Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Letter to a 14 Year Old Girl: Julia’s Birthday Letter 2016

Her letter but my post-- I get to choose my favorite picture.
Dearest Julia,

This birthday letter writing thing can be serious business now that you’re a full fledged teenager.  There are blush worthy things that need to be said, but maybe I’ll save that as a post script— just for you.  There are still things you need to be taught but these are the days for you to be practicing much of what we’ve tried to teach you.  It’s all beginning to count, you know?  The stakes are getting higher.  Mistakes can be bigger.  Bad choices could cost you more.

So, now is the time.

It’s time for your faith to really become your own.  You need to ask all the questions that you have.  Even the ones that you are afraid to ask— even to yourself.  Let’s have those conversations— and it would be very considerate if you’d do it when your Daddy is around— and see where they take us. Face any doubts you have now— is all this for real?  Does this faith my family has really matter for me?  Why exactly do we pray?  Will I really view the Bible as the final authority?  Ask before you leave us.  We will welcome it.   Don’t just assume what you hear is truth and Biblical.  Check it out for yourself.  KNOW YOUR BIBLE.  We hope we gave you your Bible-for-life this birthday— one that will hold memories for you as you filter your very life through the pages of Scripture.  The notes you make will remind you of markers, heart aches you’ve experienced, celebrations you’ve enjoyed, prayers that have been answered, times you have waited on Him, comfort you’ve received…..  You have a life to be lived and I pray His Word will inform you and propel you every step of the way.  {And when you are old, like me, you can look back on ALL HIS FAITHFULNESS to you.}

We’ve been snapping pictures on SGI for 12 years now!!  I love them EVERY year.  The candid ones are my favorite.
If you take that foundation seriously, the rest will fall into place— and if it doesn’t, it won’t rock your world.  Part of me wants to turn the above words into a begging or pleading because I feel so strongly about it.  You’ve heard me say these things so many times but He won’t disappoint you.  He may bewilder you, but NEVER will He not come through for you.  You may hurt in the present but I promise you, give it some time and you will see His goodness.  I’ll stop— but make your faith your own— preferably before you leave our home.  ; )

I love your friends, Julia.  You’ve been so blessed to know and get to know some of the sweetest girls in Fort Worth.  I know you don’t always feel you fit tightly into any one group but sweetheart, I know these girls love you and are blessed to get to call you friend.  I am trusting that God has a creative plan for your friend group and that you are going to have a blast all through high school with them.  But as new ones come, pick them wisely.  Hold close the ones who share your values— and the ones who don’t?  Engage them WITH your friends.  Introduce us to them.  Show them what Christ’s love looks like.  Share His love with them.  And then let them choose.  But always, always stay connected to your close friends.  This is a time in your life when friends really, really matter.  Does this quote from D-Town look familiar? “The friends you ride with determine the course of your life.  Make sure you are riding with people who point you to Jesus.” {Harrison Ross}  He’s absolutely right.

There is another type of friend that is on the horizon…..  and that would be a friend that is a boy….. or a special friend….. or a BOY-FRIEND.  There.  I typed it.  And I know there is one you’ve preferred for a little over a year now and I must say, that has been a very sweet experience.  {And a HUGE learning curve for me— AND his mom!!}  We have navigated some BRAND NEW things this year but I think it has been a lot of fun— and did I say sweet?  One day I can write ALL about it.  But more is coming and like I said at the beginning… more is at stake.  As you gain more freedom, you’re going to have more choices to make.  As a mom, it’s my job to prepare you for that— because, really, you have NO IDEA.  I could go off on a momma rant/talk here but I’ll save that for some face to face.  My prayer is that you will choose boys to spend time with just as you have picked the girls you like to hang out with— ones who share your faith in God, ones who respect you, ones who value who God has created you to be, ones who truly enjoy your personality…..I could go on and on but I just want you to just enjoy these special friendships.  Learn from these young men.  Admire their qualities that are so different from your own.  Pray for them.  {Being a young man is really hard.}  Be an encouraging and honest friend to them.  Inspire them to be better young men.  And make their lives a little easier by continuing to be modest in your dress and your actions.  Again… you have NO IDEA.  {Face time, girl. Later.}

But now is the time.  Remember that.

Would you be shocked if I stopped right there?  I am shocking myself but I think I should stop.  Those are biggies, girl.  I want those to stick with you.

Even with all the groundings and lost privileges, I have SO ENJOYED YOU this year.  We have had a lot of fun together.  I love that we both love a good story and a good bargain. {I may never beat your Old Navy 50 cents shoes… impressive.}

I am proud of you because I see some really great things becoming a part of who you are.  I am not your friend now, but oh, girl, God willing, we are going to the best of friends one day and I simply cannot wait.

I love you,

You got braces this year!!!
You and your city garden bounty
Concert in the Garden- Journey
I get a LOT of these on my phone! {Where is this shirt/outfit anyway, Julia?  I like this one!}
Our summers at the pool-- sweetest group of kids
Angel in Ballet Concerto’s Holiday Special “O Holy Night"
First day of school
Best day-- picking you up from camp
Such a fun memory....can we do this tomorrow?

Quite proficient in the kitchen...
Your “oldest” friends in the Fort 
First ride on the Texas Giant!

No matter what you think, he does love you.
Awesome Camp Joy founders and creators

Grateful for long time friends

And these decade long friends...HOW many pictures do I have of THESE THREE?!?

This picture on Disney Day says SO MUCH about you.
Remember.  ONE DAY-- BFFs  LOVE YOU!!


1 comment:

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