Emily at 29
Every year I scramble to think of something “new” to write to you on your birthday, but in reality I just reword the same thing every time – I love you and I want the best for you. So, here I go again…
Every day since you were given by the Lord to me and your dad to steward, I am learning from you, praying for you and trying my best to be the mom you need.
Thank you for teaching me how to be a mom. Thank you for the many laughs we have shared. Thank you for forgiving me when I blow it. Thank you for your grace and for continuing to trust me. Thank you for continuing to include me in your life. Thank you for being a reflection of your dad and of the Savior.
When you were tiny, I can remember being in awe of the pure tiny of your hand in mine. I may not hold your hand anymore but I will always hold your heart and I will always be on your team. I won’t always have all the answers, we may not always agree, but I promise you can count on me to be standing at your shoulder, supporting you, rooting for you and expecting the best of you.
You are a wonderful, smart and resourceful human being and I adore you. There is as much difference between 20 and 21 as there is between 29 and 30 – yet some years feel super different. Age is a weird thing and while we focus on it every year when it is birthday time, it is really not that important. Make the focus of your birthday be on the goals and dreams instead. I have some suggestions(advice) I want to remind you of as you look forward. And just like every year, they are they same mantras I have given you to the point of “nagging!” So here are some things I would tell you at this stage of the game and they are the same things I have been saying all along. May 29 be your best year yet! Here are 10 of them:
Try your best and never give up. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work, work hard. There will be a million people in the world who have ‘more’…than you….whether its height, speed, talent on the on softball field or in the destination imagination challenge, a gift for music or art, or education or even just money….but only you can control your heart and hustle.
Practice makes progress. This is a corollary to the first one, but it means you need to have perseverance and keep acknowledging and encouraging any improvement, even the tiniest steps, as you keep moving through life.
Never settle. If you don’t like something fix it, change it, or change the perspective you have about it. If you hate your job, get a new one. If you are tired of being a slug, move. You are enough and you are worth it.
Be Kind. People are more important than anything. It does not take time or money, it takes the willingness to yield your rights to those of another, which is not always easy. Fortunately you have never been a mean person; in fact you have never even understood meanness, sometimes to your detriment. And it is always the right thing to do.
Be grateful. Some people see the glass as half full and some see it as half empty. Learn to be grateful that you have a glass. Count your blessings. Say thank you – and mean it.
Love your brother. Even when you feel jealous of him, or don’t like his quirky humor or quiet independence, at the end of the day, he will always be your truest friend who has loved you and been there for you. He shares your history and your DNA. There is something special about the unconditional love of family which is why God made it the primary building block of society.
Live within your means. Financially. Emotionally. Socially. Listen to your heart limits. Learn when to say yes and when to say no. Every time you say yes to something you need to say no to something else. Every time you go into debt, you are in essence saying that God has not given you enough. Tithe first. Pay yourself second – save some money. Make margins.
The more you.…You know. The more vegetables you eat, the more you will eat. The more you love, the more you will love. The more good habits you have the more they are Your habits. It takes time to create and keep habits and it is so worth it.
Smile. Laugh. Play. Life is too short. Make happy memories. Choose joy.
Go with God…He always goes with you. He loves you. He is good. He is able. Lean in. He is the only one who can fix/do impossible things. Watch with wonder as He does.
Since your dad died you have tried college, worked hard (often working more than one job at a time), driven an old beater, worked through grief and depression, counseled and ministered in some rough environments without support or respect. You have tackled adult diagnosed ADD and learned how to set boundaries and say no when you need to. In spite of all the setbacks and disappointments in your life – especially the past few years, you have never quit going. You have done many hard things – and you keep doing them, even when you have been misunderstood or marginalized, falsely accused, treated with disrespect or worse. I am proud of your tenacity. I love you with all my heart. Mom<+><
Happy Birthday Emily.