Maybe I am morbid, or paranoid, or having a mid-life crisis… but I feel the need to write down the things I hope my children will know in life, should I not be here to teach it to them. Or maybe I will be here and forget a few of these along the way! I have realized how quickly life flies by, as cliche as it is. So kids, if something should ever happen to me, here are some important lessons I hope you will learn in life, sooner than later!
You were absolutely, 100% wanted and loved more than you will ever know (or will understand until you have your own children). You are a blessing from God. You are wonderfully and fearfully made. You will always be my babies, and loved with all my heart. You are the greatest gifts ever given to me.
It is OK to be different. God made us each unique! How boring would it be if we all thought, looked and acted alike? Accept yourself and be yourself!
Don’t let fear stop you from doing things in life. Fear can be a good warning sign to avoid danger but it can also be irrational fear that stops you from trying new things, pursuing dreams or taking chances.
Don’t hold grudges. Forgive and forget. You only hurt yourself keeping anger inside. The person who wronged you probably doesn’t care or possibly doesn’t even realize it.
Apologize when you have done wrong. Being sorry also means you will try not to do it again.
A lot of hurt can be avoided by thinking before you speak, but if you are like me, often things come out before you thought it through. Think whether what you have to say is true, necessary and kind.
Sometimes you will be wrong. I know that is a hard one. We all love to be right.
Learn to control your temper. I have not set the best example. Work on it especially before you have kids!
Zits, bad hair, cellulite, wrinkles, they all happen. Save yourself the agony and tears and just accept it all. It happens to everyone eventually.
Don’t worry about what others think of you. Most of the time not that many people are thinking about you anyway.
Work on establishing good habits, it is much harder to break bad ones! Read your Bible daily, eat healthy, don’t smoke or drink, exercise regularly, etc.
God has given you special gifts and talents. Discover them and try to determine how He wants you to use them.
Read, read, read! It is good for your brain and enjoyable!
Turn off the TV. Better yet, don’t even have one. And don’t believe most of what you hear or see on it.
Volunteer. Find ways to help others. You are blessed in many ways. Give to others freely. There is so much need in the world.
Don’t be materialistic. Things are not important. It doesn’t matter how much stuff your friends have, or what the world tries to sell you.
Be a good manager of your money. Put money in savings, give to others and spend wisely. Don’t put yourself in debt.
Surround yourself with friends who have good morals and love God.
Don’t give in to peer pressure. Walk away from people who want you to do harm to yourself or others.
Brush your teeth every day and get them cleaned at the dentist every 6 months even though you hate going. Trust me, you want nice teeth for life.
Look for a spouse who loves God, respects you, has similar beliefs (this will matter when you have kids), makes you laugh, is mature (don’t marry a man who plays video games and has no job and lives with his parents still, in most cases this is not a good sign), has similar desires and dreams in life, manages money well, has good manners and is polite to you and others.
Learn how to cook. As much as I don’t like to do it, cooking saves money and is a lot healthier than constantly eating out.
Don’t let people make you feel bad when you become a parent. It is totally OK to have an epidural if you want one and breastfeeding is not as easy as it looks. Love your babies, keep them safe, pray a lot!
Find joy in every day. Even when the day or month or year is not going as planned and you feel like giving up, you still have things to be thankful for. Make a list each day if you need to!
Don’t go to places where you might get in trouble or hurt. You don’t need to be out late at night, or hanging out in bars or clubs.
Don’t drink and drive. Better yet, don’t drink. And don’t ride with someone else who has been drinking. You are smart enough and fun enough to have a good time without being intoxicated.
Don’t smoke. It is bad for your health and is a nasty habit.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. As my mother often said, “trash in, trash out.” Don’t fill your mind with trash, whether it be books, movies, etc.
Be classy, not trashy. Dress modestly. You want people to be attracted to who you are inside, not what you can flaunt on the outside.
It is probably best not to try and cut your own hair, especially if it involves bangs. Even if you watch a YouTube video of how to. Yes, it will grow back but save yourself the embarrassment and tears.
Try not to get sunburned. Sunblock has nasty ingredients in it so just cover up well and avoid mid-day sun if possible.
Never swim alone. You might drown. Seriously, it happens.
Don’t ride on motorcycles. Ask your father to tell you about the calls he has been on to motorcycle accidents.
Always wear your seat belt! No excuses!
Get a check up every year and take care of your health.
Just a personal preference, but think really, really hard about ever getting a tattoo. They are permanent. What you like at 20 may not be what you like at 40 or 60!
Learn how to take care of basic things yourself like changing a tire, checking the oil in your car, how to use tools, jump start a car, change the batteries in fire alarms, etc.
Keep your house clean. A smaller house is easier to keep clean and the less stuff you have, the better!
Change your underwear every day.
Don’t work too hard. Make time for things you enjoy and have fun in life too! On the other side, don’t be lazy.
Have respect for life. Every person, from in the womb to the elderly deserve dignity and love.
