Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



good life – by mandy bopp


Part of cultivating a good life is taking time to invest in others. 

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become much more aware of the influence others have had on my life as well as recognizing the impact I could potentially offer for someone else.

For the past 15 or so years, I have been teaching music lessons in a variety of different venues. While I’ve enjoyed all of my jobs teaching, one of my favorites is working with teenagers.

Now, I know teenagers can be difficult…they come with big people problems in big people bodies with almost big people minds. But let me just say:

Teenagers are AWESOME.

One of the amazing parts of working with teenagers on a regular basis is being a part of their everyday life: watching them sort through the world, question their surroundings and find their footing. They are so creative, energetic, and inquisitive, and if given the right support system can blossom into amazing individuals.

Sometimes it’s lending an ear when they need to talk and aren’t ready to go to Mom and Dad. Sometimes it’s challenging them on an opinion they have formed just to make sure they’ve truly thought it through. Sometimes it’s providing the right amount of encouragement. Sometimes it’s calling them out when they’ve made a bad choice. Sometimes it’s helping them get the resources they need. Sometimes it’s helping them discover their passion and helping them follow their dreams when no one else will.

Sometimes it’s as simple as just being there because they don’t have anyone else.

Outside of being a mother and wife, mentoring young people has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’ve witnessed the effects of this first hand on a daily basis.

Last weekend as we set 300 of the boys out into the world, the last lesson imparted on them was “Touch one life and watch how you can change all mankind.” There are so many ways to be a positive force in someone’s life whether it is to a new mom, a student, or simply someone who could use your help and expertise. When you invest in someone else, you have the opportunity to show them that they matter and that they too can and should go do good in the world. The gifts you receive in return are priceless!

P.S. Four years ago, every single one of these boys was shorter than me! Teenage boys are GIANTS!

Note from Becky

I consider Mandy a friend, but we’ve only spent time together in person just once. Last year. Over pizza. We will soon get to repeat that experience and I look forward to it. Sometimes you meet a person and just know that they are cultivating a good life. Mandy loves and serves and teaches and inspires … and she is a Project Life® customer, too. She’s not only cultivating a good life but recording it, too. I so appreciate her message today because I think about the individuals who have had the greatest impact on me – from my childhood and even right now. The time we invest in others does matter.

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10 Responses

  1. Roos says:

    This post is awesome. Thank you for sharing, Becky and Mandy!

  2. Theresa says:

    Well said, Mandy. Too often teenagers are given a bad rap. I think we all need to remember, as adults we were once teenagers. It is amazing the difference one person can make.

    • Mandy says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Theresa! They do so often get a bad rap! The experience I’ve had with them these past few years has totally changed my perspective! Thanks for reading!

  3. Laura Halmrast says:

    We have a great group of teenagers in our neighborhood! I typically am more of a younger kid person(I teach preschool) but found your post inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

    • Mandy says:

      I totally get the being a “younger kid” kind of person too. I used to work with toddlers a lot and loved that age as well. Honestly, I connect least with middle schoolers but I have friends who adore that age! I think it’s all about finding out who you can connect with and going from there. Thanks for reading!!

  4. Kelly says:

    Mandy is a kind and generous soul. Those teens are blessed to know her. Thank you for sharing this inspirational post Becky!

  5. You are an AWESOME woman!

    Mary from NH