My darling Lilli…when you get to be as old as your Mimmie, you might start to realize there are things you wish you’d said more intentionally to your own kids, a long time ago; or, at the very least, had just said them better. I heard once that grandchildren can be a kind of “do-over.” I don’t agree with that entirely, for you are not mine to raise, day in and day out. However, because I am removed from the constancy of your daily care, I think those things that need saying can rise more easily, and with greater clarity, to the top of my heart. It’s my hope that this letter (and the ones to follow in years to come) will help make your life’s road a little easier to travel.

Hello my wonder girl,

Almost nine months have passed since your mommy thrust you into the world and forever changed its make up, for there has never been, nor will there ever be, another just like you.

It’s too early to know what talents lay in wait inside your soul, too soon to know exactly what God has had planned for you, specifically, before time began. But there is one thing that everyone who sees you knows immediately: you’re beautiful.

Now, since I’m your grandmother, and you, my first grandchild, you might be tempted to roll your eyes at this and say, “Oh Mimmie. You’re my grandmother. You have to say that.” And it’s true that, no matter your outward appearance, I would behold you as nothing short of breathtaking. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

You’re really, physically beautiful. You have huge, unexpected blue eyes, long eyelashes, a fabulous smile. On top of that you are so happy! You have such a happy spirit that the combination of it with that amazing little face causes people to stop in their tracks at the grocery store or the mall. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. It’s easy for those of us who love you to be caught up in that adoration, and feel quite a bit of pride over it, as if we were the very ones who had formed you. But at the same time, I think about the high value our world places on physical beauty. I think about the many, many pretty girls who find the sum total of their worth in their looks and bank all their dreams on them, to open doors and get ahead, only to be used and discarded, like last year’s technology.

This has been a real prayer concern for me, and as I’ve been praying for you, my darling, the Lord brought to mind another prayer…the prayer I’ve been praying for you since I learned you were on your way.

May she be filled with your light, Father, making others extraordinarily drawn to her so that she can spread it for Your kingdom.

Only the Lord knows His reasons for bestowing His good gifts on us. But I have to believe that maybe your beauty is an answer to my prayer. I’m believing that God wants to use every bit of you, inside and out, to bring Himself glory and for you, specifically, to fulfill the purpose He has for you in this life. I’ll tell you this for sure: if you concentrate on filling your heart and soul up with Him, keeping the inside as sparkling as the outside, you will be that beacon your Mimmie prayed you would be. You won’t be able to help it. After a while, that outward beauty will start to fade (alas, it’s true…), but if you’ve spent your life keeping up with your heart, it’s beauty will take over on the outside. THAT beauty NEVER FADES.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 NIV

So, as pretty girls all around you try to grasp for the “crowns” they can win with their looks, remember that the world is really looking for lasting, authentic beauty. I think you were created to be a beacon for it, shining His light until He places an eternal crown on your head one day. Your “royal priesthood” has been set in stone, set forever in the Holy Scripts for thousand of years, and until the end of time.

You are beautiful.

You are His light.

You are a princess…daughter of the King.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

Your Mimmie loves you, Lilli…as big as the sky.