I am part of the leadership team for my youth group at church. Currently, we are teaching them about being confident, not being fearful & being Godly — living a better story. I’m developing relationships with these young people on Sundays and Wednesdays and through the messages we are teaching them, I have been thinking a lot about myself. Primarily, how can I live a better story and how can I encourage others to do so.
In today’s society, low shirts, tight skirts, distasteful photos/snapchats/tweets, instagram/facebook posts are “in.” You hear women complaining about not finding gentlemen or men who treat them with respect but we dictate how we are treated. Women are posting half naked gym selfies, sending provocative snapchats/pictures and dressing anything but classy in an attempt to get attention. I’ve done some of those very things. I thought those were the things I needed to do in order to get attention and be accepted. As I’ve grown, I look back at things I’ve done and shake my head. I wish I would have realized earlier what it meant to be a lady and behave with intention and grace. As a young woman, I thought posting those attention craving items, a “like” on said item by boys with muscles who were known for being playboys but had gorgeous smiles and were the life of the party, meant I was heading in the right direction. Boy, was I wrong.
I always wondered why I was with disrespectful, cheating, lying guys who didn’t make me a better person, but rather took me down on a path I didn’t want to be on and why I was always picking “the wrong ones.” Now, it’s like a slap in the face. You get what you give. You attract what you are. I was acting distastefully, not respecting myself and I wondered why guys didn’t respect me. I wish I would have learned much sooner. Now, more than anything, I want to show these young girls how important it is to respect yourself. Intelligence, modesty, class and grace are the sexiest traits you can have. If you find a gentleman who pushes you to learn, challenges you, holds you to as high of a standard as you hold yourself, that is the kind of man you want in your life.
Girls wonder why their life is headed in the wrong direction with nothing real to show for themselves when all they do is spend Thursday-Saturday at the bars, getting drunk, dressing immodestly, dancing with anything but class and hanging all over the first attractive guy they see that will give them a glimmer or attention. Why aren’t more women pushing themselves to learn more, improve their lives, travel to new places, deepen their relationships and friendships — live a better story.
My word for the year is discipline. I am seeking discipline in my relationship with God, discipline to be intentional with my life and relationships, discipline to be a healthier version of myself and discipline in my generosity and grace to others. In the past, I would go to the gym and tan so that others thought I looked good. Now, I am doing it for me. In the past, I would talk the talk about being a Godly person and now I am focusing on walking the walk as well. In the past, I would take an invite and rush out to the bar with “friends” because I would get a little bit of temporary satisfaction from the attention and fun. When I got home, I’d feel just as I did before, if not worse for the decisions I made. I am constantly challenging myself to stay out of that cycle. I have slipped here and there but it is crucial for me to keep striving forward and growing. To see all young women empowering each other, pushing forward, trying to grow, rising above the societal norm, would be amazing. I hope one day that more women can rise to the higher standard of grace and class — live a better story.
I have had the pleasure of being around some of the most successful and influential women in Tulsa and in the United States. The difference I see in them and other women is they hold themselves to a higher standard. They seek to constantly be a better version of themselves.
I start thinking about how I want these youth to grow up and have the brightest future or how I would want my future daughter to be. I want them to know their value, to have self worth, to be intelligent and independent. When did a young girl’s dream transition from being a hard-working, successful woman to wanting to be the next Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian? Class and grace is timeless.
My hope is I can live a better story and encourage others to do so as well.