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Letters to Our Daughters: Month Two

Sweet Scout –

The last two weeks have been topsy turvy. We are in the middle of a move from Virginia to Florida (I am at a Starbucks writing this because we don’t even have internet service yet). We have been living in suitcases and boxes. We haven’t been sleeping or eating or living in any kind of routine. Your entire world is mixed up, turned around and upside down. Yet, in all of this, I have noticed you are handling this enormous change with grace that belies your young age.

I am so proud of you.

And prayerful.

That you continue to carry this glimmer of resilience and flexibility with you through life. You will begin many new adventures. But like me, this week, you will be leaving places, and most importantly, people you love. They will be people that you hold dear, but cannot hold on to. For what is ahead calls and pulls you forward. God will lead you where He will, my dear. Always.

I read this recently, and wanted you to see it someday. When you see crossroads in the distance. When you need wisdom of a lesson you haven’t learned yet. When you may be afraid to invest in people around you because you feel your time in a place may be short. Because my greatest joys have come from focusing on today, and not the time to move on that was inevitably waiting for me:

“Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart.

Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

Love deeply and leave boldly, my darling. Surround yourself with friends and laughter. Be flexible and hopeful and brave. And move forward with courage and grace.

All my love,


Continue through the circle. Read the next Letter by Val Spring of the The red balloon photography | Seattle photographer.

  • Alinta Fidzewicz on Facebook - Beautiful. I love reading all of your words, but particularly this series.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Cornish - Oh Stephanie. I am sitting here a blubbering mess! What an amazing, AMAZING letter to your daughter. This is so full of life lessons and gentle reminders and your daughter is going to read this over and over as she gets older and know that it is going to be one of those special and important crutches we need to get through ours adolescence. She is so lucky to have such a beautiful, strong and smart mama. I know how stressful moving is and wish you lots and lots of luck and love on your journey!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - We love you, dear friend. We miss you tremendously, but are so excited for your journey. Safe travels through life and may our paths cross again..sooner rather than later!ReplyCancel

  • julia - Stephanie, I had to pause to sit and weep for a bit before commenting on this beautiful post. Aside from this letter being an incredible bit of love and wisdom for your daughter, it comes to me today like a warm embrace. I needed to read these words, and need to keep this lesson close to my heart. Thank you for this, and I wish you and your family incredible joy, on all of your journeys.ReplyCancel

  • jess - such a lovely letter, stephanie! i share your sentiments exactly. if only they will remain resilient in this crazy, cruel world…and yet walk through it with an open heart. that would be such a blessing and accomplishment.ReplyCancel

  • amy lucy lockheart - Wow, Stephanie. What a powerful and important letter to Scout. I wish you all the best during this time of transition. The perspective you’ve shared here is not one I will soon forget. Such wisdom in your words, my friend. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Jody - Growing up as a navy brat (13 schools by the time I was a senior) I can totally relate to what you are telling Scout. It wasn’t easy, but it has made me stronger, more flexible, and I think more open to new adventures and people. I loved your words and I think your advice is wonderful. I especially loved this quote …”We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.” ― Henri J.M. NouwenReplyCancel

  • Kirsty-Abu Dhabi - These words ring so true… what a wonderful letter to your sweet girl – a true testament to both your, and her spirits and resiliance at such a time – I love your last paragraph – I will save it for my girls – your advice is perfectReplyCancel

  • Rashmi - Such a beautiful letter and life lesson Stephanie. Hope you are settled in very soon. This quote especially really made me nod my head and bring a lump to my throat : ““Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain” . xoReplyCancel

  • Emma Wood - Wow, this is just so tender and insightful. Stephanie, I adored your words, I love the way your write and you really struck a cord in me. I feel very blessed to be in this circle with you. <3ReplyCancel

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