Oh my sweet daughter. I love you and I miss you. And yes, my arms ache to just hug you and breathe in your sweet scent. As we drove the 406 miles home last night, I literally felt the umbilical cord stretching thinner and thinner with each mile. This is all good and right and as it should be. You are exactly where God has called you to be and there is peace for your mama in that knowledge.
I asked your permission to write of this experience and my feelings. Knowing I would awake the morning after we dropped you at college. That I would feel called to the patio table – my meeting place with God. In my pajamas and bare feet. In the early morning hours when I can process my thoughts, feelings and the words God has placed on my heart more clearly. You already know and have already put into place much of what I what I am about to write. But a mama feels better for having said it again anyway.
Put God first in everything that you do. Seek His direction and ask for His wisdom as you consider where and how to spend your time this fall. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Attend an off-campus church. Participate in a small group Bible study. Spend time in God’s word each day.
Tend to your whole person. Mental, physical, and spiritual. Be present in the classroom and disciplined in your studies. Ask questions and invite a professor to lunch. Invite more than one professor to lunch. Strive to know a variety of people in each class and not just the person you sat next to the first day or the one you already knew. Swim as often as you can. Go for walks. Take the stairs. Make good food choices. So many of these things you did last year. I am so proud of you for tending to the whole person your freshman year.
Take the long way around. Use the stairs at the other end of your long dorm hall. This will force you to walk the length of your floor meeting other women along the way. Poke your head into an open door and introduce yourself. Participate in floor activities and reach out to the women next door. Be deliberate in scheduling time to spend with your roommate. Communicate with your roommate early and often so that your dorm room becomes your comfortable home-away-from-home and not an uncomfortable place you avoid.
Work hard and play hard. Schedule your time and make your to-do list. Do the thing you least want to do first. Find a place to study with the least distractions and the most comfortable chair. Take advantage of all that the large city near you has to offer – museums, festivals, theater. Participate in the clubs and activities on campus that make you smile and laugh out loud. Try something new. Build on existing friendships and seek new ones.
And never forget. That you are truly and dearly loved. That you are prayed for by so many people who care about you and are invested in you and in your life. That you will always have a home waiting for you with a mom and a dad and a younger sister who are your biggest cheerleaders and staunchest supporters. Here is to an amazing sophomore year my precious daughter.
Love - Mom