Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dear Alaina, my teenage self

Dear 13 year old Alaina,

Your baby sister is about to be born.  She will be a joy to hold, take care of, and play with.  She will also only be 5 years old when you head off to college.  Heads up- that will be very hard.  You will miss her a lot and can't believe how much she grows when you are away.

(good news! When your baby sister is 13 years old you will be in south america again married and with a little boy.   You will enjoy getting to know her as a teenager who loves Christ.  Fun fact: your son will be closer in age to your baby sister than you are!)

Your 7 year old tom-boy sister is full of energy.  She will become a lady passionate for young children being raised and educated in good environments.  She will be a wonderful aunt.  You can trust her with anything.

baby sister: 4 years,  middle sister: 12 years, Alaina & Loren Seniors in HS.
Your 11 & 1/2 year old brother who is passing you in height will end up supporting you as a missionary overseas.  All those fun-filled crazy ideas of his will put on maturity and before your eyes he will care for you in the most manly sweet way even when you live countries apart.

Family 2005

Notice how when you go into mom's room and you see her kneeling on her bed in prayer?  Keep that memory with you for the rest of your life.  Now follow the wonderful coffee smell down the hall into your dad's office to tell him something important and he shows you on his computer the prayers typed out that he prays each morning for each member of the family while drinking his blackest of black coffee.  Copy what you see.  Pray to God fervently at all times in every circumstance.

Enjoy the moments of being at home now.  Home will keep changing.  You have already lived in 3 countries and have one more to move to while under your parents roof.  Saying goodbye is hard.  But NEVER regret making those deep friendships even if its for a short time.  With the changes the internet will take in the next few years you will be able to keep 'close' contact with most of your old friends from around the world.

Above all, with the transient life style of growing up as a third culture kid, hold on to the truth that although your circumstances will change there is one thing that never changes.  Even when you move out of the house.

You can find your 'home base' in Christ.  God always stays the same and constant no matter where in the world you live.  That will help you get through the many days of culture shock.

In a few years God is going to call you to be a missionary.  Spend time with God so you don't miss his voice.  Now you can spend un-interrupted hours in the Bible.  Soon that will change when you have a family to take care of.  Learn as much now as possible.  And know that every stage in life has business and it doesn't give you an excuse to not spend time with the God of this universe.  Set apart time to spend with your creator, your life will be lived to the full if you do this.

Don't date a guy unless you could see yourself marrying him.  Don't date to please someone else or you like the feeling of being liked.   Neither of those are good enough reasons.  And when your friend comes up to you and tells you maybe you shouldn't be dating a guy- listen to them, they know what they are talking about!

Your grandma will ask you on your birthday if you are sweet 16 and never been kissed.  You can proudly say that you haven't let a guy kiss you!  You will be very thankful for that later.
The only man you will ever kiss will be your husband, who by the way you will meet at 17.  Yet you didn't have your first kiss until after dating for a year and a half.  That will be a wise choice.

Friendship must develop first before the physical.  When you choose to date him the reasonings will be right.  You will see Christ radiating out of his life.  Make sure his words are seasoned with verses of the Bible.  He will show you that he spends time studying the Word!  His passions need to line up perfectly with yours:  wanting to be a missionary, work with youth, and wanting to digest the Bible together.

High School Best Friends
When you make the choice to date long distance through college, it will be hard.  Lots of struggles, missing each other, and talking on the phone.  He will break up with you.  But he'll come back.  Unfortunately, you will never eat at Waffle House again.  Yet through that stage in life you will learn to lean on God more than your boyfriend and that is a truth you must embrace the rest of your life even when he becomes your husband.

In college you will find a mentor at the church you go to.  She is such a treasure.  Spend time embracing everything she says.  She will be a life-long person you can go to for advice.

Your engagement will be absolutely amazing.

SPOILER! You will think you are going to a mother-daughter's tea with your roommates from college but really Loren will fly thousands of miles to surprise the socks off of you in the most romantic way possible your senior year of college!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

In June of 2009 you will marry the man of your dreams.  That doesn't mean life is always easy.  Life is messy, hard, and you will constantly be learning.  You might not even like him at all times.   But you will make a life-long commitment to love him.  Love is a choice.  (unlike popular media that says 'just fall in love'- well that leaves room to 'fall out of love' and that is NOT an option!)  Choose to always seek Christ for your fulfillment and serve your husband well.  Tell him up front what you are thinking.  Never play the guessing game.

 It is worth the wait.
Believe me- it is totally worth it!

Stay up all night reading those mystery books.

You are smart, don't act dumb to get attention.  Don't be afraid to say your opinion, even if it is against the majority.

Continue the tradition on Christmas eve to play board games with your siblings all night and have sleep overs in the same room that night every year.

Love, Me
13 years later

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