Thirty-five years ago this month, I was commissioned as a naval officer and reported to my first duty station in Pensacola, FL, and today my oldest son reports for active duty as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. My heart swells with pride in his decision to serve, knowing that these are indeed uncertain times. The world has changed dramatically over the past year, and I have no doubt that we will see changes over this next year like no other time in history.
If I could go back to my younger self, there's so much I would try to teach him, things that I have tried to pass on to my children, some of which they've internalized and some things that cause smiles, jokes and eye rolls. I'm glad to have the transparency with my kids and glad to have them challenge my thoughts as they form their own. Even if they disagree on certain things, they know my beliefs and even how to finish my dad-isms that I've learned and repeated through the years:
- A smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
- It's okay to drink, but it's never okay to get drunk.
- Love is a decision to give; lust is a desire to get.
- Life is hard, but God is good.
- Sometimes you know you're on the right path by the resistance you feel along the way.
- God can be trusted, even if no one else can.
- God is in control, and He is working everything together for good.
The Lord has reversed the judgments against you.He has forced out your enemies.The king of Israel, the Lord, is with you.You will never fear disaster again....At that time I will bring you home.Yes, at that time I will gather you together.I will make you famous and praised among all the people of the earthwhen I restore your fortunes right before your eyes,” says the Lord.
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