My Dear Sunshine,
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray."
Do you remember this song? When you were a chubby little toddler, we used to sing "You Are My Sunshine" and "Jesus Loves Me" after your bath - intentionally way off key and at the top of our lungs (to cover up the drone of the hair dryer, of course!). Baba would cover his ears, but we would giggle with glee. Some things have changed, like how you are old enough now to dry your own hair, but other things have steadfastly remained the same: we still sing off key, but you are still my sunshine. Jesus loves you forever and always, no matter what. And so do I.
Sunshine, not that long ago, you wrote Baba and I short but sophisticated letters asking for more basketball practice, maybe even joining a recreational team. I've got to hand it to you, Sunshine; You were smart to split up your persuasive arguments to suit each one of us. In your letter to me, you rationalized your desire to improve basketball skills. In your letter to Baba, you used an emotional appeal for basketball and against Chinese School. Baba and I considered your request in concert with all other factors impacting our family. We see the benefit of learning Chinese AND we see the value of playing basketball. We hope you do, too. I'm so glad we were able to find a schedule that allowed for you to pursue both Chinese School AND basketball.
Look at this cool pic of you in action! I just love how intensely you pour out your heart into all that you do, whether it is basketball, school work, or even your Chinese lessons. You are a super talented and a wonderfully determined girl. As you continue to grow, I know you will follow dreams that will both challenge you to mature and give you satisfaction knowing that you have made the world a better place.
Sunshine, you make me so very happy and anyone who knows you would also describe you as a joy. However, we have experienced many gray, cloudy days these past months, haven't we? I don't expect you to be perfect - You are still growing physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I'm not perfect either. The truth is that I'm still growing and maturing, too. Though this stage of life may be difficult at times, I want to assure you that I am always available to listen to you without judgement, to guide you through the process of sorting out your emotions for peace, and to give you advice on how to handle frustrating situations with love.
My dear, dear Sunshine, you'll never know how much I love you. Though we will weather a few more storms in the years to come, please remember that flowers can only blossom when it is nourished by the rain. When the days are dark, remember this blessing - "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." May the Son shine in your life all the more abundantly so that you know you are deeply loved by the One above.
With all my love,
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