As the holidays approach and my children grow older, I find myself working harder and harder to preserve the magic. All the while, I am reminded that while the magic in it all is fun, they must believe in something deeper to appreciate any of it.
Dear T and E,
Someday you may question The Easter Bunny, The Tooth
Fairy, or even Santa. You may hear whispers from your
friends that they aren’t real, but I hope that you always
believe because seeing isn’t always believing. This is the same
with God. There will be times in your life when you may
question God’s existence. You may feel that there is no proof.
To this I tell you, just look around. The proof is everywhere –
in the flowers, the trees, the laughter of a baby, the whistle in
the wind. And if still you wonder because you feel a prayer
isn’t answered or a hardship causes you pain, you must still
believe. God is real.
I pray that you will grow in God’s Grace.
I pray that you will tell the truth, even when it is difficult.
Like I teach my preschoolers; sometimes you will want to tell
a lie, but telling a lie is like trying to hide an elephant under
your coat – it is uncomfortable, difficult, and will weigh you
I pray that you will be kind to others. Someday you will
experience the hurt caused by the unkind words or actions of
another and, though I will be sad at your pain, I hope it will
teach you to never wish it upon another.
I pray that you will do your part. It is a big world and
everyone can pitch in. Pick up trash off the side of the road,
take cat food to the animal shelter, open a door for an older
person, give up your seat for a tired person, sit and listen to a
friend even when you don’t have the time. I promise you will
not regret one of those actions.
I pray that you will admit to your mistakes. No one is perfect.
You will make mistakes. That is ok. Learn from them and
move on. Apologize. Swallow your pride. Make the next step
I pray that you will take success in stride. Do not be boastful
– it backfires. And do not ever think you have reached the
highest peak – keep going. The journey goes on. There is
more you can do. You can always better yourself in some way.
I pray that you will try things that are scary or difficult
because sometimes those are the best things (but I also pray
that this is not skydiving or bungee-jumping, unless of
course that is your ultimate dream and then, still I must
admit I will probably try to sway your dream to something
closer to the ground).
I pray that you will be there for each other, for family is
important and no one will love you more or know you better.
I pray that you stay close and stay together.
I pray that people will love you for the sweet, kind children-
of-God that you are, not for what you wear or who you know
or where you’ve been. And I hope you can see the difference
between the people who love you for who you are and those
who are impressed by those things that don’t impress God.
There will be times, though it is difficult for me to admit now,
but I’m told its coming – there will be times when you will be
mad at your father and I because we will not see eye-to-eye
(maybe a dance we don’t let you go to or a party we veto). I
pray that you will eventually see the reason behind our
discipline and that you will love us for it. I also pray that you
will know that even when you make poor choices, that it will
bounce off of us just like it bounced off of our parents – and
we will love you right through it.
I pray that you know God. I pray that you trust God. I pray
that you never give up on God. Some prayers will not be
answered; that does not mean God has neglected you. God
knows the plan. Life is not easy. You win some and you lose
some. There will be moments of absolute joy and there will be
moments when you do not think you can take the pain. If you
have God, you will be ok.
I pray that you will someday look back and remember being
little and kneeling with your daddy and I at church. I pray
my wrinkled knees will be there too.