The breeze rustling through the pine trees lifted Lynette's hair from her shoulders and tossed it in her face. She brushed her hair aside and raised her face so the wind could wash over her. Glancing around, Lynette decided she'd found the spot she was looking for. A small cluster of trees yielded to an open space just large enough for her to kneel down. She cleared away some pine needles and a small pine cone and then slowly knelt in the soft dirt. Above her head, the tall trees swayed, the branches and needles whispered gently as the wind blew through them.
Lynette took a deep breath and pulled an envelope from the back pocket of her jeans. Before opening it, she examined her mother's looped, elegant writing on the front. Too bad I inherited Dad's chicken scratch. She stuck her finger under the flap, but stopped when she heard a noise nearby. Sister Jenkins had told them to find a quiet spot to read their letters, and Lynette didn't want to be disturbed. She peered around the trunk of one of the nearby trees and saw a flash of blue and red. Whoever it was, surely someone else attending Youth Conference, he or she was headed away from Lynette's location. Her attention returned to the envelope.
As she unfolded the letter, Lynette thought about what her mother may have written. Of course she'll tell me how proud she is of my grades and all of my hard work in school. And sports, too. She's so excited that I made varsity this year in Volleyball. She bit her lip and could feel her face turning red as her thoughts turned to Kyle. Will she mention Kyle and how cute we would be together? I can't wait until my birthday next month, when I can finally go on a date with him.
Smiling at herself, Lynette shook her head and began to read:
I am so glad that the Lord trusted me enough to be your mother. Words cannot express the joy you bring into my life. As I watch you and the choices that you're making in your life, I am pleased that you are doing your best to rely on the Lord to help guide you. I see in everything that you do, that you know that you are a daughter of God. I am especially proud of your decision to listen only to uplifting music on Sunday, and really any day. You have no idea the influence that choice has had on your younger sister. She looks to you as a role model in her life. Your dress, appearance and demeanor are helping her determine her course.
Lynette, I know you're anxious to grow up and be a mother, but take your time in choosing who you want to be with for eternity. Little crushes may pass, but true, abiding love takes time to nurture and develop. You cannot know what you want, until you know what's out there. Get to know as many worthy young men as you can, so you can learn what you truly want from a marriage partner. You have plenty of time.
Again, my daughter, I am so grateful to see your wonderful testimony of the gospel of Christ. Continue to rely on Him throughout your life, and He will always be there to guide you along the path you should follow. I love you Lynette; always know that.
Lynette slid the letter back into the envelope. She moved from her knees to a sitting position, drawing her legs out in front and wrapping her arms around them. Resting her chin on her knees, she thought about what she'd read. With a sigh, she admitted to herself that she was disappointed. She'd wanted her mom to tell her how talented and beautiful she was. That she and Kyle would be together forever.
She looked up and watched the needles and pine cones dancing in the breeze. A few white clouds dotted the deep blue sky. A warm feeling crawled down her arms, leaving goosebumps behind. She brought her gaze back to the letter in her hands. Maybe mom knows that I already know how proud she is of me when it comes to sports and grades and all of that. She does tell me all the time. So maybe this other stuff is important to her, too. And I should keep doing my best to make her and Heavenly Father proud.
When Lynette stood up to return to the cabin and find out the next activity, the warm feeling stayed with her. She tucked the envelope back into her pocket, determined to place it safely in her journal, and to re-read it often.