As part of our Graduation Ceremony, each parent gives a Charge to their child. I thought I would share with you the words that I read to my daughter:
Graduation: Oh, Claire! We made it!
For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made of HIM.
Our journey together began on the morning of May 18, 1994 when for the very first time ever we left the cat outside because you were on the way! At 10:58 you arrived and our world has never been quite the same! Praise GOD because HE knows what we need and HIS ideas are better than ours ten-fold! (And the cat was no longer in charge.)
I counted your fingers and toes and checked out your ears and nose and began singing you songs and telling you stories and little did we realize home education had begun!
We began this homeschool journey together (just you and I) way back in the day. We finished EVERY page of EVERY book for years – until I figured out we didn't HAVE to keep repeating what you already knew.
We've studied together, we've learned together, we've figured out what works and what to trash. We've explored together and tried new things.
So many people who love you were concerned for you. They wondered if you'd learn to socialize (I think you did alright) and they wondered if you'd be able to get into college (oh, yes! -- full scholarship!). We had some great trailblazers before us who submitted to HIS call, so although there were naysayers, we made it! I can't count how many times I've been asked WHEN I was going to put you in "real" school. Or how many times you've been heard to answer "I am in school, I homeschool." You've made life REAL, Claire – and you’ve honored GOD with the gifts and talents you were given.
You were the guinea pig – in school and in life – because you were first! We've made some mistakes, we've gotten some things right. But more important than anything else is who YOU’ve become. You are beautiful – inside and out. When I look at you, I see the very heart of GOD. You are kind and tender, clothed in compassion. You bubble over with grace and mercy and love and I am honored that GOD saw fit to share you with me.
Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the plans I have for you says the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Go with HIS plan, sweet Claire, HIS plan! HE will NEVER lead you astray and HE promises HE will never leave you nor forsake you.
Ultimately it's HIS school, you are HIS child, it's His plan, and I don't have to worry, because HE is completely adequate, even if I am not.
For this child I prayed...
And then I blinked.
For this young woman I continue to pray.
"The LORD your God is with you, HE is mighty to save. HE will take great delight in you, HE will quiet you with HIS love, HE will rejoice over you with singing."
Amen and Amen and Amen.
Congratulations to the very first Graduate of Long Leaf Academy.