My teenagers aren’t always (if ever!) sitting around waiting to soak up any parental wisdom that comes out of my mouth. They’re more likely to be too involved in what’s going on in their own lives to let me “bless” them with my advice.
But on the off-chance that they want me to share a bit of knowledge with them, I decided to be ready. I rounded up some quotes that are short, sweet, and to the point, yet pack a powerful punch. It’s ten pieces of life advice to help them navigate the coming years with a healthy perspective on what’s truly important.
1. “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ~Corrie Ten Boom
Here’s a great place to plug-in one of my favorite Scriptures, Proverbs 3:5, 6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
The more we know about God – His goodness, love, and mercy – the easier it is to trust Him with our future. That future could be as close as tomorrow, and as far away as eternity.
2. “Wherever you are, be all there.” ~Jim Elliot
Don’t spend your time wishing you were somewhere else or with a different person. In other words, live in the moment. Instead of longing for the past or wishing for the future, embrace the exact circumstances God has placed you in today.
3. “Expect nothing and appreciate everything.” ~Unknown
This ties together contentment and gratitude, two of the most valuable traits a person can have. When we place too many expectations on a person or a particular circumstance, we’re often disappointed. And living with a grateful heart will keep us focused on how blessed we are.
4. “Wisdom makes decisions today that will still be good tomorrow.” ~Lysa TerKeurst
This is the quote that led me to write this post. Teenagers especially can make decisions that feel good in the moment. But if they will take the time to think about where the consequences of that decision might lead, they can determine if it’s a wise decision or not.
I find myself needing this advice, though I’m supposedly older and wiser! From the words I say to the things I do – if I’ll look back tomorrow and wish I hadn’t said or done it, I shouldn’t do it in the first place.
5. “Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” ~Unknown
We’ve found that experiencing events together as a family is usually much better than giving physical gifts. We’ll always have great memories of outings and travels that we’ve had during these years of our children living at home. I hope we’re passing on to them a love for sharing adventures with those closest to them.
6. “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” ~Bill Nye
My dad exemplifies this one. He is just as interested in talking to and getting to know his car mechanic as he is the VIP of a Fortune 500 company. Strive to learn something from each person that you meet.
7. “Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded.” ~Wayne Dyer
Don’t try to get by with doing as little as possible to finish the job. Give your all in everything you do, and you’ll stand out. Follow the advice of Ecclesiastes 9:10. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…”
8. “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” ~Robby Novak
Humility and thoughtfulness are qualities that seem rarer than ever these days. Smile at people. Thank anyone who does the smallest thing for you. Just notice other people, and go out of your way to make them feel special.
9. “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” ~Dolly Parton
Prioritize people and relationships over work. Let the to-do list go at some point in the day, and just enjoy being with your people.
10. ”Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.” ~Bob Bitchin
Or, as my dad often told us, attitude is everything. You can make the best of a situation, or you can bring yourself and everyone around you down. The choice is up to you. (I need this advice plastered on my wall!)
Hopefully I can continue to work these ideas into future conversations with my teenagers. If you have any bits of life advice you’ve found helpful, share them with us in the comments!