Don’t Settle for Imitations
This parenting gig is hard work. I was commiserating with another mother yesterday, about the lack of patience our parenting produces. There was no doubt that all over this country, on a Sunday morning, mothers everywhere were telling their daughters to “just stand still so I can finish your hair!” Of course, then we feel bad and have to apologize, only to hear you give forgiveness so easily. Its quite humbling, actually. Knowing how readily you offer forgiveness when adults rarely extend that forgiveness to themselves.
But I digress.
There are many life lessons and wise words that I share, ones I hope you take into adulthood with you. Some of them include:
- Eat good food. Yes, all things in moderation, but enjoy that piece of bacon. Don’t worry about the extra truffle you snitched from the platter. Let your taste buds live a little.
- Don’t be afraid to mix patterns. Be a little adventurous with your wardrobe. I personally don’t believe that black and brown go together, and I think the no white after Labor Day rule is silly.
- The things you didn’t like as a kid, you might love as an adult. Just saying.
- Love what you do! It doesn’t matter how much money your career brings you, if you don’t love what you do, its just not worth it.
- I will seem wiser the older you get. You may roll your eyes and shrug your shoulders now, but trust me. Someday you’ll realize that I actually did know what I was talking about.
But there is one lesson in particular that I
want, no NEED, you to understand. This is important to me because I feel so many life lessons can stem from this one thing and my prayer is that when you’re adults, you’ll hear me in your head, saying this over and over again.
Anything worth having in this life, takes time, work, and effort. Don’t settle for imitations when hard work can produce the real thing.
My Loves, we live in a culture that demands instant gratification. I know this because I take advantage of it daily: instant downloads, takeout, streaming movies. I know what its like to trade quality for haste. I know that in the more trivial things, it doesn’t matter and you’d be right. But in the big things, the things that are worth it, you are going to have to invest your time and hard work. Because those things, they won’t happen overnight. They can’t.
When you’re older and better able to comprehend the work that went into fixing my family of origin, you’ll understand why my sisters and I are so close. You’ll know that it took years of counseling and the willingness to try again, to heal my family and allow us a fresh start.
I pray that my marriage to your dad will be a testament to the effort needed to produce a fulfilling, intimate, and loving relationship. I once thought that the beginning stages of a relationship (the butterflies, the tingles, the desire to be together 24-7) was the end all, be all to love. Yet, I’m constantly amazed at how much deeper I fall in love with your dad every. single. year. It can’t be possible, it’s too cliché, I thought. But, My Loves, staying and working through the hard stuff has produced a bond so strong, that there are times I’m humbled by the intimacy those times have produced.
This world offers many imitations of the real thing. Even the bible promises, “For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.” Matthew 24:5. My Loves, do not be fooled by imitations. The saying “If its too good to be true, it probably is” comes to mind. The best way to sift through falsehoods, is to know the good, real, and worthy things so well, inside and out, that that you can spot the imitations from a mile away.
Its tempting to take the easy road… its appealing to believe you can have it all, without working for it. But I assure you, if you can take it without working for it, its not worth it. And what you thought was the real thing, you’ll find won’t last the test of time. The shiny thing will tarnish, its beauty will fade, and you’ll be left wondering what happened. Work for it, My Loves. Fight for it. Discover what it’ll take to have it, and then give 10% more. Just like diamonds and pearls, know it’ll take time for the true beauty to be revealed.
If this is the only thing you take from my parenting, I’ll be thrilled. I have so much hope for your lives, there is so much promise in your future, and I can’t wait to see where God and your dreams take you. Just go with the knowledge that anything worth having, WILL take time and effort. And I assure you, the end result will be more valuable then you ever thought possible!
All my love,