I suppose one may call this an “open letter” to my two adorable grand-babies; but limiting my blogging to two precious souls, aged 16 months and 1 month, who can’t read yet, seems a bit selfish. Although I’m fully expecting more cherub-like angels to grace us with their presence, I keep wondering what could this possibly do to lift up other sisters in Christ who haven’t entered this stage of their lives yet. I do want to clarify that I’m a young-ish Gigi.I turned 48 last month, so this qualifies me as still somewhat hip and cool. I think. So, wherever you are today, be it an exhausted mom with littles, a single woman waiting for her prince to arrive, a mom of tweens who roll their eyes at you, or a Gigi like me; pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and soak in some words of wisdom that I wish someone would have told me. I’m no pro at much of anything, but I do know that some words are just too priceless to keep inside. So to my precious babes, Windsor and Charlotte, this is what I pray for you.
1. I pray that you tell your mommy and daddy that you love them every day. Even when they’ve made you mad, and you’ve slammed your bedroom door for the 15th time that week, and you’ve sworn an oath of silence. They have worked so hard to protect you, to teach you right from wrong, and to help you remember that the universe doesn’t revolve around you. You may not understand it now, but you will. And you will thank them for it. They’ve kept you alive, fed you, and cleaned up so many of your spills, you couldn’t count them all. They love you unconditionally. Please do the same. They won’t always be around for you to love on. And by the way, could you hug your mom occasionally? She will probably melt and buy you a pony if you do.
2. I pray that you please keep your curfew. I know that they are the most oppressive and ridiculous burdens to inflict upon you. However, moms don’t sleep until the garage door opens and you walk in the door with all limbs intact. Your mom will assume you are in a ditch, with no cell service, stuck in a snowbank with no coat because you insisted on not wearing one. Don’t do that to her. And don’t compare your curfew to your friends’ curfews. This will only make your dad angry and you’ll be coming home an hour earlier. Trust your Gigi on this one. Your parents care about you and what you’re doing. Don’t make them come looking for you. It won’t be pretty. And I’m pretty sure you will never want to leave the house again out of absolute horrid embarrassment. But really, how many times did I really need to cruise around Sonic on a Friday night in 1987? I can’t even.
3. I pray that you will know the joy of hand-me down clothes. It’s a rite of passage your parents had to endure. So should you. You don’t need all of the latest and greatest of everything. You might think that you do, but if they buy you those jeans, you may not eat for a month. So, chill. Your year-old pair of faded jeans with holes in them are just as cool as they were last year. They are even more faded with holes. Win-win. Oh, and always ask your siblings before borrowing their clothes. This will result in a war of immense proportions if you don’t.
4. I pray that you don’t expect a brand new car the millisecond you turn 16. You should have to drive something that embarrasses you. It’s humbling. And humility will take you places. If you don’t have a car, don’t beg for one if you aren’t willing to work for it. Also, when your dad drives you to a friend’s house, don’t ask to be let out 3 blocks away. Hear me when I say that your parents have been embarrassed by you far more times than they can convey to you. Your parents are the coolest parents I know. You just don’t know it yet.
5. I pray that you will play outside in the rain every chance you get. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories. You aren’t too old to let the drops hit your face and run with reckless abandon down the street. It’s so freeing. Stay outside until you’re soaked to the core. Laugh, chase your siblings, and if you catch them at the right time, maybe mom and dad will join you. Your neighbors will be jealous of you. So ignore their awkward stares from their windows. There’s so little time to run in the rain with your arms spread out as if you could take flight. Bask in it now before it’s too late. You’ll eventually have to “adult” and it’s not all that fun, to be honest.
6. I pray that you will you mow the lawn, take the trash out, and wash your mom’s car. These acts of love will take you far in life; even though You may not call them acts of “love” at the time. You don’t want to be the kid who never lifted a finger to work a day in his life. When real life hits you in the face, you will have zero clue what to do. You’ll be happy that you sweated bullets mowing with a push mower in the middle of July. Really. I promise. Your mom will bring you a glass of tea. It will be fun, they said.
7. I pray that you stand up for the oppressed people you meet on the street. I don’t care if you know them personally. Stand up and defend them. Follow Jesus’ example. Show kindness, respect, and care to everyone you meet. You may never know what a difference it could make. You are no better than they are. And they are no better than you. Volunteer to feed the homeless. Rake leaves for your neighbor just because. Don’t turn a blind eye to bullies who hurt others with their words and actions. Being a bystander is no better. Take a stand. You may stand alone, but at least you stood. Don’t let fear stop you. God’s perfect love will cast out fear. Every. Single. Time.
8. I pray that you choose your friends wisely. You are who you spend time with. Your parents will be nosy. It’s their job and they’ll be good at it. Don’t let friends pressure you to do things you know are wrong. They aren’t your friends. It won’t be easy, little ones. The world is a cruel place sometimes. Friends let you down. They gossip about each other and they steal your prom dates. Trust your mom when she says you can’t go to “that kid’s house”. Intuition is our middle name. We are stealth, unstoppable forces to be reckoned with if we believe our kids are walking into a hot mess. You can hate them if you choose. But I wouldn’t recommend it. You’re going to want some money for the mall. So wise up. They just saved you from a stupid mistake again. They are awesome like that.
9. I pray that you never stop taking leaps of faith. Those that seem impossible and scary. Do scary things for Jesus that make you uncomfortable. Step out of your box and take His hand. He’s got big plans for you. Listen very carefully for His whisper in your ear. If you close your eyes and focus on Jesus, He will take you places you’ve never dreamt of. He loves you more than Gigi can ever begin to tell you. Even more than Gigi does. And that, sweet babes, is so, so much. You can fully trust him when you’re scared, hurting, and lonely. I wish that I could protect you from that, but these are the things that shape you into beautiful, Jesus trusting servants. Just hold on. Those moments will pass. He promises that.
10. I pray that you will always find your way home when you’ve wandered. I say this because it will happen. You may wander away from the Bible that once taught you about the miracles of Jesus, the faith of Daniel and the lion’s den, and the courage of Noah to build an ark. It is the most wonderful love letter you’ll ever receive. Let it lift you, encourage you, convict you, and push you to know Jesus even more. If you wander from home, like the prodigal son In Luke 15: 11-32, know that you will always be welcomed back with open arms. Nothing will ever rob you of the love your parents have for you. When you question if Jesus even hears you, tell Him. He can handle your questions and doubts. Your life will be a rollercoaster of happy and painful waves that come and go. Hold on, the waves will pass, and the sun will come up in the morning. “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)