I am hoping to write a series of posts to my kids. There are a few things I want them to know and to never forget. So why not write them down? Here goes, in no particular order.
Today I want you to know and to never forget that I love you. Man, do I love you! I have dedicated your whole lives to loving you and have never once regretted any perceivable sacrifice to do so. I am privileged to have been able to stay home with you since you were born. I cherish the memories only God and I share of your early years. Sick, scared, delighted, set-backs, triumphs… I got to be there. What a gift beyond measure it has been to love you in this way.
I can say that I regret only not loving you better sometimes. I failed at times to be more patient, more joyful, more focused on you. I am sorry for my failings—those I know about and especially those I do not. I have always prayed that our Lord would fill the gaps I have created; I believe He will. I pray you let Him, forgive me and live a life skipping for joy knowing this:
I love you for who you are, how you are, what you do, what you like. You both are funny, intelligent, independent thinkers. You both are quirky and see things in unexpected ways. You both have stubborn streaks that you’ve learned to use to God’s glory. You both have an unnatural sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that I hope you protect and grow. You both try hard and care about doing things well. You are geeky and like geeky things. I like that about you. You aren’t afraid to not like things. You don’t follow the crowd just to follow the crowd. You are easy to get along with, which is good; but you make up your own minds about things, which is better.
Stay open and humble and quick to listen to others. Remember to meet new things and ideas with, “I don’t know much about that; tell me more!” Measure everything you hear to the Word of God and assimilate nothing that doesn’t agree. Never be haughty or cruel to the one who presented an idea you reject.
I also love you independently of all the cool things you are. I love you only because I do. You can’t change it. You can’t earn it. I just love you. When you are a pill, harmfully stubborn, thoughtless and even when you embarrass or disappoint me, I love you. You will make choices that will break my heart. That never means I want to break relationship with you. And it never means I stop loving you.
I love you fully. That means that I will do for you, I feel affection for you, I champion you, I cheer for you.
I want you to win. But not as a bully. Not dishonestly. I want you to win in the real game. The big picture. Which probably means that in ‘real life,’ the everyday, you will lose often. I want you to win over temptation. I want you to win over evil by being good. I want you to win as the kindest, the humblest, the most loving. That means that others will make you look stupid, weak or a downright fool. Don’t be deceived by such false appearances and don’t fret about others who are. Walk in confident truth that frequently the ones who look like the winners simply aren’t.
I don’t want you to use your amazing selves—you are so smart, so creative, so capable—to best others. I don’t want you to lord your achievements over the less able. I want you to lift others up, even if it means passing on this world’s trophies. Beat pride. Vanquish jealousy. Steal cruelty’s last breath. Remember who the enemies are.
I want you happy. More than that, I want you joyful. I want you to choose right, even when it makes you feel sad. I love you, so I want what is best for you. As much as I want you happy, I love you too much to make that my life’s goal and pray that you never ever settle for such a fickle thing as happiness. Happiness is only about getting things your own way. Joy comes from embracing God’s way—which is always best.
You know these things. Don’t forget them. Don’t be fooled. I love you.