Dear Son/Daughter,

I remember the first day I held you.  The image is engraved in my mind.  You were absolutely beautiful.  I was amazed that God would bless me with a child and actually trustME to raise you.  What was He thinking?! How could I be trusted to do a good job? The thought of what the future held and all the responsibility that laid in front of your father and me was overwhelming and yet exhilarating.

Excitedly, I held you.  Again, I was amazed at God.  How could He create you to fit in my gigantic arms so perfectly as a tiny newborn and also as you grew?  I remember thinking, “How can anyone doubt God exists?” when they see the miracle of a child and how they grow.

Well, I embarked on parenting about as seriously as I imagine anyone has.  I thought I had to be perfect.  I embraced my “calling” to mold you into being the best you could be.  I prayed, reasoned, talked to others and researched as to the best way to handle challenging situations.  I vowed to give it my best…. and when I made mistakes (and I made plenty) I first asked God for forgiveness, asked the same of you and begged the Lord to erase my errors from your memory.  Not to preserve my reputation but so that I would not “damage” you.

As you grew, your father and I fell deeper and deeper in love with you.  We saw the potential and plans that God had for you.  We saw that your soul had an enemy.  And that the enemy of your soul would love to stop God’s plans.  We saw the battle ensue.  And we saw you fight … you desired to do what was right.

You grew in stature and knowledge.  You made good choices – we cheered you on.  You made poor choices – we prayed and talked your ears off.  You made crazy choices – what could we do?! We just watched, prayed and waited those out!

Today is very different.  You are grown.  And, as most parents, we look back to evaluate.  There are no redo’s.  Darn.  Because we see our mistakes.  Times I could have been more gentle, loving, grace-filled.  Times that our choices for you were questionable……

Today is different.  We don’t want to parent you.  But it’s difficult.  We want to encourage you and be your cheerleaders.  We love you through and through. Quite honestly, more completely and thoroughly and unconditionally than probably any other human being will.  That’s just part of being a parent.  An ingrained God-given love.  It’s wonderful.  It’s painful.  But much more glorious than troublesome.

Except….  Well….  I’ve seen you’re eyes.  When we make mistakes.  When we lose our cool (we are so darn human, I hate it….still wanting to be perfect for you).  When we give our input.  I’ve seen you look at your sibling.   I’ve seen the blank stare when I ask a question I shouldn’t or start my “teaching” mode.  I shouldn’t.  I know.  I’m sorry. But I’m not.  I love you so much.  I want the very best for you.  I want to cheer you on with all the wisdom I’ve gained from my mistakes.  I desperately want to save you from making the same.  I have seen so much more and experienced so much more than you can imagine – that I can foresee where your potential choices will lead…..

I couldn’t stand and watch you run into the road when you were two… it seems cruel to stand and watch you get hurt now…..

But the polls are in….. the overwhelming majority says I must.  (cringe)

I hope you’ll be patient with me.  I don’t think you would let me walk into the street at my age… and it’s difficult to watch you.

Honestly, though, you do have everything you need.  God has equipped you.  You have the knowledge, wisdom and ability, to make good choices and you have  a keen work ethic to succeed at whatever you set your mind to.   You can stand strong in what you know is the best choice for you personally, and go against the tide/pressure when other’s try to lead you into things that just won’t help you.

Every day is full of choices.  Choices that matter.  Those choices are the building blocks of our character/who we are.  I trust you to make wise choices.

I have faith in you.  I know your hearts.  The Lord will walk with you each step if you let Him.  I thought of a wonderful “quip” to shoot over in a text to you today.  You know the kind… but the Lord reminded me that it’s your time to hear from Him.  Not me.  A glorious day, really.

I believe in you.  You have nothing to prove to someone who loves you through and through.  I miss our times.  But you have a life to live.  I know you will do it well.  Be blessed.  Be strong.

