comes from loving life,

From loving the whole world so deeply you just have to drink in every moment.

From a love that comes from within you and surrounds you,

From a still small voice that defines you.

I want you to know that who you are is so much more than physical beauty.

 

Beyond beautiful,  I want you to know you are brave.

There are a lot of things in life that will try to bring fear into your heart.

Fear will paralyze you, steal your joy and passion.

I want you to know, you have the strength in you to defeat every monster.

You have the light in you to shine through every dark place.

You are a fighter, and you have the kindness and wisdom to know what is worth fighting for.

 

Beyond beautiful, I want you to be your brilliant self.

Don’t ever let anyone box you in.

Don’t be afraid to question the things you are told that make you feel less than amazing.

Don’t be afraid to make up your own dance, to your own rhythm.

Think outside of what the majority is doing.

Create something extraordinary.

I know you have it in you.

 

Beyond beautiful, I want you to live a life of conviction and compassion.

To love the loveless and see the potential in every fellow human no matter how “dirty” or far gone.

To really care for the “least of these” not just as another popular cause or spiritual duty,

But with a deep, aching sense that speaking life into another soul, fighting injustice, freeing someone from bondage,

that giving a single glass of water or piece of bread away is the most important thing you can do.

 

Beyond beautiful, I want you to know Jesus, for who He really is.

Your friend, who will always be with you.

Complete love and grace.

Truth that sets you free.

The giver of all good gifts in life.

And if anyone ever tries to tell you anything different, you will know deep in your heart they are wrong.

You will know what is good and right and true because you will know Him.

And you won’t need a soapbox or pedestal because people will see your life and know what is real.

 

And beyond everything, I want you to know you are loved.

loved

So, so loved.

That love is what makes you grow, what gets you through life’s challenges, what shows you a billion possibilities.

That love will be your choice. Above being right, being smart, being cool, successful or tough.

That love will be your story.

And you story, my dear,  will be a great adventure.

I can’t wait to start at the beginning and watch as you turn the pages.

See you real soon.

Love,

Your Mother

Let Me Tell You A Story

3 May

I am sitting down to write this morning because that seems to be the way I get my lungs and heart to work.

Writing sometimes feels like riding a stationary bicycle. You approach it with resistance, maybe a little boredom. You don’t really feel like you are getting anywhere, but later you feel the ache coupled with a sense of accomplishment.

You are getting stronger.

On better days you feel more like Captain Cook traversing over unknown lands, embarking on great adventures to go where no human has gone before.

At least, that’s what it seems,  until you see footprints in the snowy tundra.

Because really, there is nothing new under the sun.

But I don’t say that cynically.

The world can always be seen as new, it’s all a matter of whether we open our eyes or not.

So, as writers and artists we dare to portray ancient truths in new light. To make connections, build swinging bridges over deep and dangerous chasms.

We write to make sense of life. 

When you forget this, you begin to live like life isn’t very extraordinary. You begin to get into this routine, chugging through hours and days, waiting for something exciting to come your way.

You forget that being a writer and being an adventurer go hand-in-hand.

You realize you can make your own way,  so you do, slashing through thick proverbial jungle green, pointing out that bright yellow bird along the way.

“See that? Look at the way his feathers shine. Look! Look how those droplets of dew glisten in the sun on that green bud!”

 

 

And the party you are leading, (because you are never on this journey alone) “Ooh” and “Aww” because they were so focused on the mosquitos and overwhelming foliage they couldn’t see the beauty right in front of them.

And so eventually you come upon a clearing in a valley. Inevitably, somebody starts a fire. The weary travelers take off the loads they have been hauling and rest, staring into the flickering flames.

And you all feel like maybe you are just like  generations of people who lived this way, who found themselves journeying and  suffering and reminding each other of bright birds and water droplets right in front of them.

Then someone stands up, energized by thoughts of those that have gone before them, and speaks, those sacred, exciting, life-giving words,

 “Let me tell you a story…”

Then all goes silent.

Words tumble out, dancing upward with the firelight.

And the world becomes new.

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