Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Our oldest monkey girl is 18 years old today!  I can hardly believe it!  Just yesterday it seems like she was in diapers and now, now she is driving.  Excuse me while I go cry hysterically for a few minutes...

Here is a little letter that we shared with our man-child monkey (our oldest) when he turned 18 a couple of years ago.  We made it more personalized for our birthday girl and gave it to her today.  It is just a collection of 18 thoughts / encouraging words about turning 18.

18 Thoughts to Ponder on Your 18th Birthday

1. The world may tell you that you are “free” now, but you were set free the day that you decided to follow Christ.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

2.  Celebrate your 18th year of life with a purpose.  Each day is a gift, each year even more so.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1

3. Rebel against the “status quo” not the “life you know”.

“When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.”  Proverbs 28:2

 4. 18 year olds still need their parents’ guidance.  In fact, sometimes now more than ever, you will want to perk up those ears and open your heart to our instruction.  Remember, we have the advantage of already lived through our teens, twenties, thirties, and into our forties... With age comes experience and wisdom.

“My daughter, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.”  Proverbs 4:20-22

 5. God has allowed us to parent you this many years, and you are turning into a Godly young woman.  You turning 18 does not change our God given responsibility to guide you.  You turning 18 does not change your God given command obey us and honor us.

“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your Father and Mother- which is the first commandment with a promise- that it may go well with you, and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.   Ephesians 6:1-4

6. It has been “going very well with you”.  Let’s not forget that and let’s keep God’s commandments.

7.  Before seeking a friend’s advice, seek God’s wisdom and instruction first .  He has your back ;-).  Your friends may be good listeners, but remember they are on the same page as you and they do not have the “bird’s eye view” that God has. They can only offer advice from their limited experience.  God gives us his all knowing wisdom.

“For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.  Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.  Proverbs 2:10-12, 20

8.  You are on the threshold of adulthood.  Picture yourself standing in the foyer of a house looking into the house.  The house represents your future.  You will need to begin preparing the rooms of the house for your future husband and family.  To do this you will need to prepare your heart.

Here are some ways to prepare for adulthood:

9.  Talk to us.  Your dad is a godly man.  He has prepared a Godly home.  He is the leader and servant that God has called him to be. Communicate with him. You are VERY blessed to have a dad who loves the Lord and his family.  Picture yourself marrying someone with the qualities that you admire in your dad.   Consider your mom and her example in your life.  She is also seeking to serve the Lord and establish a home where hearts are safe and peace abounds.  Proverbs 31 is her instruction manual.  Read it and you will understand what it means to be a woman of noble character.  Then strive for it! Also, if God sends other Godly women your way, then seek them as well.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17

 10. Work hard and use your time wisely.  You will one day be a wife and mother.  Your God given role is to provide a loving home for your family.  Develop a good work ethic and stick to it.

“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth”  Proverbs 10:4

 11. Study God’s word and grow spiritually, so that you can be a good leader and servant.

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance”

12.  Pray, pray, pray.  In private, in church, everywhere and anywhere.  Everyday, morning, noon and night.  Boldly, conversationally, with deep love and respect for God.  About anything and everything.

 13. Represent your family well.  You are a Lehman.  Now your represent our family and in the future you will represent your own family as well.  Your good name is worth more than gold.

“A reputation is like fine china, easy to chip and difficult to repair.”

Here are some ways to represent your family well:

14.   Be honest with yourself and with others.  Honesty is always the best policy.  That is why it is one of the Ten Commandments.

15.  Conduct yourself in a moral, upright way always.  Even when no one is looking.

“Even a child is know by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right”  Proverbs 20:11

16.  Be a faithful friend, employee, volunteer, etc..  You are God’s servant and so give generously!

“A friend loves at all times.”  Proverbs 17:17

17.  Make wise choices in your relationships.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with the darkness?”
2 Corinthians 6:14

18.  Have self control. Do not make hasty decisions.  Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Your body is a temple.  Do not abuse it with lack of rest, alcohol, bad foods, drugs, or anything that would bring harm.

  Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, to do great things.  To share your gifts, your time, and your talents.

We LOVE you!!!!  Happy Birthday!!

Dad and Mom


  1. i LOVE this! You and Pete have done a good job with her!

  2. Hey Jen! Thank you so much! It is only by the grace of God!

  3. Wow - I love this too. So special and meaningful. Thanks for sharing it. Amanda is so lovely.

  4. oh - I am unknown it says. I am Kristen in Japan

  5. Hey Kristen! I am really glad that you enjoyed reading it! Amanda is quite the gal!