Friday, June 4, 2010

In the season of graduations...


The lack of posts this week is due to the busy schedule we have kept as the school year winds down and the summer begins. Abby still has one more week of school (we start late and end late), so I am currently trialing new techniques on keeping the kiddos happy throughout the day without the aide of the TV or computer as much in addition to trialing new cleaning schedules to keep a fairly clean house without going crazy. So far, so good...but I am still trying to manage my time for everything...that part needs a little more work. The posts may be a little slow until everything gets ironed out better.

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I am the oldest of 5 kiddos. My littlest sister, and the youngest of all of us, is graduating from high school today. It's a bittersweet day for everyone except Bethany, who is no doubt ready to move into adulthood. Bethany was "my baby" for so many years, and that bond has grown into a friendship over the years, and I miss her terribly when we have to go months without seeing one another.
My dad always wrote each one of us a letter on the day of our graduations...words of wisdom as we embark on the next stage of life. In Dad's letter to Bethany, he wrote thoughtful insight that every graduate needs to hear...
Excerpt from Bethany's graduation letter; by Michael Gowens:

"College life will present new challenges to you. I hope you will remember Ecclesiastes 11:9 during your time on campus. That verse indicates both that it is ok to have fun and enjoy yourself, and that God will hold you accountable for your actions. Practice self-discipline and always remember who you are and the next few years in your life will likely prove to be not only beneficial in terms of your personal and academic development, but also enjoyable and memorable. The goal is to enjoy yourself and get a good education all while maintaining a clear conscience and avoiding moral failure. I have no doubt that you can do it. I hope you will also beware of the level of skepticism toward Christianity and the Bible that you will likely encounter in that environment. As a loving parent and committed Christian, I am not the least bit interested in spending a boatload of money to have your faith shaken by some silver-tongued, unbelieving professor. Please remember that the Christian faith is supremely reasonable. There are answers to every criticism offered by those who favor a secular worldview. I will be happy to help you at any point of tension, if needed. Remember, my dear, that even though a professor can say words like Australopithecus and Zinzanthropus – if he doesn’t fear God, he hasn’t even started to be wise. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Regarding your future… Just do what you know to do at the moment and trust God to direct your life. He has someone out there just for you and if you will pray for guidance and entrust your life to Him, He will, in His own time, providentially cause your respective paths of life to intersect. Ten or twenty years from now, you will look back with 20/20 hindsight and say with a sigh of satisfaction, “He led me all the way.” One final word of unsolicited counsel … Be a wise money manager. Keep a monthly budget. Tally your expenses and measure them against your income. Determine how much you will have left over for leisure spending and then discipline yourself to stay within the margin. Beware of the overuse of credit cards. Remember that the borrower is slave to the lender and that the abuse of credit in your early years may seriously limit your financial freedom for years to come. Save some money each pay period. You will eventually encounter some unexpected expense in which it will come in handy. Remember that, as the Proverb says, “to all labor there is profit.” If you face a financial shortfall, the dilemma may be resolved by diligent labor and disciplined spending. Of course, we will do what we can to help you in this area, at least for awhile. No matter what happens to you in the future, I want you to always remember the promises of God. Remember His promise to provide for you, to strengthen and sustain you, to be your companion and friend, to give grace sufficient for every trial. Never, never, never give up. Never lose hope. Commit Isaiah 41:10 to memory and reflect on it often. It is still true today. It is true for you."
Congratulations Bethany! I love you, my precious sister.

5 comments:

Heidi on June 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM said...

Sheesh Amber, you really pulled one on me!

I thought that was Abby! I kept thinking, wow she's looking older! Until I started reading and scrolling down, realizing these were old pictures of your baby sister! She looks a lot like Abby.

She's beautiful! (like her sis) Wonderful pictures and the graduation letter was amazing.
Congratulations Bethany!
Heidi & Jack.

hobbsfamily on June 4, 2010 at 5:53 PM said...

What a sweet letter from your dad! It made me cry! I may have to save some of that and use it myself one day.

wandaconner on June 4, 2010 at 8:40 PM said...

Congrats Bethany! May God bless you as you start this new journey in your life!
Wandy

Anonymous said...

OK...wait just one minute here...let me clear my eyes from all the tears...All I can see is Sarah in just 2 years. I hope and pray the best for Bethany. I don't know her, but my prayers go out to her and to all the young adults that will start a new part of their life...what a season it will be...early spring in a life that will hopefully end with a wonderful winter season with many great memories to look back on....God bless you all and keep you is our prayer!
Love,
Nina

Jessica on June 8, 2010 at 12:20 AM said...

Wow Amber, your father's graduation letter was fabulous. It is clear to see that God has blessed all of you. I went and looked up Isaiah 41:10 :)

Congratulations to your sister!

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