Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Note To Self

A recent prompt in the 31 Day writing challenge was this-

In a letter to your children (or your younger self) write something you wish someone had told you ten years, five years, or even one year ago.  

I've been mulling this over for a few days and here's where I've landed. The things I might wish someone had told me ten years ago? Well, someone probably did tell me. Or tried to tell me, which is the thing about life have to live and learn your own. 

Now that's not to say I don't freely dole out advice to my daughters (HA!), but I know from my own experiences and challenges so much of what is given in the way of helpful advice is only recognized as such after we've walked through some stuff. After we've lost our cool or our hope or faced a challenge of one kind or another. Then we take a minute to sit back and re-evaluate and that's usually when advice or wisdom shared once upon a time, rings in my ears and I can say, 'Now I get it'. 

Not always, but in general I need something to apply your words of wisdom to in order for them to stick and have meaning. 

So there's my caveat, but I'll still share something here today because that's my challenge.

Dear Daughters, 

In as much as is possible be the boss of time. Your time. Be deliberate in how you spend it and also how you view it. Sometimes we think a nap on the couch means we're lazy. Sometimes it's the best thing we can do for our family. Sometimes coffee with a friend feels frivolous when what it really is is relationship building, filling in the cracks that come from too little sleep and too many toddler messes. Reassurance you're not crazy or a bad mother or any of the other little things we wonder about ourselves when we spend too much time not having coffee with a friend. 

Figure out what's important and long lasting and give yourself to that. Prioritize what's eternal over what's temporal. Figuring that out can be hard, especially when the world says one thing and your heart says another. Listen to your heart. The world tells us we should be doing all the things all the time, but often there is more good done in the quiet stillness of an early morning. In prayers whispered and dreams shared. Remind yourself of this when life feels overwhelming.  

Establish the habits of daily prayer and reading God's word. So simple to do but so easy to be distracted from. It's tempting to put a million other things before this one thing, but if you put this one thing first then all the other things fall into place. Not always the way we think they should, but always in a way that reminds us God has a plan for our lives, that He's teaching us in every single circumstance we walk through, that He is for us. 

God is for you. 

I was talking with some friends recently and we all said one of our biggest regrets in life is the amount of time we've wasted on unimportant 'stuff' in our adult lives. We're all now in a season where that's easy to see so you'll have to trust me on this. Time wasted is my biggest regret, and I'm sure all the 'time is precious' platitudes were thrown my way when I was your age too. I didn't always take them to heart like I could have should have, but regret is no place to live so never take up residence there. 

Finally my sweet girls, learn to love the sunrise. No matter how off kilter, out of sync, or discouraged you felt when you went to bed yesterday, the sunrise is a reminder there are brand new mercies every single day.  

Because God is for you. 

Write that on an index card and stick it on your bathroom mirror. 
Your 50-something self will thank me. 



  1. Well, if I were your daughter I would be all "teared up" for sure. Heck, I'm not your daughter and it made me tear up. A beautiful, wisdom filled letter.

  2. This is simply beautiful, Joyce. And so completely true. Thank you for sharing your heart on this.

  3. What a blessing you are to your girls. And, to those of us who get to share in the blessings you pour out on them. Thank you, Joyce.

  4. I love your relationship with your daughters. So true and open. I think I've missed out on this by having only sons. Little boys and Big boys DO love their mama's but there is just something about the female world that is so neat.
    Your words here are beautiful!

  5. Thank you Joyce for sharing your heart. I too, have two beautiful daughters and I am going to share your heart with them. So much truth in your words. Thank you.

  6. I know that your girls will treasure this post and your advice, though I believe they already practice these things because of the example you have set in their lives. A beautiful and heartfelt post!!

  7. Excellent advice Joyce, especially the God is for us statement! Something I am trying so hard to remember.

  8. "which is the thing about life have to live and learn your own." WORD. :) Your girls are so lucky that you've managed to write what's in your head and heart so eloquently and perfect.

  9. Joyce, I'm glad you wrote these things out for all of us because I don't think we can hear this kind of advice too much or too often. I'm better for having read this blog post. Thank you!