Happy birthday, buddy. Today at 11:21 a.m. you turn 21! It feels like your life has been a fast-forward movie. Wasn't it only yesterday that you were dragging around "Clownie" and "Euchie" and watching Thomas the Tank Engine videos? Ah...the lament of every parent on earth....it all goes too quickly.
|November 5, 1991|
The best day of our lives!
Legal significance aside, today you slide into the next season of your life, adulthood, where you will spend most of your years on earth. I would not want to shock you by being mum on the subject of you turning 21, so, here are some random thoughts (in no order of importance) from your ol' mom:
Being an adult now makes you wholly accountable for your choices and actions....can't blame the inexperience of youth anymore! So choose wisely. Think through your actions. Remember who you are. Keep your nose clean (and yes, you are obligated to pass that Hiebism down to your own kid someday)!
As a Christian man, Sam, you represent Jesus in everything you do. You and the way you live your life may be the only "gospel" some people "hear," so live with honesty, kindness and humility. Perform your job with excellence and integrity. Let people see Jesus in you. Pray with passion, stay in the Word, and draw close to the Lord every day. He is everything you need.
Being an adult means doing your part in preserving our country's natural resources. Reduce. Reuse. Refinish. Recycle. Be "green" when you can be. Don't overlook a good thrift store!
Adults take the initiative to always write their thank you notes. No matter what pop culture says, hand-written notes are still the societal standard for good manners. It will never be outdated. Make it a habit.
Responsible adults vote. Follow the issues and candidates and exercise your right to vote. It is a privilege of living in a democratic society.
Give glory to God for your successes in your adulthood. Even when doing so might go against the grain of a co-worker or boss. God honors those who honor Him. Be swift to give Him credit for favor, because all good things come from Him who gives exceedingly and abundantly more than you will ever be able to ask or imagine (Eph 3:20).
Be extra compassionate and understanding with older people and children. They won't readily forget your actions.
Mature adults are kind to the innocently ignorant. (Another Hiebism to pass down.) We are all ignorant of some things. Don't let any traces of arrogance about your gifts and strengths allow you to lose sight of that.
Being an adult means living like one. When you get your first apartment in 2 years, keep it clean and organized and full of the things you love, and it will then be a home and not simply a bed and shower.
Tithe 10% of your income. Even when doing so puts a burden on your budget. You can't out-give God. Being a responsible adult means that you never spend more money than you have. Credit card debt is crippling. Pay off your credit card in full every month. Live well below your means at all times, and you'll always have a necessary financial cushion.
Being an adult means you aren't unduly influenced by either public opinion or private bias. Make your decisions about your life based on what you feel is best for you (and what you are sensing God is telling you to do). That said, be willing to accept advice from others. If you don't want to heed it, fine. Dad and I have been around the block a few times and actually have some accumulated wisdom. It's yours for the asking.
Be bold and assertive as you seek your future jobs. I created my own first two jobs by convincing 2 institutions that they really needed my skills. I was able to write my own dream job descriptions. Don't be afraid to go to the top and market yourself. Be scrappy and confident about your expertise.
You've maybe heard the adage, Always measure your wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money. Profoundly true.
Being an adult means that you call your mother. Often.
Sam, you are probably thinking, Oh, man, Mom, I've already heard all this stuff. If so, well, great, then I know you were listening to all the mom-sermons over the years!! I'm sure I still have a few more in me too!!
From baby to college guy, I have loved every age of yours. Each has brought joy in different ways. And now I am the mom of Sam, the young man. (Whoa...just writing that word brought bittersweet tears to my eyes!)
I have so much respect and admiration and love for the man you have become, buddy. As you plunge ahead with gusto into the next season, always know that God is already there with great plans for your future. Dad and I got to shape and guide you all these years, and now we get front-row seats watching you take the stage.
You know I will always have your back, support your decisions, and be a soft place to fall. There are no words in the English language to tell you how much I love you, but it is at least "ten million miles from Pluto."
Happy Happy Birthday Sam,
|Sam ordered French Silk Pie for birthday cake!!|
|A big smile for his big birthday gift....tickets to go see Keane, his favorite band, |
in Kansas City in January. They are coming to the US for a short tour.
|Can our kid really be 21???|
|Sam rehearsing for our old age!!|
|The three musketeers|