Dear Senior Girl


Dear sweet Senior Girl,

Imagine we’re sitting down having coffee together like I did with my sweet friend Sarah (the girl in the pictures for this post).

Actually, this post was birthed from a coffee date with Sarah. Sarah is bright, determined, and full of dreams and goals, just like you! As we sipped our coffee that August day, Sarah asked me a very insightful question that made me sit back in my chair and wrinkle my forehead deep in thought.

“What advice do you have for me in my last year of school? Like things you are glad you did when you were a senior or things you wish you would have done differently?”

Here goes……as I remember back to my senior year and think about what I would tell all you sweet senior girls this year…….

Don’t Get Stressed.

Just calm down, darling. It’s really not as big of a deal as you think. In 5 years you will look back and not even remember those overwhelming papers you had to write or that class you thought you could never pass! (ok, nevermind, I still remember a little of my mannyyyy hours spent trying in vain to understand Algebra. But mostly it’s a distant painful memory- haha!) This is a great time in your life to learn to deal with the feelings of being overwhelmed and not able to do it all. You likely have family, friends, a big load of school work, and maybe a job on top of it all. It IS a lot to balance, but God won’t give you more than you can handle! Wake up every day and spend time with Him, then trust Him for that day. One day at a time, you WILL make it through!

Enjoy It!

This might seem like a strange one, but it’s like I told Sarah- you think you have responsibilities and perplexities and a full schedule now, but in a few years you will look back and be amazed at how much time and flexibility and how little responsibility you actually had! Really do enjoy the ride, my dear, because you will never be at this exact stage in life again.

Learn from Your Mother (or a Mentor)

This is something that I am so grateful for- learning from my mother during my senior year. I got to spend many hours working with my mother in the kitchen and garden, doing life together, and learning all manner of valuable skills from her. It’s a priceless season that I wouldn’t trade for the world! Friends are wonderful, and I recommend you have a handful of good ones, but you really need your mother’s (or another Godly lady’s) input in your life. Don’t think you can walk this road alone- mentors provide wisdom, good counsel, and balance where ya need it, and this is a time in your life when you need it very, very much. Make learning about Godly Womanhood an even higher priority than studying Algebra and Chemistry.

Learn Good Time Management

This is something I failed at BIG TIME as a senior. I look back and wish that I had spent my time more wisely! It really does matter: the Lord asks His children to “redeem the time, for the days are evil.” The time on this earth is short, and as an 18 year old it’s easy to feel like your whole life is ahead of you, but that’s not necessarily true. If this was your last year of life, would you have regrets? Now is the time to learn how to make wise use of the hours given you. Learn to set goals, make to-do lists, schedule your priorities, and say “no” to things (hint: this is a time in life when it’s tempting to do alllll the social things, but sometimes you have to say “no” to some good things to make room for the best.”) Pray over goals and priorities and learn to manage your time accordingly. Set your alarm, and get up and get started with your day! Go to bed at a reasonable time, develop good sleep habits, take care of your health, etc. Make time for your family, and make it a very high priority to serve others. If you are a Redeemed child of God, you are His Daughter first before a Senior. Remember that you are His ambassador, you are loved by Him, and He has a mission for you to fulfill on this earth, even during your senior year. Get out there are do it, girl! I’m cheering you on!

xoxo,

Allison

PS. Girls…..Senior or not- which one of these resonated with you? Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section- I can’t wait to hear from you!

PPS. Also, the pictures of this post are courtesy of the darling Sarah…you can find her on Instagram at @proverbs31fashion .

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Hard Workin’ Gals: How to Find Your Work (Part 2)

Hey girls! Continuing right along with the topic of young women and their work, I want to talk a little today about how to go about figuring out what work you should do! There are a few things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work.

Is the environment healthy?

This doesn’t mean perfect, but it does mean you need to be wise. Working closely as an assistant or secretary to a man (other than father, brother, or husband) could be asking for trouble. (These situations aren’t always disastrous, but they need to be approached cautiously.)

Does the work keep you from serving others?

There is no cut-and-dried formula for how much time young women should devote to various types of work (including her “paid work”, household chores, church/community projects, etc.) There are also seasons (as I have experienced) where your job may demand the majority of your time and energy, leaving little for family and investing in people.

The key is balance, and evaluating your work on a regular basis in light of how things are fleshing out with other priorities in your life.

