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From the view of a 20-something dream chaser.

What I Want My Daughters to Know

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Photo by Kesha Lambert Photography via @triciasmithbrown
All this talk about Beyoncé and empowering women has got me thinking about future generations. If you didn't know, I'm crazy about kids. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted seven--it's my favorite number, after all. I'm much older and wiser than I was when I first decided that, but somehow that number hasn't changed through the years. I think of my children often: how I want to raise them, what I want to teach them, what instruments they'll take up, sports they'll play...essentially who I want them to become. So I made this list to remind me of all the things I want them to know when they're no longer figments of my imagination but actual humans walking the earth.

You are beautiful.
And not because Daddy and I say you are, but because God says you are. You were made in His image. Write it on your mirror, if you have to. In the book of Peter, we are taught that our beauty should not come from accessories we can put on or take off, like fancy hairstyles, fine jewelry or stylish clothes. Rather, it should be that of our inner selves, the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This doesn't fade and it's of great worth in God's sight (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Don't forget that, no matter what the world says. And remember that other women are beautiful, too. Celebrate and encourage them. Don't compete with them, especially for the attention of a man. If he's for you, he will make it obvious that he's for you. And if he's not, that will be obvious, too.

You are talented.
You were blessed with gifts and talents that will open doors for you, and bring you into the presence of great people (Proverbs 18:16). Those talents may be different from the people around you--even your family--but they're talents, nonetheless. They are part of what makes you, you. You are responsible for cultivating them and making them grow, like in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). Your talent is for you, but it isn't just for you. There are people that only you can reach. You can't let them down.

To quote a favorite book of mine written long before even I was born: "People in their right minds never take pride in their talents." So despite your great gifts, never boast or brag of them. After all, they're just on loan to you. Your modesty and humility will get you far.

You are smart.
Your brain may not work the same as those around you. You may arrive at a solution differently than they do. You may arrive at another solution entirely. The way your mind works is the way it works and that's the way you're meant to be. Spend your life valuing your mind, your thoughts and the ways they help you reach your goals.

You are kind.
Remember, it costs nothing to be kind. We taught you to be kind to people, sometimes even when they aren't so kind to you. The last recorded miracle of Jesus was to heal the ear of one of His enemies (Luke 22:51). Yeah, He was crazy perfect. You won't be perfect, but you can do for others what you wish someone would do for you. That's the Golden Rule.

You are unique. 
Before you were in my womb (literally right now, since you are currently nowhere even close to my womb), you were chosen, set apart, appointed to do great things here on earth. There will be times when you feel pressured to conform to society's standards. There will always be someone more beautiful, more talented, more educated, more popular...more everything. But no one is youer than you. You are irreplaceable. That's your value, so walk in it.

You are a daughter of the King.
That means you are a princess. Walk like it, talk like it and dress like it. And wait for the man of God who will treat you like it. Know what you deserve and never ever settle, even when you feel lonely and like all your other girlfriends have a boyfriend or a fiancé or a husband. Wait for your Adam or Boaz or whoever they're comparing him to by then. It will be so worth it. You're worth the wait. (And yes, I'm writing this as an extremely single 20-something.)

You are loved.
More than you know. There is nothing you could ever do that could make me love you less. On days that you feel like you can't do anything right or the world is working against you, remember my love. I am your biggest fan and the best hugger you'll ever know. Use me up. My job is to help make your life deleesh.

Photo by Kesha Lambert Photography via @triciasmithbrown

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