Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Dear graduate,

I know you are not looking for advice. I know you just graduated and you feel like you already know everything. And you do . . . but I can’t help giving you some words of wisdom as you head out into the world – things I have learned over the years – advice I wish I would have listened to when I was your age. Here’s what I wish for you . . .


I know this is hard to understand at your age, but you will always be at peace with your life if you trust in God’s plan. Pray every day and always ask yourself what Jesus would do before making decisions. Let God’s love lead you in all that you do and live your life with hope. Remember, this life is temporary . . . your reward is in Heaven!


Life is hard. There are going to be so many times you feel like quitting, but just don’t. Work hard at everything you do – whether you are sweeping the floor or running a business. Build the best work ethic you can . . . that will help you succeed and earn you respect.


Kindness makes the world a better place. It is so easy to judge and criticize, but that damages relationships and hurts feelings. Always be an encourager . . . help others and see the good in them. A kind word inspires and goes a long way. Spread it everywhere you go.


. . . every day to step out of your comfort zone. You are important and you have a purpose in this life . . . don’t be afraid to dream big and believe in yourself!


This should be your life motto. If you do the right thing, your conscience will always be clear. If you don’t, guilt and regret will live in your heart. It is not always easy to do the right thing, but it will always make your life better. 


And that’s OK. Sometimes you can do everything right . . . and certain people will just not like you. Those are NOT your people. Move on . . . don’t dwell on them. Find your tribe – those that cheer you on and support you and encourage you and make you a better person. You deserve someone who makes you feel good about yourself . . . someone who makes you happy. Don’t ever settle for anything less.


You will have failures and disappointments and mistakes and heartbreaks. I wish I could protect you from all those hurts, but it is a part of life. Just know that these hard times will make you stronger and will mold you into a more compassionate and caring person. Be positive, stay hopeful, keep trying and continue to forgive and love others no matter how dark the days feel. There are always brighter days ahead.


And tomorrow is never guaranteed. Love big and live with passion. Take risks and do what makes you happy. Give yourself grace and then give it to others. Hug, laugh, take vacations, be silly, dance in the rain, love others, eat the cake . . . live your life as if every day is your last!


You are important. You are smart. You are worthy. You are unique. You have a purpose. You are strong. You are brave. You are amazing. You are perfect just as you are. You can do hard things. Always know these things deep in your heart and soul. 


Always clean up after yourself.
Always lock your doors.
Always use good manners.
Always drive safe.
Always try your best.
Always own your mistakes and apologize.
Always respect other’s opinions.

And most importantly, ALWAYS CALL YOUR MOM. Because she will always be there . . . loving you and worrying about you. She will always believe in you, no matter how many mistakes you make. She will always encourage you even when you feel like quitting. She will always cheer you on, pray you through each day and love you through it all! She will always be there for you, no matter how far away you live and she will always be so very proud of the adult you have become.

Congratulations, class of 2019! You did it! So excited for this next chapter in your life. Now go be awesome!

Isaiah 40:31

Originally published on Love, Faith & Chaos

You may also like:

10 Graduation Gifts That Will Get You a Real Thank You

Dear Daughter, The Truth is Not Everyone is Going to Like You (and That’s OK)

A Letter to My Kindergarten Graduate

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

Heather Duckworth

I am a wife & mother to 5 awesome kids, 4 on earth and 1 in Heaven. From having triplets, to losing a child to cancer, to adopting – I have experienced about every joy, challenge & heartache of motherhood. I often write about family, faith & the crazy chaos that is my life.

5 Kids in the Bible Who Will Inspire Yours

In: Faith, Kids
Little girl reading from Bible

Gathering my kids for morning Bible study has become our family’s cornerstone, a time not just for spiritual growth but for real, hearty conversations about life, courage, and making a difference. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. My oldest, who’s 11, is at that age where he’s just beginning to understand the weight of his actions and decisions. He’s eager, yet unsure, about his ability to influence his world. It’s a big deal for him, and frankly, for me too. I want him to know, deeply know, that his choices matter, that he can be a force for good, just...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love is the Best Medicine

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child lying on couch under blankets, color photo

When my kids are sick, I watch them sleep and see every age they have ever been at once. The sleepless nights with a fussy toddler, the too-hot cheeks of a baby against my own skin, the clean-up duty with my husband at 3 a.m., every restless moment floods my thoughts. I can almost feel the rocking—so much rocking—and hear myself singing the same lullaby until my voice became nothing but a whisper. I can still smell the pink antibiotics in a tiny syringe. Although my babies are now six and nine years old, the minute that fever spikes, they...

