Even though we celebrated Mother’s Day together with my bump last year, this year marks my very first Mother’s Day with my very first baby out of my tummy!! It’s so weird to get my own Mother’s Day cards, because in my head I’m like “wait, that’s my MOM, not me! Am I really a mother now?!” Every day is full of new appreciations and joys being able to stay home with my baby and watch her grow, so really for me, every day is “mother’s day!” But, I’ll take a hallmark holiday for it too 😉 I can’t even sum up how wonderful my motherhood experience has been, ever since we found out in October 2016 that we were expecting a baby…talk about a life-changing moment.
I believe I became a mother from the very second we became pregnant, and the last year and a half has been the most insanely amazing time I’ve had growing into my mom-shoes. For me, motherhood has been so natural and I felt like I’ve known all along how much love my heart could hold for this tiny human. She’s such a light, and has the best sense of humor and silliest personality, and is the biggest blessing in our lives. It really is true what they say, that it goes by so fast…I swear, I can remember being pregnant like, yesterday!
There have been two instances in my life where I told myself: “Don’t ever forget how you felt in this moment. Don’t ever forget.” One was when I was facing John at the alter and we were holding hands giggling at each other right before we were going to say our vows. I was soaking it all in – all the life I had lived that led to that very moment of becoming a wife. The other moment has been broken up into tiny pieces, beginning on July 7th, 2017 at 4:11pm when the midwife set this tiny squishy human on me and I just held my new baby and soaked up that moment of new life.
This Mother’s Day, I didn’t ask for a single thing. I couldn’t think of any better gift than just the gift of being a mom. I didn’t need roses, I didn’t need jewelry, I didn’t need a fancy lunch or any gift item that could easily be given on any other day of the year and hold the same significance. All I wanted was to revel in motherhood, and enjoy the time I have with my baby all day knowing that she is the reason I celebrate being a mom every day. And that is more than enough for me! Below, I wrote izzy a letter that I plan on giving to her when she’s older. It was inspired earlier this week after thinking of all the things I want for her in her life…but not the things you’d think. ❤
Scroll down to read! But before you do, take a peek at the Mother’s Day photos that izzy and I got to do with Brittany Szabo Photography! Xo
THE THINGS I WANT FOR YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU’D THINK.
There are certain and specific things I want for you in your life. Things I want you to have, things I want you to do, things I want you to experience, things I want to you to know. Of course, there are other things that would be nice to have in life – such as things that we’d think we would find security in, or things we’d think would complete us – But, my sweet daughter, that is not what I want for you. 💗 And someday, when you read this letter, you’ll understand why.
The things I want for you are things you will not be able to touch, and they are not something I can wrap in a gift bag. They don’t come with a fancy brand name attached, nor do they even have a price tag. The things I have in store for you will never go out of style, nor will they ever break or get old. These are things that I hope you will pass down to your babies someday, when they’re growing big and wondering about the world, just like I’m going to give to you very soon.
These things are worth much more than anything money can buy, and they will teach you that no matter what your circumstances are in life – you’ll always find happiness, joy, and contentment in them. These things will challenge you, and they will stretch you. They will allow you to find yourself, and be satisfied with who you are. You see, sweet daughter, there are things money nor status can buy. And those are the things you want to hold close to you. Those are the things to desire, for with them, you’ll be set. Here are the things I want for you:
1. I want you to know the lord and what you mean to him.
You, my sweet little baby, were created with a purpose. All of who you are and who you will be was known even before the world was ever made! You were a lovely, planned part of a divine creation and you were fiercely loved even before we knew you’d be ours. First and foremost, before anything and above everything else, I want you to know Jesus. I want you to put your hope and trust in Him and His plan for your life. I want you to know that when everything else in this world lets you down, He will never. (Isaiah 41: 10-13, 1 Peter 5:7, Joshua 1:5-9, Romans 8:28, Psalm 73:23-26).
As your mother, I can say that I know you and love you. I can say that you mean the world to me, and that I will always be here for you. But through a relationship with Jesus, there is so much more love and patience and understanding and hope than I can ever offer you. Knowing this takes a lifetime, but it is good and wonderful journey to know Christ.
2. I want you to experience struggle.
If you float through life not having to work hard and get your hands dirty for anything you receive – such as a car, or an allowance, or a big trip or expensive items – you won’t ever have a true sense of what it means to earn and appreciate that thing or experience. Sure you can be thankful for your blessings and belongings and privileges, but unless you’ve seen or experienced struggle and hard work to get there – you will never have a deep and sincere appreciation for the blessings in your life.
