8 Dr. Seuss Quotes That Inspire Me: Girls’ Ministry Edition

Dr. Seuss TitleI’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. 

  1. “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.

  2. “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. 

  3. “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.

  4. “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)

  5. “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. 

  6. “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. 

  7. “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. 

  8. “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. 

 

Quiet Me

Writing tableThere are days that I wish time would stand still. I wish it would stop for a moment and allow the constant crowding of noise to pause and breathe…in and out. In and out. I want life to rest for a moment and in that time I need to refocus my eyes on the path in front of me and my heart on the one who made me. He knows me well.

I think as women living in an expectation-soaked world we often forget that “quiet” is real and attainable and okay. Quiet is sometimes uncomfortable, but it is good. Several weeks ago, I started looking for quiet. I thought that making some space in my schedule would invite quiet in, but somehow it hasn’t yet. Not to the extent thought it would, anyway. I’m still busy! I expected to feel relieved when I dismissed some of the rush, but I found that busy days don’t just un-rush themselves. We lack quiet, ladies. And when we miss out on quiet moments, we ultimately miss out on the movement in the moments. We miss Jesus’ voice whispering. We miss living in and celebrating the time we have- making the most of every breath we breathe. We miss it. I miss it. And so I pray that God would help me be quiet.

I had one of those “oh geez, I said too much moments” a few weeks ago. And trust me, I felt the weight of it. Women are born to communicate. We were gifted to speak and tell stories and share. Sometimes I over-share and my mouth tends to drown out the quiet gentleness that would be much better suited for the situation. I know that if you’re honest, you’ve been there too. It’s okay. However, when God quiets my moments, I find that he quiets my mouth, too. When I don’t speak, I’m able to listen and thus a lesson was birthed from all of this. Not speaking and choosing to listen allows me to hear what God says…not in an audible kind of way, but in a deep down in my heart kind of way. Quiet moments should lead to quiet mouths. (And quiet fingers too! Just because our mouths are literally quiet doesn’t mean we don’t have the power to shout words with our hands on social media. There’s so much truth here, but we’ll save that for another day.)

If there is one thing I could tell my girls it would be this…quiet doesn’t mean we’re broken or ill-equipped, or weak. It means that we’re strong and able to not just listen, but truly hear what the Father wants to speak to our heart. It means that we’re bold enough to embrace the uncomfortable silence at times in order to let God be our guide and lead us toward our purpose. God tells us in 1 Peter 3:4 to clothe ourselves with the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (NIV)

When doors close, that could be God guiding us away from so much noise and into a quiet place, a sanctuary, with him. Embrace this place. When relationships don’t turn out like we thought they would and if feels like you are standing all alone, embrace it. Be quiet. Listen. When you’re tempted to build a busy schedule because you’re afraid of boredom, don’t do it. Don’t fall prey to quenching the quiet because it feels awkward and lifeless. For it is in the quiet that life is born. True living begins when we spend time quietly reflecting and listening to God. He gives us purpose. He breathes into us life.

You won’t find quiet if you’re not looking for it. Life often doesn’t lend itself to quiet. At least not today, anyway. Be intentional about being quiet. Find moments to sit and reflect. Open your eyes to what God might be doing around you. Pay attention to the interactions and conversations you have with people and circumstances everyday. Find some quiet moments in the morning, at night, or even during the day to close your eyes and listen. Don’t say anything. Just listen. For me, quiet doesn’t happen all day, everyday, but I find time when I can. Sometimes quiet happens in the car, as I put on my make-up in the morning, when I sit alone at lunch, or just before I close my eyes at night. I’ve learned to love quiet and protect those precious moments with God.

Here’s some ways that you can practice being quiet in your everyday life:

  • Turn off the radio while you’re driving.
  • Put down the phone when you’re all by yourself for a few minutes.
  • Take a walk.
  • Say no to something to free up some time.
  • Sit in your car for a few extra minutes before you get out wherever you’re at….(This one sounds silly, but I do it all the time! And it works!)

What are some ways you can welcome quiet into your world?


Dear Jesus,

Quiet me. Help me see the value in the quiet moments I can spend with you. Unrush my days and speak to my heart. I want to know more about you. I want to know my purpose. I want to see you at work in my life. Quiet my moments. Quiet my mouth. Quiet my heart. Give me a new vision and direction that can only be birthed from time spent with you. Help me to walk in your ways and embrace a gentle and quiet spirit because it is of great worth to you. Amen.