Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Letter to (Now Baptized) Ann Peyton

Dear Ann Peyton,

Daddy and I both long to see you grow up into a woman of integrity. There are so many things that we want for you. So many things that we pray for you. Here are a few of them.

Love- The Bible tells you to love you enemies. When someone picks on you, or talks about you behind your back, or treats you unfairly, you are called to love them.
Joy- We want you to lead a joy filled life. When you aren't invited to a party you really wanted to go to or when a boy breaks up with you, you must realize these are just circumstances. You may not be happy, but you can still lead a life filled with joy.
Peace- There is an internal peace that is so important to have. Amid life's stressful situations (failed tests, drama with your friends, and arguments with us) you can have a peace. You are called to be a peacemaker in external matters, as well. If someone else is getting picked on, talked about, or treated unfairly, it is your job to come to their defense.
Patience- We pray that you have patience to wait on the Lord. We especially pray that you will wait on God's best in the area of your purity. He will not disappoint.
Kindness- It is so important that you be a kind little girl and young lady. You will need to learn to share things and to help others whenever you can.
Goodness- This is so broad, but it is a great one. Goodness means being a person of character. It means doing the right thing even when we are not watching you. Even when you think no one will ever find out. Someone already has.
Faithfulness- When you are faithful in the little, everyday ways, like reading your Bible and going to church, God will trust you to be faithful in big things.
Gentleness- Gentleness is not weakness. If you think someone is in the wrong, and you must tell them, tell them with gentleness. You will save many friendships , and likely, create many more, this way.
Self-Control- There will be times, when you need to exercise self-control. There will be parties that we may decide you are mature enough to attend, but that nonetheless will present tempting situations for you. You're behavior is not just a reflection on our family, it is a reflection on God's family if you claim His name. So you will need to be absolutely in control of yourself in all situations.

Annie, these values are called the "Fruit of the Spirit". They are called that because they are the result of the Holy Spirit's work in your life. They are not called the "Fruit of Ann Peyton Herrington's most valiant efforts" because your best efforts will not be enough to attain them. Not to the extent that it is required of you.

- You will not be able to love your enemies (or anyone) in your own strength. I've tried it.
- You will not be able to cultivate your own joy in painful circumstances. My best efforts were failures.
- You will not be able to make your own peace when times are stressful. I endeavored to do it.
- You will not be able to find patience enough in your own attempts. I have looked.
- You will not be able to stir up enough kindness within yourself. I realized it was not there.
- You will not be able to achieve goodness in your own merit. My level best was never enough.
- You will not be able to be entirely faithful to anything in your own efforts. I attempted that, too.
- You will not be able to foster a spirit of true gentleness in your own heart. My most ardent aspirations fell short.
- And, you will not be able to acquire an appropriate level of self-control on your own. I discovered that I was never good enough.

So, although these are all my prayers for you, my most important prayer that I will ever pray for you is that you will accept God's perfect gift of his only Son, Jesus Christ and will allow his Spirt to work in your life and grow you into the woman we are already praying for.

I love you forever,


Christy said...

this is SUCH a beautiful letter! It made me tear up :)

Thank you for your comment on my blog. Clay and I have argued long and hard about the Santa issue until I finally also decided to just let it go and let him lead. He was the one who wanted to talk about Santa, the Easter Bunny, ect... because he had so many fun memories as a child. He remembered the excitement and anticipation. I am so glad that I kept my mouth shut (mostly ;) ) because our kids have so much fun talking about Santa-yet they still have a firm grasp on the true meaning of Easter and Christmas.

Sorry for the novel I was just SO excited that we were not the only couple who struggled with this decision :)

I am adding you to my blog sidebar if that is okay!

Peyton said...

Best post ever, hands down. I felt like it was taken from some beautiful book. wonderfully stated