letters to my daughter :: february

February 15, 2013

I’m Marla
Sprinkled throughout this journey are the little joys, moments of inspiration, and snippets of life that add color to our human experience. Join me as we embrace the beauty of imperfect perfection, the magic of a beautiful moment, and the endless possibilities of creativity.

Dear Sweet Eva,

This month my letter might not be everything that I want it to be because I’ve been so sick, but I will try my best and hopefully compensate for any lacking at a future time. Thank you for all the ways you have taken care of me recently. It has warmed my heart immensely to have you constantly wanting to do little things to help make me more comfortable. You have the biggest heart and I just adore that one one of your love languages is doing helpful things for others.

Recently we were able to take a very special trip away together and I’m so very grateful to have had that time with you. The time leading up to our getaway was stressful and busy and it was so wonderful to relax and enjoy our days together without agenda. I have always loved watching the way you experience the world. You exude joy in all of your daily activities, whether it’s catching lizards in Hawaii or searching for buried treasure to even just the simplest times at home. I realized just recently that in any time you are doing something by yourself you are always whistling a sweet little tune. I can’t whistle myself as you know, but your whistling always seems to have such content and happiness behind it, and it gives me joy just having you around whistling your tunes all the time. I hope you will keep hold of that joy that is within you and treasure it always. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in what isn’t going right or what isn’t great, but choosing joy instead will make your life better in every possible way. It won’t keep you from hardship, but it will positively effect everything about you and all of your experiences.

So that leads me into what I want to talk about with you this month and that is your attitude and how it will shape every aspect of your life. I think attitude starts with our thoughts, which then effects our feelings and from our feelings comes our words and our experiences and actions. Then it is those things that can constantly reshape our thoughts, so you see it is a circle of sorts, or certainly can be. I know in times when you’ve had a bad attitude about something and I told you to choose a different one, you thought it was the craziest thing that someone could actually choose it. It does take much practice to recognize that it is a choice and it takes even more practice to learn to adjust it if needed. Having a good attitude is dependent upon how we think about things.

God says this about it:

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. –Proverbs 4:23

This verse above implies that it takes work to do it and that it is a choice we make, but if we can make that choice, goodness will come of it.

He also says this about our thoughts:

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. –Phillipians 4:8

I don’t want to give you a long, complex explanation of why this works because currently it might be a bit over your head, but I do want to ask you to try it out. I promise that if you can shift your perspective, it will instantly make your heart feel lighter and better and even if that is the only benefit, at least you will still have your joy.

I love you dearly, my darling girl.

All my love,



Next in this lovely circle is Rebecca Chalmers. You can find her letter here.

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  1. Carey Pace says:

    What amazing wisdom you have shared here, Marla! I am so awed. Sometimes everything I feel we need to teacher our children can overwhelm me… but here you are. Taking it one step at a time. Here’s an issue. Let’s think about it. And now let’s take action. The images are so beautiful, but it is your kind parenting encouragement that I adore.

  2. Such a special girl to look after and care for you! I think our children teach us just as much as we teach them.

  3. Rachel May says:

    Marla, this was such a lovely lovely letter. You are such wise woman and Eva is blessed beyond measure to have you for a mom. You’re giving her such a solid foundation to build on. It always warms my heart to see others teach their children about God… Thank you for your inspirations. I’m blessed just to read this!

  4. SUCH awesome words of wisdom you have shared here…love. And the images are just perfect…love the last one!

  5. These images are absolutely stunning! What an amazing letter, carefully shaping this wonderfully gorgeous young lady!

  6. wow. amazing work….so lovely.

  7. amy grace says:

    i see that you two have a true “love language”. just like her mama, there is so much beauty beneath the surface, so much brewing, so much good finding it’s way to the light. your wisdom feels so peaceful, marla. and yet i know that it comes from a full life and lessons you took from everything. but the peace, the truth, it is so strong and shining. it is all about those little shifts of will and heart. you explain it so beautifully. always gentle, always with care, always with the deeply rooted elegance in your soul. your love is something to behold.

  8. melissa says:

    marla, you are a beautiful soul. i love your wise words, they are certainly a precious gift for her that she will have forever. lovely images as always — that first one feels so genuine, it’s amazing!

  9. i am sitting here trying to find the words to tell you how much i love the words you chose for your daughter this month. the verses you are teaching her and the truths about our attitudes. your pictures are beautiful, elegant, and graceful. I love them each.

  10. beautiful words of wisdom and amazing images. love the red.

  11. That is some very good advice. God gives the best guidelines for our lives, doesn’t he? I hope she takes all of this to heart.

    So happy that you are getting to experience that fabulous weather. It is cold and dreary here : ).

  12. elaine melko says:

    I can’t tell you how much I love the work you did with film in Hawaii. The one of your daughter needs to be framed huge. It will be included in her wedding slideshow one day. You are always growing always inspiring me.

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