Having teenaged daughters has allowed for a lot of growth in my life. The world my generation grew up in is nothing like the world in which my girls are finding their voices. Recently in a conversation with one of my girls, I came to understand that my girls consider themselves progressives. They consider themselves feminists. I decided it was time for me to listen to the definitions of these words from their connotation and not my own. In doing so I realized, we were not at odds with each other in our thinking on the most part. Most of the ideals they hold, I find worthy. Few of their opinions do I find as ill thought through. Our differences mostly lie in the vehicle to take to the end goal. They are thinking, passionate girls. That combination is, to me, priceless.
On this day of celebrating girls worldwide, I once again want to remind my girls of the intrisic value of their feminine personhood. Being female is not a handicap. You, as a woman, are not destined for oppression. While there are some who will face that reality, do not wear victimhood as an accessory. Seek out ways to lift the burden off those who are indeed bearing it. As much as it is up to you, do not be the reason for someone else’s burden.
There is always room for growth and improvement, but open your eyes and celebrate the opportunities afforded women. Women have the unique opportunity to be mothers. This is the highest honor available to humanity. Even if you don’t choose it for yourself, never discredit the place of honor that the position of mother deserves.
Work hard. Whatever you choose to do as an occupation, do for God’s glory. Go the extra mile as you are able. Pursue joy. If given a position of opportunity, lift others up with you. If you are in a lower position, work with integrity as if you own the business. In all things pursue joy. Be content, while also pushing yourself. There will be obstacles. Don’t be your own biggest hurdle.
Please don’t confuse the bad behavior of some as a truth universal. Men are not enemies. Equality is not best obtained by pulling down others, but, instead, rising up.
You were created to be so much more than many of this world will suggest. Your beauty is best displayed in service. Your mind is the sexiest part of your body. Your deeds and pursuits are a sign of your empowerment, not the displaying of your body. It is not your responsibility to guard the minds of others. It is your duty to respect yourself. If you desire a partner, choose a man who will encourage you to pursue your dreams and intellect, as you do his.
Finally, my hope is you know how much you are loved and valued, foremost by your Creator, and accentuated by parents who celebrate the amazing women you are and are becoming.
Embrace your girl powers. Shine a light for those who are struggling to see their own. Live boldly.