I was writing Sara’s 16th birthday blog post and I read back through the one I wrote last year. I realized that what I had written for this year was basically the same. So I regrouped and pondered what to say instead.
Since Sara’s 16 now, I don’t get the opportunity to bestow words of wisdom on her very often. I figured since this is my blog, I get to say what I want whenever I want. So here it is, baby. Here’s what I want you to know:
- Don’t ever stop singing. Even when you think or know that someone is listening at the door, don’t ever stop. You have a God-given talent, and it makes you really happy. So keep on, and don’t get nervous when others are around. They should get some enjoyment out of life too!
- Don’t lose your sense of joy. You approach life with an open heart most of the time. While this might make you more vulnerable to hurt sometimes, it will also allow you to feel so much more love and happiness than you would if you were more cautious. This is one of my favorite things about you.
- Don’t sell yourself short. You’re pretty awesome. You’re smart, talented, beautiful and a joy to be around. I know I’m biased, but I’d bet you lots of money that most of the other people who know you feel the same. There’s no need to doubt yourself – you’ve worked through some of the hardest things I can imagine for a young lady, and you’re strong.
- Keep exercising, eating right and getting enough sleep. I promise you’ll feel great for the rest of your life if you do. And you’ll keep looking great too.
- Don’t ever doubt that your family loves you. We’ll love you no matter what – you can’t get rid of us. Sometimes you might wish you could J but sorry, you’re stuck with us.
- Keep reading. Reading opens up all sorts of worlds to you. It’ll make you wonder things you might not have thought about before. It’ll make you mad and sad and really happy. But to lose yourself in a great story is a wonderful vacation!
- Keep going to church. And when you’re gone to college and beyond, find one that feeds your soul. It doesn’t matter what denomination, all that matters is that you take some time to seek comfort, give thanks and give back on a regular basis.
- Don’t lose your empathetic nature. You care so much for others – and what a gift it is for someone in need when you show that love and care. There aren’t enough people in the world who care for others like you do. Even small things, like the day you helped that poor man at Kroger who spilled the fruit salad. You make a difference.
Sara, I don’t know if I can ever express to you how much I love you, and how proud I am of you. You take my breath away.