Dear JENNIE at 16

Dear Jennie,

Good Morning. I know it is morning if you are reading this, because that is when you get the most done in your day. You are probably sitting by your locker an hour early for school. This will not change. You will be early forever, sometimes to your detriment, mostly to your benefit. Anyway. I digress. Good Morning Me!

I wanted to write you a letter about where you are headed in this great big incredible life, and therefore a bit of advice to help you out. Right now you are having a blast, High School is a hoot! Friends, boys, cheerleading, drama, your first car, and your first taste of freedom. You are 16! You are already beginning habits and learning skills that you will use forever. I have fun news for you…. You will never leave high school. You are going to be a high school science teacher and will love each and every day of your career. I know that brings a smile to your face. The idea of enjoying this part of your life… forever. You will enjoy it! Your career will be a blessing forever. You will naturally feel at home in the classroom. So, know you are already prepared for this adventure.

There are a few areas of your life that you could use some advice. I won’t tell you all the details to leave a few surprises, but please, take this advice to heart. It won’t be difficult to follow, but it will reap many rewards.

1Take a Spanish class. I know you are avoiding learning a language, but it is so important. It’s not like piano lessons, you never need those, but you do need Spanish. You are currently living in a Spanish speaking country and are struggling with the language. Even just a year would help us later. Stick to it.

2 Family will always be your safe haven. First tell your momma and daddy you love them every day. They like that. It makes them feel valued and loved. Visit your brother, he will be moving to Alaska and make sure you visit him soon, don’t wait for a better time.

THIS IS A PRIORITY: Spend time with your sister. Lots of time. Make a relationship with her as soon as possible and as strong as possible. Ask her advice and really listen. Spend time with her kids. A sister relationship is so important. Make sure you take advantage of this and share as many moments as possible. Every moment counts with this incredible sister of yours. Start immediately.

3Be yourself. You are silly, fun, creative, and positive. This will pay off in all aspects of your life. You do not tend to ever do this, but make sure you never let anyone take this away from you. Collect the stickers, wear the tutu, carry around the wombat, and do all those impulsive things you want to. Life is so much fun!

4 Continue to grow your faith in God. Each day is a day closer to your savior. We have our ups and downs but your faith is what will guide you each and every day. Trust in the Lord, he has never let you down. Ever. I do wish you would share how amazing your life in Jesus is. You are scared, always will be, but it worth sharing. Don’t keep secret the joy you find in your faith.

5 You are going to make some really bad choices in your life. You are also going to make some really great choices in your life. Make sure you get yourself out of bad situations quickly. Make sure you are thankful for all the good situations you are in. Weight each decision with the eyes of God, your family, and your own heart. You DO know best. Listen to your heart, because you have always been, and always will be full of good intuition. Be confident and trust your gut.

6Pay attention in Geography class. You are going to be a world traveler and it will keep you from looking dumb when people refer to where they are from. You have had a few embarrassing moments, learn eastern Europe.

7Cry and Laugh. These are two very important emotions. Sometimes they will even come together. Don’t forget to do both regularly. Your ability to do both of these things mean you still have hope and direction. Its ok to cry. You need to get those emotions out. Laughter will grow your soul.

8Save Money. You are actually only “so so” at money issues. Learn early and save lots. It will give us more freedom and less stress in your future. Stay away from stupid purchases. Save for travel. There is a bracelet in Bali that you will want to get that is more important than that new yellow body suit.

9 Be ok with your life if it doesn’t turn out how you think. Not all your dreams are going to come true, in fact your life is very different that you ever envisioned. Be okay with losing a few of your dreams in trade for much better reality. You won’t lose Jennie. She is always with you.

10 We look to sky every day, breathe deep, look across the horizon, and smile; it is a good way to start each day in this wonderful life God has given us. Be thankful for each day!

A few specifics for your next few months:

1 Don’t let Kyle drive your car.

2 Don’t drive on the Mesa, listen to mom.

3 Actually always listen to Momma and Daddy. They are always right. Trust me.

4 Don’t drink peach schnapps.

5 Hug Jodee lots.

6 Don’t sit next to Wally in the ACT.

7 Have all your family invest in apple.

8 You will meet your lifelong bestie in University, drive her nuts the first day you meet her.

There will be a couple of songs that come out in the future. You have learned to make them theme songs of your life. Here are a couple quotes that are powerful and meaningful to you. Enjoy your life. We only get this one incredible chance.

“Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out…. Honestly, I wanna see you be Brave”


“Make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys….when the straight and narrow gets a little to straight ….. just follow your arrow where ever it points”



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