An Open Letter to My Daughter Upon Graduation

Dear Daughter,

A few days ago you walked across the high school stage and received a handshake and your diploma. The 18 years that took forever for you were nanoseconds to me. Now, in a few months, you will walk into a dorm room that will become your new home, and I will walk out. Sometimes I wonder if you are ready for this, if I am ready for this.

But we are.

Because you’ve been pushing against the edge of the nest for some time now, peering out, imagining how the breeze will feel as it lifts your wings, excited by the possibilities, anxious about the unknown. I’ve been peering over the edge, too, with the same emotions battling inside my heart, praying your wings will be strong and your flight will lead you to grand destinations.

But I know how difficult this journey can be, and that sometimes where we end up isn’t where we planned to be at all.

Because whatever is true and noble and right, whatever is pure and lovely and admirable, whatever is excellent or praiseworthy…is sometimes hard to discern. The world has blurred the lines and will try to deceive you. And that which is false and dishonorable and wrong, polluted and ugly and shameful, inferior or condemning…may tempt you to veer off course.

So I pray you will have the vision to see the blurred lines clearly and to navigate on the side that promises you hope and a future. But when you don’t, remember His grace is abundant and will lift your wings so you can soar above the wind that tried to carry you away.

I wish the wind wouldn’t carry you away at all, that I could navigate your flight for you because wisdom and experience are the best guides. But that’s why I must let you learn to navigate for yourself, to gain your own wisdom through your own experiences, your own mistakes…

Mistakes that will come with consequences, and this may be the hardest part of the journey for us both. Because you will want to be rescued from consequences, and I will want to save you. But I won’t. Instead I will love you through them. Because nothing can keep your compass pointing true north like the sting of choices poorly made.

So many things are about to change…most of all you. You’ve spent your lifetime with the same identity–an identity shaped by your parents who’ve told you who you should be and by your peers who made you believe who they think you are. But soon you will meet new people from different places with different experiences. Some will model who you’ll want to become, but others will show you who you don’t want to be. Know the difference, choose well, and listen closely to the One who designed you for this flight, who made you uniquely you.

The best part of flying solo is you’re on your own. The choices are all yours. And the worst part of flying solo is you’re on your own.

But you’ll never be alone.

Because Jesus loves you. This I know.

I love you, too. No matter what.

And wherever your journey takes you, you know your way home. And home will always be your safest place of all.



What is the best advice you received as a graduate? What do you think is the most important advice graduates need to hear today? Please share in the comments!


We have a winner and Turtles in the Road has a new reader! I can’t wait to send this delightful romance to Marlene A. (Check your email Marlene!) Rhonda & Kaley’s humor is keeping me up at night…you know that “just-one-more-chapter” thing! If you’re sad you’re not the winner (I’m sad for you), you don’t have to miss out. Just click on the book! And to see everything Rhonda Rhea, check out her WEBSITE.

Many of you have read Waiting for Butterflies. So many. Wow. Thank YOU. And many of you have posted a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. In fact, at this moment, we hit the Magic #50 on Amazon, this very moment while I’m writing this! Now Amazon will promote Butterflies as a recommended read when people look at similar books. That “discoverability” is priceless for a new author like me! If you’ve read but haven’t posted a review yet, no worries! More than 50 is even better! Just write a few sentences (honest, honest, honest ones) to tell potential readers what you liked about the story (or didn’t). Click on the book, and it will take you to right place. THANK YOU!


Do you remember FOR THE KID WHO DOESN’T GET THE AWARD that I posted at the beginning of May? Well, something exciting is happening! As of this moment, that post has been shared to Facebook over 16,000 times! What?! It’s averaging 4,500 views a day. If you missed it…you might not want to miss it. If you like it, share it. And if you like today’s post, share it, too! Every share helps new moms find us and join the journey.

Between Butterflies and The MOM Journey, there’s so much craziness! I’m so, so grateful and blessed that you’re here to share it all with me…because without you…none of this would be happening. None. Nada. Zilch. THANK YOU.



  1. Sandy Slusher says:

    What a wonderful tribute. It speaks to all of us moms that have walked this same road and have to learn to let go. It is tough and exciting all at the same time. Thanks for sharing. Congrats to Randi!

  2. So well said, Karen. I still have a while before mine fly the nest, but I know it will pass in a blink!

    • Karen Sargent says:

      When my girls were little, it seemed every other day somebody would say, “It goes so fast.” I heard it so much and promised I’d never say that to young moms. But now I find it just comes right out of my mouth! LOL — So fast….

  3. Marna says:

    Love, love, love it! (& congratulations to Randi😊)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.