~Another lesson…for my daughter~

Dearest daughter,

It seems as if only yesterday you entered this world. I remember holding you for the first time. You, my little one, were so tiny and fragile. You held my finger with your little hand and smiled up at me. The memory of that moment is, for all time to come, etched on my heart.

With your birth, I learned of new relationships and the meanings they hold. First I was your aunt. Then, when your mother would be away I would replace her. And now that you are growing up, I am your friend.

Dear one, there are things that I want to share with you today – my experiences and thoughts. Read them whenever you feel low and I am sure that you will be able to find new hope through them.

To begin with, I want you to be whatever your heart wishes you to be. Don’t imitate anyone else; remain true to your own self. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not to satisfy other people’s expectations. The world forces us to don masks. Sadly, overtime we begin mistaking these artificial masks for the faces we had hidden in the past. Don’t let this happen to you!

Always remember that no one owes you anything. If someone loves you, it is because there is something special in you that touched their hearts and brought them immense joy. As you grow older still, persistently try to find in you that special something and through recognizing and appreciating it, allow it to grow so that more love and friendship come your way.

The world is a beautiful place but often a few things can make it seem harsh. God’s temple is made of love. It is man’s temple that is built of stones. Open your heart to goodness. No matter what happens, don’t let negative people or thoughts take hold of you. The choice between being an optimist or a pessimist will remain right there in front of you. Choose one, choose wisely!

Don’t let the child in you die. As long as you nurture this child within you, you will find happiness and joy in life.

There is a purpose in everything and everyone that comes into your life. Whatever experiences fall your way, strive to find the purpose behind them. Find the space in your heart and mind to learn a new lesson from every purpose. If you find yourself close to failing at what you started out to do, don’t hesitate to ask for help around you. One who realizes that he is ignorant is ignorant no more!

My dearest child, I read somewhere that every man’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers. There will be times in your life when you will think this is not true; you will feel that your life is too hard to be a fairy tale. At that moment, I want you to remember that fairy tales contain wonder and beauty but also a few bad things. Each one contains a jinn, a witch, a cruel queen or king, a monster, a giant, some sort of unpleasantness. The trick is to conquer this evil slowly. But before conquering those external forces, conquer the jinns and monsters hiding in your own heart. Get a grip on the devil inside!

Be bold, be brave and believe in the power of your dreams – the dreams that shine in your lovely eyes like stars will illuminate your way.

It is true that with every passing day, I will grow older and weaker. A day may come when I will become forgetful. But even then, you with your bright smile, will light up my heart.

I love you, dear daughter!

Your Alo.

Original blog found here.

~Grandmother…special love~

My Dear Lily,

There will be many people in your life who love you and will always love you.  You are surrounded by family, the people chosen by God to protect you, love you and care for you, for as long as they live.  Remember that family is not only created by blood, but also by unconditional love and respect.

You may think that it will only be your parents who will love you unconditionally.  Don’t forget your grandparents; you will share a special bond with them forever. This bond may sometime transcend the bond between parent and child. That connection between grandparent and child is special, because grandparents will always act on the benefit of their grandchild, even if it means foregoing the approval of the parent.

Lily, I grew up with my grandmother, until the age of eight. There are many reasons why I spent my formidable childhood years with my grandmother, and not with my parents or siblings, but that’s not something to dwell on. I want to write about the woman who raised me, as her own daughter.

My grandmother became a widow at the age of 18 (or thereabouts), with four young children and another on the way. With no real prospects for a job, she was offered to become a nanny/maid for a wealthy family in the city. The family had one daughter, but both parents worked and needed help with looking after their daughter and with the daily housework. This meant leaving her young children behind with her mother.  My great grandmother was a strict, but fair woman, and she too looked after her grandchildren while their mother worked. See Lily, you come from a long line of strong women who are survivors, and were all ahead of their time. Learn from them and embrace that part of you.

Moving in with the family, my grandmother became the mother figure in the child’s life and she cared for that child like her own; sometimes treating her better than her own children, whom she visited on holidays and some weekends. When all her children had grown up and had children of their own, my mother decided to have me live with my grandmother with the wealthy family. It may seem like an odd arrangement looking back, but my childhood was a happy one because of this.

