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  • Writer's pictureTami Joy Flick's Musings

A Mama's Thoughts on Graduation Day

Updated: May 20

Ellie posing before the FFSD Awards Gala (She received 2024 Outstanding Student of the Year)

Today’s the day our firstborn graduates from high school, which is enough of a family milestone that I wanted to get down some of my thoughts in this delicious moment of quiet before the day begins.

I am thankful for the young woman Ellie has become.  She’s kind, compassionate, opinionated, respectful, confident, intelligent, ambitious, integrous, fun (with a hint of silly), and adventurous. If you’re looking for a list of her flaws, I ams sure that her brother Robert would be more than happy to oblige.

Over the last 17 years, I’ve been learning that she’s different than me.  As an example, Ellie had the opportunity to give the senior speech at her graduation since she’s ranked first in her graduating class.  (Come on!  How cool is that?!) However, the #2 young lady, with whom she’s good friends, really wanted to give the speech, so Ellie happily gave it to her.  Now that is not something I would have done, but it’s Ellie’s style.

Ellie was part of the FFSD Red Tail Cadet program in the Summer of 2023. She literally learned how to fly an airplane and is currently pursuing her private pilot's license.

She’s also a bit of a fashionista.  Even if she’s wearing an oversized shirt and jeans, she’s still style them together as an outfit, and if you look closely enough, from the necklace to the shoes, you’ll notice it all flows together.

She’s also a 3 sport athlete, which was never something I aspired to do during my high school years.

And she’s a pilot.  'Nuff said.

Ellie & a bird in Japan - Spring 2023

John and I have invested in her life for 17+ years.  Loved, encouraged, provided, disciplined, and taught her the ways of the Lord.  And now she’s getting ready to fly as a young adult (no pun intended).

When I graduated high school in (cough) 1992, the Berlin Wall had just fallen.  The Cold War was dissipating, the economy was booming, and it seemed like the sky was the limit.

Our daughter is entering a very different world.  We live in a nation where political sides continue to bash each other, inching closer and closer to some apocalyptic precipice, but no infinity stone will reward their sacrifice.  My daughter is drawn to serving in the Air Force ROTC (a path to becoming an astronaut), and yet this mama is looking at the spiking political temperature of the world and fears she would be called upon to serve in an unwin-able war.  And then there’s the ideological barrage she’s been navigating that will only continue and most likely intensify as she enters college.  

Ellie & I serving at Pray for the Lou's Nothing Impossible Week - June, 2023, St. Louis, MO

In fact, the concern of war is one of the reasons that Ellie, Robert, and I memorized Psalms 1 & 91 this year on the way to school.  Why Psalm 1? Because I wanted our kids to learn that delighting in the Word of God will cause them to be “trees planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and whatever they do prospers…”  Why Psalm 91?  It’s the famous protection passage that many soldiers over the centuries have declared over themselves and their battalions.  Plus, it’s a good reminder that God watches over His children.  (This is the psalm that I read over my husband and friends by flashlight back in 2005 when Hurricane Rita was screaming over us as we sought shelter in a high school gymnasium in southeast Texas.)  I wanted to deposit God’s word into their hearts while I still had this time with them.

So, today I am proud and excited and joyful and nervous and teary and prayerful.  By the grace of God, we’ve raised a woman who can both slay a dragon (at least in her future fighter plane! Haha!) and care for an abandoned kitten.  And, I remind myself that she was never truly “ours.” She has always belonged to God….which is easier typed than lived.

Two incognito Cubs fans at a Cards/Mets game - May, 2024. Ellie was one of 140+ students in the St. Louis region being honored as a 2024 Scholar Athlete.

To our brave and beautiful Ellie, Dad and I love you and are so very proud of you today and every day.  Continue to shoot for the stars, the moon….but remember that Mars is just a wee bit too far.  ;-) 

Our daily prayer for you remains:

May you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and may you love your neighbor as yourself.  May you see people as God sees them, love them as He loves them, and serve them as He serves them.  And may everything you think, speak, and do bring Him glory and honor and praise - to the glory of His Holy Name.  Amen.  

May 19, 2024 Graduation Day

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