Homespun advice from a hedgehog
Updated: Feb 15
I have another child graduating from high school. I have a different child almost done with college. The one between those two just announced that she will finish college in one year. And the 16 year old is starting college next year, whether he is ready for it or not.
It’s impossible to encapsulate all the doubts, fears, excitement and energy that I feel during this time.
and I wonder– Did I tell them everything? Were they listening? Did they “‘get” it? Does anybody ever get it?
So, sometimes it’s just easier to write it down.
So, with that.. advice.. to children.. my oldest four children who are all sprouting wings and flying. My baby? She can read this in the archives some day. For now.. it’s for you oldest four. This is on my heart.
1) Success really is up to you.
There are no such things as luck, opportunities or free lunches. Hard work, consistency, and dependability are where it is at. The harder I work, the luckier I get. I hope you will develop a love for work and surround yourself with those who love it also.
2) Talent is God-given.
And so is the ability to be gracious and kind and generous with others. You all have many earthly talents. That’s always the easy part. The hard part is developing a godly character while using your gifts. I’ve lost some friends this way. Don’t make this mistake. People are more important than things.
3) Legality is not a license.
Just because our crazy laws legalize something, doesn’t make it a playground for experimentation. It’s legal to kill your own child, fry your brain with marijuana, marry whomever or whatever you want, live without fiscal responsibility, and claim that you are Jesus. Neither of these things will give you peace and happiness. Seek a higher standard than the law.
4) Tradition is not your prison.
Just because something hasn’t been done before doesn’t make it wrong. But don’t just pursue something just because it is off the norm. There will always be someone on the cutting edge, just one step ahead of you. But many things are worth trying–even if no one else is doing them.
5) Family is just that.
You have been given something that very few people have– a secure family. As crazy as we are, we are. While the role of the family changes as you become an adult, the emotional trampoline of your experiences can always be boomeranged right back at us. We’re strong. We can take it. (I think?) But don’t be surprised if we tell you if you’re being an idiot. If you don’t learn it at home, you’ll have to learn it on the street. ‘aint nobody got time for dat.
6) Trials are your friends.
Strength comes through training. Training comes through stress. There will be no greater opportunity to grow and seek God than during a good trial. We expect you to have trials. We do not expect you to give up. We won’t be bailing you out of your problems, though. You will reach down deep and find ways to solve them. You are smart. You have God. You can do this.
7) and finally: I’m proud of you. The reason I am “impossible” and doing crazy things that mothers do is just that– I’m over-the-moon proud of my kids. You all know how I love to invest in other people’s kids, but the truth is this: no one will ever take the place of my own. All of those braggy mommy posts on my blog.. all those impossible reposting of fb pics.. and trying to speak your language (even though it is often failed attempts) are just because we love you and are so stinking proud of you guys. When the rest of your fan club is not cheering, the family will be right here cheering you on.