I want you to reap the rewards of your hard efforts! I want you to know what you’re capable of, and know that through hard work comes big payoff. A beautiful garden full of flowers and fruits and vegetables does not grow and flourish without constant tending, plowing, working the soil, watering, weeding, and year-round care. Your hands will get dirty, and tired, and scraped through the experience of growth. But in the end when you see the bloom, you will know that you made that happen. You will never grow tired of that view, because you worked tirelessly for hours to see and enjoy the result.
3. I want you to experience heartache.
It is not a bad thing to feel heartache. It means that you were brave enough to let someone in past your walls, and let them see your heart and soul. It means that you were strong enough to believe in love, or deep friendship, and that you gave it a solid try…even if it failed you. It means that you have a sense and understanding that there is a lasting, constant love and relationship that will never fail you – which is the love of Jesus, and of your parents. It means that you realize the capacity you can open your heart and that letting someone in, a first love or a very best friend for instance, will shape you to understand what true love and friendship should look like when it comes.
4. I want you to know your worth.
And your dad and I will make sure we tell you every day. You will never wonder what it means to not be of value to someone, because of the way we will show and tell you how much we value you and your talents and your life. You will never question your worth, because we will remind you every day where to find your worth – and it is not in this world, nor in magazines nor money nor through a boy. I want you to know you are perfect and wonderful and amazing just the way you are, and always have been, and no one can tell you otherwise.
There will be hard times in your life where you will feel like you’re not enough of something – because the world is cruel, and wants you to feel like you need to fix yourself, or make yourself prettier or better or thinner or funnier. You’ll wonder if you’re worthy, if you’re lovable, or if you measure up. But I want you to trust all we’ve taught you up until that point, to be able to brush it off and laugh because they don’t know whose you are (John 1:12).
If you’re ever in a place where a little voice in the back of your head tries to get you to question your value and purpose…remember these verses: Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Psalm 139:16 says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that very well.”
5. I want you to feel helpless.
And know that you can’t (and shouldn’t) try do everything on your own. Because knowing this, you will reach out for those girls whom you’ve made solid friendships with. You will turn towards the Lord and give your troubles and worries to Him. You will rely on faith alone, knowing that through trials and hardships and struggles – there is Hope and triumph in Jesus. You, dear daughter, are capable of doing anything you set your mind to, but nothing worth accomplishing is reached without experiencing trial and error. There will be times when you become stuck. There will be times when you find yourself two steps back, or at a fork in the road. But feeling helpless means that you will look to your strengths, realize your resourcefulness, and take action to overcome your obstacles.
6. I want you to find your magic and dream in color.
I want to fuel your imagination so that you dream big, big dreams and think of impossible things. I want you to daydream and make shapes out of clouds, and create stories about talking animals and mermaids. I want you to play pretend and make-believe, and always look for the magic that is hiding within the world. Because these things will shine a light through you so bright, and will have you look at the world with wonder and awe until you’re a hundred years old. I never want you to “grow up” and think your life needs to be boring or black-and-white in order to be successful or wonderful. I want you to know that this is how my childhood was. Believing in yourself and in your dreams, and wishing on stars and on pennies in fountains is not nonsense…it’s never giving up on chasing your dreams, and never being afraid to be yourself.
Sure there are other things in life that may seem nice to have, or you might think that you’d be happier if you had. Such as: a lot of money, thinking it would bring you security. Or, a lot of designer clothes and accessories, thinking it would bring you status or popularity. Or, a big house, thinking it would bring you happiness and contentment. Or, a nice car, thinking it would bring you respect and more status. But what’ s funny, is that these things can all be taken from us, or leave us feeling the need for more, or feeling empty. Remember, sweet baby girl, to not place your value, worth, happiness and security in things (Matthew 6:19-21). If you want to have things…then think of it like this: All you need in a home is one that is cozy and gives you a comfy bed and warm food in your belly. All you need in a car is that it gets you places. All you need in what you wear is that your personality shines through them and others see you for YOU, not what you’re wearing. All you need in money is enough after your bills so that you can save a little, and give back to others.
All of these other things can be easily taken away from us due to loss of a job, or a fire, or a car crash, or theft, or the economy crashing. But the things that no one can ever take away from you, the things that hold the most value and are worth more than material possessions, are all the things that I said I wanted for you listed above. Hold fast to those things sweet girl, for it’s within those you will find true happiness, contentment, appreciation, security, love, and joy. I hope that by the time you read this letter, dad and I would’ve done enough to instill those things in you. I love you more than anything!