A Letter to my Daughters about Today

On this blog I share stories from my life, but my deepest prayer is that they wouldn’t be just about me, but about all of us and our quest to see the hand of God in all of life.  Even though this is to my daughters I hope it’s meaningful for parents and sons and daughters alike.

Dear Precious Girls,

As I write this we’re on our third flight coming home from Sri Lanka, through Bombay and Amsterdam.  Too much time to think.  Feeling out of sync with time changes, and nostalgic, and ready to sleep in my own bed and be in a normal summer routine that includes Minnesota lakes and green grass.

In this season, traveling to exotic places, experiencing the humidity and dust of ancient cultures, the taste of unusual spices and the the smell of incense and poverty, I am grateful.  But I also long for home and the simplicity of summer days when you both were little.

Playing Monopoly and hopscotch on the driveway, picking strawberries, and making water balloons, and walking to the library as we were serenaded by cicadas.  Creating forts and reading Betsy, Tacy, and Tib aloud on hot summer afternoons that we savored like melting popsicles, slurping up the goodness of the day.

I think in contrast, of this season of your life now, as young professional women living in D.C. where you have a vibrant faith community, stimulating dialog about important ideas, and the opportunity to experience Supreme Court arguments, Embassy receptions, and White House fireworks.  A good, good season.

I want you to savor every moment, drink up every drop.  To choose life in all its fullness.  This is the season of your life when you’ll set courageous goals and experience lovely victories and maybe fall flat on your face some too.  You’ll nurture deep friendships, look to wise mentors, and invest in causes that are deeply meaningful.

It’s the season when you get to ask yourself,  “What story do I want to be able to tell in fifteen years?”

In this season I pray you’ll pause, not only to acknowledge the good gifts, but also the Gift Giver.  Yeah, I know there are rough days with job stress, and not enough money, and bad hair days, and questions about what’s next and where, but still…

I may be tempted to look back with longing, and you to look forward with longing, but meanwhile there’s today.  Gregory Boyle quotes Thich Nhat Hahn saying “our true home is the present moment.

The Desert Fathers would repeat one word over and over.  Not “Jesus” or “Love”, but the word, “today”.  It reminded them where they needed to be.

So today, where you are, and where I am, let’s just choose life and thanksgiving in the present.  God is good.  We get to sing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” in every season.

And when you come home this summer for a visit, let’s be sure to play Monopoly and go to Dairy Queen.

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