An open letter to my daughter on her 12th birthday.

Dearest Lauren,

I give thanks to God for blessing me with you and for the privilege of watching you grow into a young lady.

Over the next few years not just your body, but your soul and mind too will go through changes that are going to seem odd, but I promise you, that they are completely normal. You will be tempted to compare yourself to others when you look in the mirror, get your school reports, take part in sports, or go to camp etc. RESIST THE URGE!

You are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to You because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.) The Creator of the universe breathed life into my (Lillian Katungwa’s) womb and designed you (Lauren Mandisa) just the way you are… A special miracle!

You are not an accident (Mombasa beachside house…). Those things that make you who you are, God put them there! He gave you a generous and compassionate heart and weaved the love of reading through your soul. He planted within you a desire to write, to question things and a sharp intuitive mind. Amongst many other things He also gifted you with such wonderful creativity, wit and insight.

Did you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? He lives in you. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.)

Steward what God has given you… your talents, your desires, your mind, and your body.

Be yourself, do the things you love, and do them well… for Him… for God! (Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as though you were working for your real master and not merely for humans. You know that your real master will give you an inheritance as your reward. It is Christ, your real master, whom you are serving.)

God already knows the awesome plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.) With a heart of gratitude, be expectant for those plans to be revealed to you as you walk through life putting God first.

Keep your eyes open to the wonder of God each day and be thankful. (Colossians 4:2 Keep on praying and guard your prayers with thanksgiving.)

I am always here for you. But, do you know who is even more reliable than me? Your No.1 groupie?… It is Your Heavenly Father.

Trust in Him always.

I believe in you, I am super proud of you, and I love you.

Love, lots