Dear Sister

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A Letter to my Beautiful Little Sister,

I remember my first semester of college like it was yesterday. I remember loving my room mate & meeting so many friends those first few months especially of dorm living. I remember the mac-n-cheese microwave dinners and late nights heart to heart chats with my ‘12th floor girls’ (Shoutout to all my“Action Jackson” girls at Texas State). I also remember staying up at the library trying to cram for exams and working a part time job to make ends meet. I remember late nights & road trips with friends. I remember wearing my heart on my sleeve and getting my heart broken. It wasn’t all sunshine & roses, but all the while, I was growing as an individual along the way. I remember having an overwhelming feeling of “what’s next?” & let me tell you sweet sister - God already has a plan for you, so don’t waste your energy worrying! I was there the day you were born and I’ve seen you grow up to be such a beautiful woman. I am so proud of you & I am so excited to see where your path leads.

I learned so much from those years when I was in college & for what it’s worth, I can give you a few tid bits of ‘Older Sister Words of Wisdom’:

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  1. Choose your friends wisely. They don’t say “You’ll end up like the 5 people you hang out with most” for nothing….it is true! So, surround yourself with people who inspire you to truly be your best & challenge your faith and encourage your potential every day.

  2. Dad always said “Don’t forget who you are.” & I think we can both agree (we don’t have to tell him) that he actually has a point. Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. For the record, you came from a loving Christian home - figured I’d share a few flashback photos from years ago.

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3. Know your worth & don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve. You are the only you on this planet - let that sink in, seriously sink in. You have so much to offer & don’t ever give anyone your time who doesn’t respect you. “Know your worth, then add tax.” God designed you perfectly & don’t go trying to change your natural beauty to fit some ‘model status’ - just be you, un-apologetically. The world needs more authenticity.

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4. Get rid of toxic people in your life - it may sting a bit at first, but God has a way of filtering out the real friends who will stick by your side for life. IF they make the cut, they’ll be by your side forever. If not, it’s simply a lesson to be learned to better prepare you for your future relationships.

5. Be a good friend. Think about how you want others to treat you - and treat them like that instead! Make an effort to be there for one another & make sure to listen as much as you talk. On the flip side, don’t be someone’s door mat & give excuses for why they treat you wrong. Don’t give your time to someone who tears you down repeatedly & live by the golden rule.

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6. Change is GOOD, so “Follow your opportunities until they fade or flourish”. With each big decision comes a bit of worry that tends to creep up. The Lord will finish the good work HE began in you & has plans for you to prosper & not to harm you. Remember that first to reduce the stress of making the decision. Always make the RIGHT decision, not just the EASY choice.

7. WORK HARD - Have an underlying interest in learning new things about life - whether or not it’s in your school curriculum or not. There is nothing more valuable than a woman intent on bettering herself spiritually, physically & intellectually - ALL BY HERSELF, without a man first! Work hard for what you have & show up early & stay late if that’s what it takes to get the job done. In God’s timing & if it’s His plan for you, He’ll reveal a man working just as hard towards his goals & the shared drive towards life will be a natural and very mutual attraction towards one another. Never lose that fire & go after your goals!

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8. Set Goals - Have a mood board you keep updated throughout each year & take time to pray & write about your goals (1 month goals, 1 semester goals, 1 year goals, etc.) There is truth to the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Also, once you create your goals, commit your plans to the Lord & He’ll see you through.

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9. Quit stressing!! - Seriously? God already has a plan for your future sweet girl. Don’t over-think things, but on the flip side, pray about each situation to make the best decision and also sleep on every tough decision before responding.

Isaiah 41:10“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

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10. CALL YOUR SISTERS- I can’t explain the love I have for you precious sister. I’ve seen you grow & develop into a beautiful young lady. God still has work to do in both of our lives & Shannah & I are only ONE phone call away. We used to be known as your '“built - in - baby sitters” & now, we’d be proud to be known as your “number one cheerleaders!”. We’ve been through this stage of life you’re going through now & we are here to listen & be there for you when you need someone to vent to or ask advice from. Can’t wait to see where your journey in to adulthood takes you, but I do know one thing - you have sisters to help you through each step of the process!

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It was such a blessing being able to be there for you to move you in to college at Ole Miss! Twelve hours in the car, 4 states later & several rolls of contact paper applied to your new dorm desk later & YOU’RE OFFICIALLY A REBEL! I’m so proud of you already & I want you to know & truly believe that you’re going to do great things, so don’t ever underestimate yourself! I am sad to see you go, but I am so proud of how brave you are to take this giant leap of faith by moving three states away to begin a new chapter for yourself.

XOXO, your sister,