My oldest daughter and Mom’s oldest granddaughter, Jackie, turns 11 today. So on her special birthday, we wanted to share the dreams we have for her.
Faith – in God and in yourself.
My family never went to church. They never talked about God. Still there was always a part of me that knew all about Him. Friends invited me to their church. I fell in love with the beautiful stained glass windows and the songs that filled me with wonder and awe. I loved Jesus even before I knew His name. I sense you have this longing in your soul, preserve it.
Faith also rests in yourself. Be real. People want to be around real people, not people who change like a chameleon. Get grounded in your beliefs and stand firm. Some people will want to change you. Understand a lot of people aren’t as strong as you are and be patient with them.
|Nana and Jackie 2000|
Love – guide your heart.
Sanskrit has 96 words for love, Persian has 80, Greek three, and English only one. One word and we use it for everything. We love our parents, and we love pizza. Well, yes…but no…I mean, it’s not the same, is it? Love is powerful and wonderful. Take it seriously. Right now you know love as parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Before long, you will start to have tender feelings for others. That special young man will be standing on your doorstep. Choose wisely; guide your heart to guard your heart. Be honest about your feelings; love is not a fad. We can have a lot of wonderful friends, boys and girls, but real love is to be treasured. Look at Mama and me – we’ve got your dad and papa.
Dream Big – you can be anything you want to be or dream to be.
When I was your age, I wanted desperately to be a paleontologist. I poured over library books on the subject. I dug up half the yard looking for bones. One night my dad picked up a book off the mound in front of me, flipped through the pages and said, “Do you see any women in this book?” I grabbed first one and then another and he was right, there were no women in the pictures, only a bunch of old, gray haired men. I closed the books, returned them to the library and then decided to become an anthropologist. Lots of books; no women. Geologist? No women. Archeologist? No women.
So, I started writing down my thoughts, eventually writing two books, and I’m still digging in the dirt, hoping to find a pterodactyl toe. And when I’m famous, I’ll head to Egypt, to that one place I found in my dream and I’ll dig until I find it−an unnamed cranium unlike me.
Love: I hope you concentrate on loving yourself before trying to love another. I want you to find your soul mate without too many “sole” mates (my version of the boyfriend equivalent to the crap on the bottom of your shoe or a smelly, rotten fish!). May you find yourself before you find him. If he’s THE one, he wants an authentic you as much as you should.
|Mom and Jackie 2000|
“Dreams are illustrations . . . from the book your soul is writing about you.” ~Marsha Norman
Keep a notebook for dreams. Jot down everything your imagination considers. Later, another dream may replace it, but don’t simply disregard anything on your list. (And for my sake I hope your dreams don’t include inspired tattoos, too many men on motorcycles, collection of Mardi Gras beads, or anything to do with modeling or casting couches).
Faith: There’s a reason it’s called a “leap of faith” and I hope you take that leap. In a world where religion is often distorted and used for evil, remember grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. Let your faith guide you and be your shield without it every being armor against good people.
Stumbling Blocks: Life is full of them. You can’t avoid them. I just want every pothole in the road to teach you something you needed to learn in order to reach your destination. I hope none leave scars that cannot heal. Know your father and I (and sisters and grandparents, Aunts, etc.) are here to catch you if you fall or throw you back in the ring if we think you can handle it!
Technology: May Facebook, Twitter and email lose their social allure and good old-fashioned letter writing, kind conversation and phone calls come back into vogue.
And a final list of what we’ll both need:
· Patience – for each other and in life
· Prayer – but know unanswered prayers can be the sweetest gifts
· Resilience – for when patience and prayer need a helping hand
And know all the things we want for you could not possibly be compiled in a list.
God lent us one of the sweetest angels when He gave us you!
|Jackie - end of 5th grade|