To our Emily
When we became your parents, our hearts almost burst with the enormous weight of love you generated when you came into this world.
We have loved you from the moment we first saw you, a love that is indescribable.
We feel blessed every day and question the greatness that we have done in our lives for God to have chosen us to be your parents.
As you reach a milestone in your life and go from little girl to young woman, we want to honour you for the greatness you have already brought into the world.
Turning 13 is a big deal. The intricacies of those teenage years are upon you and at times you will feel challenged and alone – Know that you are never alone.
We are the greatest of friends, and wherever you go in life, we will always go with you. We will always champion you. We will always be your biggest supporters.
Never think we don’t understand. Never think we will disapprove. There is nothing that will come before you, tempt you or that will challenge you that we haven’t dealt with or that we haven’t thought of doing – We can’t be shocked!
We may not always agree with your choices but we trust that you will work through difficult and challenging times and that you know you can always come to us for help and advice.
No one goes through this time in their lives unscathed, it’s a rite of passage. It’s also the time in your life where you have to make big choices, what direction you want your life to follow.
Never settle with someone or in a place that doesn’t make you happy. Life has many roads, change directions as many times as you need.
As you enter your 14th year on this earth here are some things we hope will help you navigate this new era in your life. We hope they give you the confidence to continue to live with direction and focus regardless of the turbulence life may throw your way.
There’s only one you
- You are unique, there is only one you, your DNA confirms it.
- God created you for a unique purpose. Experiment and have fun figuring out what your purpose is.
- There will be days when you feel less than extraordinary. On those days remember, that you are this incredible human being and the world would be a very grey place without you in it.
- Diarize your life. Keep journals, write poems, document your experiences. The story of your life is your greatest masterpiece.
Choose your friends wisely
- If your friends don’t enrich your life, find new ones. It’s okay to try out as many friends as you want.
- Choose friends you can trust with your secrets. Choose friends that will have your back.
- Choose friends who make you laugh until you cry. Choose friends who are genuine and sincere.
- Choose friends who will support you. Make new friends, wherever you go.
Turn off the cell phone
- Be checked into your life and the world around you.
- Don’t watch music videos – make music
- Don’t watch cooking shows – bake cookies
- Don’t follow others’ lives – create one for yourself
- Don’t play video games – go kick a ball, go for a bike ride or hit the gym
- Don’t like and share photos – Go and take photos.
- Don’t do online gossip – read a book, write your story.
- Don’t envy those that do – Go and DO YOU!
- You’ll make poor choices, say stupid stuff, pick the wrong friend, trust the wrong boy. Mistakes are a part of growth and lessons to make our lives better.
- EVERYONE makes mistakes. We have made a hundred of them and we will make a hundred more.
- You are your greatest teacher.
- Learn from your mistakes, laugh at the silly ones, don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Never be scared to look back and see how far you have come and what you have overcome to get where you are in this moment. But never dwell on past mistakes or live in the past. You have more ahead of you than you will ever leave behind.
Social media is fake – LIKES and FRIENDS don’t define you
- It’s so easy to compare your life to others when we are so exposed to people’s lives through social media. Trust us when we tell you, people’s lives are never what we see on our screens.
- If you post something, make sure you wouldn’t be embarrassed or ashamed in case we see it or you have to look back on it.
- Please don’t post puckered lip pictures – they look stupid and they send females back 100 years!
- Remember social media is SOCIAL. If you have to share, share the world as you see it through your eyes. Share adventure, share uplifting stories, share that pretty sunset photo or the beauty of that first snow fall.
- Don’t share your political or religious views, don’t share sadness or violence, don’t share your life or your woes. Be uplifting in an online world that is so dark and grey.
Don’t Do Drama
- Girl drama is the worse! If it drags you down, and wears you out block it from your life – don’t let drama into your space, don’t be a part of other people’s drama.
- Never be frightened to walk away from someone or something that brings turmoil to your life. Find your peace. Protect your peace.
Be Kind – Kindness = Happiness for everyone
- Be a friend to someone who is lonely.
- The kid that everyone makes fun of, make them feel special and accepted.
- Always hold the door for someone (even if they don’t say thank you).
- When you are talking with someone, always make them feel like they are the only person in the room.
- However little you have, if you have extra, help someone else.
- Manners and respect are two things in this world that cost NOTHING. Use them – they will take you far.
- Being kind doesn’t mean being a pushover. Know when to walk away from people who take advantage of your good nature.
- ALWAYS be kind to YOU first
Be nice to your body
- Compliment yourself, see the beauty, uniqueness and wonder in every part of your body.
- Feed it healthy and clean foods. But if one day you want pizza, eat pizza. You want chocolate, eat chocolate.
- Get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
- Your body is yours, its private, its sacred. It is your greatest gift. Don’t be eager to give it away to the first boy (or girl) that makes you feel special.
- Feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed – Meditate or go for a walk. Give yourself five minutes to just breath.
- Look in mirror and be in awe of who you are. Don’t criticize that awesome person staring back at you.
People will be mean to you. Your feelings will be hurt.
- You can’t choose what happens, but you can choose how to respond to it. Always try to choose the high road, however hard that can be – Forgive, it’s easier on your soul.
- You never have to share your side of the story. You never have to answer to anyone but yourself.
- People who are mean have a problem with themselves and their lives and they have to attack others to feel better about themselves. Remember it’s NEVER YOU.
- Don’t tolerate people who are mean to you – stamp them out, regardless of who they are. No one has the right to make you feel less than the incredible human you are
- Remember, we have your back.
Be young and stay young
- Age is just a number. You are never too old to have fun.
- Believe in what you want to believe in.
- Talk in silly voices and dance your ass off to Gangsta Rap in the kitchen
- Bodily functions are freaking hilarious – Laugh at FARTS!
- You are never too old for snuggles.
- Never take love for granted.
- Never confuse love with lust or obsession.
- When someone tells you you’re cute, believe them.
- It’s not sexist or chauvinistic for a boy to pay on a date, hold the door open or let you go first – It’s respect.
- Love doesn’t hurt
- If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. No means NO!
- If you love someone, tell them. If you don’t love someone, tell them
- Love at first sight is real – we are living proof of it
- Love YOU first and foremost
Always be yourself
- Learn from great people but always share your unique gifts with this world in your own way.
- Be your own leader. Be a leader for others.
- Dress how you want. Be individual.
- Walk tall and hold your head up. Remember where you came from.
- Don’t listen to others when they doubt you. They are judging you by their abilities, not yours.
- Critics are those who haven’t the courage to follow their own dreams.
Open your heart and your mind to the wonders that await you.
- Be gracious in defeat but defiant in your comeback.
- You will WIN or you’ll LEARN – Failing doesn’t exist.
- Never be frightened to follow your dreams.
- Travel the world.
- Trust people when they tell you how great you are.
- Trust yourself, take the time to stop and listen to your instincts – they will never fail you. Listen to advice but always trust your gut.
- Wherever you go, go with the confidence that you are loved beyond measure and you are capable of greatness.
You are incredible and there are incredible things waiting for you.
We will be here at the sidelines watching you grow and make your life. We will be behind you to catch you when you stumble. We will be in front of you when you are scared and need protection and we will be the first to applaud you when you succeed.
We love you. We are so excited and blessed to be given the gift to bear witness to your life. Go and grab the world, it’s yours for the taking ♥