Monday, June 17, 2013

Trying Not to Give Typical Grad Speech: The Results

My graduate speech.  The speech in which I cried and thought I wouldn't be able to regain my voice.  I managed it though and it actually turned out to be kinda fun.  But I was so, so very relieved when it was over. 

I mulled long and hard over what I wanted to say.  The typical graduate speech is sooo boring, sooo overdone, and sooo...just ick. I thought about including the story of my mom throwing my Saxon math book across the room in despair and frustration (if you've used Saxon you know what I'm talking about) but I decided against it. *grin*

Here goes...
 I would like to begin by saying that my desire today is to sound as least cliché as possible and not to echo the speeches that are being given at every other graduation ceremony across America.  But its also very true that by our cultures standards homeschoolers are considered anything but normal, average, and mainstream so I don't think we have too much to worry about. 

And be in cliché or not I would like to thank my parents who have diligently taught me these last eighteen years.  From those first painful days of phonics which was way more complicated than my type A, health nut, nurse, and non conforming first time mom had bargained for she has been by guide through diagramming sentences, learning Latin, and the ends and outs of anatomy and physiology.  I want to thank her for all the hours she spent reading to me as a child, all the junk food she never allowed me to eat, and all the times she must have wanted to throw in the towel but didn't. Despite what she may have thought she didn't fail and she was successful and I am thankful to have her not only as my mom and my teacher but also my very dear friend.
{My wonderful fam}
I'd like to thank my dad for not only telling me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to, but really and truly believing it. He's been a first hand example to me of the value of getting a good education no matter your age or your life stage. He's also instilled in me a love for his favorite language, sarcasm, and in the process taught me not be so thin skinned. *smile*
{my beautiful friends}
 And so with the ending of this life phase and the beginning of a new one it’s hard to not hear the tried and true quote, “Do not go where the path may lead, but go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  Which usually means to live a fairly normal American life, to get a degree, a job, a family, and try to make a little money so that you can have a few years of rest and enjoyment before you die.
And none of this is bad and much of it is good but I would like to encourage all of us today to view this next chapter in the light of what will matter at the end of our lives.  Because the decisions we make now effect not only our future but also our eternity.

I want to challenge myself, my fellow graduates, and every other person here to strive against the apathy that plagues our society.  The aim of many young adults is to “find themselves” and to “be their own person” but if we truly want to find our worth let us never look to a culture that removes the beauty and treasure of being made in the image of God and replaces it with the lame belief that “god” is whatever we choose to put our belief in; which in turn robs us of experiencing the joy of our infinite worth in His eyes.

I want to challenge each of us to be the very best at whatever God calls us to do, whether we receive acclaim for it or not.  To be the person who questions the norm of this culture, goes beyond what is expected of “good Christian kids”, and laughs in the face of mediocrity.  To discard a faith based on performance or appearances and relies solely on the Gospel of Christ and His pure and perfect Word. 
To be the person who stands up against the slaughter of the unborn and questions the reliability of evolution.  To be the person who goes against popular, humanistic thought and lives like the world doesn’t revolve around him.  To be the person who cares for their children without recognition or acclaim and never receives a penny for it.  Not to have a martyr mentality at all but to live in a way that is fully wake to the preciousness of life itself.  To treasure each day and every life stage as a delightful gift to be relished and a challenge to be met.

God has an incredible story for our lives and the best is truly yet to come.  He asks nothing of us but that we surrender and trust Him.  But that is often not an easy thing to do.  I don’t want to open my clinched fist and give Him my plan when I already know that His is infinitely superior.

So my challenge for myself and for everyone here today is to “take the road less travelled” where Christ is the center of our decision making.  Cause even though our college planning may seem of huge importance now, it will pass away, popularity may die, and accomplishments may be forgotten but a life fully lived out will not end in regret.

So that is my wish and my challenge as I become a highschool graduate.  It really does seem like to has flown by and that I should still be that hormonal eighth grader struggling to understand the enigma of algebra and puberty.  But each and every age has its own wonder and awe and I pray that we will now go forth with joy in our spirits and courage in our hearts.
Thank you.


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