Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SO, YOU GRADUATED

So, you graduated. As a parent, I see this occasion as my last golden opportunity to impart great words of wisdom. How ridiculous this seems! Intellectually, you are leagues above me.

I guess what I want to say comes more from a place of love and experience. That said, here goes ~

So, you've graduated. That cap and gown can drum up all sorts of emotions, fear being one of them. What's next? How will I do? Will I be happy with my chosen career? What if I'm not? My prayer is that you will recognize this feeling, respect it for what it is (and the fact we all have it!), then look it in the eye and say, I hear you, but I won't let you hold me down! Feelings and emotions are a misunderstood gift from God. Embrace yours, but don't let them rule you.

Jump in! Breathe in all the glorious possibilities this season holds. Drink in this fact ~ you're smart, talented, with so much to offer. Give yourself the gift of seeing life as an adventure.

On a more personal note, my prayer is that you will love and embrace yourself ~ just as you are ~ just as God made you. The more unconditional love you have for yourself, the more you have to extend to others. Cut yourself slack, but at the same time, be the best version of yourself ~ as a gift to God and to the world.

Have fun! Laugh everyday. Laughter really is the best medicine, and is so good for the soul. Find healthy ways to cheer yourself up when you're feeling down.

Put God first. Everything else has a way of falling into place when you do.

Hold onto your dreams. They will serve you in ways you can never imagine. Don't allow someone to belittle or talk you out of them.

Try new things as long as they won't harm you or others.

Be quick to forgive yourself and others. You'll be amazed at the freedom you experience when you do. Know we are all on a journey. None of us has "arrived". Respect your own and other people's. This life is just a road trip to our final destination. Never lose sight of this truth.

Enjoy the ride! But remember, the real treasures are eternal ones.

Love extravagantly. There is no greater form of worship than allowing God to love others through you.

Find balance ~ work, play, solitude, time with friends and family. It's the extremes that can do us in.

Let go of anger. It's so toxic, and it does damage we can't begin to measure.

Give back. The takers of this world have it all wrong. True joy and fulfillment comes with giving...and giving some more.

Be responsible with money. Though you don't want it to rule you, you will find that it does if you aren't careful with it. Remember, it's not about chasing the almighty buck, it's about making the most with what you have in ways that will honor and serve both you and God.

Do kind deeds frequently. The pleasure of lighting another person's day is the best reward. Put people before possessions and projects. Investing in others is like putting money in the eternal bank.

Treat your body like the gift it is. While on this life journey, it's the only place of residence you can occupy. It's also the place where God resides. Take care of it to the best of your ability.

Be prayerful. The fact that we can communicate with our Creator blows the mind. Yet we take it for granted. Don't. Talk and listen. He really is our wonderful Counselor and our closest Companion.

Never stop learning. Whether formal or informal, be a student of life. It will keep your mind sharp and your spirit humble. After all, we can never attain full knowledge. And the more we learn, the more we realize this truth.

Lastly ~ know with every fiber of your being, you have a unique and valuable purpose that only you can fill. Don't let that worry you. God has a way of revealing it one step at a time. As long as you know and believe your worth and the great value He places on you, you will find yourself going places and accomplishing things you never dreamed possible.

It's a long list. I know. So I'll end it with the most important. Love God and love others as you love yourself. Jesus said there is nothing more important. I am confident if you make this your goal, you will be blessed beyond measure, and you will discover that abundant life we all desire.

Always, I love you more than air, and I am so proud of you. You graduated! Let the adventure begin!