Hello my precious girls!
Today I had a thought. If I learned that next week would be my last on Earth, what do I want you to know? My first thought was how I love you more than you will ever, ever comprehend. Then my mind flooded with the seemingly endless things I want to share with you. What I kept coming back to was how deeply I want you to know at your core just how unbelievably awesome you each are. Right now. No achievement required. No validation needed. Of course, I hope to teach you that through persistence, hard work, and a positive attitude, you can make a massively fulfilling difference in this world. But at this very moment, you already are absolutely EVERYTHING you are supposed to be. One of my greatest mom-worries is that you place your confidence in the hands of others. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by our Lord. Period. You each have unique gifts he wants you to use to better this world. Never lack confidence in yourself or allow comparison to whisk away one ounce of your potential or happiness. You have to narrow (or eliminate) the “give-a-rip” gap.
Most of us have to pass through the give-a-rip gap: the time between your carefree childhood days and sometime into adulthood where you care about and try to gain the approval or admiration of people that don’t matter. Make this gap as minimal as possible. Habitually turn away from that desire for outside approval and toward an innate knowing that you are doing the best you can, where you are, with what you have. Influences (many of which are not of the soul-building variety), come at us from every direction all day long. These can alter our thinking, behavior, desires, and worst case: cause us to lose sight of God’s masterful creation within you. Our classmates influence us to want the trendy clothes or make it seem like we are “less than” if we haven’t had sex or been drunk. A career in advertising or entertainment is deemed more glamourous than becoming a teacher. Every mom in town works outside the home, so maybe I should continue working too. People bend, twist and fog up their online lives and serve it up as effortless reality. We can easily get caught in endless comparison leading us to feel up, down, or that we are not as good, smart, successful, pretty, rich, or [name your attribute] as so-and-so. An unwavering confidence in yourself will help you rise above. Funny thing is, you will find that the universally most admired people share a single trait: Authenticity. They have passed through the give-a-rip gap and landed solidly on the other side.
I do recognize that comparison is innate. Everyone on Earth has an inborn need to be validated. To feel important. As your Dad would say, we all need our tires pumped. Here’s the thing: you were validated the day God created you. Annabel, you have the purest of hearts. You are unbelievably friendly and caring and have been from the time you could wave your hand at every stranger we came across. You sing songs to Isabel and give her stuffed animals to make her feel better. You’re a peace-maker. You’re creative. You’re brave, taking on regular blood-draws and your incredibly difficult diet better than adults. You dance, sing, smile, and give the very best hugs ever. You’re unassuming. You’re great with people, but you also stand up for yourself – a fabulous combination. Isabel, you are wonderfully assertive. You pick up on things quickly. (You even fetched Annie’s shoe from another room, unprompted, and brought it to her when it was time to go when you were only 12 months old)! You are a noticer. You are great at taking in lots of information, filtering it, and pulling out what matters. You are sharp my dear. You are kind. You are physically gifted. You are driven. You work hard to achieve goals. You also give amazing hugs. Sweet girls, these and so many more qualities are already in you!
Have you noticed how I’ve peppered our house with the following quotes:
- “Being yourself isn’t a bad thing, it just means you are brave enough to be yourself”
- “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire” -St Catherine of Sienna
- “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” -Ralph Waldo Emmerson
- “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self” -Ernest Hemingway
- “A desire to fit in will make you invisible” -Jim Carrey
So my hope, my prayer, and my plea to you is this: be yourself. Know in your heart that you were made in God’s perfect image. This means you need to change or conform for NO ONE. Take notice of the things you enjoy, what gets you excited, what scares you or makes you uncomfortable and let that be your guide. DON’T GIVE A RIP ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK. There is such a wonderful peace that comes when you gain an unfailing confidence in who God created you to be and what you are working toward. Negativity from inevitable naysayers won’t shake you. You have a wonderful voice inside your head (It’s from our Lord). Listen, and it will guide you to follow your unique path in the life, be all that you were made to be, and make the difference you were created to make. You are awesome.
All my Love, Mom