Today you get your driver’s license and enter a whole new world—a world where you can go where you please without having to rely on your mom or dad. This day marks another step you take toward independence.

But I must warn you, this step is a VERY big step.

Because while this license gives you freedom . . . well, as the saying goes “freedom isn’t free.”

This exhilarating freedom you have been given also comes with enormous responsibility.

Every time you get behind the wheel you take lives into your hands.

The life of the neighbor boy or girl playing with a ball down the street. 

The life of the doctor or nurse who has been called in for an emergency surgery.

The life of the hard-working father or mother coming home from work at night.

The life of your girlfriend or your best friend or sibling . . . or even your own life.

When you get behind the wheel everyone is counting on you to make wise decisions.

To be careful. To be aware of your surroundings. To follow the law. And to do your part in making the roads safe for everyone.

Because while driving is fun and adventurous, it can also be painful and deadly. The decisions you make will now have lifelong consequences.

One wrong move is all it takes to forever regret a simple mistake.

RELATED: Trusting a Teenager Takes Time For a Mama’s Heart

So, before I hand over the keys and let you spread your wings, I must ask you to promise me three things . . . 

Can you promise me you will make the small choices?

The big choices in life are the ones we often talk about. Choices like where you will go to college or what career you want to pursue.

And yet it is the small choices in life that will affect you the most.

The small choice to silence your phone before you start to drive.

The small choice to take a deep breath first to calm any racing emotions inside.

The small choice to ensure you give yourself a few extra minutes, so you arrive on time.

These choices seem small, but they can make a big difference. And yet making these choices is not easy. They will require you to be a man of great strength.

Can you promise me you will be strong?

As you take to the road, you must be strong enough to go against your feelings in the moment. To do the right thing. You must be . . .

Strong enough to resist the impulse to give in to road rage when another driver is rude.

Strong enough to reject the urge to speed if you find yourself running behind.

Strong enough to refuse to show off even if someone is taunting you.   

You must be strong enough to make these small choices every time you get in your car to drive. And yet there is still one more thing I need you to promise me.

Will you promise me you will use it for good?

Will you promise me you won’t just use your car selfishly? But that you will also use it to do some good?

Use it to give your fellow student a ride, the one whose parents are working overtime.

Use it to go volunteer and serve those who are in need.

Use it to grace your grandmother with flowers to cheer her up as she fights cancer.

It has been such a joy to watch you grow, my son. To see you discover new things and learn new skills. And yet I find my heart skipping a beat as I hand over those keys. 

RELATED: My Mama Heart Breaks a Little Every Time You Go 

For wasn’t it just yesterday when I watched with joy as you took your first steps? When you ran to me in excitement to show me you had lost your first tooth? When I was nervously helping you get ready for the first day of school?

So how can it be that today I am standing here in the doorway, watching you get into the car all by yourself for the very first time?

I take a deep breath and pray, God help him make the small choices that make a big difference. Give him the strength to do what is right. And show him ways to use his newfound freedom for good.

You smile at me and wave as you slowly back out of the driveway.

And the bittersweet tears flow from my eyes as I watch you spread your wings and fly.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Collene Borchardt

Collene is a wife and mother of three as well as a chronic illness warrior. She loves to write messages of hope and encouragement for women. Read more from Collene at Or visit her over at or

Dear Teenagers, Be Patient While I Let Go

In: Motherhood, Teen
Mother hugging teen son, black-and-white photo

To my teenagers, Be patient with me as I learn to let you go. I know it’s time. I know you’re growing and becoming and that sometimes it’s uncomfortable. Be patient with me because it’s not just you who is adjusting, my love. It’s me too. I know it’s hard to understand but hear me out. I dreamed about you before you were a whisper or a reality. I dreamed of you when you were so tiny in my belly that no one could see you, but me. I dreamed of you when I was bent over a toilet until there...

Keep Reading

20 Important Life Lessons Every Teen Must Learn

In: Inspiration, Journal, Teen
Teenagers talking

It’s kind of like the More You Know public service announcements, but for teens. Don’t Flirt With the World Smoking, pills, drugs, and drinking till you throw up is not “fun.” They are not rites of passage that all kids have to partake in to qualify their teenage years. They are life-long habits that follow you well into your twenties and thirties. Almost everyone I know that started smoking or doing drugs in high school, STILL DOES in one form or the other. I heard Steve Harvey say it best when he said, “Sin will keep you longer than you...

Keep Reading

16 Texts Moms of Teens Dream of Getting

In: Motherhood, Teen
16 Texts Moms of Teens Dream of Getting

I once got the following text from my 15-year-old shortly after she’d eaten lunch at school (if a meal consisting of a protein bar and a piece of fruit consumed at 10:40 a.m. can be considered “lunch”): “Don’t know if you’re going shopping today but you might not wanna buy more grapes right now, they taste really weird.” While I appreciated the shopping tip and certainly preferred that message to the “I just failed my test” variety, a mom does sometimes dream about the kind of communication she’d like to receive from her teenagers, in a parallel universe known as...

Keep Reading