To my little loves,
There’s no good way to start a love letter to you guys. I very literally don’t have words enough to express just how much I love y’all. It’s just not possible. All the words in all the dictionaries and thesauruses could never adequately tell you how much love my heart has for each one of you. I think that’s why God gives us hands and feet so when our words fall short we can show each other love through our actions. So even though hugging and kissing on you feels different than me making your lunch for school, know that it’s coming from the same place. Now, I’d much rather hug and kiss on you than pack lunches, but sometimes love looks like work. And you need to know that that’s ok and sometimes necessary.
Something else you need to understand is when I discipline you or withhold privileges/material things from you, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s because I love you that I must do these things. I love you too much to let you have everything you want. You may not have met anyone yet that’s never been told the word “no” but trust me, these are not the kind of people you want to be when you grow up. People that have always been told “yes” tend to be punks. And I can’t be raising punks. You’re welcome. I’m trying my best to love you like the Bible tells me to. Proverbs 3:12 says, “…the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” This tells me that disciplining you is actually another way to love you. I wish I could tell you I’ve always disciplined or punished you out of love but that would be a lie from the devil. I’ve punished you out of anger and impatience more than I’d like to admit. I’m so sorry for that. I also wish I could tell you I’ll never ever do it again but that probably isn’t true either because your mom is human. Take a minute and chew on that. The beauty of this is that in those moments when I screw it up and don’t love you well, God uses you guys to teach me. I always feel like I’m the one that’s supposed to be showing you the love of Jesus and so many times you guys turn the tables and show it to me instead. Ya’ll are so quick to forgive me when I ask for your forgiveness. You have no idea how this blesses and humbles me. I hope you remember what an imperfect mom you have. Not to hang it over my head (hopefully) but to remind you that I need Jesus too. I won’t be doing you any favors by pretending I’ve got it all figured out. The best way I know to love you is to show you the love of Jesus. I hope there’s not a day that goes by in your life that you don’t know that there’s a big God that loves little you. You are His treasure.
I know you guys know that I love you, but I also want to tell you how I feel loved by you. Y’know, things you already do that make me feel special and loved. I’m documenting these to remember them in the teenage years when you’ll probably hate me and think I’m lame. I’ll start with the firstborn. Paxton, you love me by making me feel valued. You ask me almost every day, “How was your day, Mom?” Or if you know any of my activities or appointments for the day you’ll ask me how they went. Even if you’re just being conversational it makes me feel cared for. Caitlin, you are so good at loving me through little notes and pictures. You love to draw things and leave notes on my bed. I love this! I have many in my nightstand that I can’t part with because they make my heart so happy. And Blaker, you love me by wanting to spend time with me. Whether it’s baking in the kitchen or reading a book at bedtime, you always want to do those things with me. You were my little buddy that went everywhere with me until you had to start crummy kindergarten. So I’ll take all quality time I can get with you these days.
Now that ya’ll are older, you’re going to be able to remember when I screw it up. I’m pretty certain I will hurt you or scar you in some way that only a counselor or therapist can help you work through. But in those memories I hope you will find it in your heart to have some grace for your poor, haggard mom. Thinking “she did the best she could with the knowledge and tools she had”. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I don’t know how our relationships as adults will turn out. I don’t know if you will grow up and have a mohawk, sleeve tattoos, and piercings (cough, Blake). I just don’t know. I will do my best to love you and tell you the truth. I will also try to let God write your story without my “editing”. I believe in a big God that loves little you even more than I do, so I’m trusting Him to take care of you. Guys, this isn’t easy. Loving y’all is the easy part, it’s like breathing. It’s the trusting God and raising you up that’s hard. I’m ill-equipped. I’m still learning how to do me for goodness’ sake. For the love, I can’t even stay on top of the laundry! And don’t even start on the prodigal socks…
I’m sure there’s a more eloquent way to end a love letter but I don’t know it.
But I love you. So there’s that.
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