Stand up for what is right, even you are standing alone. Defend the helpless.
Be mindful of who you trust. There are many trustworthy people in the world but also plenty waiting to take advantage of you.
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Failure is part of learning.
It is OK to say no to people.
Study history and economics and research who you give your votes to.
Get a good photographer for your wedding.
Before you get married, make sure you and your future spouse realize marriage is meant to be for life. Even when you get old, overweight, annoying, snore, etc. If you are highly annoyed by them before you marry, that may be a good sign they are not the one for you.
Don’t let anyone ever abuse you physically, verbally, or emotionally. Get away from that person and stay away.
Learn some good basic self defense. Always be aware of your surroundings.
Be thankful. Thank others frequently when they help you or give you a gift.
Try to hang around with positive people.
You can’t control everything or other people. I say this as a control freak myself.
If you have nothing nice to say, it is probably better to just be quiet.
Have a strong handshake.
Don’t move in with a boyfriend/girlfriend. As my grandmother told me, “Why buy the horse when you can get the cart for free?”
Never reply in an email or text when you are angry. Think a while and cool down.
Don’t blame other people for your mistakes. Take responsibility.
Don’t lie. You usually get caught in the lie anyway and it is wrong to do.
Open doors for ladies (if you are a man) and for elderly.
Don’t waste time in a relationship with someone you wouldn’t marry.
Call your family often, every day is good!
Smile at strangers, say hello to people, look them in the eyes.
If your friends gossip about other people to you, rest assured they gossip about you too.
It is OK to cry, even boys!
It is not a waste of time to stay home with your children. It is one of the most important jobs there is!
It is better to be overdressed rather than under dressed for an event, job interview, etc.
You don’t have to say everything you think.
Find a job you really like if possible. Spending 40 hours or more a week doing something that makes you miserable is not a healthy way to live.
It is good to ask for help and for directions when lost.
Keep a journal. And when you have children, write down all the funny stories and things they say. You won’t remember it all!
Keep your promises.
Read “To Kill a Mockingbird” when you are older and try to be like Atticus Finch, the same in his house as he is on the public streets, steadfastly honest.
Read some of my favorite authors! C.S. Lewis (if only one, Mere Christianity), Jane Austen, some of Shakespeare’s plays, Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, Ayn Rand, Toni Morrison, Oscar Wilde, A.A. Milne, Anne Frank, Corrie Ten Boom, Walt Whitman, Thoreau, so many to name!
Take lots of pictures!
Freedom is not defined by safety. You are less safe when you give up your personal liberties.
Trust your gut instincts, they are usually right.
Practice fire safety at home, have an emergency plan in place, be prepared for worst case scenarios.
Learn to laugh at yourself sometimes. When you make a mistake, slip and fall, say something silly, just laugh it off and move on.
If you are waiting somewhere or riding public transportation, give up your seat to anyone who is elderly, pregnant or disabled. Men should give up their seat to women also.
Learn basic sewing skills. Men and women need to know the basic repairs for clothing if nothing else.
Know basic first aid and CPR.
When asked to do a favor or any job, do it without grumbling and preferably with a smile.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, say “excuse me” and “thank you” and “please” often.
Learn how to type sufficiently.
Send people real cards and real hand written letters sometimes.
Write thank you notes for gifts you receive, even if you aren’t crazy about the gift.
Don’t stress about things you can not control and can not change. Even better, do not stress, pray.
Someone gave me the good advice once: never put on your skin what would not be safe to eat because your skin is your biggest organ. It absorbs the chemicals in products. Moisturize with coconut oil and wash with organic soaps and wash.
It is fine to change your mind! Many decisions are changeable! If you make a mistake, fix it. If you dislike your job, search for a new one. Don’t like where you live, move! You get the idea.
Travel while you are a young adult before you have kids! While having children is a blessing, it is far easier to travel without lugging around strollers, cribs, diapers and bottles!
Always have your cell phone charged and with you in case of emergency. And let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
Don’t drive like a maniac. Obey the laws of the road. Pay attention when driving (no texting, putting make up on, switching songs, etc.)
Always keep gas in your car. Don’t let it get to empty. Be prepared!
Hug your loved ones when you part and tell them you love them. You never know if it may be the last time you see them.
You can be refined instead of rude, tender instead of rough, kind instead of coarse, pure instead of popular, virtuous instead of vain.
Try to find something nice to say about everyone. My mother always talked about how her grandmother could always find something nice to say about anybody and I always thought that was a good goal.
Don’t stress or get upset over small stuff. Most of the things I get upset over on a daily basis are really, really small things in the grand scheme of life! Drinks spill, dirt gets tracked in, clutter happens, plates break, pets destroy things, it rains on your outdoor plans, you lose things, and it goes on. Deep breath, it will be fine.
Have faith. God hears your prayers. He knows your dreams, fears, hopes, and hurts and He cares. He knows best and has it all under control.
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” •A.A. Milne