You,  are my favorite people,

and, I… am

your biggest fan,

Mom

Dear Sons/Daughters,

It occurred to me last night that you just don’t get me….  So I think i need to try to explain myself – for the sake of all parents out there – because honestly,……we, parents of adult children, are highly misunderstood!

Ok, here it is in a nutshell.  I love you.

That’s it.  That is IT!   ………….     I love you.

Got it? No, I didn’t think it would be quite that easy to explain.

So let me try….

Ok, when you became an adult (basically, this is the time when you were deemed to have enough knowledge and ability to live life without your parent’s assistance.🙂 – you know, you can hold down a decent job, pay bills, you know right from wrong, you have a good head on your shoulders… )

Uh hum,   When you became an adult….. your father and I switched gears.  Kind of like switching from first gear to second gear when driving a stick shift car…. BUT – I don’t think you noticed.

We no longer tell you what you “can” and “cannot” do. It’s your life!  But we love you.  So we “advise” you about what we see is best.

Because we love you. That’s it!

Did you notice us getting worked up? Getting emotional?  I did.  It kinda annoyed me just listening to myself.  And I know it more than kinda annoyed you.  But when you were two and ran for the road I got worked up too.  Get it?  We love you.  That’s it!

So, I ask you… if you have someone who loves you more than they love themselves (a rare quality that you may not be so blessed to find in the future-I might add….) then why are you so annoyed?  Why do you not put more stock in our “advice”?

When you look backwards and consider if you had taken our advice….what would today look like for you? Better? …. Or not?

just askin……

Nonetheless.  My sweet adult child…. Your father and I do understand.  We do.  Truly.  I know it’s hard to believe but we were young and on our own once.  We wanted to “make our own way”. We wanted to prove ourselves to our parents.  We wanted to succeed by our own abilities without anyone’s assistance.  We do know what it’s like.  Too well.

But, there is one thing….  You don’t know what this is like….

To love someone so wholly.  So completely.  So deeply – a love that you never knew you could feel – so unselfish…. and um, you know, have them misunderstand you.

My advice…. I give it because I’m cheering for you.

I already see you at the finish line.  Successful and victorious.

I know that’s hard for you to believe because you don’t seem to see that for yourself – but truly, that’s how I see you!  I am trying to cheer for you.  Encourage you.

I already see you at the finish line.  Successful and victorious.

That is my problem.  I think all the peripheral is avoidable.  Maybe it just isn’t.  Like the tortoise and the hare.  You remember… the hare ran arrogantly expecting to win the race, as fast as he could.  Meanwhile the tortoise took his time, made a few pit stops and paced himself.  I’m sure you remember that the tortoise surprisingly won.

So, I guess the problem is me.  I guess, when everyone advises me to stop advising you – they are right.  I suppose you do have enough knowledge, wisdom and discernment to do this on your own.  And if you want to do it your way, why not? (cringe)

Well, what was the purpose of my letter anyway? I’m not sure I remember…. oh, yes I do.  Just an attempt to remind you ….. I am simply cheering you on. Not trying to meddle.  There is nothing in it for me.  This is your life.

I love you dearly.  I am surprised how much.  It kinda stinks sometimes.  But I would not trade it for all the money, maids, personal chefs or pearls in the world!!!!!

You are amazing.  You do not have to prove yourself to us.  You will understand one day when your children are grown too.  When they are trying to prove themselves to you – the one who loves them unconditionally without any good reason.  You will see how silly it is that they try to earn your approval when it is ingrained in you.

Then, you will “get it”. 

But for now, I hope part of you will try to believe that we don’t judge you.  You do not need to earn approval that you already have.  We admire you.  We love you.  We are excited about your future and the wonderful choices you have before you.

You, are our favorite people –

and, I, am….

