I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really know what I’m doing. I don’t have all the answers parents and teen girls want to know. Sometimes I do too much- I get too involved, I crowd their space, I ask too many questions. And sometimes I don’t do nearly enough- I don’t get involved enough, I am too distant, I don’t ask enough questions. And because I’m a woman, I tend to get emotionally involved in the lives of my girls. Whether they know it or not (well, now they’ll know-) I carry a huge burden for them and trying to be the best me I can be. It’s true. I want to be what they need, although I know that Jesus will ultimately be the only one who will ever be exactly what they’re looking for and exactly who they need. I carry it because I care. More than anything, I want to point them to Jesus.
…And if you’re involved in girls’ ministry, chances are, you do too.
As I wrestle with keeping the balance day in and day out, I do know that not having all the answers is okay. I’m growing and learning how to be the very best me in this season, and in this place. Sometimes it’s very easy. Other times it’s very hard. I believe that childhood experiences and lessons help navigate the waters of girls’ ministry for me even today.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved Dr. Seuss. I love his whimsy, his honesty, his perspective. I love the humor and quite frankly, (because I’m mostly just a big kid at heart) I love the stories.
Here are 8 of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes that can be easily applied to any role in ministry and how they’re inspiring me.
“Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So … get on your way.”
– Doing nothing? Not okay! I’ve learned that even when I take tiny steps of faith, I’m still climbing the mountain. I’m still moving. And that’s what matters. What does it look like? It’s action. So keep moving, friends. Keep doing. Keep cooking dinner. Keep helping with homework. Keep talking. Keep listening. Keep pouring over Scripture with them. Keep reminding them that they are loved and so, so valuable.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
– Truth? We live in a world that is so sin-sick and broken. From my platform, from your platform, we will have an impact on the lives of our girls because we care. It matters that I ask the hard questions. It matters that I am available (even when it’s tough), it matters that my girls know that I’m there and that I can listen better than I can talk.
“If you never did you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”
– I never realized what an adventure girls’ ministry would be. It requires me to daily (and I do mean daily) step outside of my comfort zone to be what God has called me to be. And you know what? I’m learning that these unexpected moments become adventure and it’s wildly fun. Fun is so, so good.
“It is better to know how to learn than to know.”
– I surely don’t know everything. There’s still work to do. In fact- I’m learning how to learn some things. How about you? (See what I did there? Hehe)
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
– As a leader, I can sometimes get caught in the trap of thinking that I need to provide a long explanation or give some deep, spiritually mature answer to a question my girls have. Let me relieve girls’ ministers everywhere of this burden. You don’t. I don’t. I won’t have the answer for it all and sometimes the answer may simply be, “I don’t know, but I know who does…Jesus.” I think vulnerability adds value.
“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
– Are we afraid to open our eyes because we’re not sure what we’ll see? Although the journey at times is tough, please keep your eyes open wide. I always remember Exodus 14:13 when I think about truly seeing and not being too caught up in the battle- “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, for he will show it to you today.” (My own emphasis added there.) Don’t be afraid to look your girls in the eyes. Don’t be afraid to ask the Lord to help you see what you need to see in the middle of hard times. It’s okay to close your eyes for a moment, but don’t keep them closed for too long.
“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.”
– No matter how good I think I am, there’s always room for improvement. No matter how bad things seem, it’s never really that bad. Perspective is everything. We’re on the right path, but we haven’t arrived just yet.
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”
– As I walk beside girls through their teenage years, here’s what I’ve learned. These moments that seem like they have no value actually become some of the greatest memories we make. Cherish every single one of them. Live in it. Love it. Someday those moments will remind you why it is you do what you do.