Wow! This summer flew by! Actually, the past eighteen years flew by!
She’s sitting across the room. I look over and there she is, just like always. Oh my goodness, I feel like I’ve taken each and every minute of the last eighteen years for granted!
This past Sunday in church the college-bound students were called up front for prayer. I stood there, in the company of the other families with college-bound children, and I had these wonderful words in my head. I intended my prayer to be eloquent, but when I opened my mouth the only thing that came out was a choked and awkward sentence that went something like, “Please God, help us as we miss our children…(sniffle)”
A while back I posted the speech I gave for Caroline’s graduation ceremony. Each of the six graduates gave a short address tying a childhood memory with a lesson learned. I’ve been meaning to post the speech Caroline gave. I took for granted that I had time. I had plenty of time before she left for college.
I’ve taken for granted that this witty, deep-thinking, caring person has been within arm’s reach and now I’ll have to cross a continent to hug her. Oh my God, help me as I miss my Caroline!
“Hey Mommy, can we go to that an-tic-wee store?!” “Umm, Caroline, you mean the antique store?” “What? NO! The an-tic-wee store!”
When I was younger I loved to read. Often in the pages of my favorite novels or series I would encounter words that I’d never heard before. When this happened I would make up my own personalized pronunciation for them. I wouldn’t realize the fault in my knowledge until I said the word aloud and someone corrected me. I soon realized that in order to put my knowledge to work, communicate with other people, and have an impact with my ideas and words I had to take the facts and words I learned and adjust and apply them to real life situations. I came to understand that facts, statistics, formulas, and spelling, could only get me so far. While reading is absolutely essential, and I will always be an avid reader, making an impact and furthering myself requires so much more than simply knowing the formula in my head, or pronouncing the new word to myself.
As the other graduates and I step into the next stage of our journeys we will be placed in situations we’ve never been in, and have discussions about ideas we have never encountered before. I believe our education has prepared us to think critically, our families have prepared us to love deeply, and most importantly, our faith has prepared us to face any challenge boldly. We are prepared to take these opportunities and learn from them while maintaining a strong foundation of faith. I hope that as we see opportunities to learn and grow through everyday situations we will grasp these chances and realize that they are blessings. To truly have an impact on the world we must utilize the knowledge we’ve gained in high school to look beyond ourselves into others and our community. We must pronounce life out loud.
Most of all, I hope we follow the guidelines laid down by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. As we go forward, remember to put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to stand our ground, and stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around our waists, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, I hope that we will take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Holy Bible New International Version, Ephesians 6:13-17).
(by Caroline Schuemann)