My grandmother became my mother, and my father, the person who taught me right from wrong, who helped me with my homework, who fed me and clothed me, the person who showed me what love is. My grandmother, despite her busy duties in running a household, always had time for me. Every day, she would wake up at 6.00 am in the morning, get breakfast ready for the family and have their clothes ironed and ready for work. After all that, she would wake me up, organise my morning ritual that consisted of having a bath, then breakfast, (which always consisted of oatmeal and milo), have my lunch ready and clothed, all ready for school by 8.30am. Everyday, without fail (I don’t ever remember my grandmother being sick) she would take me to school, carrying my heavy bag and wait until I was inside my classroom. Once school had finished, like clockwork and always on time, my grandmother would pick me, sometimes stopping for a treat.

I was in awe of my grandmother then, and still to this day.  I am amazed at who she is and what she had accomplished, although she would think they were not worth bragging about. I can write a million and one things about how influential my grandmother has been in my life, how she has shaped my being and how she continues to do so every day. The one thing I would forever remember about my grandmother, is love.

My grandmother was the first person who taught me what it means to love, she did that by showing her love everyday, and not necessary by words. She showed it to her children, her grand children, her extended family, her friends and even to strangers. If she could give you the sun and moon, just so you can be happy, she would. That is what made that special bond between her and her grandchildren. No request was ever too small for her.

Lily, my grandmother knew who I am before I knew who I am. She knew what I was capable of, before I knew and even with my own doubts hovering my head. She loved me even though I wasn’t always the good girl she wanted and deserved. She cared for me when I was sick, even though she was tired from work. She pushed me to be better, but to also enjoy my childhood.

As years went and as I grew older, I didn’t keep in touch with her often. This was made difficult, because I lived in a different country and continent from her. As she got older and became sick, it became much more difficult to communicate with her, but I knew that love will always be there; and that is why sometimes I feel guilty for not being there as much as she was for me. But, never for a minute did I ever doubt her love for me and her wanting the best for me.

Writing and preparing the eulogy for her funeral was one of the most challenging writing tasks I have ever had to do. Because I knew that whatever I prepared I could never give justice to the life of this wonderful, selfless human being.  But my dear Lily, I mustered the courage to read it, with the hopes that it made her smile above.

Lily my love, love those people who matter and spend time with them while you have the chance. Distance should not matter, language should not either. You will then look back at the memories fondly, and not feel guilty that you could have done more.

I hope one day that i will experience that special connection with my grandchild, your child and be a great grandmother, as my grandmother was to me.

With all my love,

Mummy x

Lyrics by Halestorm~Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter
Hold your head up high
There’s a world outside
That’s passing by
Dear Daughter
Never lose yourself
Remember that
You’re like nobody else

Life throws you in
To the unknown
And you feel like you’re
Out there all alone

These are words
That every girl should have a chance to hear
There will be love
There will be pain
There will be hope
There will be fear
And through it all year after year
Stand or fall I will be right here
For you

Dear Daughter
Don’t worry about those stupid girls
If they try to bring you down
It’s cause they’re scared and insecure
Dear Daughter
Don’t change for any man
Even if he promises the stars
And takes you by the hand

Life throws you in
To the unknown
And you feel like you’re
Out there all alone

These are words
That every girl should have a chance to hear
There will be love
There will be pain
There will be hope
There will be fear
And through it all year after year
Stand or fall I will be right here
For you

Dear daughter
I was just like you
And just like me
You’re gonna make it through

These are words
That every girl should have a chance to hear
There will be love
There will be pain
There will be hope
There will be fear
And through it all year after year
Stand or fall I will be right here
And after all I will be right here
For you

 

~Period…bleh~

 

Dear Lily,

As you get older, and hopefully wiser, your body goes through many changes.  One day in your early teens, or maybe even younger, you will wake up with a sore stomach and possibly a headache. Do not be alarmed, this is normal honey. Sometimes it is so painful, that you just want to crawl and just stay in bed.  Don’t be afraid, this pain doesn’t last long. Heck, if you can handle these monthly disturbances to your daily life, you can handle any other discomforts your body will put you through.

Besides the cramps and headaches (which may at times feel like someone is drilling into your skull), you also have to contend with the blood. Yes, blood. Sometimes it feels as if there is always a constant flow of it, and you worry that it would leak through your clothing. Don’t be embarrassed, every woman has felt this and have had ‘accidents’ as well. So I have some tips for you, to manage this monthly girlies.

It is up to you if you want to wear a pad or a tampon, whatever is comfortable for you. Remember, you must always do what you feel is comfortable for you and your body. I say, try both and you may like using both a tampon and pad for different occasions. Just make sure you always wash your hands before and after changing.

