Bullet Points for Life: Lessons to My Children

  1. Character matters more than money, smarts, and education.  I would rather you be a person of integrity than the smartest, wealthiest person on earth.
  2. Life is not fair.  It stinks, but it really is true. There will be times when someone else gets the job you are more suited to or another guy/girl gets the date you want. Sadly, that’s part of life. Don’t be surprised when these things happen, but instead, focus on your response to it. What can you learn from it?  Choose not to be bitter.
  3. Just because a chocolate chip cookie really does make you feel better when you’re down doesn’t mean you should partake. Have a good relationship with food.  Don’t let it control you.
  4.  Be kind to the people who hold lesser positions in life, the people who are servers or have menial jobs. In fact, you should have one of those jobs sometime in life to really appreciate the amount of work it involves. Don’t be so proud that you’d never take a job like that. The way that you treat people in those jobs is very telling.  When you start to date, notice how your date treats the waiter, the valet, pizza delivery guy, etc. If they are rude or disrespectful to them, move on!
  5. Be interested in others.  Ask good questions.  Don’t always try to be the center of attention.  Be a good observer of people, and remember things that people tell you about themselves.
  6. Have a good handshake and look people in the eyes when you introduce yourself. Use their name when you meet them, so you can remember it!
  7. Be willing to try new things—new foods, new experiences, new hobbies. 
  8. Laugh, laugh, and laugh some more. Try to find the humor in a situation. And when you do something stupid, laugh at yourself.  Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  9. Marriage is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make because your relationship with your spouse colors every aspect of your life.  Marriage takes work, and just because you have a rough spot in your marriage doesn’t mean you should give up.  Work through it because getting to the other side of a problem makes your relationship stronger. Continue to date your spouse; have fun together. Don’t forget what brought you together, but realize that your relationship will grow and change.
  10. Learn history—world history, Biblical history, American history, and our family history. Yes, I know it’s not always interesting in school, but there is so much to learn—how God intervenes in people’s lives, how to avoid the mistakes others have made, why we are where we are today.
  11. Show kindness to those who are different from you—the outcast, the one with special needs, the new kid in town, the elderly.
  12. Be an encourager, not a discourager. The words we say cannot be un-said, so choose your words wisely.  Our words can give life or death.  Choose life.
  13. Learn to do things yourself.  Even if you have all the money in the world to call in an expert, if the toilet breaks, learn how to fix it. When the deck needs painting, do it yourself.  You’ll eventually learn which things you can do and which really do require an expert.  As you know, your dad and I stink at dry wall repair!
  14. Learn to be content. God’s Word says, “Contentment with godliness is great gain.” There will be times when you won’t have everything you want and perhaps even be in need.  Seek to be content. Ask yourself, “Do I have food, clothes, and shelter for today?” If the answer is yes, then you have enough.
  15. Be grateful. Practice eucharisteo—thankfulness. It’s not something just for the month of November. Slow down and notice all of the graces that God has given—a baby’s belly laugh, warm sheets out of the dryer, sweet tea—and watch joy erupt in your life. Discontent arrives when we focus on what we don’t have.  Joy barrels into our lives when we notice what we do have.
  16. Explore other cultures.  Often we think that our own culture is the best, but that is so shallow. Even if you don’t like it all, look for the good in another culture.
  17. Seek to be balanced in life.  Work hard, play hard, and rest.  We are not slaves, so learn to rest and not feel guilty.
  18. One of the most important things in life is learning to extend grace. Be one who is quick to apologize and quick to forgive. We all sin and are in need of grace.  If you don’t believe me, when you have children, you’ll understand your own sinfulness.
  19. Take care of your body. Eat well and exercise.  You only get one body, so be a good steward.
  20. Be authentic. Don’t try to be something you’re not. As someone once said, “Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.”
  21. Tell the truth. It’s far easier to be honest than to keep track of your lies. 
  22. Stay out of debt.  I realize that it’s not always possible and sometimes life throws you curve balls, so if that happens, get out of debt as soon as possible. Debt = slavery.
  23. Find your passion. Discover the gifts that God has given you—both the skills (the things you’re good at) and the desires (the things you like). Try to find a job that matches both—or create a job that uses both and it will never feel like a job.
  24. Do all things with excellence, whether cleaning up after dinner or writing that presentation for school or work.
  25. Above all, love God.  Pursue Him. Spend time in prayer and studying His Word. And know that He loves you more than any of us can imagine. 

Originally published on screamfree.com.

| Filed under Blog

4 thoughts on “Bullet Points for Life: Lessons to My Children

  1. Best wishes to your daughter on her wedding day ! Congratulations to the happy couple and family!

    So many life lessons to impart that we don’t seem to learn until we are over half way through… this is a great list.

    I like the one about the cookie.

    how to cope with loss and acceptance has been the biggest challenge I’ve faced. I’m not sure it’s something you can tell another person how to do other than “keep going” … “do the best you can until you know how to do better … then do that” … showing up. That’s often the hardest and most important part. Just getting there … wherever there is.

    I think having a plan or a vision, some kind of direction or idea for your future is good. Not everyone seems to have that and it makes it easier to get off course and not really achieve what you wish you had accomplished. If you want to retire early plan for what it would take early.

    I would tell people to build a big family, have children. Stay in touch with relatives. Make friends family.

    Love and forgive and be patient with your parents. They did the best they could and they too deserve grace. They love you unconditionally and they will need your help.

    ❤️ happy Memorial Day weekend may it be all you dreamed of as a mom one day seeing your baby get married

    1. Thank you, Missy! I love your thoughts! I agree that some of these lessons can only be learned through experience, but going into those experiences (like loss) with a vision of who you hope to be, can certainly help. I agree about building a family and seeing your friends as family. And as I’ve been a mom, I recognize how beautifully hard it is and I, too, have tried to give my parents grace as well. I hope you have a blessed day!

  2. I love these. Such wisdom. I appreciate how you focus on integrity. Honestly, when we die, we take our integrity with us, nothing else. And the integrity you leave behind, good or bad, is your legacy.

    I knew I liked you the moment I met you. You shine the heart of Christ.

    Enjoy the wedding. Can’t wait to see pictures! <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *