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<!-- /*--><!--/*--> Oluthando...: A letter to my daughter - Miss Flower Jackson turns 8

A letter to my daughter - Miss Flower Jackson turns 8

You IS Smart
You IS Kind
You IS Beautiful

Today you are turning 8 and there are 8 things I want you to know and carry with you for your entire life.

1.   I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.  ~Philippians 4:13

I wish I could shield you from all the worldly troubles, the tough challenges of life.  Keep you wrapped up in a little cocoon and never let you go.  But I can't.  Life happens.  Through the challenges and triumphs I want you to always remember, God is holding your hand.  Nothing is too big or impossible for him.  When you think of giving up, when you have nothing else to live for, get down on your knees and pray.  Life is a precious gift and don't ever forget that. Whatever you are going through, just know that "This too shall pass".  Praise God through all things because he is a faithful God.  He is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow.

2.  As long as you are in my life, I will continue to love you with the hope that you will someday return the unconditional love I feel for you.  ~ Allysa Perkins

 I loved you before you were even conceived.  You my child, were never a mistake.  Yes your father and I had our differences, but our divorce had nothing to do with you. You were conceived out of love.  We love you more than life itself. 

3.  Any man can be a father, but it takes a special strong man to be a step dad. ~ Unknown

I pray that you treat your step dad with the same respect that you do now through your teenage life and adulthood.  He has and always will love you as his own.  When you lost your teeth, he gave me money to put in your shoes.  When you wanted a cell phone, he gave you his own. Always remember that he is not here to replace your father, but to enhance on his love.  Here's something from your Step dad:

I Love You As My Own

I love you just as though you were my own,
Though you are not the child of my blood.
Love is not lodged within one's flesh and bone,
But in one's heart, which goes which way it would.
I married into you, as into wealth,
Or into some bright mansion, just by chance.
You were not why I came, nor what I felt
That made me give my life to this romance.
Yet once we were a family, out of need,
Love came bubbling up from some sweet spring,
Watering the newly planted seed
That it might in the will of sunlight sing.
So may we long remain through love and art:
Stepdad and stepdaughter of the heart.

(Nicholas Gordon)

4.  Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring - quite often the hard way.
~ Pamela Dugdale

 Don’t just be nice to your brother. Be his best friend, his biggest supporter and his most constructive critic. Be the same to yourself. You will be grateful he’s your brother in time and you will both need each other one day. (You need each other now, too!)

5.  Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. ~ Oprah Winfrey

 Your best friends should be the one who brings out the best in you.  An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.

6.  To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections. ~ Sandra Bierig

 Don't be so hard on yourself.  Don't.  Self love, respect, compassion....All come from you.  Respect and love your body. Don't just give it to anyone who doesn't deserve it.  Any man who is lucky to be your boyfriend should be able to wait for you.  You are a princess and deserve to be treated as such.

7.  Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?Actually, who are you not to be?  ~ Marianne Williamson  

You can be whatever you want to be, if you put your mind to it.  I promise that as your mom, I will let you chose your life.  I believe in you so much my child. The world is your oyster.

8.  “At any given point you can release your greatest self. Don’t let anyone hold you back. Don’t let anyone dilute you. Don’t be peer pressured into being less than you are. People willing to dilute themselves for the sake of others is one of the great tragedies of our time. Stop letting others define and set the pace for your life. Get out there and be your best. Do your best. Live your best. Make every day count and you’ll see how exponentially more exciting, thrilling, successful, happy and full your life will be.”

~ Steve Maraboli

 When people tell you something negative to do with your image, your personality, your capabilities,  its only because they themselves have insecurities.  Don't ever allow that to pull you down.  If you become a people pleaser you'll never be happy.  God made you the way you are and you are perfect.

Happy birthday my Angel.

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