Sunday, May 17, 2015

Commencement, Again

Yesterday, the third of my children graduated from college. This was my 3rd college commencement in the past 5 years. This was the rainiest graduation of the bunch - it never rains in California but it chose to rain Thursday and Friday.  The weather was unseasonably cold, and pretty much everyone in attendance wore a poncho. We were able to buy our ponchos on Thursday night from Target. And then I felt the urge to straighten my hair, so there was no way I was getting it wet. That poncho came in handy with my doo rag on underneath the hood. Seating was at a premium even though we got there early. In spite of the rain, I enjoyed all of the pomp and circumstance associated with this graduation, and yes the sun eventually came out (and the doo rag came off).

It just seemed that these last 4 years went very quickly.  At each commencement, I think about where my child was when they started college and where they are now as they are about to embark on this life adventure.

  • I've realized that even though you think you're not prepared for the next chapter, all the experiences, all the course work, all the papers, all the late night sessions, were preparation for this moment right now.

  • I've realized that every child's college experience is different, but the college experience does not have to be the one we hear about the most. It can be a successful one where you don't party, don't drink, don't experiment sexually yet you come out a well-rounded human being. It's not only through frivolity that we learn.

  • People have bestowed a special honor on my husband and me for having raised 3 children (so far) who were able to graduate college. I accept the honor, but the greater achievement is that they all know the Lord and He is the guiding force in their lives. I've realized that though my children have graduated from college I still feel ill-equipped to pass on knowledge as to how we did this; parenting is complex.

  • I've realized that there are no coincidences in God's plans.  We moved to California 8 years ago; but had we not moved I'm not sure that my daughter would have gone to USC. Had we not moved, I'm not sure that we could have afforded USC. 

  • I've realized that even though the monetary value of college is sometimes questioned, that the greater value is in seeing your children grow before your eyes. It is a pleasure (and sometimes a pain) to hear them expressed well-formed thoughts that stemmed from classroom knowledge combined with their experiences and shaped by their character.

  • I've realized that I've enjoyed most commencement speeches, though a year from now I won't remember all the details. This year I was left with 3 equations from Mellody Hobson:
  1. hard-work + bravery = success
  2. imagination + bravery = creativity
  3. love+bravery = happiness
  • I've realized that I'm just freaking proud of my children.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5, 6
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord, to them who are called according to his promise. Romans 8:28
"For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me," declares the LORD, "So your offspring and your name will endure." - Isaiah 66:22

Commencement means beginning, but it also signifies the end of something. It's never too late to begin again.


  1. Congratulations!!! "The blessings of the Lord makes rich..."

  2. Congratulation. I'm so freaking proud of you. Job well done. Praise him!!

  3. What a great post Andree! Love the quote from Melody Hobson! You should know that you and your husband are an inspiration. I've met parents of only 1 or 2 children and they neither know the Lord or have graduated from college. Thank you for sharing!


  4. Congratulations!!! That's phenomenal that you have 3 that graduated from college. This post is so inspirational! Continued blessings to you and your family.


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