Your biggest fan,

Mom

Dear Son/Daughter,

Last week I saw something in you that blessed my heart – and as I continue to think about it I am so proud of you – and wanted to point it out to you:

Do you remember when you ate that cookie (that you knew you shouldn’t have) and you became really hyper? You were talking a mile a minute and I thought it was cute even though the timing was bad and I couldn’t get your attention…We needed to do schoolwork and it was very difficult. I was trying to teach; you couldn’t stop talking long enough to listen much less concentrate. Then you started acting ugly. You lashed out at your classmate and friend and hurt her feelings again and again. I could tell she was hurt and things were going to get worse if you didn’t stop. So….
I stopped you in your tracks. And forced you to listen to me as I explained that this was the result of eating sugar.

First you get hyper, then you get ugly.
Neither one is what you are naturally.

I explained that the things you were saying to your friend were not things you would normally say – I could tell that you didn’t even really mean them, you were just having a great time talking and it turned ugly. It wasn’t your intention to be hurtful but you couldn’t seem to stop yourself. Meanwhile, you were hurting one of your best friends very badly. As she fought the tears I encouraged her that this wasn’t your heart but just the way you respond and act when you eat sugar.

Then I turned back to you and talked to you about self control. I told you that you were old enough at 11 years old to have self control. And you could be quiet if you couldn’t control those words that were hurting your friend. Then I gave you an example of how a friend’s son would get ugly when he was overtired. As they pointed this out to him, he would realize what he was doing and that he wasn’t acting like he normally would – and before you know it, he was in bed; sleeping it off.

At that point you became very quiet and you wouldn’t talk or even participate in class. When we finished class an hour or so later, I asked you if you were upset or practicing self control. You said you were practicing self control.

If you could have seen my heart it would have beamed like the sunshine I was so proud of you! What a big accomplishment! You went from motor mouth to quiet just so you wouldn’t hurt your friend. That must have been so difficult to fight the urge to talk and talk and talk. You did it!

I am so proud. You are growing up so nicely and this is just one example of how you are maturing and thinking of others and putting them before yourself. Those are the ways that we make our lives fulfilling and meaningful. When we act beyond what may come naturally and do the right thing! I can see God grooming you for the great plan He has for your life and I’m excited to be a part of it!

I’m so proud of your self control and who you are!

It’s fun to watch you grow,

Love,
Mom

Dear Son/Daughter,

Nobody likes a nag!  I have to apologize.  I saw the look on your face that told me I had gone too far.  And it wasn’t the first time.

Can I tell you what’s going on inside me? Maybe you can empathize with this role called Motherhood?!

It’s almost like a cruel joke.

Okay! Let’s go back to your birth… Don’t roll your eyes – you’ll see why!

You were born. Oh my, what an amazing baby! You were so sweet, adorable and we were head over heels in love!!!  Dad and I just wanted to hold you all the time.  I remember we’d get in spats: “It’s my turn to hold him.”  “No, it’s my turn!”  And that never got old.  We both loved being with you, being your parents, watching you grow, being a part of every step.  It is an amazing blessing the Lord gives us to be parents!!

I usually gave in and let Dad hold you; because I had the privilege of staying home with you.  So I had more time with you.  And staying home was so much fun as you grew, and learned the amazingly cute things like laughing, clapping, baby words, baby steps, etc.  The joy is immense!

As you grew, your strengths and weaknesses would show – like they do in all of us.

I remember when you were learning to walk, the room was full of people and we were cheering you on.  You would fall (which would normally make you cry) but because there were so many people cheering you… you simply popped back up, tried again and did it!  Applause brought a giant smile on your face.

You loved people’s approval.  To the point that you set aside what was your typical reaction.  Of course, that character trait can be strength- as you work hard and press through difficult situations OR a weakness- as you yield to please someone you shouldn’t.

That’s just one example of how we saw little glimpses into your personality. When I saw them, I packed them away in my treasure chest of clues of what you might become.  There were lots over the years.  It was fun – like doing a puzzle and seeing what the picture might become.