In this job, can you become more of the woman God created you to be?

God created us and we should seek, as we work, to develop the things He placed deep within our nature.

I love thinking of my work in this way: In the work I am doing, how can I develop the characteristics God has placed within me as a woman- gracious, nurturing, strong, life giving, feminine, creative, gentle, helpful?

There is so much scope for growth of our character within the context of our work. This is exciting!

For me, it’s about more than just putting in the hours and making the money. I want to do my work not only in a way that honors God, but so that I am living out who He created me to be as a woman. Even though one of my particular “jobs” includes extensive leadership of other people, my goal is to nurture those people as individuals, invest in their lives, and encourage them. In marketing and customer service, I get to exercise creativity in strategizing, learning, implementing new methods and ideas, and interacting with customers.

Do you have a stewardship mentality?

It’s about more than earning money, although that’s part of it. It’s a heart attitude of using the resources of time, talent, and energy as good stewards.

Good stewardship doesn’t happen by default. It takes intentionality. The bad steward buried what he had. The good one put a sound mind and creativity to work and got busy multiplying what he’d been given. Which will you be?

 Which one of these stuck out to you the most? 

love,

Allison

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Hard Workin’ Gals: Should Christian Girls Have Jobs? (Part 1)

I have heard a number of questions from girls about work and money, and I want to address several in this post.

Some are wondering if Christian girls should even have jobs?

If so, what kinds of jobs should they have?

Should they be spending 100% of their time on household and church work, or is it ok to pursue other work, as well?

Is earning and saving money a bad goal?

Is it Biblical to have a job and save money as a young woman?

To start with, there are  a few fundamental truths about work, money, and women that we need to understand:

#1. Work is created by God, and as women, we should thrive upon hard work and productivity.

There is a problem in our generation of laziness and selfishness. Work is often seen as a bad thing, and many, especially in their youth, do everything they can to spend the bulk of their time on “feel good” entertainment and the least amount of time necessary on work.

On the other hand, when women choose “careers”, it is sometimes with selfish motives. We need to get back to the fundamental practicing of good stewardship.

Work is not a bad thing, but neither is it something we do just for ourselves.

God has given each of us the privilege of stewarding the time and talents He has blessed us with. We can waste them, or use them well.

Read Matthew chapter 25 to see how Jesus feels about our use of what He has given us. He obviously want us to multiply it, not go dig a hole and bury it.

Many girls don’t realize the potential they have. Unmarried young women have incredible amounts of time and talent that should be put to use!

There are hundreds of ways to spend this time, but some girls get stuck without a vision or plan.

Some wonder what they should really be doing. Others just go with the flow and don’t give it a second thought.

Today my goal is to encourage you girls to do this:

THINK BIG.

Don’t sit there saying, “I wish I knew what I’m supposed to be doing.” or “I wish I had more money.” or “I don’t think ___ is ever going to happen for me.”

Get a vision, write down some goals + how you are going to achieve those, and go do it!

If you’re wondering if you should have a source of income or not, and if you should really even have “work” goals, I want to encourage you with this:

#2. Earning income and working hard is not only practical, but Biblical.

The Proverbs 31 woman is praised for her virtue, but take a look at her business savvy and income earning, as well.

“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard…..She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and deliverth girdles unto the merchants.” (Prov. 31: 16+24)  

Here was an ambitious, diligent business woman! She clearly took good care of her family, honored and helped her husband, and had some serious business skills to boot! She was productive, and thrived upon serving others and working hard. 

Being business minded is Biblical, and earning money is, too.

I think God smiles to look down and see girls getting creative about using their time and talents TO THE MAX!

He wants us to delight in working hard.

God is a Creator (look at everything He made!) and He wants us to create with our hands (that He formed), and to figure things our with our brains (that He intricately knit together).

Some of you girls are concerned about finding the right work to do. You may be wondering how your work will fit in with a possible future of being a wife and mother (a high calling) and your current job titles as daughter and sister.

#3. It is entirely possible to work hard + earn money while still loving home + family and embracing our femininity.

There are so many opportunities for work that fit beautifully with home and family. Working hard and even earning money does not mean we quit being the nurturing + feminine women God created us to be. 

Earning an income will not somehow turn a girl into a full blown feminist who will struggle to be content with being “just a mom” someday.

