September 2021


be. This doesn’t mean I won’t know anything... trust me, I’ve got eyes everywhere... but it does mean I will know less and will trust you more to make wise decisions based on what your father and I have taught you. While more freedom may sound like the best part of this two-sided coin, it is the added responsibility that will actually do you the most good as an adult. So, when you are asked to do more around the house or in the way of helping family, friends and neighbors, know you are being asked to better prepare you for the realities of adulthood. We want you to be better prepared, knowing what to do and how to do it well. We aren’t asking you to do the stuff we just don’t want to do anymore. We are helping you to develop a skill set that will enable you to have a more secure footing on the grounds of adulthood. (The fact that we don’t have to do those chores any more is just icing on the cake... Ha!) So, when you feel like too much is being asked of you or too little freedom is being granted, remember, it’s all because you are loved. You are going to experience some major victories over the next few years as well. You will discover your strengths and interests, hone skills you have had for a while and develop new ones that will enable you to soar to new heights of achievement. You won’t have the details of who you are all figured out by the time you turn 20, but you will be well on your way to connecting small pieces of yourself together in order to reach your goals. You’ll do some amazing things and you are going to receive some applause, some credit, some recognition, some awards, and some accolades. During these high times, rejoice because you are loved. You are going to screw up. Possibly royally. This isn’t because you are a horrible human being. It’s just because you ARE a human being. During the teenage years, your mouth can run at about 1,000 miles per hour while your brain is running at about 32 miles per hour up and down some extremely curvaceous terrain. Because of your DNA, the cards are stacked against you in terms of saying things you don’t mean, meaning things you don’t say, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person and/or people, as well as just spewing the vitriol of your feelings without warning others to take cover. Speaking as someone who has needed to have the Heimlich maneuver performed on her to remove her toes from her throat because she has stuck her foot so far into her mouth on multiple occasions, these moments will not be on your life’s highlight reel. I apologize in advance for my part in the struggle. You will be presented with a lot of decisions to make. Many times, you will make good decisions. Sometimes you will make bad ones. When you make the right decision, there will be celebration and rewards. When you make the wrong decision, there will be consequences, but there won’t be judgment. So, no matter what decision you make, remember, you are loved. As the next few years unfold, and you continue on this journey toward becoming who God made you to be, you will require less parental monitoring and more parental trust. This is going to be hard and exhilarating all at the same time. We will hug. We will argue. We will agree. We will disagree. There will be rewards. There will be discipline. There will be laughs. There will be tears. There will be LOTS of feelings. But in the midst of all these things, remember most importantly, you, my dear child, are so very, very loved.


L I F E & S T Y L E

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