Hopes for my Children

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Gospel of Matthew 22: 36-40

When I am out here in the open air with the living glow of chlorophyll and the flickering of leaves, when the din of the pollinators is as intense as the southern sun, when I’m dirt caked and contemplative, my mind wanders to you.   I listen to your squeals across the farm as you spray each other with the hose and I think about the things I hope for you and the lessons I try to pass on to you.  

I wish not that you will have a life free of strife but that someone will show you mercy in your dark times.

I pray that your soul will thrive, even when your body doesn’t.

May you act in a way that loves others to comfort.

Notice the texture of flower petals.  

Spend time outdoors in silence.

Spend time outdoors singing at the top of your lungs.

Pray always.

Learn to work with focus but not frenzy.

Know that contentment has nothing to do with circumstance.

Be thankful for each breath.

Internalize that life is relational.

Always grow something to eat, even if it is in a pot on a ledge.

Share what you grow.

Listen to hear what people mean.

Fight for those who cannot.

Give people the benefit of the doubt even knowing it will sometimes bite you in the butt.

Study the elders and Saints.  You can always learn from those who went before you, even if it turns out they were wrong.

Find your tribe.  Put yourself out there.

Travel.  Spend some time in other cultures.

Question your own paradigms, regularly.

Study both sides before you express your opinion.  Read things written by people with whom you disagree.

Forgive yourself.  No amount of study will make you right all the time.

Let other people be wrong.

If you can’t debate without arguing, don’t debate.

Forgive others, even those who don’t ask or care.

Don’t believe you are above things.  

Love people for their weirdness and eccentricities.

Your mission should be to correct the wrong that breaks your heart.  

Be reflective without dwelling.

Work up a sweat, often.

Verify before you share.

Know the difference between dirt and soil.

Smile at strangers.

Realize you don’t know all the history, experiences, and circumstances that shape the people with whom you interact.

Don’t hesitate to get dirty.

Learn to really taste and experience your food.  Know where it comes from and what it is.

Be kinder to my grandkids than I was to you on bad days.

Don’t underestimate your potential impact on the world.

Don’t overestimate your importance in a room.

Lying always breaks trust, even if no one is aware of it.

When unsure of whether to speak, ask yourself if your words will edify someone.

Always consider the fruit of a belief before you subscribe to it.

Spend less than you make.  Don’t keep up with the Jones’.  They are broke.  

Have a close relationship with an animal.

If you are tempted to fight natural processes, make a study of your motivation.

Remember the age of an idea has nothing to do with the quality of the idea.  All methods, good and bad were once new and will someday be old.

Read daily.

Seek music and other art that elevates your mood and edifies your spirit.

Find a church that that loves unconditionally and devote yourself to serving the community with them.

Never blame your emotions on someone else.

Don’t make decisions based on an emotion.

You shouldn’t ignore your gut.

Be sweet to other people’s children.

You aren’t allowed to have an opinion about anyone else’s parenting unless you are concerned they are abusive.

You aren’t allowed to have an opinion about struggles you haven’t experienced.

Spend time with the elderly.

Make eye contact.

Eat mostly plants.  Drink mostly water.

Find ways every day to serve your neighbors, near and far.

Don’t expect your words to change people but remember they can hurt.

Always be learning something new.

Respond, when appropriate, but save reactions for times of joy and empathy.

Don’t wish for it, work for it.

Don’t be ashamed of your personality.

Be friends with people from other generations.

View your family as a team.

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Love from the garden, Mom

P.S. Keep your bathroom clean!

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.-Kent M. Keith

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”  He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

The Gospel of John, chapter 21 verses 15 through 17, NIV

5 thoughts on “Hopes for my Children

  1. A beautiful testimonial to ideal goals in a real world. Because I know you, I know you strive wholeheartedly to reach them. May your spirit live on in your children!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am touched by the depth of your wisdom, the unconditional love you express and the grace you practice. We would all be more content if we would put these gems into practice. I rarely debate because I get too emotionally involved, but to my credit I rarely make emotional decisions anymore. Thanks for the thoughtful advice.

    Liked by 1 person

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