Monday, June 08, 2009

Dear Jenna

Last night Jenna and I went away on an overnight. Just the two of us. I don't think that's ever happened. Grant gets to do a lot of stuff one on one with his dad because, well, he's the only boy and the oldest. It was fun to get away without the chaos of the other kids and just focus on her.
The other purpose of the trip was to talk about s-e-x.

When we went to Family Life's Weekend to Remember , (which is also totally worth it)marriage conference a few years ago, the speaker asked how many people's parents had the sex talk with them and the number was really really low. It's tough to talk about but I guess that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it!

There have been a lot of questions and things she's picked up on over the last year and I just wanted her to hear about it from me; not on T.V. and not on the bus. We did the first few sessions of Family Life's Passport2Purity. I can't really say enough about how great of a tool it was! It approached the whole thing in the framework of God's design for sex. There are sessions to listen to, a workbook, plus some hands on activities.

They encourage you to go away somewhere special. Originally, I was going to take her to my parent's house that they don't live in. But we got a card for a free night at a hotel with a waterpark from someone who stays there a lot for business. She was more than a little excited about that! We went down the waterslides around 200 times and had a blast swimming together. We ate at Subway twice. We slept together in a King sized bed.

The first session covers making sure God is first place in your life. The second session is about peer pressure and the third session is about sex. It covers body changes and periods too. The last few sections cover dating and purity which I thought she was too young for.

At the beginning they encourage you to write a letter to you child and give some guidelines. This is what I wrote:

June 6, 2009

Dear Jenna,

As we are about to take off on our first ever trip alone, I’m amazed at the young lady you have grown into. I will never forget the day you were born and Dad said, “It’s A Girl”! I was thrilled to have a daughter and excited about all the things we’d share together. I tried dressing you up in pink dresses and putting bows in your hair. That didn't last long! The minute you learned to crawl you cried and got mad when you had a dress on that slowed you down! You ripped out your hair bows and played outside with trucks, dirt and rocks.

And here you are about to turn 9. As much as I’ve enjoyed the last nine years watching you learn to walk and talk and read and ride bike, I’m looking forward to the future and enjoying the next stages of life with you.

I am so proud of you. You are a good friend and are always willing to help. You work hard at everything you do. I love the way you work at things until you succeed. Your zest for life is fun and catchy and sometimes exhausting. You enjoy every minute and are fun to be around!

You are smart and a great athlete. I love seeing the awards you bring home from school and watching you hit the baseball. You are becoming a good piano player, even though that is one thing you do not have excitement for!

God has given you all these gifts and talents for a reason. He wants you to use them for His glory: to make Him known and praised. You wanted to trust Jesus with your life at a young age. There is so much God will do in and through you. It’s important because using the gifts and talents he has given you for His glory is what He wants you to do while you’re here on earth.

I’m sorry that I’m not always the Mom I should be. I get mad, frustrated and tired. You and I are a lot alike and sometimes that will make us not get along. I pray that as you grow we will always be honest, loving and understanding with each other. I love you so much but I don’t always show it. After God and Dad, I give my whole life and self for you and the other kids. There is nothing more important for me to do.

I’m as excited as you are about this trip. We will have fun swimming at the waterpark together and partying at the hotel. There are things that we don’t have the time to talk about at home with all the other things going on and the other kids, sometimes it’s too chaotic. But that’s what this trip is for! I hope we can do it again soon.

Dad and I love you so much. NOTHING will ever change that! We are your biggest fans and will always be on the sidelines cheering you on. You are a special gift from God.

But God loves you so much more. He made you and nothing can separate you from Him and his love. When you are hurting, lonely, happy, sad; go to Him.

So, here’s to a great weekend. I hope I can keep up with you on the waterslide!

Love, Mom

"He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."
Colossians 1:18

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

This was beautiful to read. Our oldest son will turn 9 when school starts in the fall, and we've been wondering which materials we will use to introduce these new topics with -- after hearing what's in the girls' materials, I'm excited to see what Family Life covers for the boys.

You are certainly making a great investment in your daughter!
-- Nancy (Jenn J's friend)