It's Time to be a Big Girl Now
This week God has been speaking to me about being a big girl. The job where I am currently working is my first full-time with benefits position. When I got the job, I referred to it as my big girl job. I bought a big girl purse and started wearing big girl clothes. All that means is that I stopped carrying my plaid backpack to work every day and traded my jeans and a t-shirt look for a pencil skirt, blouse and earrings. I felt as though it was time to shed a few things and to grow up a little more.
I have realized that many adults are still stuck in adolescense. I have mentioned before that I work with low-income people to help them to find work and to become self-sufficient. I am astounded to find that many of the people we serve still act like teenagers, even though they may be well into their 30s or 40s. We have people that come in wearing pajamas and club attire. We have people that don't come at all and who refuse to call to cancel their appointments. We have people who swear at us, roll their eyes and try to pick fights. On a bad day, our classes can look like an unruly after school detention.
I have noticed the overgrown teenager phenomenon outside of work as well. Facebook is replete with it. Grown adults cursing people out and putting their business on public display day after day. I have seen many adults unable to fulfill the responsibility of holding a job and bringing in an income. I once knew a couple who divorced because the man would spend 12 or more hours a day playing video games and refused to help the wife with household duties. The one thing that people that fall into this category all seem to share in common is that they can always find someone else to blame for their circumstances.
It's time to be a big girl...or boy.
Now, I think some of us equate adulthood with huge milestones like marriage, buying a house and having a career. Some people feel stunted in their maturity, growth and success because they have not yet achieved these milestones. Although these are all wonderful things that we get to experience in our adult years, I do not believe that they are synonymous with maturity or success. Rather, I believe that maturity and being a "grown-up" are all a matter of attitude. Here are some traits I have found to be true of people that have shedded their adolescense and are rocking adulthood:
1. You have your emotions in check.
It is so important that we have control over our emotions. This is not to say that we won't have our emotional days and moments, but rather that we know how to vent, express and process our emotions in ways that aren't self-destructive and adding to the problem. We need to learn how to handle other people's negative attitudes in a way that doesn't end with us stooping to their level. Physical violence and substance abuse are not appropriate ways to deal with feelings of anger or sadness. Blasting people on facebook with vicious remarks is unacceptable behavior for a grown adult. Simple as that.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Pet. 1:5-7)
2. You take responsibility for your own actions.
The choices you make, your actions, the things you say, you take responsibility for it. We all know that one person who always places the blame on someone else when things get rough. I have known people who can never seem to see the role they play in their own negative set of circumstances. It's time to face the music. Instead of placing the blame everywhere else in a futile attempt to protect your own image, start focusing on what you could do differently to create a more positive situation. There is nothing more refreshing than when a man or woman can own up to their mistakes, learn from it and move forward.
For each will have to bear his own load. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that he will also reap. For the one who sows to this own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Gal. 6:5-8)
3. You are motivated and ambitious.
I think sometimes the guys are oblivious to this one, but every girl I know is looking for a guy who is motivated...someone who knows they want out of life and works hard to make his dreams a reality. Most ladies have experienced the frustration of meeting a great guy who seems perfect, but can't seem to think past the video games he is going to play with his buddies over the weekend. Not only is motivation and ambition a necessity for adulthood, but it's also attractive! When you are passionate about your calling and your dreams, you attract other like-minded individuals to yourself.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
4. You are independent
Some of us rely on others for help to make things work and that's okay, as long as we are doing all that is within our power to be independent in the ways that we can. You should have a job. Finding work is difficult for everyone, but if you are unemployed you should make job searching your new job. I consider going to school a job. Some have been called to ministry, which often means that the work you do relies on the support of others. But it is still work...very demanding work at that. I'm just saying that in my mind there is no reason for fully grown adults, who are not disabled in some way, to be hanging out all day.
Independence also means being able to do your own laundry, cook your own dinner and clean your own house.
Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. (1 Cor. 14:20)
5. You love yourself and enjoy the ride!
Lastly, I think it's huge that in our adulthood we learn to love ourselves and enjoy the adventure! None of us have mastered being an adult. We all have our weaknesses and insecurities. Learn from the process and allow God to continue to shape you and mold you into the man or woman that he has called you to be.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18)