I’ve been thinking quite a bit about family traditions lately, and one that has had a lasting impact on my life keeps coming to my mind. I am the oldest of four girls and have always heard my mom say the exact same thing to each of us when we left the house—from the first day of kindergarten to the last day of high school, and even now when I come home over break.

Mom: Have a great day, choose the right, and remember . . .?

Kids: I am a child of God, you love me, and I can pray anytime, anywhere, always!

Even when my sisters and I were on different school schedules I could hear one of them reciting it while walking out the door, and then fifteen minutes later I would hear another say it as she left for the day. It got to the point where I could say it in under two seconds if I was really running late somewhere. If it was for a drive up to school, a trip to the mall with friends, or even a date, I could hear my mother calling out, somewhere in the house, her sweet little line any time I EVER walked out the door and into the real world.

Something that I have loved about this is that it didn’t cost any time or money, but she was still able to create a tradition and a lasting memory that I plan to carry over into my own family someday. I can still remember some of those hard days at school where something had gone wrong and I was ready to throw in the towel or classmates were pressuring me to do something I knew I shouldn’t or even something silly like the fact that I didn’t get asked to the dance by my crush; in the moments that mattered the most, I could hear my mother’s voice reminding me to have a great day, to choose the right, that I am a child of God, that she loves me, and that I can pray anytime, anywhere, always.

Thanks mom.

BY CARLY CALLISTER