i asked on facebook, "women: if you could pass on one impassioned life lesson to younger women, what would it be?!!!" and these are the excellent results i got. thank you ladies who commented and participated! your experience and insight is so appreciated!
photo via alliespencerphoto
1. Stop wasting time comparing yourself to others. Spend that time focusing on being the best version of yourself. There's one you and no one can duplicate you, embrace it - love yourself. Never regret any decisions because they build the foundation which you stand on being the fabulous woman you that you are! Be humble. Be grateful. Surround yourself with positive influences and love. Never stop listening and never stop learning.
2. Remember that you need bad days to appreciate the good days! I've thought a lot about the image girls portray today and it's so unfair that society makes it seem like those girls need to be teenagers before they're really ready.
3. Without question my life lesson would be don't let fear be your guide. Feel it, face it, acknowledge it, then do it anyways! We fear so much...fear of failure, success, saying no, measuring up...I could go on and on but I won't!
4. Never sell your dreams to anything or anyone. Period.
5. Stop blaming your parents for your past for where you are in life at this moment ! We are all human, we all make mistake; the trick is to learn to move on. "You either become it or rise above it” - my saying to everyone who blames their parents for how crappy their life is as an adult (granted some are to blame but you still have to move on).
6. You can't worry about what others think or how others define success. "Success is being obedient to God, even if I have failed in the eyes of Man" (Erwin McManus)
7. Become independent - financially, professionally, etc - it will help you grow as a person and in a partnership. Also, you can't rely on others. You need to be able to function on your own.
8. I always remind [my kids] that life is all about making GOOD choices. In Sunday school, they are encouraged to "make the wise choice" everyday. Specifically, everyday choices that align with what honours God. Sometimes those choices mean that you'll have to stand alone among a sea of friends who make choices based on what feels good for them in the moment. I can see, looking back even now, how both the good and bad choices I've made throughout my life so far, have had a ripple effect that flows into my future. It's a lesson not only for my kids, but for myself as well.
9. Remember that your identity is first and foremost defined by being a daughter of the King. Looking for love in human relationships (friends, boyfriends, even well-intentioned parents) will inevitably leave your heart feeling empty. That's because there's a void for love in our hearts that only God can fill. Young girls especially are looking for love & belonging everywhere. Being aware and living in the knowledge of the fact we are God's perfectly loved daughters is something all of us would benefit from realizing more fully each day.
10. Don't be afraid to be who you are. Life is hard. Don't give into what other people think you should be because it won't make things any easier...
11. Be honest to yourself. If you're holding yourself honestly accountable then you will also be honest to others. Be kind and true to yourself and consider often, "what would Jesus do?" in your interactions with others and your everyday dealing with your self. If you feel good about yourself that will outpour onto others.
12. Guard your heart!
13. God should be at the center of your relationships, especially your dating relationships. We so often give God everything except for our relationships and it shouldn't be like that; relationships are just as confusing and sometimes even more complicated than the things we "more easily" give God. Dating is a mature and serious thing and shouldn't be taken lightly. Be firm in who you are and in your faith. Be firm in your beliefs. Don't fall for some boy because he calls you cute and temporarily makes you feel special. Dating is serious. Your feelings are serious and dating can make you very vulnerable. You may lose a best friend in the process and you have to weigh the weight of your decision. It could be a life-altering [or life-changing] decision.
14. Be a better cheerleader to other women around you!! Life isn't a competition - who is better or skinnier or more organized or super mama of the year. Life is just a journey. One we're all on. And how powerful it is to be able, as Christian women especially, to look over at one another and encourage each other to remember we're not alone, and to keep keeping on!!
15. Find your identity in no one but the Lord, strive to live a life pleasing to Him, not to the world.
16. You can't "change" someone yourself. If they change it will be because Christ is working through them for the good. God has that perfect person for you and they won't have to be "changed" to be that special person.
17. Enjoy solitude, singleness, and the peace that only comes from God!
18. Don't let challenging, painful seasons of life define you. They can help shape who you become in the present and future but leave the pain and bitterness in the past. The valleys of life are important and help mold us into who we are to become. God uses our brokenness and vulnerability to bring us so much closer to Him. Don't mistake His loving discipline and guidance as punishment and reprimand. Take lessons from life and choose to use those things of the past to better your future.
19. Being single isn't a sickness like society makes young girls think it is. It's okay to be single and God will teach you some of the greatest things in that time of your life.
20. All things are from God, Through God, and To God. The glory is All His.