As a woman/parent have you ever worried about leaving your children or husband behind in this life without you? I have decided to prepare in a way that will bring blessings to my family if I pass on or get to stick around :).
I have started writing a series of letters to each of my children and my spouse. They will get to open them as they turn the appropriate ages (12, 16, 18, Pre-Marriage, Married...). They will get copies of their siblings letters on the off years as they may profit from reading those too.
I am not sure how these letters will impact them. It is hard to write a letter to someone in the future but I think these letters could be of great value. I think that sometimes children do not hear everything we preach. However, a letter is something they can read and re-read when they are ready to listen. I also feel that these letters are fabulous journal entries as I included: stories from their/my past, article excerpts that may provide insight, a lot of love, and encouragement for the future.
Here is a sample of a letter I wrote to my 2 year old baby for her future 12th birthday. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) so there may be some words that sound foreign. I would be happy to answer any questions. This letter should give you a basic idea of what you could write.
Happy 12th Birthday Eva/Ava!!!
Happy 12th Birthday!!! Do you still call yourself Eva? When you were 2 you would always say, “Me not baby...me Eva!” This melted my heart. You are my baby. All of my children are my babies and I want to munch on each of your darling faces!!!!!
Turning 12 is a magical age! You get to go to Young Women’s, the temple, mutual night, and you now occasionally cost extra money at public events :). Don’t worry; you are worth the extra money! I hope you have a fabulous birthday. You are a delightful person who is full of joy. I want to talk to you about spreading joy on this birthday! You have been blessed with a happy Spirit. Don’t get me wrong, as a baby you also had a VERY grumpy disposition as well. You seemed to be one extreme or the other. I hope that we were able to help you overcome some of that grumpiness and that you have developed into a bright, joyful young woman. I am sure that you have :). Your grumpiness as a baby made me laugh! You should read some of your journal entries as it will make you laugh too! Nevertheless, once you set your mind on something, NOTHING STANDS IN YOUR WAY!
When I was your age I started going through a difficult time at school. The friends I thought would always be there left me and I had to make friends with the less “cool” crowd. This was difficult for me because I had not always been very nice to that crowd and they did not trust me. Regardless, I had no choice and they eventually let me in. This was a life changing event for me...one that I will never regret and has helped me become who I am today. I do not know how “cool” you are or will be. Please listen to this advice...It does not matter how liked you are! Read this story and it will clarify what I mean:
What We Become Makes All the Difference
The business I own today was founded by my father nearly 60 years ago. He died in 1980, leaving me to take the helm of the company at the young age of 30.
In those early years, situations came up that required me to make decisions that affected the future of our frail business. I worked hard to act as my father would have acted, and I spent a great deal of time on my knees, trying to discern what to do. In all those decisions, I never felt a calming influence or any direction one way or another. I ultimately did what I thought was best and moved on. But I was disappointed I had not been able to get any confirmation of my actions.
One night my father came to me in a dream. I began to chide him for not helping me know what to do. He said he was aware of my situation but he was busy where he was and his former business was not terribly important. “Chris, we really don’t care about the business up here,” he said. “What we care about very much is what you become because of your business.”
That was a great lesson I hope I never forget. What we get during our life is inconsequential, but what we become in life makes all the difference.
Sometimes we forget that in premortality we fought alongside the Savior in defense of the Father’s plan of moral agency. And we won! Lucifer and his followers were expelled, and we received the opportunity to experience the life we fought for. The Father’s plan included the Atonement. Our job is to face our challenges and endure them well. As we do this, the Atonement has meaning in our lives and we fulfill the Lord’s work and glory: “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Article compiled by: By Elder J. Christopher Lansing. Titled: Enduring Well- http://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/01/young-adults/enduring-well?lang=eng
Your social status does not matter at this age or any. It is all about who you become! Use the blessings your Father in Heaven has given you to bring JOY to others! Never forget who you are and who you want to become. Set goals to help you achieve this. Help others join you on this quest. Your delightful personality is a joy to us and everyone else who knows you. You have a very strong spirit which is capable of leading many towards Christ where you will find eternal joy! I will love you forever my dear little Eva! Love, Mom