This blog post was originally posted on tumblr.
This is weird. But also if you know me, this is not weird at all. HAHAHA. Truth is, I think about my future children often. Sometimes, they are what encourage me to make tough decisions, knowing that while I cannot see the fruit of it now, it will possibly give them a greater inheritance and a lasting legacy. I dunno. As I am writing this, now it all just sounds kind of weird. Really weird. HAHAHAH. WUTEVA. YOLO.
Anyways, I wrote this awhile back with Emerson in mind. Maybe it’s weird. I debated whether or not I should post it. But, oh well. Rereading some of this was actually really intriguing. No regrats. Maybe. HAHA. MERPS. HOLY COW, IT’S LONG.
Maybe this is premature, but you’ve crossed my mind so many times this past year. I don’t even know you yet, but there’s so much I already know that I want for you. I could list a million things that I wish for you, but here are a few things I know I want to vow to you:
I vow to teach you to love the Lord with all your heart, your soul and your mind, and that you can do it because He first loved you. I vow to never force you to love Him just because I do, but to pray that you will have the sensitivity to feel His love for you and a desire to respond with love, too. I vow to show you how fun it is to ask God what He loves about you. And I vow to drop everything to help hear with you when you need it most, until you begin to learn how to hear His voice for yourself. I can’t wait for you to share with me all the amazing things He loves about you. I can’t wait for His love to find you during playtime, naptime or dinnertime, or even time-out. I vow to remind you that before you are my daughter, you are His. And even so, I vow to let my love for you be a glimpse of God’s love for you. I vow to love you with so much security and patience and joy and gentleness. And when I do not get it right, I vow to be humble and apologize to you for where my love fell short. I am not perfect, so I will fail. But love never fails, and I vow to allow my moments of failure to push you toward the One who will never fail you. I vow to teach you to love yourself, and to never allow you to confuse that with pride. I vow to encourage and embrace your self-confidence, not deflect it in fear that you will rob God of His glory. Your ability to love yourself the way He created you will bring Him the most glory, and I vow to make sure you know that. As your future mom, I think you deserve all the love in the world, and I think you deserve only the best. But I vow to never make you feel entitled to anyone’s love. I vow to never teach you to love your neighbors because you want to be loved. Instead, I vow to teach you how to love yourself well, so that you will have so much more love to give to your neighbors. I vow to have high expectations for the people who will be placed in your life: mentors, friends, teachers, relationships, because I know it will be these people who will shape you. But I vow to never let you think that only those who are great are deserving of your love. Therefore, I vow to surround you with people who will be difficult to love, and to celebrate the moments when you choose to love them anyway.
If your heart should ever be broken by love, I vow to never speak poorly of the boy(s) who broke it. Even if he did you wrong, I vow to never blame who he is to make you feel better about who you are. Because his failure to love you well does not reflect who you are; it only reflects who he is still learning to become. If I blame him, I will allow you to think that there is a boy out there who will get it right 100% of the time. And I would fail you as a mom to make you believe this, and to encourage you to chase something that does not exist. I would fail you as a mom to put so much weight and pressure on a boy to love you right. I would fail you as a mom to push you to only love someone who can love you. Therefore, I vow to not set you up for disappointment and hurt, but to prepare you to extend grace and forgiveness. I hope you don’t get mad at me or feel like I am a terrible mom for not taking your side. I hope you don’t get angry at me for asking you to give more after you’ve been hurt for giving so much. I hope you don’t feel like my inability to hate the one who hurt you means I don’t understand. The truth is it will probably hurt me, too; but it will also not surprise me. Every boy will disappoint you and hurt you in some way; even the best ones. And I’m certain even the one you will marry.
The only love that will not break your heart is Jesus’ love. So instead, I vow to push you to find security in His love, so if in the case the love you give is not returned, it will not break you because you never needed it in the first place to feel whole. I vow to teach you how to go to Jesus with your broken heart because it will be only at His feet that you will find healing. I vow to celebrate the love you generously gave instead of tell you that you shouldn’t have given so much. I vow to remind you how bold you were to pour so much love to someone who needed it. And I vow to push you to love again because your love will change people. I know it. Because it will only give, it will not require. (Although, this is only my vow to you. I cannot guarantee that your daddy will not pull out a gun, hehe).
I vow to love Jesus more than I will love your daddy, and I vow to make that evident for you to see in our house. Because I want you to know what it looks like for mommy to be so secure in God’s love, that even when daddy messes up and hurts me and makes me angry (which he will), I will be able to model to you grace, not grudge. In my conversations with your daddy, I vow to never let you hear me say things like, “I’ve done it all week. It’s your turn,” or “I did this for you. How come you didn’t do it for me?” Because I vow to show you that love is not an exchange, only an outpour. And I vow to teach you that in our family, we don’t love to get something; we love to give something. When I am hurt or lost or disappointed, I vow to run to my first Love because it is only Him that can fill every single gap in my heart. It’s something you and your daddy won’t ever be able to do, and it would be selfish of me to expect that from both of you. Whoever your daddy will be, I am certain he will be absolutely incredible. I will admire him just as much as you will, and we will celebrate him because he will be great. But as amazing of a man that he is, I vow to never let you think he matters more to me than the Lord. He may be a man of God, but he is not God. And I vow to make that distinction clear to you so that it will become your foundation, too.
If there’s one thing I hope to teach you, it is to love. I don’t know if you will be smart or athletic or creative or silly or serious. But I know that you will love well because I vow to learn how to love well, too. And I pray that all the love I give will be your inheritance, and will be given to you with even more added to it.