Welcome to Marilyn Nutter, my friend and today’s guest blogger. I know you’ll gain valuable ideas for blessing the graduate and others in your life with her ideas for practical gifts of influence, inspiration, and legacy.
Marilyn co-authored Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart with April White. This book offers hope in the life alterations and detours we all face. It’s a book I’ll read again and again.
Marilyn’s complete bio and a book link are below the post. You’ll love her website.
Graduates: Practical Gifts of Influence, Inspiration, and Legacy
I’ve witnessed graduations from kindergarten to college, and participated in hundreds of ceremonies as a faculty member. While waiting for the commencement ceremony to begin, I reflect on my association with my students, flip through the program, and see names, now with a degree, remembering where they sat in my class. I look for those who received awards and check the program for speakers and singers. The sound of the entrance music, “Pomp and Circumstance,” always gave me a chill and sometimes, a tear. After the ceremony, students invited me to take pictures with them and we needed no prompt to smile.
My husband and I taught in a Christian university and college for over twenty-five years and were privileged to share in our students’ academic, social, and spiritual lives. One of the joys of social media is connecting with many students years later, and having a front row seat to their lives now—careers, family, ministry. I am often overwhelmed at how they reflect God’s purposes for them and their faithfulness to Him.
Today’s students face different struggles than twenty years ago. Headline news and personal experience speak for themselves. How can we bless today’s graduates as they face new challenges and changes? We may live miles from them and perhaps not able to stay connected in next weeks and months as they venture out into new and unfamiliar places–career, school, and new relationships.
Whether your graduate heads off to work, college, or graduate school, or you want to implement these ideas for your student now, may I suggest ways to invest?
Pray Scripture specifically. Find verses that are individually meaningful—trusting God, peer pressure, decisions, spiritual walk. Fill their name in Bible verses.
“I pray ‘God is able to make all grace abound to ________, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, _____ may have an abundance for every good deed.'” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV)
Source: 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV
If you have a child or grandchild heading off to college, begin a journal and include your thoughts and prayers for them. I began a journal for each of my grands when they were born. I share Scripture, experiences I had with them, and prayers. I plan to give it to them on their 21st birthday.
Without being a nuisance (and not expecting a reply), send a text, forward an inspiring quote, Bible verse, or share a humorous meme. Laughter is good medicine and may be exactly what they need today. Copy and paste social media memes to send. You can subscribe to daily Bible verses, receive them on your phone, and forward them to your child and grandchild.
Source: Proverbs 17:22 ESV
Buy a new Bible and write notes in the margins, circle phrases, and star passages with Scriptures that are important to you. Give the Bible to them when they start their new adventure. Who knows what they will find for any day when they flip through it?
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.Psalm 145:4 NIV
Source: Psalm 145:4 NIV
Today’s generation reads online, but a good devotional book is priceless and may be valued in years to come. Is there one that uniquely fits your graduate in style, depth, and topics?
Though we’d love to hang on tightly and hold hands as we did that first day of kindergarten, we need to let go. From a distance—whatever separates us from our child, grandchild, or a student in our church–we reach heaven when our prayers and Scripture touch them. We can influence and inspire, and at the same time leave a legacy of what, in our hearts, has eternal value.
Which of Marilyn’s ideas would you select for blessing a graduate? Marilyn and I will be honored to pray for graduates you list in comments.
From a distance—whatever separates us from our child, grandchild, or a student in our church--we reach heaven when our prayers and Scripture touch them. Click To Tweet
Marilyn Nutter is a contributor to compilations, online sites, and print publications. Her book Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart, written with April White, offers hope in life alterations and detours. She is a facilitator for grief groups, a speaker, and a Bible study leader. Her family of eight grandchildren fills her cup to overflowing. In her life’s seasons, she clings to Lam. 3:22-23. Visit her website at MarilynNutter.com where you’ll find words to give you hope and purpose and an opportunity to download prayers for graduates.
I highly recommend this book: Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart
Marilyn’s inspirational website: Marilyn Nutter’s website