It’s been almost ten years since my homeschool graduation party. I got some great presents, and I can still remember some of them: A family heirloom pocket watch. Pens and notebooks. Generous friends and grandparents gave money, which helped me buy my first digital camera.
Most of these gifts have been used up (or become seriously outdated), but my most treasured gift still sits on my bookshelf, and I still read from it every year. My favorite graduation gift was an advice book.
Along with invitations to my graduation, my parents included a note (without me knowing) asking each of my friends and family to write a letter or point of advice for me on the occasion of this milestone in my life. They collected these letters, bound them into a notebook, and gave it to me at my graduation. In the book, I found:
- Letters from both of my parents
- Notes from family and friends
- Handwritten memories and advice from my grandparents
- Notes of encouragement from my teachers
- Advice from the elders in our church
- Encouraging Scripture passages
- Counsel from many other godly men I respect
Each of these notes was personally written for me, and represented a significant time investment by the writer. I still treasure this book and read from it every year. What a blessing to stand on the shoulders of so many godly role models and to learn from their life experiences.
I suspect many young people have feelings of uncertainty during this time of transition. I did. The whole world was open and waiting, and I had to decide where to go next. At the time, I was still weighing the options of college-from-home, writing a book for young men, and continuing to work for Doorposts, among other things. God used these letters to give me the confidence and guidance that I needed.
Are you celebrating a graduation this year? Consider blessing your graduate by making (or contributing to) an advice book.
What are some other ways to honor graduates? What do you remember about your own graduation? Please comment and share your thoughts!