You have grown up so nicely.  There is so much goodness in you.  Through and through.  I know your heart.  Now that you’re not a kid anymore I look at you differently.  I look at you and I see an adult.  I see you in all your potential.  Overcoming (whatever comes against you and your plans), leading (those around you in the right direction), thriving (balancing work and pleasure), successful (in work, school, and healthy relationships), and joyful (with an inner joy- knowing you are doing what you were created to do).

Can you read that last paragraph again? Because as strange as it sounds, that is how I see you.

It’s the power behind my nagging! See? I have so much faith in you and your potential-

And I believe in you so much-

That I want to urge you on!

I have this crazy notion that I, somehow, can urge you to see the same greatness and potential and skip all the steps that help to build that greatness.  And sometimes, if you would just listen to me I could save you so much pain/hardship – but oh well, I have to get it through my thick skull that you will learn your life lessons your way.  And still become all that you can be!!

This is hard for you to understand – because we all love so conditionally- but this is the truth:

I will always see greatness in you.  No matter how many mistakes you make.  I will always believe in you and be cheering and diligently praying for you.

I pray for you often and I pray for you specifically – so that you will not let anything hinder you.

I am sorry that my concern and urging comes off so negative and distasteful.  Please forgive me.  I am trying to let go and just cheer from the sidelines.  Please pray for me.  That’s the cruel part of motherhood – we are so in love and so attached and our final “act” is letting go.  I’m trying.  Please know my heart.

I love you immeasurably; there are not enough words in the English language to express the depth a mother feels! I am so excited to see all that you become as you continue to grow.

I believe in you!!

Your biggest fan,

Mom

Dear Son/Daughter,

I know you’re struggling. I can see it. And because I’m your mom, I know your heart and that you want to overcome. Can I share something with you that God has been showing me lately?

So often when we are dealing with something difficult, we will make a good amount of progress and then we give up because we think “it’s too hard.”

Let’s face it. There are oodles of things in life that are difficult. Starting with getting up when the alarm goes off, meeting new people, going against the flow, working out, eating right, overcoming a bad habit, establishing a new one, etc., etc.,

But is it really too difficult? When the alarm goes off how hard is it for me to get my body out of bed? And when I’ve had one brownie…really? It’s too hard for me not to have another?!

Think about it.

The Lord showed me a scripture in Deuteronomy 30:11 that surprised and encouraged me. It says, “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.”

Okay, if God says the things I struggle with are not “too difficult for me or beyond my reach..” is it true?!… then why do I think it is?

In thinking about it, I think it’s because I/we want – instant gratification.

I want that other brownie – NOW!
I don’t want to get out of bed – I’m tired!
I can’t go against my “friends” – I’ll be alone…
I don’t feel like exercising – I’ve had a hard day OR I’ve got a hard day in front of me!

We all hate to be uncomfortable. We avoid it. Did you ever notice that sometimes by trying to avoid pain or being uncomfortable we create more hardship for ourselves?

An example of that:

  • When the alarm goes off and we hit snooze – then we run late and start our day stressed, trying to get somewhere on time, and when we’re late we feel defeated.
  • What about when we try to make friends and join in with others that are exciting – but not quite the kind of people we really want to be close to… after a while we realize we are becoming like them…
  • How about that overeating or choosing not to work out? Then we give up the chance to feel good about ourselves.

It may be difficult to fight the battles that are part of our desire to overcome… but when we do the opposite of what God says is best, we don’t have a peace in our hearts. And things are even harder.

As I watch you struggle, I want to remind you that you’re not alone. Really – God loves you so much He sent the Holy Spirit to walk through this with you. That’s God’s power in you. That’s what sets you apart. Makes you different. You can rely on God’s grace and his power working through you. You know that verse that says that God will not give us more than we can bear? He will provide a way out of every temptation. I know sometimes when I’m tempted I see that way out. Usually it’s a thought that comes to mind, “Hey, don’t do that, do this instead.” Shamefully, I sometimes ignore it. But, God is true to His word – he does provide a way out! Watch and see next time you’re tempted. Perk your ears and eyes to see it and dare to take that “way out”!

