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About two weeks ago, I had the joy to have a conversation with Holly Barrett. I started reading her blog several years ago and quickly felt a kinship with her. I have found her to be as warm and encouraging as her writing.

During the conversation, emotions filled me as I came to realize how important a role my family plays in my life. Since that time, I have been thinking about what I would tell my children is most important in this life. My children are grown and married, starting families and careers of their own. I would give up anything to see them happy and their dreams coming to fruition. And so, here is what I would tell you, my children:

  1. Love God and follow Him. All of your days. Nothing else will matter in life if you don’t love Him. He’ll probably ask hard things of you at some point in life. Do it, for no matter what He asks, He will give you all that you need. Let Him guide you. Or a better way to put it, don’t get ahead of Him. When you are unsure of where He is leading, keep following and trust that He has a plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT)
  2. Always be kind to people. The world is becoming a harsh place. Pleasantries are being cast aside. Few are the people who will take the time to say a kind word or do a polite deed for a stranger. But God calls us to love people and many days that will be a challenge. Perhaps some days, we are the challenge. But be kind and you will be a reflection of Jesus to others. “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”
    Mark 12:30-31, NLT)
  3. See people. As my word “See” has become more real to me, I am seeing that there are many hurting people in this world. They are lonely, broken, ignored, and living on the fringes. But God can help you learn to see them. “A father to the fatherless, defender of widows – this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.” (Psalm 68:5-6, NLT)
  4. Be you. God created you to be who you are. You will be very different than everyone around you. Be confident that this is by His design. Embrace the dreams He has placed in your heart and mind. Have the courage to pursue them. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)
  5. Humble yourself before God. Ask Him to bless your dreams and the work of your hands with success. Do not rely solely on your education or ability. Invite God into the middle of all you do. “And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!” (Psalm 90:17, NLT)

I share these because I have not always done these perfectly myself. My prayer is that my life would be a better example in the years to come. And today, more than ever I say:

“I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.” (3 John 4, NLT)

Today I am joining … Faith ‘N Friends and Let Us Grow and Saturday Sharefest .