Life Hacks for the 20-Something Badass Woman

  1. I’ve come to believe that God doesn’t have a problem cussing at me when necessary. In fact, he once told me the exact perfect word I needed to hear in a moment of complete anxiety and chaos – and it wasn’t a Bible verse. My big-sister friend pulled my chin up, looked directly into my tear-soaked, red-from-crying face and said, “You are a badass. You can do this.” It changed everything. It made me rise up inside. Something in me just needed to hear that – because I was sick of feeling like a fearful, anxious, weak, emotional woman. So, if you haven’t yet heard it, sister: You are a badass. You can do this!
  1. Holding on to your offense at the person who hurts you, is only making your own life miserable. In the meantime, they’re probably having a nice life. Forgive, not for them – not for anyone else – but so that you can be free and your own heart can heal. Forgive even when no apology is offered. Forgive so you can be set free from bitterness. Forgive for the health of your heart.
  1. Always add cinnamon to Snickerdoodle dough, not just a sprinkling on top. Also, cream of tartar is how you get the hard edges and soft middles with crackly tops. Also, bigger is better. Have you experienced the pure joy of partaking in a giant, crackly-topped, loaded with cinnamon sugar, Snickerdoodle cookie? If not, you’ll want to do something about that ASAP.
  1. A very amazing thing happens when you start paying more attention to what God says and what you say about yourself, than to the perceived notion of what everyone else says. Forget about that and stop caring about the opinions of others.
  1. Doing your eyebrows can give you a whole new face. If you haven’t ever done them, I highly suggest at least trying it out to see how much of a lift it can give to your overall appearance. Start with a pencil and remember, go with the natural shape of your brow, and fill in. Do not go overboard.
  1. People pleasing is exhausting, unhealthy, and will leave you confused without a sense of your true identity. If you’re always saying yes to please people, say no and stop feeling guilty about it. Because actually, you’re not saying yes for them, you’re saying yes for you – for your own image. You’re saying yes so you can uphold your reputation in their eyes, so you can avoid them feeling “let down” by you and maybe having a negative opinion about you because of it. People-pleasing is actually selfish. Get free of it.
  1. Buy real, good-smelling laundry products instead of $7 jugs of detergent that literally do nothing for your clothes, or your nose. I’m telling you, find your favorite scent of fabric softener, and buy a few packs of dryer sheets. Great smells and soft clothes make the chore of doing laundry so much more exciting, and so much less of a chore.
  1. Comparison is never accurate, because you’re comparing all that you know of your own situation, to a fraction of what you know about someone else. Stop comparing. It’s an easy way to waste your life away and miss out on every good thing in your own life. Don’t let that happen.
  1. As someone who never takes baths – only showers – I highly recommend drawing a nice, hot, bubbly bath every once in a good while, lighting some candles, and grabbing a glass of wine and maybe even a good book, every so often. I waited 27 years to experience this, and I wish I hadn’t waited that long.
  1. Women are amazing. We are powerful. We are intelligent. We are beautiful. We are inspiring, courageous, captivating. We may have been victims, we may be victimized, but it is the choice of each woman alone whether she will define herself as a victim, and carry around the weight of that or not. Don’t let society slap the victim label on your forehead when you’ve already ripped it off.
  1. Contrary to popular belief (and trendy humor read: every meme everywhere)… Hating people and hating life is not what God wants for us. It’s one thing to be an introvert and struggle with tiredness, but the never ever wanting to be around people at any time and laughing about anxiety is not becoming. There’s a better way to live.
  1. With all the strength you have, and by God’s grace, I urge you to make sure that offense is not permitted to take root in your heart. Because when it does, it leads only to bitterness, and bitterness will eat you alive. You can see bitterness written on the worn, crackled faces of the elderly. You can see it in the eyes of someone. Don’t be the 60-year-old crabby, grouchy old man or woman. Don’t hate your life. Don’t make it all the way to what could be your best years, to find you’ve wasted it. You only get one chance at this – one life to live. Don’t let the actions of others dictate your final outcome – don’t give them that right.
  1. Life is too short to eat cookies that taste like crap. (My mother said this to me during a phone conversation in which I told her about a new side job I would be working – selling gluten free, “healthy” cookies. I wholeheartedly agree.) IF YOU’RE GOING TO EAT A COOKIE, MAKE IT A FREAKING GOOD ONE LOADED WITH BUTTER AND FLOUR AND SUGAR AND ALL THE FIXINGS. The same applies to any other type of “health” food that is trying to be a spin-off of a perfectly good junk food. Don’t waste your time with those – they aren’t worth it. Don’t go overboard, but eat the dang cookie and enjoy the hell out of it and stop feeling guilty afterwards.
  1. If you’ve got them, call your brothers and sisters once a month. Keep the group texts full of hilarious memes. Siblings are built-in best friends.
  1. Marriage is better when you aren’t a control freak. So when you come home from a weekend trip to clean sheets and fresh pillowcases on the bed, be thankful for what a good man you have, and overlook the fact that you like the tag on the comforter to be at the foot of the bed, rather than the side. It just doesn’t matter. And just sleep in the dang bed the way the dear man made it.
  1. Strive to be more like Christ every day. But don’t be legalistic. I’ve seen and been around a lot of legalism, and it isn’t very pleasant. Somehow I don’t think Jesus wants us to live that way. I believe He values what is real and genuine – the response of the heart, rather than the strict enforcement of rules.
  1. Put on a pair of heels and a coat of red lipstick every once in a while. I’m telling you, nothing makes me feel better than wearing lounge clothes for several days and then dressing up. You don’t need an excuse. You’re alive today – that’s reason enough.
  1. I am pretty sure Jesus would have understood sarcasm, gotten a kick out of humor and probably even said and done some things that would become a meme if memes existed back in the day. Laughter is good medicine and he’s the one who created it. Enjoy the humor of life and humanity.
  1. You know those weeks or months you have a task or assignment or appointment coming up that you are really, really nervous about – to the point where you can’t stop thinking about it, and every time you do, a slight sense of dread washes over you, and you just can’t wait to get it over with? Try to have lots of those, because nothing compares to the amazing feeling you get afterwards – when you’re done, and you know you did it. Do something that you are scared to do. Keep signing up for scary things. Just take the plunge. It’s how you grow as a person, and how you become even more of a badass.
  1. If you’re following after God with all your heart, then where you are right now, in this moment, with these people in this place, is right where you are supposed to be. Pay no attention to those invisible but very real expectations of society and your relatives and anyone else saying you should be this far, have these things, and be this person by this certain age. It’s all hogwash. We are all different. Don’t accept any pressure except the pressure to be you.

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