Do you have an old birthday card you treasure, or a hand-written note tucked away somewhere that you read from time to time. Why? Because it reminds you that someone special wanted you specifically to know something important.
There are never enough opportunities, it seems, to convey our deepest feelings to each other. Our lives are busy, our attention is strained, and meaningful moments are hard to come by.
With my son starting high school this year, I decided I didn’t want to dispense my thoughts out on special occasions only, or wait until time is too short to tell him about some of the important lessons I’ve learned along the way. After all, these things may perhaps spare him some pain or provide him some encouragement when he needs it most. So here are a few pieces of advice that I have written out for him, and I hope they will encourage you as well:
1. There’s a fine line between contentment and complacency. Always be thankful for what you have, and always stay open to achieving more. Don’t pitch a tent at a pit stop.
2. There’s a marked difference between letting go and giving up. Take the time to evaluate your life from time to time and drop what’s weighing you down. Giving up is a result of hopelessness, but letting go results in renewed courage.
3. There’s more to life than a fancy car and a fine house. “Home” trumps all, and you can make even the smallest and poorest of dwellings rich in love and laughter.
4. There’s really no telling what the future holds. Don’t project past discouragements on the days ahead. Take time to remember how far you’ve come when life gets you down, and purposely reflect on fond and funny memories.
5. You have unique gifts and talents. Pursue them and don’t waste massive amounts of time, energy and money on things you aren’t good at. Pray for guidance every day.
6. Keep it between the ditches and seek out people who will help and encourage you. Find them, appreciate them, and spend time with them as much as possible. If you find yourself in the ditch, these are the ones who will come to your aid.
7. Be kind to yourself. You are what you think.
8. Serve others even when it hurts. There’s no better way to stay joyful.
9. Always remember feelings are fickle. Don’t make stupid decisions or statements in the heat of the moment that you can’t take back for the rest of your life.
10. Don’t try to be perfect in the eyes of the world. The whims of culture change like a stormy weather pattern. Seek to be all that God created you to be instead.
I hope this post inspires you to sit down and say what you need to say to someone important in your life. Happy reflecting!
Originally published in my column, 'The Upside,' in the Ellijay Times-Courier.