Okay, so its a shameless nod to pop-culture diva Oprah. But I love Oprah. Anyway, these are some of the things I know for sure...and that I hope my kids grow up knowing for sure. Some of these overlap and may be redundant. If so, it just means its important enough to say in different ways. ;-)
1. Its always better to be yourself and maybe have few friends, than to have a gaggle of friends but not be true to yourself.
2. Whatever hard thing you're going through right now, it will pass. And God will get you through it.
3. Its more important to be kind than to be right. But you need to stand up for what you believe to be important. Just do it as kindly as you can.
4. You can almost always find some commonality somewhere with another person..no matter how different you think you are from them. We're all God's children, after all.
5. There is no sense in beating yourself up over anything. If you do things in a way you're not proud of today, work to do better tomorrow. But beating yourself up won't change things...and you deserve to give yourself a break. You're human...by definition you're not going to do everything right all the time. God still loves you anyway. And so does your family and your true friends.
6. One-on-one time giving others your complete attention is more attention than working to do anything "perfectly".
7. Music has the power to heal.
8. From birth to death, the best thing you can do is focus on knowing God better, and working to do what he wants for you. Be kind. Help people. Honor other human beings. Work for justice. Be humble...we all have faults and we all have done things we shouldn't do at one time or another. Be gentle with yourself...God made you just the way you are, and loves you just the way you are. Nobody is "better" than you...we're all just different, with different strengths and virtues, and different faults, weaknesses.
9. Sin is anything that hurts God because you aren't living the way She wants for you. Its good to think before you do something, "Would Jesus do this?" and/or "Would God be happy I'm doing this?".
10. Life goes by faster than you could ever imagine and the most important thing is to make the most of today. You can't do that if you spend too much time worrying about anything in the past, or thinking/planning/worrying about things in the future. A family full of happy hearts is more important than a clean house, perfect super-uber-healthy meals, being the "best" at something, or getting that A+. An A is perfectly fine. ;-)
11. Perfection is totally over-rated. Its a BAD thing.
12. Hug the ones you love every day. Tell them you love them every day.
13. Everyone in your life will disappoint you at some point. Nobody can be all you need at every moment. But God will always be there for you.