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Degreed

Have you observed athletes, entertainers or entrepreneurs that are uber successful, who did not spend a lot of time, maybe just the minimum in school? It’s something to think about as you weigh how to allocate your dollars and energy on higher education. A formal education teaches you a body of knowledge. It grooms you on how to think, how to be resourceful, how to endure challenges. What it may not do for you is open up lucrative income. That part is going to be up to you. Part skill set, part creativity, partly what you embody.

It’s not one’s pursuit of a particular course of study that guarantees open doors. Instead, it’s who you know you are that translates into opportunities. Go to school? Yes, but take the limits off yourself after you do, and go for what’s in your heart.

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Still celebrating

Thirty years ago this June I walked across the stage at Michigan State University with my first degree. Now, this month my daughter graduated from the same institution and the same college, Communication Arts and Sciences. We didn’t plan this!… Really, we did not.

It’s amazing to me how life unfolds, how what we deposit in our kids plays out. What sacrificial parenting can yield, that is way bigger than any office project. I stayed home with my daughter for years. Tucked my monogrammed briefcase in the closet, endured the misunderstanding looks of my colleagues, and raised my daughter. No other moms in my neighborhood were home at the time. It was lonely and really challenging, a lot. With one less income in our home, we had to tighten our belts to stick to our decision for me to stay at home with our daughter. Both my mom and my husband’s mother lived nearby and could have cared for our daughter while we both worked if we wanted them to, but we decided to be primarily responsible for the day-to-day care of our own child.

I wanted to go to graduate school six months after giving birth. That was my grand plan, but God had a better idea. How about I sit still awhile, putting my plans on the back burner, and pour most of what I knew into my offspring? She was reading by three years old. We went to every museum, park and zoo in our area. We strolled arboretums, went sledding and flew kites. When she went outside I went outside. On the bike, in the wagon and on to preschool… I was there. Through swimming classes, gymnastics, tennis lessons, and advanced summer learning programs. I was the driver, the sideline cheerleader, the tear wiper and the conflict advocate. Through Christian elementary school ( I was released then to pursue grad school ) and high school, dad and I sat in the bleachers through volleyball, cheerleading and traveling marching band. We had a lot of fun watching our daughter grow.

Now, with three graduations under our belt, we are in a bit of a parenting cool down. I’m sure many parents can relate to this. We are so thankful to the Lord for His plan unfolding in our daughter’s life. We are still celebrating her accomplishment and God’s faithfulness.

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