a letter to my daughter as she turns 18 months old

Roycie,

This week you turned 18 months old. 18 months ago you entered our family and turned it upside-down and right-side-up at the same time. And you have been doing it ever since. There is so much trouble packed into your little body, so much passion, so much energy, and just so, so much light. You continue to be my joy-baby. The room can’t help but change when you enter, just as our lives changed for the better when we met and fell in love with you. I fell in love with you when I met you. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing; I was drunk with love and joy because of you. And the effect remains. I can’t help but smile when I see you-you and your goofy little faces and quirky little tendencies.

 

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You are full of your own ideas already. Actually you have been for a while. You spend time watching, taking it all in, calculating, and then you act-with purpose, always with purpose. You set your mind on something and there is no talking you out of it. It can make my days challenging, but it also causes me to see so much potential in you. Directed in the right way that attribute will be an incredible strength for you. Despite being the third child, you are a leader. I imagine you being a world changer. I challenge you to use your leadership, your drive, your perseverance and persistence to bring about good change. These traits of yours I look at and admire. I have to work to have even a little bit of each of the character traits you already possess at 1 1/2 years old! No doubt, my Royce Adelyn Beebah, you will shake things up and bring change.

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You already have so much confidence. It kind of amazes me. You are self-assured, needing very little coaxing or “hoorah” but liking it just the same. You are not hesitant. You are not passive, or easily told what to do. You are a bit of an enigma though. Sometimes you hang back and are very quiet. Other times you are non-stop motion and noise…like seriously…non-stop.. You are at the center of it all…or as close to the center as you can be. You always seem to be in control of what you are doing though. You do what you want when you want. Your choices are not dictated by what other people are doing, but rather what comes into your head. Again, this can be super challenging for me as your Mommy. But I look at how intrinsically motivated you are and I know that you have an inner strength that I have never had. I pray that God will help me learn how to mold you without breaking your spirit, that I will be able to teach you obedience, humility, kindness and graciousness without ridding you of your confidence, originality and independence.

 

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And I pray that you will learn that in order to be a great leader, you must first submit yourself to God. You must actually follow in order to lead the right way. It might be hard for you to wait on the Lord, instead of going your own way and taking action as you see a need or have a desire. It is hard for all of us at times. But I can tell already that you are a thinker. Like I said, you don’t usually rush into something without surveying it first. No doubt, God has a need for “bull dozers”. I pray that you will allow Him to direct you in the paths He would have you to take and that you would bull doze in the right places and for the right purpose. I also pray that you would learn (in time) self-control, compassion and how to be a servant. Just as any of us have to keep tabs on our strengths so that they don’t become our greatest weakness, so will you have to reign yourself in at times.

 

I pray that I will not try to cram you into the box I think you should fit into, but rather embrace and love you just for who you are (even if at times it is hard to understand!) I want to be your greatest ally, your greatest helper as you navigate life and who you are. I want to at every turn love you unconditionally as I unwaveringly point you to Jesus. He loves you more than I can (hard to believe since I love you so much!), and He will never let you down even though I have and surely will. Look to Him for your identity. Look to God for your direction. Look to God for perfect, unceasing, contagious, overflowing love. You will find your answers best in Him. I pray I can just be the one who carries you to the His feet.

 

I love the person that you are. I love this age because I get to see more and more of the “raw” you-the one God made you to be before you change and conform. God made you fearfully and wonderfully. From the beginning He had a plan for you. I am honored that I get to be a part of that plan. The laughter and light you bring with you wherever you go has been, and continues to be, such a blessing in our home. Every one of the four of us is infatuated with you, Roycie. You have captivated each of us. There is something magnetic about you. I know people will like to be around you. I know people will look to you to lead-even though you are young. What a gift! What an opportunity!

 

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I pray that you continue to be unswayed by what everyone else is doing, but make your own choices. I pray that you continue to think before you act, that you calculate the consequences of your actions and learn how to make wise, godly choices. I pray that you consider others as more important than yourself. I pray that you lead well. But more than leading, I pray that you follow well, hard and close, after the One who made you, loves you and will show you the way to go.

 

I love you, my sweet, silly girl! I love you more each day and nothing could ever make me stop loving you! Rest in my love, or as you already prefer: use it as your “home base” as you explore and conquer the world around you. I am delighted with the person God has made you to be. And I am excited about what the future holds for us together! No doubt, you and God together make a perfect team and you will do amazing things! I am honored to be (among other things) your guide and cheerleader.

 

Love always,

Mommy

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