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.

“Is Baby Zezuts!”

Of course, you were trying to tell me that the little figure you held in your hand was Baby Jesus. I’d heard you say it earlier in the week, over web cam, but here you were, in person, in my house, with Baby Jesus out of the nativity that your mother used to play with.

These precious moments when I’ve heard you first utter Jesus’ name from your tiny, partially tooth-filled mouth are among my favorite with you, so far. Not that I don’t love every ‘new’ thing you master; I do. It’s just that when this Name is said, even by tiny little children, heaven responds. Maybe that should read especially by tiny little children…

“…Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all].” Matthew 18:3 Amplified

Right now, in all your 18-month-old wonder, you have not a single preconceived notion about Jesus or heaven. You are, by virtue of your limited life experience, 100% trusting, loving and forgiving, just like that scripture says. You don’t really expect anything from anyone, except maybe to be fed and loved, and even those things are at the most basic level. You don’t do anything at this point with a “what’s in it for me?” attitude, because you can’t even grasp that concept.

Our cynical side says “That won’t last long. She’ll grow, and change, and become tainted by the world like the rest of us.” And to a certain extent, that’s true. It’s pretty hard to walk through life in this broken planet and come out on the other side unscarred. BUT, you can come out of it with a heart as soft and pliable as the one beating in your chest right this minute. It might get battered and shattered through the years, but it can still be whole. And that’s what Jesus, Himself, was talking about in that scripture.

To get into heaven one day, we have to guard our hearts and stay focused on keeping them soft and childlike…just like yours, right now. It’s the only way we can trust and have faith in a Savior we can’t see, but Whom we can welcome into our hearts for guidance through this life. So, even as you grow, there is one important part of you which I sincerely pray you’ll keep the same.

Stick close to Baby Zezuts, my love. Speak His name often, with respect and love, and He’ll show you how to keep your heart young.

After all, He’s still sporting the same one He was born with in that manger, long ago.


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