I am writing this in the hospital. We came here for your birth. Olivia Grace, I’m your dad. Your mom is great and your brother and sisters are so happy to meet you.
One of the most important decisions you can make in life is who you’re parents are. I think you’ve chosen wisely (grin). Oh sure, you could have found wealthier people or a warmer winter climate but we’ll do our best to fulfill our roles.
First of all, we love you. Your mother and I have wanted you since we fell in love and asked God to bless our marriage. You are an answer to a prayer. You are a gift, a tangible manifestation of our love. You have been part of the plan all along and we promise to be here for you, to stay together and support you as you grow up. Your mother and I love one another. The family you are joining welcomes you. We love to ski, to hike and to ride our bikes. We love God and serve Him and His purpose above all. Because you came into our life and not the other way around, we are going to drag you on our adventures and expect you to come along.
You won’t be raised by us alone. We guarantee that many people will have an influence on your life. In fact, I asked our friends and family to give you some advice for living. The results I’ll summarize for you here.
Our Lord commanded us to love God with all we’ve got and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Your grandmothers wanted you to know that and we agree. Your job will be to learn what is meant by loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Others asked you to remember that although we brought you into this world in an act of Love, God made you and has known you all along. As a result, when you are able, you should praise Him as we do because you are an awesome creation. You should also know that God has moved the chess pieces around in your mother’s and my life out of an infinite amount of possibilities and has aligned them just right to bring you here. You were no accident and we are very grateful you’re here. You are a rainbow of promise to us, a fulfillment of a dream.
I do not pretend to have all the answers to the spiritual questions but I would recommend that you read your bible. There are some very weird stories in there. The Kingdom of God is much bigger than my understanding of it. Beware of people who claim to grasp it all. Be comfortable with the mystery. Parts of the Bible I don’t even begin to comprehend, but the book is full of wisdom and will change as you grow so as to continually feed you through all the stages of your life. Think of it as a map. The commandments lead you somewhere but they are not the destination. A person who has a map of New York but has never been, is no closer to the experience of NY than another person who has neither been to NY nor has a map. You would be amazed how much some people can know that the bible says without knowing who it’s all about. Avoid religious people, Jesus couldn’t stand them either. The best sermon is lived and not preached. Let your life speak for you. Put God first, trust Him, and somehow, someway it’ll work out. Pray about everything and remain optimistic through it all. You’ll be happier.
I know that you will trust us because we are your parents but others recommended that you listen to us as you grow. I agree with this until it’s time for you to make your own decisions. By then, I hope that we have earned a place in your life where you will want to seek our advice.
Try not to be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly use. God gave you a brain, so use it. Be a life long learner, find what you love to do and pursue excellence for excellence’s sake. Motivation you can count on comes from inside of you. Also, your attitude about your life has much to do with how much you enjoy it. Be positive. Be kind to others because life is rough and you just never know what people are going through.
Be honest and trustworthy. A good name is hard to come by and easy to lose. Choose your friends wisely. They influence you more than you think. Take care of your stuff. Lube your chain, wax your skis, make sure you have good tread on your car tires and change the oil every three months or 3000 miles. Clean cars run better. A tidy room suggests a tidy mind. Keep it simple. Take care of your health. Exercise is an investment in yourself with long term rewards.
Start saving early. Appreciate what you have. Appreciate your life and your relationships. They are better than dollars and cents. Wear sunscreen and remember a smile is the cheapest and most effective way to improve your looks. Plus, a smile puts everyone at ease. Olivia, your name suggests peace, own that.
You’ll experience some trouble. Don’t give up unless giving up is the best option and sometimes it is. You should know that it was the doctor and not one of us who cut your umbilical cord. I know that was hard leaving the womb but we have been here for you ever since.
Everyone is so excited that you’re here. We are overjoyed to welcome you. Apart from our Lord Jesus, you are the greatest gift we could receive. Your daddy is already madly in love with you.