Tomorrow I will celebrate Mother's Day. Cosette Elise, YOU are the one who first made me a mother. I knew I always wanted to be a mother, and when they placed you in my arms, I felt SO blessed to have that desire answered. There are many women still waiting to become mothers, and the fact that I get to be yours makes my heart sing with gratefulness.
This year, you will turn nine. NINE. One year away from double digits. You are not a baby anymore....not even a little kid.....you are turning into a beautiful young lady. And as you get older, there are so many important things that I want to make sure you are aware of. This world can be a cruel place, and if you are prepared with a few simple truths, you will sail through it so much easier. So......
1. Value the love of your Heavenly Father above all else. Value that love above achievements, above schooling, above intellect, above career or income, even above the desire to be a wife or mother. Seek His love each and every day. Fall on your knees and seek HIS advice before you head to google, politics, friends, or the latest fashion magazine. A true women of God has beauty radiating from her that no make-up or hairstyle can ever copy. Look to the wonderful women God has placed in your life already and copy their habits--daily Bible reading, prayer, worship, etc.
2. 'Modesty is the best policy'---but you already know that. I see you making wise choices even now. Rejecting a skirt that's a bit too short---layering that tank top under a shirt---I'm so proud of the decisions you are making. You see, when people look at you, you want your life to radiate Christ. But it's hard for them to see 'Christ in you' when all they can see is....well....you! Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that fashion is bad, or that you should ignore how you look. God made you a woman, and you are beautiful. God loves beautiful things. Take care of yourself, care about how you look, take care of the body He has given you. Choose clothes that are beautiful and bring honor and glory to God, and dress in a way that reflects your love for Him.
3. Be confidant in who you are and how you look. And I do not mean 'proud'. I do not mean for you to be caught up in your looks, in your appearance, until it becomes all-consuming and like an 'idol'. The Bible tells us that God looks at the heart. True beauty comes from within. What I AM saying is this---The world will try to criticize everything about you---either you are too tall or too short, too skinny or too fat, your hair is too thick or too thin, your skin too tanned or too light. Let me tell you this now, my daughter---the world doesn't know what it is talking about! You are made just right, JUST like you are! Whether you are 4' 11'' or 6' 3'', God made you exactly as He intended to. I know this all for a fact! For years, I hated my thick, coarse hair. I was sure that God had 'messed up' when he 'blessed' me with this hair. Your Grandma Karen would always tell me " Jaime, your hair is beautiful! Some girls would love to have your hair''. But still, I looked at the popular, flat-ironed hair of the day and was sure that mine was just awful. But do you know what Daddy tells me now? That my thick hair is one of the things he's always loved about me. Imagine that----what I THOUGHT was my worst quality was actually something that Daddy loved. So be happy with who you are, Cosette.
4. Be content with where you are. The Bible tells us that God will never leave us or forsake us. No matter where you are or what you are doing in life, God will be with you. The grass will always look greener on the other side of the fence. It will be easy to think things like "Oh, if I only had more money like so and so, THEN I could be happy", or " When I finally finish school, THEN I will be happy", or "If I were only married, THEN I could be happy". The truth is, all of life is a journey, and if you are constantly waiting for the 'next' thing to happen, you will miss the journey on the way. Rejoice that you are where you are today, with a Heavenly Father Who loves you enough to send His Son for YOU. And then, LIVE LIFE!!
5. And finally, continue to cultivate that compassionate, caring spirit I am so delighted to see taking shape in you. When you visit our older neighbors down the street and take them flowers or cookies, it makes my heart sing. When you say that you want to care for orphans and older people when you grow up, this reflects the love of Christ in your life. It proves to me that you are growing beyond just caring for yourself---you are becoming open and compassionate towards the needs of others, and the Bible tells us that THIS is 'true religion'. You are showing the love of Christ in your life, Cosette, and continue to let that light shine!
Cosette, you are my sweet daughter. There is nothing else that would make me more joyful than to see you grow up to be a beautiful woman of God. Thank you for making my first Mother's Day possible all those years ago, and thank you for the sweet young lady you are becoming!