Today is my oldest daughter’s 18th birthday. Seems impossible that she is already at this point in her life. So exciting and a little sad at the same time. I am so sad that the quiet little shy girl has grown into an amazing woman, but I am so excited about where she is in life and the plans that God has laid out for her.
In honor of this very special birthday, I was doing a little reflecting on what I’ve learned in my life and I want to share these little nuggets of wisdom with her as she steps into adulthood.
This may also resonate with other women as it is so hard to really thrive in today’s world of comparison, body shaming, searching, and self-hatred.
My goal in this post is to humbly share some lessons that I’ve dug hard to find in the last few years. I hope this blesses you.
And, Lexi, don’t make these mistakes. Stumble and fall but never stop moving forward. Apply these truths to your life and don’t waste on so many things that don’t matter. I will forever have your back and I love you so very much!
#1 – ALWAYS FOLLOW THE LORD, FIRST AND FOREMOST
Start your day with Him. Thank Him even in the hard stuff. He will always be there for you (even when we can’t be). Believe that He always wants His best for you, even if you don’t see the goodness in it at the time. Learn to be still and listen to Him. Look for what He wants to teach you in the rough patches. Always lean into Him for the supernatural peace and love that He offers in abundance. He loves you more than anyone. Remember that and operate from that truth. You are His daughter. You cannot do anything to change that. Don’t run when you mess up, get close to Him. Sing to and worship Him, your life will be abundantly blessed if you press into Him and follow Him always.
#2 – DON’T BELIEVE LIES ABOUT YOURSELF
As I mentioned above, you are a child of God. Loved, enough, chosen, called. Find out who GOD says you are and live in that truth. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You are enough because He said so. God has a perfect plan for your life and believing lies will only distract you from fulfilling that purpose. Don’t fall into the comparison trap. Don’t listen to the lies of the evil one. Don’t let anyone distract you from being who you were designed to be. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Perfect. Lacking nothing. When God calls you to something, He will equip you. Be willing to get uncomfortable and follow His lead. Even if you stand alone, stand with Him. He is worth it.
#3 – LOOK FOR THE GOOD IN ALL SITUATIONS
Regardless of the circumstances, good can be found…..if you are only willing to look for it. Sometimes it seems that there is absolutely nothing good about a circumstance (I know that you know that all too well), but be open to looking anyway. God will allow nothing that doesn’t fit into His plan. If you are following Him, He will give you peace in every situation (trust me….He does). In everything, you can find good. Ask what you can learn in every circumstance. What can you do to make your self better? What will going through this situation do in your life? Can you use it to help others? Always be open to learning and becoming a better person. Nothing is wasted.
#4 – BE SENSITIVE TO OTHERS
When others are difficult, look for the heart behind what is causing their ugliness. Don’t automatically write them off. They may be dealing with things that you can only understand in your worst nightmares. Be slow to talk and quick to listen. Look behind the harshness. Hurt people, hurt people. Always remember that. It’s not a reflection on you. It’s a reflection of their heart. Maybe you can help, maybe you can’t…..but don’t give ugliness for ugliness. Pray for them and move on. Be careful of the condition of your heart because out of the heart the mouth speaks. If you return nastiness for nastiness, you are being no different than them. Don’t do that. Be the only light that some may ever see. If they live a life of darkness, be a ray of hope for them.
#5 – SET GOALS AND NEVER STOP TRYING TO ACHIEVE THEM
Over the course of time, your goals and dreams will change…..but never stop working toward trying to achieve what you are dreaming of. Never compare yourself to others. I’ve heard to “not compare your beginning to another person’s middle”. Just because you are not where you want to be is no reason to quit. Failure means that you are trying. Don’t ever be afraid of failure…..just don’t ever quit. Adjust your goals, adjust your process, adjust your timeframe…..but don’t quit. Learn from your failures. Never stop learning. Don’t get caught up in everything being perfect before you start or getting bogged down with “how to’s”. Just jump in, fail, learn, and go at it again.
#6 – DON’T FOLLOW THE “RULES” JUST BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT YOU FEEL YOU “SHOULD” DO
As Alisa Keeton of Revelation Wellness always says, “Don’t should on yourself”. Do your own thing. Follow YOUR own path. Don’t let what you think you SHOULD do get in the way. Don’t think “I should because my parents say so, my teachers say so, Facebook says so, blogs say so, etc.” You do YOU and don’t follow anything because you think you should. Do it YOUR way. Seek wise counsel, listen to the Lord, follow His word…..but then put blinders on and pave your own path!
#7 – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
No matter what may happen in your life that changes you physically, you are beautiful. You are capable of anything and you have amazing potential. Never let anyone tell you anything less. Your worth is not based on what you look like. So many women struggle with picking themselves apart. Love what you were given. Embrace your flaws. They are what make you, you. Don’t apologize for them, don’t cover them up, don’t let them alter how you live your life. You are unique for a purpose, don’t let your physical appearance dictate your actions. Love because you are loved, move because you can, make a difference because that is what you were created for!
Lexi, I love you. I am incredibly proud of you. Your dad would be incredibly proud of you. You have struggled well and I believe that you will turn those ashes into something beautiful. Don’t live to fulfill his purposes, he already did that. Live to fulfill yours. God has a plan for YOUR life and it’s just as useful and beautiful as your dad’s was. We were so blessed to have been given you. Be a light in this dark world. Laugh and live. Life is too short to worry; pray and move on. God will handle the hard things for you. I am blessed to be here to watch you grow and to be in your life. I will always always be your mom and I will always always love you. I will give you tough love when you need it, advice when you need it, and I will always always be here to pick you up when you fall (because you will 😉 ) I am so excited and beyond blessed to watch you soar out into this world……you will be incredible.
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