This post is sooo long over due considering the fact that my little ‘Shafu’ finally became a teenager a couple of months ago!!!
This has been a long awaited milestone for us as she had been sooo looking forward to when she would be addressed as a teenager :).
As she revels in her new title, I am mentally shifting my parenting gears as I anticipate some bumps on our mother-daughter journey.
This post is one I have always wanted to do for her. Hopefully it’ll be a permanent reminder of all that we have been learning together on our journey together as mother and daughter.
My darling ‘Shafu’,
Being your mum has been an amazing and most delightful experience. You know I never get tired of telling you how much I love you. I am super proud of the young lady you are becoming and I look forward to the great woman you will become.
As you turn thirteen, there are a few life lessons I’d like to share with you.
- BELIEVE IN GOD.
God has said in Jeremiah 29:11 that His thoughts towards you are ’thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give a future and a hope’.
I have always taught you that thoughts are things and they are powerful.
“Watch your thoughts for they become your words,
Watch your words, for they become your actions,
Watch your actions, for they become your habits,
Watch your habits, for they define your life”.
If the almighty God is thinking good thoughts about you, who are you then to entertain negative thoughts about yourself?
Always make sure that your thoughts about yourself aligns with what God has said about you. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is saying about you, they don’t know the full story about your life. God has promised you a future that is worth looking forward to and God cannot lie so everyone that speaks what does not align with the word of God for you is not speaking the truth and is not worth believing.
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
You are the only one in the driver seat of your life and how your life is going to be is ultimately going to be up to you!
I know that is MEGA for you at this age but it is the truth.
You are fortunate to be raised in an environment where you’ve been nurtured, trained and equipped with the skills you need to make the right choices in life.
When you believe in yourself, you free yourself of limiting self-doubts and enter into a realm of possibilities. You know you have the power to make things happen, so lean-in on your God given ability to make them happen.
You have many dreams – ‘Zoe Estate’ is part of them, they may seem so big and nearly impossible right now, but guess what? Nothing is impossible when you believe in yourself.
Like I’ve told you before, ‘impossible’ simply means ‘I’m possible’.
- YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
I know that that simple statement must be very difficult to believe, especially for a young lady growing in this dispensation.
Society keeps coming up with shifting and often ridiculous standards of beauty and social media keeps these images in front of our faces all the time! Even at my age, I find myself struggling to keep up with the standards.
The temptation to compare yourself with others is very real but it will rob you of your joy at the end of the day.
When you compare yourself with other girls, you will always find someone better than yourself – which will ruin your self-esteem, or you will find someone in worse position than yourself – which might make you prideful.
Worrying about what other think about you is nothing but a waste of time because we have our own issues no matter how beautiful or confident we project ourselves to be.
Instead of being concerned about how others perceive you, value your own unique strengths and use them for the benefit of others. A beautiful woman is one who knows that her true beauty lies beneath her skin.
Your true beauty are your values, wisdom, skills and talents. The more you use these for the good of others, the more beautiful you become.
Don’t fall victim of a life of shallow comparisons. Don’t settle for cheap accolades as a ‘slay queen’.
- NURTURE TRUE FRIENDSHIPS
As you grow, you’d realize that having someone walk alongside you make your journey much easier. That is what friends do, they make the journey of life much lighter.
There are different types of friendships some are nothing but platonic relationships while others stick closer than some family members.
Your true friends are those who love you for who you are. They would be your cheerleaders, who celebrate you without getting jealous of your accomplishments. They would challenge you to be a better person and never make you feel less important. They will laugh with you and not at you.
Don’t be afraid to break off any relationship in which you are not valued. This world is full of many wonderful personalities, go out and find them.
Go where you are celebrated, not where you are tolerated.
But more important to finding true friends is being a true friend.
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL.
Many of the technological breakthroughs that have made the most impact on life in this world have been made through a background of failures.
The fear of failure cripples creativity and paralyses innovation.
When you are afraid of failing, you stop trying new things. You settle for that which is safe and familiar. You remain within your comfort zone. But guess what? Everything you’ve always wanted and desired are waiting for you on the opposite side of your fears!
Failure is one of life’s greatest teachers if only you are willing to listen and learn from it.
At every point of failure, ask yourself, “what lesson(s) can I learn from this?” Write down those lessons and apply them to your next attempt.