Then, our faith will be stronger and we will see…

The enemy is a liar…

IT’S NOT TOO HARD!

And when we’ve overcome the struggle – to face another one down the road – we will see that God sends the Holy Spirit to walk with us, talk with us, listen to us, counsel us and be our friend. He cheers us on and keeps us company when all others have no clue what we’re going through.

We are blessed! To know the Lord. Let’s walk in the joy of that relationship. You and I both know it’s not always easy, but let’s be honest…

It’s really not “too hard” either!

We’re all walking through the same journey. We’re all overcoming day by day! I love you and I love that you are part of my “walk”!

Cheering for you!
Mom

God’s assurance to you:
Deuteronomy 30:11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.

John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, ad He will give you another Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby, that He may remain with you forever

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Dear Daughter,

It’s been so exciting to watch you growing up. And now, that you are becoming a young lady, I see you trying to make sense of so many things in life.

There are a great number of different things that attempt to tell you what you’re worth. The magazines expect you to be perfect, the newspapers want you to be a successful businesswoman, the peers at school or work want you to be beautiful and popular, the billboards and movies want you to be sexy… it goes on and on.

There’s a lot of pressure for a young lady. Pressure to be beautiful. Pressure to be popular and well-liked.

It’s easy to forget the important things. It’s easy to forget that God made you uniquely and even, if by chance, you are missing an arm or have a scar across your face you are beautiful.

You are beautiful.

I have watched you for years. You have so much goodness in you. You light up a room with your smile and bring such delight to those who love you.

As your mom, I encourage you not to let the world define who you are. Or tell you what your value is. You know in your heart, you are a precious young lady. When you feel the tug on your heart telling you, “You don’t need to do that to prove you have value,” – listen. Believe it. That is the Creator who made you. His opinion is the one that matters. His opinion and His love for you will never change. He will never steer you wrong.

Your friends are in the same place you are. They may look like they have it all figured out (whatever that means!), but they don’t. Often they too wear a veil of confidence and are desperately trying to fit in.

Realize that you are uniquely you. You don’t need to fit in. You are uniquely you. Figure out what excites you about your future; set some goals; and find some like-minded friends that can walk that way with you. Supporting you. Not encouraging you to be “one of them” and “do what they do.” True friends want the best for you. Self seeking “friends” want you to validate them in their craziness and insecurities.

Do you remember that movie, “A Walk to Remember?” The main character was a young high school girl who didn’t fit in.  The other kids mocked her, made fun of her, because she dressed kind of frumpy, she kept to herself, she carried her bible to class, and was very different from the popular crowd.  What was unusual, was that the girl was quietly confident.  She knew she had value beyond what all the other kids could see.  I’m sure their spiteful remarks hurt her, but she didn’t let them change who she was..

In fact, when the most popular guy in the school came to her and asked her to help him, she agreed with one condition… “As long as you promise not to fall in love with me.”  He laughed and sneered and said that that would be no problem!

But she knew something he didn’t.  He couldn’t see her value.  He had no clue how special she was.  He was caught up in the mindset that the other kids had and getting his value from the majority.  She knew she was something special.

As the story unfolds, he falls head over heels in love with her.  He, in the end, shows the others her great value.  They see beyond themselves and their petty attitudes to see there was something more…

And that’s what I’m encouraging you to do.  Walk in confidence.  You are magnificient! No matter who can see it or not…  Be comfortable with the young lady God made you to be.  Walk out your days doing only what you know in your heart is right for you.  Don’t get caught up in what other’s think of you.  Your value is far beyond what the popular majority thinks.
We all love approval.  We all love people to like us.  And that’s okay.  As long as it doesn’t sway us from who we really are.  Stand firm.  You are beautiful through and through.

