An Open Letter to my Graduating Senior, (for me times two)

18 years, 8 months and 30 days ago. You came into this world on your own terms at just 28 weeks (I don’t think we’ve been “early” to anything since) and 21-year-old me, wasn’t sure that I was ready. I remember talking to my granny before delivery and she could tell I was trying to reconcile the timing, the fear and the uncertainty from our medical team about what coming this early would actually mean.

As I was grumbling to her all the things “they don’t know”, how my birth plan was “falling apart” and that MY Obstetrician would be a no-show.She said, “Baby, God knows and He’s there”. These words have been my peace and confidence for many days.

Here I am once again trying to reconcile this timing. How is it that Yesterday you were graduating from Pre-K and today you are  graduating from High School? Remembering like yesterday, how your dad walked you in on your first day of Kindergarten and yet somehow in just a few weeks, he will be walking you into your dorm for your Freshman year of college. I mean you just came home from the NICU, just said your first words, took your first steps, learned how to tie your shoes YESTERDAY! How can you also be taking your final steps across the stage in your high heel pumps today? Yesterday is a weird adverb. You were JUST…so… little. 

Today, you are all the best parts of that once little girl. Full of optimism, kindness and excitement about life. You are so beautiful and not just on the outside, but where it really counts. Like many mothers do, the day I brought you home I took an oath to love and protect you. Love, what a loaded verb. You sow it, you reap it. Being your mom has been my favorite gift exchange. To love you has been an honor, to teach you how to love others and to see it lived out has been a privilege. Every decision made concerning you has been in efforts to nurture a whole, healthy and joyful soul. Not initially realizing that this frame of mind would develop me in those same ways. This started as my desire to mature into a woman that could inspire YOU, now here I am inspired by you and the young woman you’ve become. Not just your resilience through academic, physical and social adversity, but your hopeful and persevering spirit. I’m so extremely proud of you and I know you’re just getting started. Today is your day and one of many more achievements to come.

With the closing of this chapter, we have Tomorrow to look forward to. Much like I was at the beginning of your story, anxious about all of the unknowns, I want you to find peace and confidence in these truths. Bury them at your roots and dig them up when you need to recoup.

Perfection isn’t the goal, Excellence is.

You are Enough. 

Make time for moments in the mirror. To see who you are and to make sure it’s who you want to be. 


Don’t carry your mistakes- grasp the lessons. 

While you are Living… You should be Learning. 

Don’t make yourself small, dull or dim. You were purposefully made.

Take up Space, Make Room for Others and BE the Light. 

Mama. Mommy. Mom. Ma.

You’ve called on me for countless things over the years.

A toy too high, a cup too low, trouble with a button or putting in a hair bow.       

A tummy ache, a project that isn’t going as planned, help with navigating tough moments with friends.

A makeup tutorial, a mission trip application, I’ve been here for you through every situation.         

But if one day I’m not and life is giving you a scare, remember what your great grandmother once told me…“God knows and He’s there”.

Celebrating you today and always,

Love, Mommy

Congratulations to all the graduating seniors!

Yuri Kendrick
Yuri Kendrick is a native Texan and has called the Greater Austin area home for most of her life. She is unashamedly a follower of Christ and a devoted wife to her favorite human and hubbeau, Tay. Together they are nurturing four beautiful souls, this she believes is her greatest honor in this life. She is a freelance creative, a worship leader, and a willing advocate for any cause that helps us all love one another better. Yuri loves so many things but maybe nothing more than a good laugh, a good meal and good conversation and she rightfully rejoices in the occasion that they occur simultaneously. Whether speaking or writing, she prides herself on being a genuine and conscious sharer. It is her heart's desire to be ever-evolving in her journeys with a passion to be both the “Salt and Light” along the way.


  1. Oh I love this, as my little graduates prek3 it’s a gentle reminder to cherish the moments! Congrats to you and your beautiful girls.


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