If you ever run out of pad or tampons, because the girlies have suddenly crept up on you while enjoying a holiday, don’t be embarrassed to ask another woman if they have one. Every woman has had to ask another at least once in their life, which then leads me to another tip.

Always, always keep a couple of tampons and pads in ALL your bags. You just never know when your body decides to pick on you and at what occasion.

It doesn’t hurt to wear those big panties as your secondary underwear, while you have your period for extra leakage protection from your clothes.  Or, what I have personally done in the past is to wear boxer shorts as well as my underwear.

If you feel the need to, shower twice a day while you have your girlies. Actually, for me a hot shower always helps with the headache and stomach cramps. It also, doesn’t hurt to shower twice a day even when you are not on your menstruation.  This is the time to be really hygienic and change your pad and tampon as often as you can. You will learn this over time.

If you are in school, don’t be afraid to tell the teacher you need to go to the toilet, no need for you to give a reason, they will know.  You also don’t need to hide this from your girlfriends, it is good to let them know that the reason you are not feeling well, is you have cramps due to your period. There is no shame in going to the toilet as often as you want to, just tell them you have bowel issues.

It is a myth that women are moody or hormonal during their period, I think this was a myth perpetuated by men who couldn’t deal with our colourful personalities. Not all women are moody.

Drink tea, chamomile tea or green tea or oolong tea has always helped me with my cramps and headaches. However, if the headaches do become a migraine, don’t be afraid to use prescribed painkillers. Just do not rely on them too much. You shouldn’t have to take them for more than a day.

Lastly, don’t hate this part of your life, learn to embrace it. Once you start your menstruation process, it means that you are growing up to be a woman. That in itself is beautiful; it is a beautiful process, although painful. Menstruation is part of being a woman; it’s your body telling you that one day you are ready to carry a miracle inside of you, another human being.

 

Embrace it my love,

Mum xxx

PS. It also gets you out of doing gymnastics or swimming at school, unless you love gymnastics, well that’s great too. Men are very understanding with this, just mention you have your period and they leave you alone, because they don’t want to hear anything about it. That’s always a good thing.

Do you have other tips about how to live with the girlies? Feel free to share them below.

 

 

~Right man…wait~

Dear Daughter,

I’m writing this letter about twenty years early (or forty if your father has his way), but one day you will read these words and they will connect. They will mean something to you. What I need to tell you can be summed up in one word:  WAIT.
Let me explain…

Yesterday I was resting in my favorite chair. It was about 5:00 pm, and I had been feeling under the weather all day. I sat and watched your daddy take stacks of folded clothes from the couch into our bedroom to put them away. Stacks that I folded two days ago and that I could have easily put away, but I hadn’t gotten around to it. He didn’t say anything; he just did it. He did it for me because he knew I needed help. And as I watched him, I had to fight back tears because I suddenly had this thought: “I hope Molly finds this some day.”  And I think you will, if you can remember to wait. Wait on the guy who finishes your chores for you – who comes through in little ways to let you know he cares.

Wait on the man who looks you in your eyes and holds your gaze as he tells you you’re beautiful. Wait on the man who has a habit of telling you this when your hair is greasy, you’re makeup-free, and you’re wearing yesterday’s sweatpants. You’ll know he means it.  Wait on the man who gets up and goes to work. Wait for the guy who sacrifices in order to provide for his family. Wait for the guy who has a strong work ethic and takes pride in what he does. Wait for that man who dreams big and invites you to dream with him.

And when your dreams seem too big, too scary to ever come true, I hope you wait for the one who listens to your insecurities but then speaks truth into your heart and breathes confidence into your spirit. This man will bring you to tears by reading Proverbs 31 to you, telling you YOU’RE that woman, and believing it with every fiber of his being.

Wait for the man who thinks for himself – the man who stands apart from the masses unapologetically because he is rooted and grounded in God. Wait for the man who doesn’t need anyone’s approval. The man who teaches you how to be brave and courageous. The man who will fight for you and for what he believes in. Wait for this man.
Wait for the man who looks at the stars with you and ponders the mysteries of the heavens. Wait for the one who writes you poems…not all the time, but just enough to remind you how deeply his love for you goes. Wait for the man who buys you jewelry and flowers, but no stuffed animals (because that’s just cheesy)!

Wait for the man who makes you feel strong, capable, and worthy. Wait for the man who would never disrespect you. The right one will honor you even when he’s out of your presence. You wait on this man, and your heart will never doubt him.