I remember now something I said to you when you were learning to walk and you fell down. I told you then that “falling is not the problem but failing to get back up after each fall is the problem”, I remember kissing your hurt that day and assuring that they’d be more falls to come.
- BE HAPPY.
Being happy is a choice. It is a decision that you make irrespective of the outcome of any situation you find yourself in.
Happiness is also a practice. Practice being happy every day. Find those things that are pleasing to you and enjoy them.
I’ll admit to you that it is not possible for you to remain giddy with glee 24 hours if the day. You will certainly feel other emotions from time to time, that’s o.k., those other emotions only helps you to appreciate happiness better. Make happiness your home-base. After feeling a negative emotion, don’t dwell on it, move on back to your happy place.
- FIND YOUR VOICE AND USE IT.
Like I always tell you, “we live in a speaking world”. Everyone and everything around you is saying something to you, what are you saying back?
Are you just sitting quietly absorbing all that is being said – products of the minds of others, or are you using your own voice to shape and define the world around you?
Your voice is any platform that is comfortable for you to use to express yourself to the world. Speaking, writing, singing, drawing etc., may be your thing, find it and use it to speak your truth.
You have value within you – that is your truth. Somebody somewhere needs what you carry – either to solve a real problem or to derive pleasure.
Be intentional about projecting your voice to the world. Remember, the leader is that person whose voice is heard.
- HAVE A VISION AND NURTURE IT
According to the Bible, “where there is no vision, the people perish” – Proverbs 29:18.
Your vision is the picture of a preferable future which you carry in your mind. Every great accomplishment must start first as a vision.
Your life must be great and so you must envision great things about your life.
The Bible in Habbakuk 2:2 says “write the vision and make it plain”. Whatever you envision about your life, write it down. Writing about your dreams and vision is critical to making them come true. It brings them out of the spiritual realm and gives them their first debut into the physical realm. It may take a while to get to the fulfillment of your vision, but don’t give up on your dreams.
“…the vision is yet for an appointed time; …Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, it will not tarry’. – Habbakuk 2:3.
- VALUE EDUCATION.
You’ve heard me say that “education is the best legacy”. As your parents, your dad and I will always support your educational endeavors, we will always do our best to ensure that you go to good schools where you will be taught well because we understand how a good formal education can give you options in life.
Formal education through the school system gives you a chance to determine how you want to live your life. The system may not be perfect but it still remains a major determinant of success in life. Because we love you, we want you to have the chance of a great life.
However, like I often say, “you can take a horse to a river, but you cannot force it to drink from the river”.
We can only do what we feel is best for you, ultimately your decision to make the best use of the opportunities you’ve been given is what will determine your success in life.
Value education – whether formal or informal. There are plenty of opportunities around you to learn something new every day, make the best use of them.
Read books, go to different places, find out things on the internet and watch quality T.V.
- BE GRATEFUL
‘Gratitude is the best attitude’.
‘An ungrateful person is a great fool’.
Always nurture a grateful heart by regularly taking stock of all the blessings in your life.
Remember that no matter how bad you may be feeling, there is always someone worse off than you, so always remember to count your blessings and don’t ever forget to give thanks – first to God and then to the people who have been a source of blessing to you.
- BE KIND.
Let kindness be the hallmark of all your interactions with others.
It may seem as if kindness is no longer in fashion these days. Many young people seem to believe that being cool as about putting others down but I assure you that everyone appreciates genuine kindness whenever they experience it.
The most memorable person to anybody is that person who makes them feel most valued.
Be that person by being kind to everyone you come across each day.
- VALUE WORK
It is said that ‘the dictionary is the only place where play and rest comes before work’.
There is dignity in every kind of work and so you must never dislike work.
It takes effort to make things happen in the world and a lazy person is the one who expects to get something for nothing.
Always do your part by making meaningful contributions to your environment. Whatever your responsibility, do it exceptionally well. Your work is your signature, it represents you. Don’t be known for sloppiness.
- BE A LADY
Being born female does not make you a lady. You need to cultivate the habits and traits of a lady to be one.
Learn feminine values
Pay attention to your grooming and personal hygiene.
Watch your comportment.
Practice good etiquette.
Speak right and speak well.
These qualities will make you stand out in a world where mediocrity is the order of the day.
As I close this epistle of mine 😉 I’d like you to know that I’ll always be here for you no matter what, I’ll always be on your side.