Sunday, October 30, 2011


7th Grade - Age 12

A couple of months ago while out shopping for a gift for a friend I came across a book that I couldn't resist picking up.  I love to read and the older I get it's the one thing I always make time to do.  For pleasure, help or guidance, in the evening hours you can always find a book of some kind in my hands.

The title of the book is "WHAT I KNOW NOW" and was edited by Ellyn Spragins.  It's a compilation of letters written by extraordinary women addressed to their younger selves.  Each woman picked a time (or an age) in their lives and shares the wisdom they wish they'd had when they were younger...

I was nothing less than inspired by the letters I read.  Some were brutally honest, but all were filled with hope!

Today I'm going to give you a peek at an edited version of a letter I wrote to myself last summer.  I've addressed it to my twelve year old self.  Back when I was in 7th grade and known simply as Becky.

"Dear Becky...Sweet girl...with your bucked teeth and mousy brown hair, please stop trying to please everyone!  You are allowing your insecurities and fear of rejection to define you!  You care so terribly much what everyone thinks and it will take you years to grow beyond this destructive behavior if you're not careful.  I know you love your friends and I understand now how desperately you want to fit in.  But, what those silly girls think isn't more important that what YOU think!  You don't think you are smart at all, but I want you to know you are.  You are!

 There are so many dreams bouncing around in that head of yours and many of them are going to come true!  So stop looking to everyone else for validation and approval and listen to your own beating heart.  Remember, if you allow it to guide you I promise it will never lead you astray.

Today you feel ugly and stupid, right?  You hate wearing the hand-me-down clothes that don't fit your tiny body and your upset with daddy because he said 'no-makeup til your 14!' (By the way...he KNOWS you cake on that blush while walking to school with Kathy!) You're in 'love' with boy #1 and sad he doesn't like you anymore.  Be glad.  He grows up to be a real loser.  A jerk, in fact!

I want you to know you WILL survive Junior High and the taunting and bullying of the mean girls.  You'll be happy to know one day your braces will come off and as shocking as it may sound in a few years you will have no need for a training bra.  Your life is going to blitz by you super fast so as hard as it is today try and enjoy being twelve.

Pay attention to daddy's encouraging words and breathe in his wisdom.  He's going to grow old very quickly and you will long for the days when his lectures about life bored you to death.  He warns you to harness the fire inside of you for fear of burnout...  You'd be wise to follow his advice.

Lastly I want to tell you this~ you will struggle with many things before you 'grow up' but you're going to be fine!  Just fine. I'm proud of you for the good choices you've made so far and I encourage you to keep making them.  Trust me when I say they will matter when you are older.  You'll eventually find your place by accepting your limitations and focusing on the strengths God has given you.

Don't be afraid Becky Girl...don't be afraid.  You are deeply, deeply loved.

Love, Rebecca

PS: You are going to marry a fabulous man one day and be very, very happy!


Blessings as you allow God to heal those childhood wounds.
Love to you...


NanaDiana said...

Becca-That brought tears to my eyes...and I so identify with what you wrote there. You turned out to be a wonderful person...hmmm...even if your hair WAS brown you would still be beautiful!

This is really a great idea-one for every woman to embrace. xo Diana

Mitzi said...

What a lovely post. I have two granddaughters struggling with the same things(trying to fit in and be accepted by others) It is so painful to watch. If only they could realize that it will all past and all will be well. Those pre-teen and teenage years are so hard on most kids. Some can handle it and it is so hard for others. Thanks for writing this.

Beth Niquette said...

What a perfectly lovely idea. Wow...I wish I could have talked to my little self--I could tell her so many things.

As it is, I get to hang with some wonderful teens who seem to think this old lady is fun. lol What a privilege that is.

Thank you so much for your kind comments on today's Cloud Painting! God is so GOOD!

Terra said...

I love your letter to your younger self, and this idea is brilliant. I may try it.

Becky said...

Hi Rebecca.Very uplifting....thanks for memories of back then.Some were good some werent so good.Some how the good outdo the bad.Blessings!

Theresa said...

Oh what a sweet letter to young Becky:) Isn't it true, that if we only knew then what we know now? AND that are Parents are WISE:) Have a blessed Sunday dear friend, thanks for sharing! HUGS!

Lee said...

That was so moving to read, thank you for sharing and I specially loved the PS

Julie Marie said...

Oh Rebecca... why do you always make me cry???... this is so beautiful!... and so are you... this also reminds me of the taunting and teasing you posted about little Miss K... and you know how much of that I had as a little girl too ... now I want to write a letter like this to me... when I was ten years old... maybe I will post mine, maybe not... you are an inspiration dear friend!... xoxo Julie Marie

Mosaic Magpie said...

Truer words where never spoken. The things we look back on, that mattered so much then....are only a small memory now. Oh, if only we had the wisdom back then to pay attention to the important things.

BECKY said...

I just read something about this a few days ago, but don't remember where. It prompted me to want to write a letter to MY young self. I'll have to write a note, or I'll forget again!
Growing up is so hard...too bad we didn't know then, what we know now. There must be some wise reason for that..but I can't imagine what!
Thanks for a beautiful post, Rebecca!

akawest said...

Add me to the list of the teary-eyed.

Anonymous said...

"He warns you to harness the fire inside of you for fear of burnout... "

R, I have found in the last few years of being with illness, it is best to do few things well then many 1/2 way. I have to pace myself in all things, chores, passions, friendships- everything to be sure I have enough to go around to those I love, appreciate and admire. I have also found keeping God formost on my list of those who appreciate me & all my efforts has been a valuable tool to keep me grounded in spite of life's interuptions & pulls. What I have learned in the last 2 years even has been greater than the 10 years before. I have come to know all things do pass with time barring one thing. Knowing no matter how much one may tug at me, be of cruelty toward me or a simple matter of not being able to do all things for all people, God is my constant reminder to be still & take in the journey he has led me on. To know today is only as good as my heart feels about that which I have filled it with is the greatest thing I've learned in my life to date.

I love this post & thank you for sharing... from a girl whose legs were twice as long as her torso at one time: Spaghetti legs & meatball knees was my nick name throughout school. That was rough until I found out I could run like the wind and swim life a fish. Amazing how fast some people turn when they know a thing you do benefits them.


joanne said...

lovely, heartfelt, healing...simply beautiful. Something we should all do for ourselves don't you think?

The Polka Dot Closet said...

If only we knew than what we know now...It would make it so much easier, but less exciting. There is something to be said about the unknown!


Marilyn said...

Beautiful. Nothing more to say.♥♫

KatyDidStitches said...

Just beautiful.

I'm working on a post about my Dad...he would have been 100 years old this month...and my thoughts were running in the same sort of direction today. We're so hard on ourselves when we're young. Please tell Becky I said hello.


Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Rebecca,

What a lovely post! Coincidence that after Church and a phone call with Mom & Dad in The Netherlands, we spent the afternoon with 'Becky' my 'American' sister, a dear-dear friend. Her name is Rebecca too.
Oh, if only the 12-year old girls could read such stories and THEN believe in them. Such tender age when we all were searching our 'walk of life' and met so much insecurity. You did put it down very well. Great idea that book you mention.
Love to you,


Hope said...

Great post. I remember feeling so many of those emotions as well. If only I had taken my parents' advice to heart more, I'd have saved myself a lot of grief.

A Southern Rose said...

This was such a beautiful, heartfelt post.It brought back so many memories for me. Things that I haven't thought about for years. Thank you once again for that.

Hugs to you,
Lee Laurie

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