2016. This year tested my faith in a lot of areas and because of this I want to close one of the toughest years of my life with advice to my daughter (and possibly your daughter).
My dear, sweet, kind and beautiful Lucille…I write this for you in hopes that when the world tries to knock you down you know you are not alone. Some years are hard. It’s simply a part of life and I hope you will allow it to make you stronger.
It’s ok to cry. At some point in your life you will lose someone you love deeply. It will be so incredibly painful that it cuts to your core and makes it hard to breathe. You will cry until you can cry no more. You will try to talk about it, but it will not be easy. You might question yourself. It will be extremely painful, quite possibly the deepest pain you will ever feel in your life. I want you to know that life does not promise us freedom from pain. Cry your heart our darling, because tears are good. Don’t hold them back. Cry, then pick yourself up and move on. I will always be here to listen.
Someone you love will get sick. You will have to stand back, watch and pray. Pray hard. You will wonder how sickness can happen to a little boy who is so very full of life. You will try to figure out how to explain it to your children in a way they can understand. The truth is, you will not understand it yourself. You just need to know that GOD IS GOOD. Period. His ways are not our ways and one day we will have answers. Trust in the One who gave you life. Also, remember that the tough times teach us there is still good in the world as shown in this picture!
You will be tested by people. My advice to you is to prove them wrong. Be a fighter, but do so gracefully. Stand up for yourself…when Plan A doesn’t work you make Plan B work for you. Pray about it. Think before you speak. You might just learn that Plan B was what God meant for you all along. Never doubt yourself and the foundation you have built, whatever that might be. Follow your dreams.
Social Media is not real life. Don’t believe everything you read or see on social media. I take a lot of Pilates photos, but you see me edit them. Enjoy it, but try to spend less time on it and more time with your family.
You are called to serve. You, my dear, have a servant’s heart. I love how you love others. Hold service close to your heart….go and do. When times get tough you keep on serving with love in your heart.
You are strong and smart. Never ever question that. I want you to look in the mirror every day and remind yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to do.
Stay healthy. Move your body every single day. Eat vegetables every single day.
Relationships. Don’t settle. Find a man that offers you reasons to love him more and more every day. He won’t be perfect, but he will be perfect for you. You would be so very lucky to find a man like your Dad.
Do what you love. You need to make a living, but always keep your passions close to you. Make time for them. Material things are temporary.
Be silly. Dance in the kitchen, make funny faces, laugh a lot.
Praying is easier than you might think. Talk to God. Small conversations can grant you great peace.
Be grateful for the tough years. The tough years might question you and hurt you, but be grateful for them. If life is easy for you all the time you might not depend too much on God. Take time to be alone when you need it, but try not to push away the ones who love you. Take time to reflect and be proud of your strength.
Never forget your experience in Honduras. The families we love so much there continue to teach me how to be a better person. God knew that we needed them this year more than they needed us.
I love you forever, Lucille. When the tough years come you will overcome. And never forget that behind every good man is a fabulous woman…AND THAT IS THE TRUTH!