Keep Reading

Right Now I’m a Mom Who’s Not Ready to Let Go

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging, color photo

We’re doing it. We’re applying, touring, and submitting pre-school applications. It feels a lot like my college application days, and there’s this image in my mind of how fast that day will come with my sweet girl once she enters the school doors. It’s a bizarre place to be because if I’m honest, I know it’s time to let her go, but my heart is screaming, “I’m not ready yet!” She’s four now though. Four years have flown by, and I don’t know how it happened. She can put her own clothes on and take herself to the bathroom. She...

Keep Reading

Each Child You Raise is Unique

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three little boys under a blanket, black-and-white photo

The hardest part about raising children? Well, there’s a lot, but to me, one major thing is that they are all completely different than one another. Nothing is the same. Like anything. Ever. Your first comes and you basically grow up with them, you learn through your mistakes as well as your triumphs. They go to all the parties with you, restaurants, sporting events, traveling—they just fit into your life. You learn the dos and don’ts, but your life doesn’t change as much as you thought. You start to think Wow! This was easy, let’s have another. RELATED: Isn’t Parenting...

Keep Reading

Our Kids Need Us as Much as We Need Them

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sitting on bench with dog nearby, color photo

During a moment of sadness last week, my lively and joyful toddler voluntarily sat with me on the couch, holding hands and snuggling for a good hour. This brought comfort and happiness to the situation. At that moment, I realized sometimes our kids need us, sometimes we need them, and sometimes we need each other at the same time. Kids need us. From the moment they enter the world, infants express their needs through tiny (or loud) cries. Toddlers need lots of cuddling as their brains try to comprehend black, white, and all the colors of the expanding world around...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Don’t Need More Things, They Need More You

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young girl smiling together at home

He reached for my hand and then looked up. His sweet smile and lingering gaze flooded my weary heart with much-needed peace. “Thank you for taking me to the library, Mommy! It’s like we’re on a date! I like it when it’s just the two of us.” We entered the library, hand in hand, and headed toward the LEGO table. As I began gathering books nearby, I was surprised to feel my son’s arms around me. He gave me a quick squeeze and a kiss with an “I love you, Mommy” before returning to his LEGO—three separate times. My typically...

Keep Reading

This Time In the Passenger Seat is Precious

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Teen driver with parent in passenger seat

When you’re parenting preteens and teens, it sometimes feels like you are an unpaid Uber driver. It can be a thankless job. During busy seasons, I spend 80 percent of my evenings driving, parking, dropping off, picking up, sitting in traffic, running errands, waiting in drive-thru lines. I say things like buckle your seat belt, turn that music down a little bit, take your trash inside, stop yelling—we are in the car, keep your hands to yourself, don’t make me turn this car around, get your feet off the back of the seat, this car is not a trash can,...

Keep Reading

So God Made My Daughter a Wrestler

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young female wrestler wearing mouth guard and wrestling singlet

God made my girl a wrestler. Gosh, those are words I would never have thought I would say or be so insanely proud to share with you. But I am. I know with 100 percent certainty and overwhelming pride that God made my girl a wrestler. But it’s been a journey. Probably one that started in the spring of 2010 when I was pregnant with my first baby and having the 20-week anatomy ultrasound. I remember hearing the word “girl” and squealing. I was over the moon excited—all I could think about were hair bows and cute outfits. And so...

Keep Reading

A Big Family Can Mean Big Feelings

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Family with many kids holding hands on beach

I’m a mother of six. Some are biological, and some are adopted. I homeschool most of them. I’m a “trauma momma” with my own mental health struggles. My husband and I together are raising children who have their own mental illnesses and special needs. Not all of them, but many of them. I battle thoughts of anxiety and OCD daily. I exercise, eat decently, take meds and supplements, yet I still have to go to battle. The new year has started slow and steady. Our younger kids who are going to public school are doing great in their classes and...

Keep Reading

You May Be a Big Brother, but You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with young son, color photo

It seems like yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital. Back then, we were new parents, clueless but full of love—a love that words can hardly explain. I can vividly recall holding you in my arms, rocking you in the cutest nursery, and singing sweet lullabies, just like yesterday. I can picture those times when you were teeny-tiny, doing tummy time, and how proud I was of you for lifting your head. And oh, the happiness on your face when “Baby Shark” played over and over—that song always made you smile! We made sure to capture your growth...

Keep Reading