These are some of the things I strive to teach my children. When it’s all said and done, I hope and pray that I will have lived a life that reflected these things.
• Cling to the hope that Jesus (and only Jesus) gave you on the cross. This is most important at those moments when you are at your most hopeless points in life.
• Mean what you say, say what you mean, and do what you say you are going to do.
• Speak up when something is wrong. Even, especially, when no one else is saying anything.
• Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
• Make mistakes. Take responsibility. Learn from them. Move on.
• This deserves repeating – take responsibility. When you mess up, own it. Don’t make excuses and don’t blame anyone or anything else for your mistakes. Period.
• Always keep an eye out for the needs around you. They are everywhere, and if you don’t see them, then your eyes are closed.
• Work hard. Push yourself. Don’t quit.
• Forgive and seek forgiveness without exception. Do what is in your power to heal wounds and leave the rest up to God.
• Do what needs to be done. Don’t wait for someone else to do it, just do it.
• Face your fears. It’s o.k. to be scared, it’s not o.k. to let fear stop you from doing anything.
• Heed your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
• Right and wrong aren’t always black and white, but they are more so than what most of the world would have you believe. Put as much distance between yourself and wrong as possible.
None of these things is easy, which is probably why fewer and fewer people seem to do them. But if you do them, I promise your life will be……harder. But the difficulties will be ephemeral; the rewards eternal. Though my tone is stern, love is at the root of each of these directives. And love, true love, is not a feeling but is manifested in action. I love you both so very, very much.