“Have courage and be kind”

It was this week 13 years ago that one of the sweetest young ladies the world has ever known was born: My niece “M.” In one moment she made me into an aunt and showed me what love and first sight feels like.

This is my letter to “M” on her birthday:

My dear M:

Happy Birthday! It is hard to believe that the tiny baby I held all those years ago is now as tall as I am and a teenager as well. Your parents tell you that time goes by much more quickly when you’re an adult and I’m here to testify that it is true!

13 is a pretty big year. You’re a teenager now and I wanted tell you some things that I wish someone had told me at your age. (Or maybe they had told me but I was too busy doing my own thing to listen!)

When thinking about you, I’m reminded of the movie Cinderella (the new one with Lily James). Her mother tells her to “have courage and be kind.” It is excellent advice that we all could use.

There are going to be things that seem a little scary or maybe just uncertain. Those are times when you must trust in God to equip you to deal with what is in front of you. Faith takes courage, you see. Trusting in a God we cannot see and choosing to follow Him in a time when it’s not a very popular thing is courageous.

There are also going to be times when you don’t feel like people deserve kindness. I’m sure there are some not-so-nice people at school who fit this description. But if you treat people better than they deserve, you will have fewer regrets in life. You will also show people a glimpse of Jesus on this planet. (We Christians really need to be aware of how we appear to others.) The nice thing is that people also tend to behave how their treated. (Not always but a lot of the time!) So, odds are that if you’re kind to them, they’ll learn from you how to be kind. It’s a win!

Not that you have a hard time summoning up courage and kindness these days, I’ll admit. You are growing into a lovely young lady. But when life gets more complicated, these are good values to hold onto as is the love of your Savior. Carry them with you in your heart and mind.

In closing, my dear M, I must say it’s a privilege to be your aunt. Welcome to your teen years!

Love and hugs,

Aunt Jenna



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