Hello my fellow Melon Eaters! Looking back over the last 25 years, I can’t say I “regret” much because every part of my life has created who I am today. But I can say there are a few things I would like to have learned earlier on. I’m hoping some of these you will be able to relate to as well! Here goes….
1. Don’t let go of your bravery.
Some of what you do is just plain stupidity and wrecklessness. Like driving 80 mph on back country roads over railroad tracks to see how much air you can get under you without harming your car. Come on young child- use a little wisdom! But in the future there are going to be some unexpected things that will turn your world upside down and fear will try to grip you. Stay brave and don’t let fear paralyze you. Keep that courage and stare fear in it’s face knowing God is on your side and fighting your battles!
2. Always keep that sense of adventure and spontaneity.
Like the time you, Corey, Heidi and Ashley will ride in Corey’s ’86 convertible mustang with the top down in the middle of January in freezing temps. You will be wearing a totally awesome black and fluorescent colored puffy jacket- oh that 80’s fashion, you will forever love that. Don’t worry dear, you will get to wear fluorescents again in your 40’s and you will rock them almost like you do now at 17- at least you will think so! Sorry I digress- back to driving in the convertible in the middle of winter… that was fun! It was spontaneous! Don’t lose that zeal for living in the moment. Life will get heavy at times and you will need that lightheartedness and fun to get you out from under the funk. You’ve got it sister- don’t let it go!
3. That goofy guy in your class that is so much fun…
you know the one who’s sweet, silly and makes you laugh all the time. He’s very respectful and kind. You look at him as too much of a goober to date- “Ew grody to the max, gag me with a spoon and barf me out!” is what you’re probably saying because he’s not a total stud. Take a chill pill! I’m not suggesting you date him but just remember this kind of guy because this kind of guy is a keeper. One day you will grow up and you will want to marry a guy who’s character is similar- You will want a guy who is goofy, makes you laugh and you can totally be yourself around and just enjoy little things. You will meet him… and the bonus- you will find him totally hot and sexy! 😉
4. Take care of your bod.
Continue to work out, try to eat healthy balanced meals just to keep in shape. Trust me you are NOT FAT- I don’t care what you think you are! YOU ARE NOT FAT! Don’t always be asking “Where’s the Beef?” Just be sensible with your eating habits and working out. It will be so much easier to stay in shape over the years than it will be to completely let yourself go, fall out of shape and then have to rebuild. Trust me on this one! You only have one body, take good care of it.
5. Don’t make fun of a dude when he professes his love for you in a handwritten letter.
I don’t care if he is a hood, a stud or a mallrat. After this boy pours his heart out in a letter, you will go and show everyone and you will all laugh at him. He will be talking about how much he likes and adores you. Even if you don’t feel the same way, respect the dude! And to that young man, if you were standing in front of me today (at 42) I would be in tears apologizing for the way I treated you. Now having four boys, I can’t even imagine the torture I put you through. How horrible and demeaning. Holly, You will eventually gain understanding about vulnerability and the importance of someone trusting you with their emotions like that. You will learn that no matter how you feel about someone, the right way to treat someone is with Christ-like love…kindness, respect and compassion.
6. Follow through with your word.
And I’m not talking about your valley girl vocabulary. I’m saying your character and integrity are worth so much more than you even realize. When you get older, you’ll understand their true value. But for now, just keep your commitments and honor your word.
7. Appreciate your Mama doing silly things and trying to embarrass you.
Appreciate the fact that she will show up at prom with a video camera the size of a small suitcase hauled over her shoulder. She will interview every single one of your friends and even the principal (who seriously can’t stand you because you give him such a hard time.. you and your crazy twin are hard to keep track of). What fantastic memories these moments will become. And because of your AWESOME mom, you will have every moment of your senior prom on a video tape. Here’s the greatest part… you will end up being just like her and you will understand the thrill your mom has had being silly with you and your friends. So eat up all the embarrassment and enjoy every. single. bite.
8. Prioritize your time and try to understand its’ value.
It is limited and flies by so quick. I know it doesn’t feel that way, but it is. Time is a precious gift so where and how you spend it is crucial. Don’t waste it. You don’t sit around playing atari and watching that cool new cable channel called MTV now, so don’t ever change that. Appreciate the time you have with every single loved one in every moment. Time is a gift that’s why they call it the present.
9. Don’t lose your laughter.
And make sure you always have close friends who love to laugh with you. This is the thing almost everyone, including you, loves most about you. Yes you may be loud (too loud at times), but that laughter is a much needed gift to the world. You will have to learn to even laugh at yourself and after lessons are learned, laugh at your mistakes. In the right moment, laughter will sooth heartache, it will heal pain, it will always bring hope. Laughter will remind you that there is hope for your darkest day. Share a smile and laughter with everyone- you’ll never know the impact it could possibly make!
10. I know you might not believe me, but that baby oil and iodine.
You might regret that. I strongly suggest the copper tan- even though it’s orange… ’nuff said.
11. Never take your eyes off Jesus Christ.
This relationship is the foundation of your life. He will sustain you. He will guide you. He will humble you. He will help you keep your sanity and help you make better decisions. He will teach you to be a servant. Don’t be afraid to share His love with others. People are hurting, people are lost, people need hope. The only true thing that will fill the void they are looking for is Christ.
You are totally going to ROCK the next 25 years- the good, the bad & the ugly moments are all strands of thread being woven together to make the beautiful fabric that will become your blanket of life. You will learn to embrace it all, and one day this blanket will be displayed for the Glory of God!