Celebrate Your Differences!!

Today my second daughter will move out of our home and into her new home at college. There’s a myriad of thoughts crashing around in my brain and emotions flooding my heart. Then, I see the picture on the left in my Facebook memories and have to quickly snap the picture on the right. My heart needed a little humor!!

You can see from these pictures taken move out morning just how very different my two daughters are from one another.  I mean seriously–as different as night and day. My oldest daughter Hannah made lists for days, packed, organized and had everything ready to go.  My youngest daughter Clara, well, she’s flying by the seat of her pants.

I love both of my girls.  I’m PROUD of them.  I want both of my girls to embrace who they are and celebrate their differences.  Sometimes they drive each other crazy.  Sometimes misunderstandings abound.

My desire is for them to strive to understand one another, work past their differences and appreciate one another for who they are.  These days I want that to be true among my Facebook friends too.  (but that’s another conversation entirely).

As my daughter leaves home today, here’s some random advice for her.  This advice can be true for any of us at any stage of life.

  1. Be yourself. There’s only one YOU on this planet.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made and created in the image of God.
  2. Be brave. You will be faced with many new situations that may cause you to be fearful, but be strong and courageous.
  3. Be involved. But, don’t stretch yourself too thin.
  4. Be kind. Kindness counts and you will never, ever regret showing kindness and compassion to someone.
  5. Be the best version of yourself. You’re going to meet so many amazing people and it may be tempting to compare yourself to them. DON’T!! Celebrate who they are and celebrate who you are.
  6. Be wise.  For crying out loud.  Make wise choices.
  7. Be willing to admit when you are wrong. And I say again, be willing to admit when you are wrong.
  8. Be an excellent student.  You are in college to learn and to get an education. That is your job, your first priority!!
  9. Be a good friend. Friendships are worth more than gold!!
  10. Be careful and cautious and aware of your surroundings.
  11. Be still and know that He is God.  It’s easy to go, go, go. Take time to pray and read God’s word.
  12. Be neat. At least in the common areas of your apartment.  Clean up what you mess up and leave things cleaner than you found them. Use that lovely laundry hamper and walk in closet.
  13. Be calm. When you feel overwhelmed and stressed.  Take a deep breath.
  14. Be a volunteer.  Find a place to serve others.
  15. Be free. I know you are so excited about being on your own. You’ve been ready for this since you were seven years old.  Remember with freedom comes responsibility.
  16. Be responsible. If you say you are going to do something, do it.  Make sure people can count on you.
  17. Be amazing because you are amazing!!
  18. It’s time to get packed and moved out!!

clara college pic


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