Monday, April 26, 2010

There's an ocean out there

Daughter1 graduates from university in too soon and I've been waking up in the middle of the night wondering if I've imparted all the wisdom she needs for such a time as this. Probably not. Although she might say I have lectured talked her ear off. And then some. I don't think I ever really lecture but sometimes one of my daughters will say, 'Mom you don't need to lecture', so apparently I do. Lecture, I mean. These 'lectures' generally come after we've heard/witnessed someone else's bad behavior and my kids like to say, 'oh great, so and so did something stupid and now we get a lecture.' Sorry kids but yes, that's how this mother's mind works. So and so, who we barely even know or maybe know not at all, behaves badly and I immediately think, 'My kids see the problem here, right?' Let me just make sure.

Anyway, graduation...happy time. Scary time. Emotional time. A while back a friend shared this analogy with me and I like it. Alot. You (my sweet daughter) have been moving along thru the river of life, mostly floating peacefully and although there have been a few rapids along the way you essentially have had no choice but to stay within the riverbanks.

Graduation day.

Suddenly you have reached the mouth of the river although, fyi, it's not really a sudden thing at just feels like it. The river opens up wide now and empties into the great big sea where boundaries are out of sight and opportunity stretches out in front of you like the horizon.

I suppose there are lots and lots of little things I want you to keep at the top of your brain as you survey the mouth of the river....

Be a good employee, on time and cheerful, willing to go that extra little bit.

Stay out of debt and live within your means which, incidentally, are not going to be the same as our means to which you have become accustomed.
There is something very satisfying in creating your own budget, paying your own bills, and buying something you have worked and saved for.

Make doing something for others a part of your everyday life.
Thinking too much about oneself tends to make a person less grateful...less vulnerable...less loving.

Have balance.
Work and play and eat and sleep and exercise.
Too much of one and not enough of another will make you feel discombobulated.
And we both know how very much you dislike feeling discombobulated.

I could go on but then you might say I was lecturing. And I know you already know all of this and you are perhaps the sweetest, most selfless person I've had the privilege to know so I don't really need to say anything at all. Because you feel things. Deeply. And that will serve you well.

When I step back and really think hard about this milestone in your life, I realize there are actually just two things you need to remember ...

We are loving you and praying for you every single solitary day of your life.
We are your biggest fans and your greatest supporters.
And when you are turning 50 and I am turning much more than 50 that will still be true.

God knows you by name.
He knows every hair on your head.
He has a plan for your life and all you really need to do is listen.

And jump into the sea.


  1. Happy graduation day! I have a friend whose daughter, Ashley Brown, is also graduating in your daughter's class. Guess the Browns will be headed that way soon.

  2. Great post!
    (Great post is what I say when I have no words to explain how much I appreciated your heartfelt, warm, and thought-provoking post. Just an FYI for ya)
    Happy Graduation to your daughter and Happy Monday morning to you! :)

  3. WHAT?! No tissue warning?! That was terribly mean not give us any warning.

  4. Joyce, as usual you have expressed yourself so beautifully! I went through the same agonizing thought process when my oldest was graduating from high school. Did I teach him enough? Did I tell him everything? Have I prepared him?

    And I've started some of my "non-lectures" with things like, "I know you know this, but ..." Or "I have to say this because I'm the Mom so ...".

    Step back and enjoy the fruit of your labors: a fully grown, fully educated, well-adjusted adult that is ready to face that ocean.

  5. Awww, love this post and know she will as well. Happy grad to both of you. Time goes by so quickly. My daughter will be in high school in the fall and it seems like she was just born, well, um...yesterday.

  6. A beautiful note (non-lecture) to your daughter. :)

    One more year until I have one in this position. I keep telling him he needs to think about his personal "overhead" and adjust accordingly. Hmmmm

    Congratulations to her and to you!

  7. Graduation. Ah. Know the emotional roller coaster all too well over here. We have a high school senior in the house. Blogged just this morning about a life thing that happens, then makes itself known at the end of the kid line, with the final graduate.

    The picture is wonderful. I want to go there today!

  8. So very well put! I love the river analogy. So perfect. I´m sure she knows all this but it will reassure her to read it here again.
    Congratulations to Shannon! (If I remember correctly that was her name, right?)

  9. Good advice for ALL of us kids, err... adults. You might think she's gone, (Happy graduation) but the truth is, she's going to need you more than ever. Be there. I'm sure you will.


    Gee whiz, Joyce, have a little sympathy on those of us who might be a little hormonal.

    Beautiful post.

  11. What a sweet, wonderful post! Hopefully we'll be going through this in another year.

  12. Such a sweet post. Beautifully said.

  13. Congratulations. Loved your post.
    Blessings, andrea

  14. That is great advice. I am sure that you have taught her well.

  15. Love your words of wisdom aka lecture. You and your hubs have done a great job....she will sore. Congrats to your number 1 girl well done!

  16. Joyce,

    I loved your little "momisms" that you have captured so eloquently and here is hoping that your daughters will take away more than what you would think and become brilliant women, moms and wives in the future. You've done a great job at raising them for God, now He will lead them the remainder of the way.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  17. I'm sure you wouldn't mind if I copied this down for future use when mine graduate....would you?

  18. As always, Joyce, you have such a beautiful way with words. I love all your comments. I'm with Billy, I'm saving this for future reference. It was an awesome post. Thanks for your sweet comments about our trip. I am about an hour and a half from Raleigh, so do let me know when you are planning to come and I can drive down. That would be great! Love & blessings from NC!

  19. Beautiful.....


  20. I am going through the same feelings now as my daughter is about to get married. I keep thinking of what wisdom that I might need to impart.

    When we left our son at college I teared up and told him that I felt like there was so much I hadn't said to him. He said, "You've said it. A lot. I promise."

    Praying for God's richest blessings on your family.

  21. I agree with everyone else's thoughts on this post, Joyce. You do have such a gift with words. AND I believe our kids always think we are lecturing them when we just want to have a "meaninful conversation" with them. :-)
    I do love your words of wisdom. They are right on the mark, though as you said, the last three really do say it all,hm?
    I'm looking forward to reading about this milestone in your family as your girl graduates. ((HUGS))

  22. I agree with the other Cindy since I also have a daughter getting married (in just six weeks!) Did I do all I could? Did I tell her everything she needs to know? Probably not but just like me when I was her age, I managed to figure out what I didn't already know. And I pray a lot!

  23. In a word, grace. We don't ever do enough to prepare them, etc., but God's grace is huge and He is after all the "blessed controller of all things." Trust it and give yourself some.
    Love ya, Cheryl