Dear Little Sister, I Love You To The Moon And Back

Dear Little Sister, I Love You To The Moon And Back

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I want to start by saying, I am so very proud of you. I’m proud of the young women you are becoming. You continually surprise me little sister and with every surprise comes me smiling from ear to ear. Every time I see you passionately use your gifts, talents and abilities to glorify our Heavenly Father, I can’t help but be filled with a great sense of admiration and love for you. You’ve come such a long way from the little girl who used to sit around all day watching cartoons, while you waited for your big sister and big brother to come home from school.

You have grown and with every step forward, you have done so with grace and dignity. You have found who you are and who God wishes you to become, and your running with it! With a fire ignited and God behind you, I know you’ll achieve more and impact more people than you could ever dream of. And while you continue to pursue God’s plans for you, know this: I am so very proud of you and I will always support you. When the world gets tough, when it becomes too much, know that I am here for you. I will support you down whatever path He takes you and love you every single day.

Also, I want to say thank you. Thanks for not going to California for college and instead deciding to spend it with me in Illinois. Okay, I know that there were a lot of different factors that made you choose college in Illinois over California. But come on, some of it had to do with me right? I guess that doesn’t really matter though, because whoever (I’m crediting God for this) brought you here, I am so very grateful for the opportunity to be here with you. Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done if you were all the way over in California.

Because if you were over there, I would still be over here, missing my little sister and my constant support. That’s another thing, I want to say thank you because you have always been there. No matter what happened in life, no matter whether it was something to laugh about or cry about, you have always been there. I can’t thank you enough for that. In all honesty, sometimes you’ve been more of a support for me than I have for you, and I apologize for that.

But, I hope you know that I’m so very grateful for your support through the ups and downs over the years, and I hope that you know that I will always be hear for you as well. As we go through college together and as we both venture off into the real world, know that God will be constant when the world gets crazy and I’ll be a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and a loving supporter whenever you need me.

So, I guess that’s it Little Sis. I am so very proud of you, I will always be here for you and lastly, I love you more than you could ever imagine (even to the moon and back is not accurate enough). So, continue to pursue His plans for you with a passion and fire like no other and know that your big sister always has your back.

Cover Image Credit: Kayla Mellema

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If God Didn’t Intend For Women To Be Equals, Why Did She Make Us So Incredible?

Yeah, I said She.

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An article that absolutely infuriates me has gone viral. As a feminist, as a writer, and simply as a woman, it drives me up a wall to see another woman proclaiming that God's plan for women was to "submit to their husbands."

I don't know where to start with all the issues I found in reading the piece, so I'll start with what a feminist is. It's a subjective term and its connotation varies from person to person.

But to me, feminism is being empowered and expressive individuals with open minds and open hearts. They are activists for change and equality. They have concerns about the environment and global warming. They acknowledge issues within sexism and racism and then try to figure out how to solve them. They see that the world isn't perfect.

Feminists are the reason we can vote. They're the reason birth control is an option for us. They're why we're allowed to wear pants. They're why we have careers. The female pioneers paved the way for anything we're allowed to do, and they are why we celebrate the power of women every March.

But instead, the woman who wrote "I'm A Christian And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals," used our month of pride for clout. And took justification from The Bible to do it.

The Bible is not an instruction manual. It was written over many, many years by hordes of sexist men whose existence we have minimal proof of. And over the last thousand years, it's been translated and reinterpreted more times than anyone could ever keep track of. That's not to say it doesn't have some good lessons, but lessons are all they are.

Thinking your worth and capabilities were planned for you thousands of years in advance is ignorant. Religion and The Bible and God are as subjective as feminism. Everything is open-ended. One person's view of who or what God is not going to be the same as the last.

Commonly, God is seen as a man at the center of the universe who holds all existence in his hands. He is the reason why anyone does anything. He is the rule maker. And He is judging us and waiting for our every mistake.

But as a proud feminist, I've chosen to have my own idea of this holy being. I wasn't brought up in church, but I decided to believe in something much greater than myself or anything I've ever seen just because I wanted to. I want to believe that faith has to come from somewhere, and I didn't want a book making the rules for me.

Just by watching life move through time, I happen to believe God is the good in all of us. Not one being, but he beginning and the end of everything. The push and the pull. The conscious and subconscious. And considering that God is the creator, I've concluded God must be a woman because women are the creators.

And in my experience, women have proved themselves to be much stronger and more capable than any man.

As for what She creates, I think She makes no mistakes. I think She tests our patience and beliefs by giving us what we don't expect. There's intent and love in everything She gives us. I think every woman was made to be relentless, imperfect, fearless, and even a little rebellious.

And if we're saying Adam and Eve were the start of it all, then God proved that right off the bat. God saved the best for last, and then made her a badass. Yes, the first woman came into this world as a rule breaker. She questioned authority. And since the beginning of time, authority has been a snake. The world is our forbidden fruit to bite.

The sole purpose of a woman isn't to submit to anyone. A woman can do whatever she damn well pleases, just as any man. A woman's worth isn't tied to what kind of wife or mother she is and how closely she follows the rules. I was raised by the most incredible mom and wife. She did happen to stay at home with me and be the traditional woman. But while she was home, she taught me how great it is to be a woman. She made sure I knew I could be whoever I wanted and would pay no consequences for that.

My parents didn't raise me in a church. And I never saw that as a flaw or lack of judgment. My southern home was like a church; full of faith and love. But on Sundays, we would sleep in and have a big breakfast at noon because we had too much fun staying up late Saturday night dancing around our living room to music. Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, and Madonna led the choir — singing about independence and the power of being empowered as women.

As a feminist, I will not judge those who haven't accepted all the honors of being female. I can just tell everyone how wonderful it is to stand for something. I can set an example so that more women will go forward.

And despite what anyone thinks of feminism, there's nothing exclusive about it. Feminists don't think they're any better than men, they just want the chance to prove their capabilities. It's so much bigger than thinking men suck. The truth is, we should have men at our side, not in front of or behind us. And not for romantic partnerships, but as allies. The best men are feminists too. We can make this walk alone, but there's power in numbers and in diversity.

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