I believe that the struggle with contentment now or then is a heart issue, and an identity problem that needs to be dealt with by finding our security, identity, and fulfillment in Christ.

Finding satisfaction in a job well done and money earned is NOT A BAD THING! 

I would argue that earning money and working hard now is actually one way for girls to prepare for the rigors of motherhood.

It is my opinion that the discipline of learning to earn, save, and budget money, as well as the discipline of keeping a demanding yet balanced schedule will make for a more sturdy, capable woman in the long run.

Whether a girl ends up being a single missionary in Africa, a wife and mother, business owner, or a cook at an orphanage, her younger years spent learning discipline and hard work will be a huge asset later on.

(Disclaimer: There some things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work, and not just every job opportunity is a good choice for young women. I will be exploring different ideas for work/earning money in the next post in this series.)

 I look forward to continuing the discussion, and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

-Allison

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Dear 17 Year Old Girl

Why “A Letter to 17 Year Olds”? I recently received a blog comment voicing this thought, “I am 17. What is your advice? I would love to hear what you would do differently if you could go back to your teen years, what you regret doing, things you did that were a blessing, how you responded to critiques, how you managed your time/priorities differently then you do now…etc!”First of all, this age group is so very precious to me. I see such freshness, innocence, promise, and worth in all the beautiful young women I know that are in their teens. I have been privileged to meet hundreds all over the US, Canada, and Mexico and I just love them. The picture at the top of this post is me with two sweet teenage friends I was privileged to get to know during my time in Mexico last fall.17, 15, 18, 13….Yes, dear girl, this is for you. I decided to write a letter to you girls today. Imagine me and you sitting down for a fresh ice coffee or tea……me sharing a little bit of my heart with you, just as if you were the girl in the comment, asking what I regret about my teen years, and what I would do all over again….and all that stuff.

Here’s my letter to all you sweet girls:

Dear 17 Year Old (or whatever age you are),

You are so young and fresh, full of energy and dreams. But on your way to your dreams, there’s alot of doing to be done. The enemy of your soul wants so much for you to waste these precious years. Here’s what I regret doing at your age:

  • wasting time
  • not developing more personal discipline.
  • watching romance movies/reading romance novels.

I spent too much time surfing the internet, reading and watching things that weren’t worth much, and dreaming instead of doing. Don’t get me wrong, I did some things I am so grateful for (which I’ll tell you about soon) when I was 17, but I also wasted some precious time. I would really encourage you to evaluate VERY carefully how you spend your time. Ask someone older and wiser for advice, and realize that the decisions you make now will affect you and others for years to come.

The habits you develop now are forming the woman you’re becoming.

Here are some things I am so glad I did at 17:

  • spending time getting to know Jesus better- every minute in His Word and prayer was WELL SPENT! This is the MOST important thing I am so grateful for.
  • getting a job and saving money.
  • working on my relationship with my parents, including having late night chats, asking their counsel on decisions, and learning to honor them as an adult.
  • helping young mothers and learning from them.
  • honing new skills like landscaping, bookkeeping, writing, and natural remedies.
  • helping my mother around the house and learning from her.
  • seeking friendships that would help me grow.

Sweet girl, God has given you unique talents that can be a blessing to others RIGHT NOW! He looks at you and smiles, because He has an amazing plan for your life! He wants to be your best Friend. He can help you with the perplexing decisions and questions you may be facing. He will give you wisdom about that job, or friendship, or opportunity. 

One more thing that is really near to my heart is your relationship with your parents. They can invest so much into your life, and they will bring perspective and wisdom to topics like guys, education, and work. Don’t be scared to ask them to pray for you! Ask them for advice, and make it a priority to spend time with them. If your parents aren’t believers, seek out an older woman or a couple that can be mentors to you. 

You, my dear, are beautiful, and created in the image of God for good works which He has before ordained that you should walk in them! If you have been born again into His Kingdom, then you are His precious daughter. If you don’t know Him yet, He is waiting and hoping to start a relationship with you. I’d love to tell you more about this if you have questions!Sweet girl, the single most important thing you can do right now is to KNOW HIM.

A close relationship with Christ will be the foundation for all that is to come in your life.

Start each day spending time with Him, and He will become your very best friend. Talk to Him all day long and just delight in the joy of being His.

He will show you how to invest your time, how to spend your days. Your life will be blessed and full.

I am cheering for you, sister!

with much love,

-Allison

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