Today, at 12:30 p.m., my daughter became a 5th grader. Time is marching on so quickly. We have only one year left of the shelter of her elementary school. It gives me pause and I find myself hoping I am equipping her well to navigate the coming years of her life.
A friend of mine directed me to a post by Lindsey Mead Russell called Ten Things I Want My Daughter to Know Before She Turns 10. For any mom with a daughter near this age, it is worth a read. Standing at the precipice of the end of this school year, and looking ahead at the years my precious daughter will soon face, I felt challenged, after reading it, to think about ten things I would like my 10 year old daughter to know. It is nearly impossible to narrow the list down to 10 things, but as I pondered, I put together my own top 10, and if she can embrace these, I am confident she will have a rich and fruitful life.
So, my sweet angel girl, here is what mama wants you to know:
- Gratefulness is the sweetest gift you can give to yourself. Cultivate a mindset that defaults to gratitude and you will find the world a much gentler place.
- Forgive easily, regardless of whether the offender requests it. Forgiving another gives you power and takes away the power of the offender to wound you further. It does not excuse the wrong-doing, it empowers you to live free.
- View fear as a companion that spurs you to action instead of an adversary to be conquered. Acknowledge your fear, but don’t let it cripple you. Listen to the lessons it is teaching you about yourself.
- Spend a season serving the least of these. You have been blessed with much, and it is meant to be passed on, not hoarded. Keep it flowing outward, and you will never find yourself lacking.
- Treat your friendships like a prize rose bush. Feed them with time, water them with kindness, keep the weeds of gossip at bay, and prune those that are sapping resources and no longer flourishing.
- It’s not about you. The earlier you learn to look beyond yourself, the more joy life will bring. Satisfaction will come once you stop seeking your own way and begin seeking ways to bless those around you.
- Generosity will ensure a life of abundance. The more you give, the more you will receive. Give love, give time, give resources, give grace. You will receive exponentially more in return than you can imagine.
- Be interesting. Read, think, write, and form opinions. Attend the symphony, the opera, the ballet, and then see the Stones, Tom Petty, and Willie Nelson. See the country and then see the world. Make it a priority to cultivate your mind and collect experiences. This is more valuable than wearing designer fashions or achieving great beauty.
- Don’t fear being alone. Embrace seasons of being alone as a gift; an opportunity to nurture that which you are passionate about; a chance to do as you please.
- Create. Learn an instrument, sing, dance, paint, design, sculpt, sketch, photograph, build. It is important for the health of your soul.
I love you my sweet darling. I am so proud of who you are and who you are on the road to becoming. The world is a better place because you are making your imprint upon it.