To those who know me, you know I have a few years til I am blessed to join the ranks of Teenagerville. To be exact I have three years and eight months. Although I worry the attitude has already arrived. I have many friends currently suffering through these days, so why on earth would I want to even think about them before I absolutely have to?

It was during a college presentation I recently attended that really got me thinking about my, thankfully still little, girl's future. I listened to a personal testimonial about an underaged drinking experience that not only ruined a young adult's life, but nearly took it, and I pictured my children. Currently, their world revolves around Mickey Mouse and fairy princesses. It is hard to imagine them in a similar situation.

But it is a reality. No matter how hard we lecture, how much we pray, or how good we teach the dangers, the odds that our children will end up in a bad situation are much higher than any parent wants to admit.

So to my future teenagers ... to all teenagers, I say this ...

You will one day find yourself at a crossroad. That first big decision between right and wrong, good and bad. Please watch for that moment but do not dwell on it. Just be aware that it exists. As much as your dad and I have tried to give you the tools to make good decisions, it will be up to you how you react. All I ask is that you pause at that crossroad and remember these four words ... Your. Life. Is. Important.

I can't say for sure which hard situations await you. There are many. Each unique and with its own set of consequences. If you remember what I said and hold that knowledge at the forefront of your decisions, you will be OK. Don't drink excessively at parties; your life is too important to be lost lying in a lonely ER. Don't commit crimes; your life is too important to be lived behind bars. Don't try to end your life; no matter how dark it may seem because your life is too important to be lost to the world.

If you come to a point in your life where you do not agree with me, where you don't think you are important to anyone, then you need to make some changes. At times you cannot control what happens to you, but you can always control how you react. I will always remind you how important you are, but I understand that you might come to a point where that's just not enough. If you find yourself at that point, then it is time to reach out. Not to get help, but to give help to others. I promise you if you start serving food to the homeless, doing makeovers at a women's shelter, teaching kids to read, or planting flowers for the elderly, it won't take long for you to remember ... YOUR LIFE IS IMPORTANT.