So you're turning 15, Saturday. It seems like yesterday, I was 7 and at the hospital, bored as could be, waiting for you to arrive. If I had known what a fireball you would be, I probably would have been nervous instead. In spite of all the bickering and squabbles we've had, though, you're still my little sister, and even if you don't want me to be, I'm still protective of you.

So on the week of your 15th birthday and getting your driver's permit (that's a scary thought), I am going to give you some advice. Please pardon the road sign theme, I couldn't help myself.

Stop

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We may not like stops signs because they slow us down on our way to somewhere, but stopping can be a good thing. As a teenager in high school, it may seem like you're on the go all the time. You become stressed and strung out and don't know whether you are going or coming. That's why it's important to stop sometimes. Take a break. Go hang out with your friends, watch a movie, or go outside. You will be amazed how much better a small break can make you feel.

Slow down

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Slow your roll a little bit. You may wish you could graduate and go to college, but it goes by so fast. You grow up so quick. Just the other day you were the kid sister who tried to follow me and my friends around. Now you're nearly fifteen and taller than me. Don't wish for time to hurry up, it will get here quick enough. Slow down and enjoy the moments you have now because once they're gone you can't get them back.

Bumps ahead

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You will have some bumps in your life. You should expect them. Things won't always go your way. You will fail tests, lose friends, plans will fail, but just remember it is not the end of the world. Sure, you will be shaken up a little bit and get some scratches, but scars make the best stories. Just remember that God always has a plan for you, and all things work together for good for those that love Him.

Do not enter

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There may be places that your friends ask you to go that you have no business being there. DO NOT GO THERE. Teenagers and young adults do things all the time, for example underage drinking and drugs, that are not things that you need to be involved in. Your conscience will tell you when these situations arise, all you have to do is listen. You may lose friends and might not be popular, but your health and well being are more important. It may not seem like it at the time, but you will thank yourself later for making the right choices.

Wrong way

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There will be times in your life that you will be faced with decisions both large and small. I hope that you will always seek God's will no matter what the matter is, but sometimes we let our own wants and plans get in the way of His plans. When you make wrong decisions, it's okay, just don't stay in them. Do not be stubborn and continue in the wrong direction. Admit that you are wrong and make it right. I am speaking from experience when I say that God and your family will not cast you away. There is nothing you can do to separate yourself from God's love or your family's love.

I hope you heed my warnings. Life is too short to not live it to your full potential, and your are a strong and smart girl with plenty potential. Happy birthday, Al.