Sunday, July 11, 2010

To Vanessa on her 14th birthday

Vanessa, today is your birthday. There are so many things I want to tell you, but most of all I want you to know that I love you!

It almost seems yesterday that you came into our lives, 14 years ago. You are and have always been a terrific girl! You have determination, you are generous, and you easily welcome people into your life.
You are caring and understanding, and make people feel loved and safe.
You are unselfish--that's a wonderful quality of yours.
I could just go on and on about the traits that you posess, and how incredible you are!

Here's a little list of older-sister advise for you:

1.Life will never be easy, but you must follow your heart.

2.Your dreams are important, don't ignore them.

3.Living for others is a reward in itself--live in such a way that you will make other lives better.

4.Don't be afraid to try new things. It's okay to fail as long as you keep trying.

5.When you get to the end of yourself, that's when God starts.

6.Don't hurry to grow up, life is not a race--enjoy the little things.

7.You might not find your mission in life right away--but the journey is part of the adventure.

8.Mom's prayers work wonders--rely on that power :D

9.Don't be so severe with yourself, learn to take it easy.

10.Don't get frustrated with people because they are slower or faster than you. Everyone is different, appreciate their uniqueness!

11.When all seems lost, love will come to the rescue. Love will be your keeper.

12.You can't chase happiness, but you can create the conditions for happiness to find you.

13.Our hearts are like gardens, we must tend to them.

14.Love is manisfested in the details.

I haven't been around much of your life--you were in your first year of school when I left to start a new life in the service of others. It hasn't been easy giving up being there for you. I know it wasn't easy for you either, to have to say goodbye over and over.
And yet, everything I've done, all the choices I've made in my life have been for all of us. Because I wanted to "pave the way", for you to follow.
I wanted to prove that we can bring light and hope into the world and make a difference--and I've found out we can.
I wouldn't have been able to do anything, without you, my family, backing me up on this. It was you guys who kept the flame alive.
It was your sacrifice and love that made it possible, and you can say "we were all part of it".
Some day it will be you--and I will be there for you, with you, because I believe you will go on to great things! I'm already proud of you!
Happy birthday dear Vanessa! Love you lots! xoxoxo