Wait on the man who allows God to break him down and mold him into the man he’s meant to be. Wait on the one who has a calling to serve his Heavenly Father. Wait on the man who isn’t perfect, but who keeps pressing on, getting back up, and learning from his mistakes.

And finally, wait on the man who smacks your booty when he walks by, who hugs you for a full 60 seconds when you need him to, and who gives you amazing massages, even though you’re quite possibly the world’s worst masseuse and will never be able to repay him!!

My darling daughter, one of these days you will be wondering if it’s love and if some boy is the right one. My prayer is that your daddy will set such a high standard in your eyes, that you will never be tempted to settle for anyone less than who you deserve. Don’t get in a hurry to find love. Don’t feel pressured to give yourself away. WAIT. Wait on the Lord, and He will send you a man who is everything to you that your father is to me. God will grow the love between you as the years pass. Your patience will be rewarded.

Wait…please wait!!

-BraveGirl Emily

(Original blog can be found here: http://bravegirlcommunity.com/2015/04/08/wait-for-this-man/)

~Precious…women~

TO THE PRECIOUS WOMEN:

Dear ones, did you know that you are loved?

You are loved and you are so worth it!

Did you know that your hearts are sooo big?

So big that your longings are eternal! Yes, your heart was made for Someone deeper than the oceans, higher than the stars above and bigger than a million galaxies combined! Because your hearts were made for the One who made them all!

Did you know that He’s crazy about you?

He created someone like you when He already has everything. He made you fearfully (carefully and meticulously) and wonderfully (with excellent chemistry, engineering and architecture) that even the hairs of your heads are numbered! He delicately and intimately designed your DNA and you are uniquely fashioned by His hands!

So don’t be surprised if your heart-cries are so deep. Women, you are so beautiful and you are so worth it!

Someone died a terrible death on the cross for you just to show you that He loves you! A million years will pass but His love never will. Every single day from everlasting to everlasting, He loves you. Do you recognize that?

Oh, darling. I pray that you do! You must know! You must experience it everyday! It’s just too costly to miss that! I hope I’m just exaggerating, but I’m not. Even these are understatement. I cannot fully grasp it yet.

It is He who wakes you up with His morning songs of love and sings you a lullaby at night as you sleep.

It is He who roars inside of you when mountains try to hinder your dreams!

It is He who wraps you with His love when you need it the most and gives you shelter so that you can work with perfect peace inside your heart even when the world is in chaos!

I know you want Him, too, because your heart was made to perfectly fit for each other; and only in His love can you find home; there is no other.

And let me tell you that He’s the mightiest of all the warriors! He’s the strongest of all men! He has the most beautiful heart–so constant, so pure, so loyal, so kind, so compassionate, so wonderful–and inside it is you! Many waters cannot quench His love. Oh, none can rival Him! Not one!

So don’t feel embarrassed when you’re longing for eternity, dear ones, because that is how exactly He made you. Don’t look for any other love to fill in and complete you because compared to His, those are just…droplets. It can only add but it can never complete you.

You were made for a love so great. You were made for God!

And if you ever wonder how you could love Him back, just lay at His feet with wholehearted abandon and receive His love.

Start there and stay there until you dream of changing the world and ’til you are actually changing the world through Him and with Him!

You’re worth it.

 

Original blog can be found here: http://definitelyfilipino.com/blog/2015/03/19/youre-worth-it-an-open-letter-to-the-women-with-deep-heart-cries/

~How…happiness~

Dear Daughter, When you were little, happiness for you was relatively simple. I found what it was that brought out your first enchanting smile and that first beautiful giggle. I would then continue to pull ridiculous faces if it meant that you’d continue to grace me with your captivating, gummy smile. Your happiness, at this stage of your life, was relatively simple for me to figure out. Early on, my main wish for you was that you’d forever be able to enjoy the simple pleasures and delights in life and that you’d be always happy. Yet as adults, we struggle to find the ever-elusive happiness ourselves, so really, it’s very optimistic that I would expect this of you too. The thing is though sweet girl, I want to at least do the very best I can to steer you in the direction of it. I know that happiness is often perceived to be accompanied by money. I mean, once you’ve got large amounts of money, you can pretty much buy anything right? Houses, cars, champagne, you name it, you can have it all. Here’s the thing though honey, the problem with money is that it can’t buy genuine friends and it certainly can’t purchase unconditional love. Money is helpful but it does not guarantee you fulfillment. So if I leave you with nothing else in this chaotic world, I want to leave you with this. My advice on how to find happiness.

how to be happy Tip One – Find a friend who is your best.

