Daughter, I’m not planning you.

Dear Areli,

This is my first letter to you. I hope you like it. I hope you like me. I know I will like you. That’s kinda what I wanted to talk to you about.

Today, you have been growing for 31 weeks, and this week we are buying plane tickets out of Vietnam to wait for your arrival. You’re living adventures already! The closer you are to being in my arms, the more I have been daydreaming about what you will be like. I find myself wondering if you will read constantly like me or if you will love to laugh and make people laugh or if you’ll be amazingly athletic and attractive like I am (okay, okay… I’m kidding.) The thing is, no matter how vivid or magnanimous my visions of you are I know I will never fully be able to imagine you. That’s how wonderful, how incredibly unique, purposefully planned, how intricately woven you are. I want to put down in writing right now exactly how I feel about you, dear one. I want you to have something you can return to when times are tough, when you are forgetting who you are, when you need to know how very, very much you mean to me.


Sometimes people, myself included, can get caught up in trying to meet expectations that people have for them… or expectations that they think people have for them. Sometimes the source of this pressure is media, sometimes it is peers, and sometimes… it’s parents. I was blessed with wonderful parents who had very small expectations for me. (Just kidding, mom!) In all seriousness, I didn’t deal with those kind of pressures from my parents. I did, however, watch some of my friends deal with them and I can’t explain the kind of heartache that came from the kind of pressure and criticism they received. Our world is crazy. You will find that out soon enough. There are shows on television dedicated to parents pushing their children to be one thing or another, saying awful things to them, breaking their spirits a little at a time… and people watch that mess for entertainment. I wish that was the worst of things happening around us. I wish I could save you from everything bad, but I can’t do that. I can however, at least try to save you from myself.

Darling girl, I release you from any expectations you might think I have for you. I am not planning you. I won’t be disappointed if you don’t have stacks of books by your bed or if you would rather be in band than play soccer. I won’t try to make you wear your hair any way you don’t want to wear your hair. I am not now, nor will I ever be, planning your wedding… unless you ask me to. I hope we get days when we don’t see eye-to-eye. I really do. I want to go through those tough teen-aged tantrums you might throw. I want to watch you storm off and slam the door. I know those times happen. I’d be lying to myself (and forgetting the things I put my mom through) if I thought they didn’t. I don’t expect perfection from you. I don’t expect you to be who I want you to be. I expect sometimes I will be broken about the disagreements we’ve had. I expect to pray tearful prayers. I expect I won’t always be good at being your mom, but I expect that we will go before the Father with every argument, every hurt, every mistake. I expect He will make me a better mother, and I expect to love you… no matter what.

Please know, beautiful one, that I am on your side. Know that God is making you into exactly who He wants you to be. Know that you are purposed, that you are chosen, that you are loved.

I cannot wait to meet you, dear girl. To kiss your tiny feet. To watch you grow into an amazing woman. God is so good to us for giving us you. We’ll do our best to give you right back.

I love you so much,

Your Mama


2 thoughts on “Daughter, I’m not planning you.

  1. That your mother, my amazing daughter, is blessed with the wisdom and willingness to embrace her role in your life is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me. In fact, Areli, you are joining a family of young people miraculously committed to parenting their children–yours and Seattle’s cousins–beautifully, despite the difficulties of their own upbringing. That, lovely granddaughter, is evidence of the exponential abundance of our King’s generousity. To all of us.

    Now, if your mother ever gets completely on your nerves, talk to me or Aunt Andrea or Uncle Michael. We’ve been there. We’ll help you get through it. (Don’t tell your mom I said that…;)

    And I love you. So much.

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