13 Jun Get Ready for Your Graduation!
My granddaughter Israel (Izzy) just recently graduated from kindergarten. When I watched my kids hit milestones, it gave me a feeling that is hard to describe. Joy, happiness, wonder, and thankfulness all tied together to form an emotion that grabbed me by the throat. Now I get the pleasure of doing the same with my grandkids, and I have to say it is a different experience. All of those emotions are still there, but it seems richer somehow. I feel this sense of honor and gratitude at the legacy God is creating out of my life. I see the continuation of the legacy built by my mother and my grandmother and her grandmother before her.
Izzy is more than just my granddaughter. She is a glorious, wonderful creation of God. She is a leader, an innovator, and she already has such a heart for the Lord. There is power and intelligence in that girl that fills my heart to overflowing. As she graduated from kindergarten, I was reminded that God has wrought a miracle in her. She is going to change lives. She is going to lead in her own way. She is going to step out in faith and do things I never could. The generations of women who came before her opened doors that she will stride through without thought. And she will open doors for those who come after her.
Here is my prayer today for Izzy and all of the little girls who are going to lead their generation. “Peace I leave with you, Izzy; my peace I give to you, my girl; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.” (John 14:27) I pray the words Jesus gave us. I pray His courage and peace down on her every day. I pray the same for my daughters-in-love as they lead people to Jesus through love, compassion, and some truly powerful biblical preaching.
Here’s my point, we NEVER stop graduating into new seasons.
I received my Doctorate of Ministry two years ago. I then published a book to help coach leaders as they grown in leadership. In my life I have had seasons of daughter, wife, motherhood, ministry, leadership, coach, supporter, encourager, and so many more. God granted me what I needed to succeed and even thrive in each season. Some of those seasons overlap, some are still going on. The lesson I have learned is to NEVER doubt that God has an amazing future planned for each of us!
I want to encourage you today to embrace those seasons that are coming in your life. Look for new opportunities for leadership and growth. Don’t be afraid to step out in faith! Here are some ways you can prepare for your graduation and the new season that follows.
Find affirmations that you can embrace to your heart.
Look for a Bible verse that speaks to you and put your name in there (like the one I pray for Izzy). Here are a few you might consider, but don’t let these limit you!
For I know the plans I have for you (____),” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11)
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan. This is true because he already knew his people and had already appointed them (_________) to have the same form as the image of his Son. Therefore, his Son is the firstborn among many children. (Rom. 8:28–29, GW)
Be careful how you think (_________); your life is shaped by your thoughts. (Prov. 4:23, GNT)
My thoughts will be clear; I (_______) will speak words of wisdom. (Ps. 49:3, GNT)
I (_________) can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13, ESV)
(________) Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you (_________) belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. (Phil. 4:6–7, CEV)
Create a mission statement and goals for your life.
In the business world, if a company doesn’t have a mission statement they likely aren’t moving forward. The same can happen in our lives. Your mission statement should be short, a few sentences usually, and you need to write it down. The goal is for this mission statement to help you understand how you can be intentional about what you are creating in your life and why you are doing it.
Goals are also important. Set as many goals as you want, or just set one. The point is to create forward momentum! Don’t overwhelm yourself though. My recommendation is to set one, big yearly goal. Break that down into 12 smaller monthly goals. And then work from that point. You should be making progress every month, if not every week!
Spend time with God.
Spiritual disciplines should be an important part of your life. Are you spending time with God on a regular basis? If you don’t put God first, how can He guide you through important decisions and help you reach your goals? Most importantly, a closer relationship with Him will enrich your lives in ways you can’t begin to imagine.
There are many ways you can incorporate the spiritual disciplines. Here are some you might consider:
Set aside a time for prayer every day.
Incorporate regular Bible study into your routine.
Make your daily walk a praise and worship walk.
Practice silence and solitude on a regular basis.
Set a goal to become more active in your church community.
However you do it, I can guarantee that making the spiritual disciplines a part of your everyday life will change the way you think, the way you feel, and how you approach challenges and opportunities in your life.