Sweet Sixteen

Dear Ane,

I know you are going to check the blog this morning to see if I got my annual letter off to you, since I have often been playing post-dated catch-up here lately.  BUT SEE, I DIDN’T FORGET.  HA.  I might now have a sixteen year old daughter, but I still know where my priorities lie.

You, my dear darling daughter, came into this world sixteen years ago today, and now you are old enough to get your driver’s license, work more hours at your job, and so many other “grown-up” things.  And yet in the fog of being “grown-up,” you still have a lot more growing to do.  As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, “You’ve taken your first steps into a larger world,” but they really are just your first steps.  Don’t be in a rush, and more importantly, don’t let yourself BE rushed.  Not by friends, teachers, relatives, or anyone else who is well-meaning but may not have the fuller picture of what you want as their top priority.

I know that you often sit and agonize about the future – if/where you will go to college, what kind of career you will pursue, all those kinds of questions that school counselors love to chase you around with, so they can put a check mark next to your name for their ledger – sent another one off to college, prepared for the real world!  Pro tip: college is not the real world.  And I still don’t care if you go to college or not.  You could make a lot of money as a special needs nanny, if you wanted.  But we’re back to what YOU want, not what others want for you.  And as Yoda said (notice the strong Star Wars motif in this letter – I know you are anxious to watch the season finale of The Mandalorian today), “Always in motion is the future.”  The best-laid plans can always be upended at a moment’s notice.  So I don’t want you to worry about what happens next, because you don’t have to.  You really don’t.

What I do care about is what you are putting into your head and into your heart.  Social media is terrible for this, and so is a lot of popular music, and hot new trends, and all of that crap.  Your friends aren’t much help with this either.  Garbage in, garbage out, and you would be much better served by consuming more wholesome stuff.  One cannot live on cultural junk food alone.  This does not mean that I mean for you to cut everything out, but I want you to be more discerning about what you take in.

I love you dearly and want what is best for you.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Be kind and compassionate, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:29, 32)

Oh, and if you’re so grown-up, it’s time to get up with your own alarm in the mornings before school.  (hint, hint)

Happy 16th birthday, Ane.  We all love you so very much, and are looking forward to celebrating you!


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