Find at least one friend who loves you for what and who you are, not for what you have or what you can give them. If you are extremely lucky, you will find this person early on in life. If not, you will know them when you meet them. It will feel like you are in love, but without the awkward first pash.

Tip Two – Don’t settle for second best.

Find someone to partner you in life who adores you and who you adore equally. This will happen when it happens. Don’t rush it, don’t push it and please don’t expect it. An open heart will allow the right person in when the time is right.

Tip Three – Work at what you love.

Find out what it is that interests you. Is it animals? People? Writing? Building Stuff? Knocking stuff down? Cooking? Cleaning, Drawing? Whatever it is, work towards getting yourself into that area as your job. I know it’s a total cliché, but if you are working at what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Tip Four – Be Kind. Be Patient. Be Compassionate.

Treat others as you would like to be treated and if people are horrible, remember it’s on them, not you. You can only do what you can do. Some people will be jealous, horrible, egotistical, vain or just plain mean, but this does not give you licence to return that kind of behaviour. Always be curious but not judgemental.

how to be happy Tip 5 – Love the skin you are in.

I know this sounds like a commercial, but oh man, it’s true. Having a firmer backside or a flatter stomach doesn’t make you a happier or better person. And believe me, the people who like you simply because of these traits are not people worth knowing. By all means, stay fit and healthy but please honey, NEVER value yourself based on the size of your jeans. Your beauty will always come from within.

Tip Six – Give in. Surrender.

I’m sorry, but actually, there is no magic bullet when it comes to happiness. Happiness is what makes you happy. Not the guy across the road, clipping his grass beyond an inch of its life or the ex-boyfriend traversing the world in search of the world’s best coffee because that’s THEIR happiness. You however, will need to find your own, and as long as it’s not illegal or dangerous, embrace it and also, more importantly, understand that when it comes, you are very lucky to have found it. Good luck little one, life is just beginning for you.

Original blog can be found here: http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/how-to-be-happy/

~The road…to travel~

Dear Lily,

There will be a time in your life where you will get the bug – the travel bug. This bug may last a year, two years or just several months. However long it will be, grab onto it and grab onto it with both hands. The earlier in your life you experience this travel bug, the better. My hope is that when you finish university, or maybe while you are fresh from finishing high school, you will get the chance to travel.

Just do it, pack your bags (just the necessities, no need to pack that tablet or extra phone), get your passport organized, and book that ticket, BOOK that ticket (or tickets).

You’re probably asking why mum is pushing the travel agenda.

It’s simple really; you find yourself when you travel. You spend many years of your life possibly looking at yourself through the eyes of others, and not see what they see; your magnificence. When you travel, especially on your own, you are not bound by your family’s idea of who you are. You don’t have to act a certain way with friends, or pretend to be someone else.

When you travel, you see yourself without limits. You find out what you love about yourself and what you need to improve on. You get to know the real you, because you are finally spending time with YOU. Embrace this person that you are getting to know, and love everything about her, even the craziness.

There will be moments when you travel where it is just you and your thoughts, listen to it, this is where you might find your passion, if you haven’t already found it. Your eyes will open to the endless possibilities of this world, hold on to this.

Explore the places you visit, talk with the locals, eat their food and dance to their tune. You will see how the other side lives, you will learn empathy. From this exploration you will be grateful with what you have at home, as you see a different part of the world that may be full of sorrow, sadness and poverty. An appreciation of the world will open the possibilities of you trying to change it and make it better, not just for your and for the people you care about, but for people you may never meet.

My hope is that when you travel, you will come home with a deeper appreciation of yourself, a deeper understanding of the world and how to put these two discoveries together and contribute something beautiful to the world.

Enjoy these moments of travel and take many photos, be in the present when you travel. Don’t look back into the past, which may be full of regret. Don’t plan too far into the future yet, you will have this chance when you get home, which will be the time to unravel what you have observed and what you have discovered from your travels.

I believe in you and I hope when you travel and see the world; that YOU start to believe in YOU  too. I hope you will take those moments and realise how wonderful your life and your world is, despite the poverty and hopelessness you may encounter.

Life is truly beautiful my darling, and I want you to experience as much of it as you can.

What are you waiting for, let’s go to Hawaii!

All my love,
Mum