Our daughter turned the BIG 5 years old this week. We have been celebrating more than normal since she is 5 and we wanted this year to be different for her. Between parties with friends and family and classmates and random surprises from us (her parents), I think this milestone will be remembered for our daughter.
The following is a letter to our daughter to give her hope and direction as she gets older:
I cannot believe you are now 5 years old. I remember holding you in the hospital when you were born. You had a look of wonder in your eyes and you fit perfectly into my arms. As I held you in the hospital, I wondered if God was crazy. I always wanted to be a daddy but the reality of being one did not hit me until I was holding you.....and when we arrived home from the hospital.
The last 5 years have been quite the adventure. From exploring parks, museums, racing you down slides, and making up our own songs, you continue to amaze your mommy and I. Your creativity and love of God and others is amazing. I write the following to you to aide you in your Journey:
1. Keep your love for reading, art, music, and dance. Yes, it is okay to enjoy electronics but continue to keep your creative soul. Your heart is most alive when we see you engaging in these activities that you love most. Continue to ask questions. We love having fun with you and seeing you learn.
2. Give back. Volunteer somewhere. You are never too young to give back. For years, we have made all of these requirements for youth to volunteer because we wanted people to be "mature". Our culture (and communities) have bred the opposite in that many youth (and many adults) think the world revolves around them. Give time. Give money. Give your heart. The world needs it.
3. Love God first. This is one of the biggest tips I can give you. I wish I could say that I mastered this; however, it has taken me many smiles, tears, laughs, and heartaches to learn this one. Love God first because He will be the one constant in your life. People will come and go, trials will occur, surroundings and where you live will change, but God is always....God. He is Love. God is Peace. Love God first and foremost and this will leak into the other relationships in your life.
4. Stand up for something because if you don't--you will fall for everything. Stand up for your beliefs. But don't be a jerk about. Please understand why others do what they do. Everyone will not agree with you especially when it comes to spiritual things but this is okay! Know others' stories. Jesus did not brow beat people into the Kingdom and you will not be able to either.
5. Know your worth. You are a beautiful little girl and we love you so much. Don't let anyone convince you that your worth comes from selling out. Be who GOD created you to be.