To My Dearest Anna, on your tenth birthday...
Do you know how much I love you? Do you know how proud I am of you? Do you know that I love you with my whole heart?
The day you were born was one of the most joyous days of my life. How I had longed for you and waited to meet you! Did you know I wanted to be your mother my whole life? You bring me more joy than any friend, any vacation, any book, or any thing. You are the joy of my heart and the light of my life. You are a treasure straight from the heart of God. You are my Anna. I am so thankful God allowed me to be your mother. I thank Him for you every single day.
I want you to know that you are always a delight, and a blessing to Daddy and me in so many ways. Sometimes I wonder what I would do without you. You are my right arm! It gives me joy to work side by side with you, spending time talking, laughing, and discussing fun things as well as serious things. Always remember that God gave us to each other. I am always here for you, to listen, to help, to encourage, and to understand. You can talk to me about anything. God intended mothers and daughters to be best friends, and you truly are one of my very best and very favorite friends.
You are also a blessing just by being you. The way you help our family is a blessing, but your light, your laugh, your hugs, your kisses, your songs, your poems, your dances, and just who you are is even more of a blessing! You bring such joy and life and laughter to all of us. We love you, Anna Rose.
As you stand here on the brink of becoming a woman, I want you to know what an important time of life you are entering into. It is now that your beliefs, your love, your heart, your God-given gifts and talents, your character, and your love for the Father will really begin blossom and grow. It has brought me indescribable joy and peace to see your passion for God, and your desire to know Him, to love Him, to honor Him, to obey Him, and to follow Him with your whole heart. I see your heart, I see your love, and I see your desire to please not only God, but Daddy and I as well. Daddy and I are so proud of you and your decision to trust Jesus as your Savior. We are so glad you are going to be in Heaven with us!
Anna, everyone makes mistakes, everyone has hard times in life, and everyone feels overwhelmed and challenged, but always remember that God looks at your heart. Even though you may sometimes fail, what matters is your love for God. He has only love toward you. He forgives, He helps, and He keeps His promises. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. He promises to work all things for good in your life. Even the hard things. The hard things in our lives are what God uses to make us more like Jesus. They teach us the fruit of the Spirit...to be patient, to be kind, to be gentle and faithful, to have self control.
It's the hard stuff in life that makes us grow. If life was easy, we wouldn't need Jesus! I encourage you to spend some time asking the Holy Spirit to give you some verses that can be for you. Ask Him to cause you to open His Word and see the verses He wants to give you -Words that speak of God's love, His faithfulness, and His promises. The devil, your enemy, will always try and tell you lies about God and lies that make you feel bad, that make you frustrated, sad, discouraged, and afraid. It is so important to know what God really thinks about you, to know what His promises to you are. I encourage you to start a journal where you write down what the Holy Spirit tells you and Scripture He gives you. Write down what it means to you. Then you will always have a weapon against the devils lies.
I love you, Anna. With my whole heart. I look forward to being best friends for our whole lives. You are a treasure, a precious and rare jewel. You are the only one like you, and God made you exactly the way He wanted you to be. It is mine and Daddy's privilege to call you our daughter.
Be joyful, Anna. Be happy. Be encouraged. Be loved. And be blessed. Trust the Father with every part of your life. Every joy, and every frustration. Daddy and I pray the Father will show you His love for you, that He will pour out His favor and His abundant blessings on your life. Walk with Him. Stay close to Him. Love Him first, above all else. He has saved you, and He smiles on you always.
(this is a letter i wrote for anna before we left. i gave it to her today along with a mother and daughter willow tree figurine. i wrote what is in my heart for my precious daughter, as even at the tender age of ten, she really is on the brink of entering her womahood. she is an old soul, and has always been wise beyond her years. some of it probably seems a little odd given her age, but it was written with much prayer and thought, and truly does speak to many things she seems to deal with in her life. i pray it brings her encouragement and opens her eyes to how much she is loved. and yes, out of all my children, she is the only one who calls me mama.)