I was looking at the picture above for quite a while. My sister posted it in her blog – it was my family when I was just a kid. I am the one in the middle, with the dapper jacket. I kept looking because it seems like so long ago – I don’t even remember taking the picture. My mom and dad look so young…like they have their whole life in front of them. As I looked, the thought came into my mind – “What would I say to them then, based on what I know now?” Below is my letter to David and Susan…
Dear David and Susan,
Looking at your picture, you have a beautiful family. A girl and three boys. You are going to have your hands full. I can’t imagine your thoughts as you look at all your life’s dreams and realize you have a family too. There are going to be times when all you will see is the sacrifice of those dreams so those four little ones can have a chance to achieve their own dreams. You will wonder “Is it worth it?” Let me assure you that it is definitely is. Those four will look back on your decisions and actions and say “Thank you” more than you know. Your sacrifice will be the foundation for their success.
You strike me as young and energetic. I bet you won’t sit around too much. I encourage you to play with your kids and get them into sports, music, drama and other activities. You will want to coach them and teach them the finer aspects of sports. Have fun with them – they will look back and remember the victories and laughter. As they get older, you might even challenge them to a foot race every so often…that’s a story that will last a life time. Something might come out of all this. It may be a great love of challenging themselves physically and mentally. Now, that would be a great principle for them to instill in their own kids.
You also look like you aren’t afraid to work hard. In fact, David, you look like you are a common sense, every day wisdom kind of guy. You will find a way to match your gifts and skill sets to your love of horses and provide for your family. It will be an amazing example for these tykes. And Susan, when you go back to school to become a dental hygenist, they will see your discipline and determination as something they have in themselves as well. You both will want to instill in them all a strong work ethic. (You know how kids just want to watch cartoons and not pull weeds on a Saturday morning.) I know this will come true and in hindsight, they wouldn’t want to approach a project any other way.
Finally, you are going to have to answer the “God” question. What are you going to “own” as your beliefs about God? Are you going to just be a church goer or are you going to accept Christ as your own Savior, leading your kids to do the same? I would go for the latter for a simple reason. If you do that…you will change the trajectory of each of their lives in such a way that you will be blown away with what God does for them. Who knows…one might become a minister someday. (It could happen!) In your walk with Christ, be real and genuine and don’t try to know all the answers. Finally, remind them to listen to the Lord – He will lead them well if they stay in close relationship with Him.
Last thoughts, David, being a dad isn’t easy. You give a lot of yourself but in the end, you will have three men who will carry on your legacy of family, wisdom and faith. And stay away from ladders…just not a good idea. Susan, your daughter will reflect your joy and love of family. You will bring a whole new meaning to the name “Happy” and it will go on for years to come.
Go get em! I believe in you! And don’t forget, I love you.