Letters to my ladies...

I was recently watching Kathie Lee and Hoda when I found myself in tears listening to Jenna Bush's poignant letter she wrote to her beloved grandmother, Barbara, whom had just passed away at the age of 92.  I couldn't help but reminisce over my own mother and grandmothers and all they had taught me with their words and more importantly, their actions.  So, I immediately sat down and allowed my own feelings to pour out over a keyboard and came up with several 'letters' to the women in my life who have shaped and formed me as the woman I am today.  So, here's the first of hopefully many that I will pen.  Starting with my own mother only seemed fitting on Mother's Day weekend--

Dear Mama-
You did good.  You raised 4 children that are respectful, love Jesus, never went to jail {that I know of} and love each other deeply.  You did all that with a deployed husband in Navy housing all over the country while moving roughly every 18 months.  I'm not sure how you're not a raging alcoholic or on meds permanently to be honest.  You did this with grace and poise and Jesus...and a spanking spoon that would scare the devil.
Our youth was full of love, laughter and lots of moving.  None of which i would trade for any treasure in the world.  You and Dad helped us see the world from different perspectives, respect other cultures and step outside our comfort zones to meet and love new people.  That wasn't easy but most good things come from the hardest of places.  You taught us that faith and family come first, manners and table etiquette still mean something and to show everyone you meet a little grace and mercy.  Spoiled was not a word we knew and are much better for it today.  
that's me about 2, my grandmother, my mom and my great grandmother....wish I could sit and talk to those two just ONE more time!

that's me about 2, my grandmother, my mom and my great grandmother....wish I could sit and talk to those two just ONE more time!

We called you 'Nazi Nancy".  You would know what we had done before we even did it.  We were all guilty before proven innocent and for that I have never tried to blame others for my wrong doings or decisions that lead to trouble.  You preached constantly that "Your sins will find you out" and "You become the company that you keep".  Although that drove me to insanity then, I find myself repeating that today more times than I'd care to admit to your face.  We were disciplined for good and it taught us all well how to be responsible adults in this crazy world.
Thank you for never bringing your views of your own body, weight or looks to my attention.  I never saw you step onto a scale, look over your shoulder at the back of your thighs or complain about your stomach in a bathing suit.  You showed by example that beauty is what your heart pours out and if you love the Lord then He shines radiance out of you.  I wish more mothers had done what you didn't do.  You didn't draw attention to my freshman 40 {yes, i did gain that} or allow me to wear shorts too short, tops too little or makeup too heavy {all you ever asked is that I had 'blush-on}.  That's a rare find and I have you to thank for my positive feelings about food, my body and weight today as a grown woman raising my own little girl.
Thank you for yours and dad's love story.  I know what true, devoted love is because of you both.  While parents were getting divorced, i never once worried that you would because of the love and friendship i always witnessed between you.  You are a team and although i'm sure there were hard moments, you never let us see them and our feeling of safety never wavered.  Because of that devotion, Jay and I strive everyday to have a marriage like yours.  You keep God in the center, laugh together and give each other room to grow on your own.  Thank you for showing my children your love for each other so they have a pure example of what real love looks like.
But, most of all, thank you for loving me.  I know I didn't always make it easy or fun but looking back I know that you were holding tight to God's promise "Raise a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it."  You definitely raised a girl that sees your devotion, beauty and faith now more than ever.  I only wish I had seen it much sooner.  {Let's pray Sophie sees it for me around 12 and not 22 or later....payback is not fun i've come to understand!}
You are an amazing grandmother and I know your prayers for us have continued and now move on to your 7 grandchildren.  May they be as lucky as we were to be yours!
Love you mama ~ your em
just a girl and her three brothers...wouldn't trade them for girls any day!

just a girl and her three brothers...wouldn't trade them for girls any day!

"Children are a heritage from the Lord...happy is the man who has a quiver full of them"  ~psalm 127.3-5

"Children are a heritage from the Lord...happy is the man who has a quiver full of them"

~psalm 127.3-5