Go GOBS! My Speech From My Alma Mater’s HOCO Assembly

I was invited to be the keynote speaker at my High School’s Homecoming Assembly last week. It was truly an honor and so fun, exciting and great to be back at Harrison High.

Grateful for the opportunity to share what I loved about high school and about Jesus too. Grateful for the many friends praying for me as I prepared and spoke. Grateful for the help of my dad as my editor on the speech. Grateful I didn’t fall in my new shoes or let my nerves get the best of me! TYJ.

Below is the speech I wrote with some encouraging words I need daily! After that you will find a link to the video of the speech if you want to watch. All glory to God! ♥️

***Wow, it is such an honor to be standing here today, 25 years
from my senior year at Harrison high school- which, when I say that out loud, it doesn’t
even seem possible that it has been that long since my time here. Time really does fly
and I certainly don’t feel as old as I must be! It’s crazy to think none of yall were even
born when I was a senior in high school!

After Mr. Parker asked me to speak to you all, I visited with my husband and parents
about what I would say that would maybe make a difference. My husband suggested
talking about my life then and now and what I’ve learned along the way, my mom
wanted me to make sure I let yall know I would not be where I am today without her, my biggest cheerleader. I agree, mom! And thank you. (SHE RECEIVED A ROUND OF APPLAUSE HERE! Much deserved! I loved it!)

My dad reminded me of a short but powerful Winston Churchill speech many of you
may be familiar with- Sr Winston, was back at his alma mater, speaking to the
graduating class. A popular phrase that has been taken from his speech is: “never give
in, never give in, never never never never never-in nothing great or small, large or
petty- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” I think he made his
point to never give in very clear on this one. And while I will encourage you to never
give in except to good and right things, I want to encourage you in some other ways
too.

But first, I want to tell you what I loved in this place called the Home of the Goblins. I’ll try not to bore you I promise!

First of all- I love the Goblins. I mean, what other school has a mascot like that? Super
special and sets HHS apart from the get-go. When I was here, the school spirit was
contagious and magnetic. We all seemed to bleed blue and gold., at least I know I did.
What about yall? I’m sure this year’s spirit has looked a little different b/c of all the
COVID 19 guidelines, but I hope it’s still here like it was then.

I also love the traditions of this school- Have you ever heard of the shake and bake? During
a pep rally, Coach Tommy Tice would lead us in it-I don’t know where it came from, or
how it started, I just know it got us excited and made things more fun. (show how it’s done)

Friday Night Lights were awesome on the banks of Crooked Creek.

And then there’s the people here. So many amazing teachers and staff always were there to
encourage and equip us students for life and learning. Some I still think of and keep in touch with today- thank you, Facebook!

Just so many lessons and memories in these walls

Speaking of these walls- they aren’t all the same as I remember! This school has grown
and changed significantly in 25 years, but the core values of excellence are still
apparent.

I am so proud to be from Harrison and proud to be a Golden Goblin for life. I hope you
all can say the same now and when you leave this pivotable place in your lives. This
school is the springboard of your education, character, and beginnings of your young
adult life. The relationships, the experiences, the accomplishments and even the
setbacks and disappointments can all be used to further your character. And while
things may look, feel and be quite different than they did a year ago, I hope you can
look for and notice the things you love and find lessons to learn that will shape you into you.

I can remember not always feeling like I fit in, perhaps you can relate? Maybe it’s just
part of growing up and at one time or another we all struggle with that but what’s
important is to remember to never give in to try and fit in. If you hear nothing else
today, please hear this: You were made unique by a good God who knows you, loves
you and has a purpose and place for you. Trust me, we all fit in with Him.

But Maybe you’re the one who has had a hard time fitting in here, maybe you’re the one
who didn’t make the team or the squad or the grade; Maybe you’re the one who can’t
stay out of trouble, maybe you’re the one whose heart has been broken. Maybe you’re
everything here, maybe you’re the one who isn’t. Maybe you’re the one who is always
on the homecoming court, maybe you’re the one who never is. Maybe you’re always
surrounded by friends, maybe you sit alone. Maybe you’re the one who makes
everyone laugh, maybe you’re at the core of everyone’s laughter.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, here are some truths and encouraging words to
hang onto in these shaky, uncertain times. I still need these truths daily! I hope all or at least one of these points will stick out as a great foundation to walk on not only this year, but many years to come.

  1. You are never alone. You have a Heavenly Father who is always with you and
    near when you call upon Him for help. He also gives us people, so don’t ever be
    afraid to ask for help. There’s always someone ahead on the journey that has
    walked a similar situation, don’t be afraid to seek them out for council, wisdom
    and advice.
  2. B.D. B- be kind to one another and build each other up. D- do
    to others as you would want done to yourselves. Two Bible verse my kids and I have put together for an acronym we all need, B.D.
  3. Focus on YOUR journey, not everyone else’s; Even as a 42 year old this is hard, but Comparison really is the thief of all joy. Try to look straight ahead at your path, and not left and right at everyone else’s.
  4. Do your best with and in all things. shoot for excellence but always remember to give yourself lots of grace – look for progress, not perfection.
  5. Set goals for yourself and know your limitations so you can set the appropriate boundaries.
  6. Don’t base your identity, worth or security on the shaky ground of your accomplishments, accolades, likes or followers. There is more to life than this.
  7. My own twist on Sir Winston’s speech— PRESS ON. Press On. There will be bumps in the road and if what our world has been through this year isn’t a bump, I don’t know what is. You all are making history and by being in such trying times, can really press on through this and learn how to overcome the unknown and the uncertainties of life. I think of the masks we all must wear now and how so many have taken what they were given (what we started with, light blue surgical masks), and made it fun, different, meaningful with various designs and slogans on their masks. We can do the same in life when we press on, make things fun and turn plain into extraordinary and unique.

So, I encourage you to press on and to Hebrews 12:1 : “run with endurance the race that
has been set before you
.” Set your sights on the eternal prize of Jesus and your footing
will always be secure and you can PRESS ON no matter what.

Thank you, for your time today. And always; GO GOBS!!!****

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