Monthly Archives: May 2015

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May 15th - May 21st, 2015 046

As I watched Thomas, my youngest child, walk across the stage to receive his high school diploma, it signified the official rite of passage into adulthood. It was the culmination of the growth and maturity over several years.

During May, I’ve attended three commencement ceremonies. As I’ve listened to the various speeches, it’s given me the opportunity to reflect on my highest hopes for my son’s life.

May 15th - May 21st, 2015 008

The thing that struck me most while listening to the words of the class of 2015, is their understanding of purposeful living. There seems to be a trend of the younger generation believing that real joy does not come from the “American Dream.” They seem to understand that there is so much more to life than making money to fill their own desires. It’s obvious that their generation wants to truly make a difference in the world.

One graduate (at a local public school) spoke of the “emptiness” that comes from seeking the most popular definition of success. She passionately said, “Define success in your own terms.” I agreed fully with every word she shared.

After pondering her challenge to her classmates to find success in a unique way, I wrote a list in my own words of the things I want for my son to know before he leaves home.

In four weeks, Thomas will begin classes and football training at a college that’s twelve hours away from the home he has lived in for eighteen years. Thomas is a wise, young man, but I can’t imagine sending him off to begin a new season without a few pieces of advice.


Thomas, I want for you to know these ten things, most of all…

1. Christ is the way to fill the emptiness of a man’s soul. He loves you deeper than you can possibly imagine. Nothing can separate you from His love. Seek Him in everything you do, and you will have a meaningful and fulfilled life.

2. One bad choice can change the course of your life and could possibly sabotage your dreams.

3. God has given you a unique set of talents and gifts that will enable you to carry out your purpose for living.

4. Having friends who have similar values and beliefs will strengthen you and help keep you on the right path.

5. Volunteering and helping others will take the focus off yourself and help you to avoid homesickness and any other negative emotions.

6. Quitting is not an option. If you quit, you will possibly miss the greatest opportunity of your life. Perseverance coupled with faith in God will carry you to places you cannot imagine.

7. With Christ, anything is possible. With Him, you can overcome any obstacle.

8. Negative people are toxic. Be kind to them, but you don’t have to be their best friend.

9. Bitterness will destroy your life. Walk in love toward everyone, and you will experience perfect peace.

10. Prayer is the most important practice of the Christian life. Keep the scriptures hidden in your heart and pray continually. When you feel weak, ask Christ to strengthen you. He is your ever-present help.


I am confident in my son and I am excited for his future. I thank God for hearing and answering my prayers for him.

As I prepare to send my son off for a new beginning, I am thanking God for the words of this year’s graduating seniors. Their words were a reminder to me that Thomas is grounded in truth, and I know he will find a success that is unique and is defined by living authentically, loving God, and loving others well.

Thank you, CLASS of 2015, for your wise words. I feel certain you will impact the world in great ways and you will live with purpose like no other generation before you.

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path.” — Proverbs 23: 18-19