Letter to my Thirteen-Year-Old Granddaughter

Letter to my Thirteen-Year-Old Granddaughter

Dear Emily,
Happy Birthday. You are now officially a teenager. Strap on your seat belt because you are about to take a ride full of ups and downs, twists and turns and lots of breathtaking adventures. You have so many first-time-in-life events to look forward to and important decisions to make during this time of your life. It is exciting to grow up and become a young woman but it can also be hard and confusing at times.
Here are a few things to remember from your grandma that loves you very much.
Don’t believe anyone that tells you are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough - or anything enough. You are a daughter of the God; you have infinite potential. But . . . you don’t have to be perfect today. Practice makes progress not perfect. People or media outlets that make you feel like you’ll never be good enough are lying to you. You have always been enough and you always will.
Most people believe that beauty is the way we appear to others. Beauty is the way you appear to God who does not look on the outward appearance - but on your heart. How you treat yourself and other people is what makes you beautiful – not the way you dress, do your hair or apply make-up. God gave you a magnificent body that allows you to see, hear, think and move. Be grateful every single day for the unique body you have.
During our school years we often compare ourselves to the other students around us. In truth, how we compare to others doesn’t matter in the eternal scheme of things. If you seek after learning, you are smart. Everyone has areas of study that come easily and others that are more challenging. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to figure something out. What matters is that you are willing to keep trying and never give up.
Lots of people think you are strong if you never feel fear. The greatest strength is evident when we choose to move forward when we are afraid. Feelings are meant to be felt – all of them. There is no right or wrong feeling. There will be days when you feel scared, incompetent or want to give up. It is normal to feel those emotions. After you feel what you feel, make a careful decision about what you are going to do with those feelings. When you choose to do what you believe in your heart is the right, you can feel peace of mind.
Some people think that famous, rich or powerful people are the most important people in the world. The most important people are actually kind, respectful, curious, and hard working. The ability to work hard and never give up will get you through your hardest days.
Sing, dance, laugh and embrace being your unique self. Life can change in an instant so don’t wait for a better time to enjoy life. Stop worrying about what others think of you. Actually, they are not thinking about you; they are focused on themselves.
Never be afraid to say no to anyone. When you say no to what is not right for you, you actually say yes to what I better for you. There will always be more demands for your time than you can give without depleting your well. You have nothing to give if your well is dry. Spend as much time filling your well as you do drawing from it. Your worth and dignity is constant and never changing. No one can take those away from you.  
No person will ever love you the way God loves you. When you feel the love of God you are not desperate for the love of other people. You cannot control how many people love you but you can control how many people you love.
During your teenage years, you will be tempted to dress and behave in fake ways to attract boys. You do not want the attention of a boy who is attracted to false pretenses and appearances. The boy who loves and respects you for who you are is the kind of man you will eventually want to marry.

I love you Emily. I see your strength and your beauty. I feel your courage and dignity. I know that you have the power to create a meaningful life by the choices you make today. I am your one-woman biggest fan club. I will always care about you and pray for you. You are precious to me.

Grandma Baadsgaard

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