Monday, September 30, 2013

30 Things: 10 Things I Would Tell My 16 Year Old Self

It's time for another installment of 30 Things. I dedicate this one to my 12 year old daughter.

10 Things I Would Tell My 16 Year Old Self

1. It might feel like the end of the world, but it isn't. You'll laugh at yourself later. Try and aim for this:

Instead of this...

2. God doesn't make mistakes. His creation is perfect, in all its many facets and unique traits. He made you just the way you are for a very specific reason. Love every bit of that reason and embrace yourself as beautiful and intentionally designed according to His master plan. You are meant for greatness. Just the way you are.

3. Remember that your parents just want you to have the very best life that you can. Sometimes you'll hate them. And trust me when I say, those moments hurt them just as badly as they do you. They'd love to be your best friend. But they're willing to be the enemy if it means that you're safe.

4. Do your best in school. It seems so trivial and unimportant at this age. It isn't. Developing the ability to complete tasks, manage a workload while also having a social life, stretching your limits to achieve the very best results, respecting and listening to the leadership in your life...The person you are developing now academically is the person you will be professionally. Take it seriously.

5. Any friend that tells lies about you isn't a friend at all. No matter how popular they are, you don't need them in your life if they are willing and able to boost their own popularity at your expense.

6. What you think is love, isn't love. Enjoy the feelings that you have right now and experience the excitement that is young "love," but know that the real love God has in store for you when you meet your soul mate will blow what you are feeling right now out of the water. It will be that amazing. Be excited for it. And with that in mind, don't waste your body on this. Save yourself for that true love that is coming. Trust me when I say, it will be well worth the wait.

7. Read every book you can get your hands on. Eat them up.

8. Get involved. The emotions of being a teen can be overwhelming (especially as a woman) and if you're not careful, you can easily find that you have isolated yourself. Couple that with fear of what the rest of the kids will think, and you may find yourself passing on opportunities to join a group or activity that in your heart of hearts, you really want to do! Fight the urge to wallow in isolated anguish and work to make connections with others who have common interests and experiences. Take a chance. Develop strong relationships. Be a good friend.

9. Sometimes you will have to fly solo (Yup, this age is full of perceived contradictions. I know I just said don't isolate yourself!). Sometimes standing alone is the right thing to do, but you should know it will never be the easiest. The single greatest challenge of this time in your life will be learning what your convictions are and how to hold fast to them. Make sure when it really counts, you do the right thing. Choose wisely and don't be afraid to weather the storm. Even when you think you're truly alone, you're not. God is with you, and someone, somewhere is watching your strength and fortitude and you are encouraging them.

10. Shake it off. And shake it off some more. The name of the game at this age is drama. Your days will be full of highs and lows. Celebrate the highs, shake off the lows. But at the end of the day, if the lows are hard to shake, don't be afraid to ask for help. Despite what you may think at this time in your life, your parents know what they're talking about and they love you. It's ok to ask for help.

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