1. I hope that as parents, your father and I instill in both of you a love of education and books and seeking knowledge. Read everything you can. Don’t limit yourselves to one genre or voice, seek out books written by people from near and far. Fill your head with philosophies and history and science. Question things as much as you need to, but always do the work to get your answers. Education is one of the few things in life that can never be taken away from you.
1. I hope that as parents, your father and I instill in both of you a love of education and books and a thirst for knowledge. Read everything you can. Don’t limit yourselves to one genre or voice, seek out books written by people from near and far. Fill your head with philosophies and history and science. Question things as much as you need to, but always do the work to get your answers. Education is one of the few things in life that can never be taken away from you.
2. I hope that you travel the world. I pray for the opportunities to start your wanderlust at an early age, but if we don’t get the chance to travel as a family, I hope that you use that you to light a fire under your wandering feet. I want you to experience as many different countries and cultures as possible. Take every opportunity to go and do and see!
3. I hope that you seek out your passions. Grow them through constant practice and persevere, especially when it’s hard. Be they music, art, dance, sports… whatever, explore and find out what sets your heart on fire and then chase that. God created you both with innate gifts and talents and you are capable of reaching whatever goal you can dream up. Invest in yourselves and your talents.
4. I hope that you practice bravery daily and always remember, we can do hard things. Never be afraid to speak up when you feel something is unfair, unjust or harmful. We are all deserving of kindness. There is no cause or difference worthy of belittling or bullying others. Doing the right thing is not always the popular thing, but it will always be worth it.
5. I hope that one day you know what it feels like to love another person with all of your heart. Take your time (lots and lots of time!). Don’t rush into matters of the heart. Enjoy your youth and be carefree but when you’re ready, loving someone else faithfully and completely will be one of the greatest gifts of your life.
6. Along those same lines, I hope that you know what it feels like to be loved and cherished by another with all of their heart. When you do fall in love, make sure that person is willing to give the same to you. You are worth the effort. True love is an equal partnership.
7. I pray that your heartbreaks in life be minimal. They will happen, and as much as they can feel so consuming and paralyzing, know that they are part of your story. The hurt will shape you and it will make you a wiser, better person. Sometimes, the bravest thing you can do is allow yourself to be vulnerable and walk through your circumstances with your head held high.
8. I hope that you have a community of friends who will be loyal and encouraging and who will lift you up. Over the course of your life you will hold so many different friendships – some of them good and some of them detrimental. Don’t waste time on anyone who is not good to you. Let the lessons from all of these relationships allow you to build a circle of friends who will always be there to stand with you in the highest and lowest moments of your life.
9. I hope that no matter what happens to you, no matter the choices you make, or the circumstances you find yourselves in– remember that your father and I are here to care for you and guide you and support you. Even if we disagree with you, don’t ever be afraid to come to us for help. We may not always have the answer or the means, but we’ll be in it together. We are and forever will be a team that no one can tear apart. Our love for you is without limits or conditions and it will always be that way.
10. And lastly, here is the most important hope and prayer of my mama’s heart, that you never forget that faith in and love for Jesus Christ is all you need. Above the love of a partner, the friendship of your peers, even your family. Let Him be the north star that guides your life. I spent so many years walking through unnecessary darkness and pain because I walked away from my faith. One of my biggest regrets is that you both bore witness to the lows in my walk with Christ. But God, in all of His goodness and wisdom, allowed me to struggle in front of you so that you could have front row seating as He picked me back up and put the pieces of my shattered faith and broken heart back together again. I’ve gotten to share the journey with you both and I pray that it cements Truth and light into your hearts, so that when you stumble in your own walks with the Lord, you can look back and remember all the good work he did and continues to do in your mother.
When I think of your future, my heart can barely contain the hope it holds for you. You may still be small now, but the days are moving fast and I am taking every opportunity to be purposeful and open about my dreams for you both. But these words are just that … my dreams… merely a launching pad for the possibilities of your life. Who will you become? What will you achieve? Only time will reveal those things. I am certain that the very best thing I will ever do in my life has already begun. In whatever you accomplish, you will be my greatest legacy.