Dear Ross girls,
As hard as I try I can’t stop you girls from growing up. You are growing up way faster than my mind is able to accept but accept it I must. You are growing into such fine young women. As you grow, there are going to be all kinds of ideas and priorities presented to you. Before you get too many of those, I want to give you some advice from my heart. These are 20 things that I desperately want you girls to know and do.
Pursue Jesus above all else. Throughout your lives there are going to be all kinds of opportunities come your way. There are going to be all kinds of things that pursue you and all kinds of things that you want to pursue. The vast majority of these things are going to be perfectly acceptable for you to focus on and pursue but none of them are worthy of being the main focus of your pursuit. Jesus alone qualifies for this. Refuse to compartmentalize your life into the spiritual and the secular. Keep Jesus center of all things in your life. Keep Jesus in your plans for the future. Keep Jesus in your relationships. Keep Jesus in your hobbies. Keep Jesus in your career. Keep Jesus in everything by pursuing Him above all other things. Memorize Matthew 6:33, think on it often and apply it diligently.
Prayer is the most practical thing you can do. At 11 and 12 you girls are already pretty busy and that trend is only going to continue as time goes on. There will always be something to do. You will have school work that needs to be taken care of, a job that you need to work hard at, hobbies to take part in and relationships to invest in. During all the busyness that comes into your life you are going to be tempted to think that you don’t have time for prayer. Reject that temptation as a false idea. Prayer is the most practical thing you can do. Always remember that God can do more than you can do, God can do it better than you can do it, God can do it faster than you can and God can enable you do to anything that needs to be done. Since these things are all true, then prayer is absolutely the most practical thing you can do. Make prayer a priority every day of your life.
Always be yourself. I love the unique personalities that God has given to each of you. Your mother and I have always known that you had wonderful and distinct personalities but as you’ve grown your personalities have just amazed us. One of the most common temptations you’ll face is to let the approval or disapproval of others determine who you are and what you do. Don’t fall for this. God has fearfully and wonderfully made you to be you to be you. There is no friend, no job or no relationship that is worth changing who you are to please. Your personalities may well change over time and that is natural and fine but make sure the changes that are made are changes YOU and God want you to make not changes you are making to fit in with one group or person.
Choose to be Ziva David over The Little Mermaid. I know that in that many stories the naïve, helpless girls ends up being saved by the big strong Prince Charming that is valiant, chivalrous and just all around wonderful. However, there is a reason those stories are often called fairy tales. In the real world the naïve helpless girl ends up being victimized and abused by predators that prey on helpless naïve girls. Choose instead to be wise, strong and able. Be able to change a flat. Know how to make a budget and stick to it. Set and achieve SMART goals. Learn to make a fist, throw a punch and where to land a punch. Know how to hold a knife and shoot a gun. Be strong and tough women.