I’m proud to be your mom!

With all my love and admiration.

Dear Son,

You may think it a bit strange to have your mom write you this letter, but as a mom I care deeply about every aspect of your life.  I care enough to talk about the tough topics, and respectfully, without invading your privacy.  But I want you to know my heart.

As a young man, there are countless images coming at you as you walk through your “normal” day.  The internet and all the pop-ups, advertisements in the sidebars, billboards as you drive, magazines as you check out, TV shows, movies, and commercials, even your cell phone..

How does a young man stay focused and pure?  How do you fight the good fight? It’s clearly a tough battle.  The more you look around, the more you see…

As sure as God has a plan for your life, the enemy has a plan for your life.  It’s been said one of the enemy’s greatest attributes is that he is patient.  He will wait and wait and wait…. He has no problem in waiting until you vulnerable.  You see, he wants to steal something from you.  When you’re tired, when you’re alone, when you’re lonely, when you care a little too much what your friend thinks….

Pornography is one of those areas that he has a plan for your life.  If he can distort your view of sexuality and the beauty of what God created it to be – he will.  And with most young men, he can.

Think about it….

  • He can mess up your self worth – as you look at porn and feel ashamed that you “did it”.
  • He can mess with your future as you don’t feel worthy to fulfill your dreams
  • He can mess with your marriage as you take those images into your marriage – and your wife has to compete with them (consciously or subconsciously)

Think about this…

God created sexuality for many reasons.  It is a beautiful expression of love between a man and his wife. In the act of lovemaking, God ordained a way of creating a baby that could expand the natural progression of the love relationship.

Pornography is anything that distorts God’s original intention of sex.  First off, God’s plan is for sex to be  between a man and his wife.  It is meant to be beautiful, full of love and intamacy.  Anything else is called fornication.  It’s cheap and explicitly warned against in the bible.  Why? To make us frumpy, miserable? So we’re not cool?

No, just like any other command God gives – the command to only have sex after marriage is to protect us…from heartbreaks, from soul ties (that are formed when two people have sex), from disease, to protect the illegitimate child from hardship/shame, etc., and so that we might experience the fullness of marital love.  It is a beautiful gift.

The enemy would love you to believe that sex outside of marriage and porn, even soft porn, is cool – it’s okay.  “Friends” who are into porn or sex, usually try to coerce others into doing the same – as I’m sure yours are today.  In a way, it makes them feel better about what they are doing.  That’s part of the enemy’s plan.  Don’t you see?  When one of your friends is doing something ungodly – they usually try to get you to join in… And if you don’t – they don’t give up! They keep at you…. (btw – is that a friend?! Are you so afraid of being lonely that you call them your friends?)

Porn takes the beautiful body that God created and turns it into a sensual, self-satisfying, toy.  Read that sentence again…. Porn takes the beautiful body that God created and turns it into a sensual, self-satisfying, toy.  It cheapens the beauty of his creation.

Think about the original plan: God made something amazingly beautiful and sensual.  He blesses it, and us, to enjoy sex in marriage, and the beauty of the bodies he created, and then on top of that – creates a child in the process! How amazing!  Sex in marriage isn’t a self-seeking, self-satisfying act – instead it’s an amazing act of love.

Pornography doesn’t reflect any of that.  In fact, it distorts God’s generous plan.  It wants to distort it – because the enemy wants to mess with your present (and have you live in shame and sensual addictions), your future (your marriage and your bond with your wife), and your past (as you try to escape the images you’ve seen).  It is visions and images that chip away at you.

You’re an amazing young man.  With an amazing future.  Take control.  There is a God who can help you every step of the way.  He is the true friend.  When others lead you in a direction you don’t want to go – you are not alone. There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother – Jesus.

Let Him walk with you, keep you company – when you chose the high road and your “friends” mock you.  Call on Him and He will be there.

I’m here too!
With all my love,

Mom