I spent the first eight years of my life as an only child. I don’t remember when or where I found out that I was going to be a big sister, but I do remember anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest addition.
Now here we are thirteen years later. Meet my little sister, Christa Jewel, or as we like to call her, CJ
Today, April 2, is her thirteenth birthday! I still always picture her as the little eight-year-old with a broken arm. It’s always a shock when I come home from college and realize how much taller she is since the last time I saw her.
I’ve watched her grow, figure out how to style her hair, and, slowly but surely, play with makeup (proud big sis moment). CJ also loves riding horses and dancing, but has zero interest in cheerleading. Ha!
In honor of CJ’s 13th birthday, I’m writing 13 beauty, and non-beauty things, I wish I had a big sister to tell me.
1. Always wash your face before bed.
No matter if you wore makeup or not that day, wash your face! The oils and dirt that build up will cause breakouts, and then it’s just a constant cycle of bad skin days and more makeup to cover it up. It doesn’t matter how pretty you feel in all that makeup, wash it off. A clean face is a happy face!
2. Use sunscreen!
All over, but specifically for your face! You’ll still get color on your skin, but you’re helping avoid sunburn and wrinkles later in life. You don’t want to end up looking like an old piece of leather, so lather up before heading out in the sun. Not just at the pool, but anytime you’re outside. Protect your skin!
3. Be kind.
Be kind to your mom, friends, teachers and anyone you come across. Your kind actions will have a ripple effect on those around you. One small action will go much further than you think.
4. Your friends will change, but don’t make enemies.
The friends you make in middle school probably won’t be the same friends you’re close with when you’re a senior in high school. That’s okay! Your friends change and so do you. Everyone grows and starts to find who they want to be, and so will you (and quote from Emily Genevieve, “Horses are better friends than people anyways”).
5. Don’t feel pressured to be like anyone else,
whether it’s the “cool” kids, girls on TV, or even your big sister. You are your own person with your own mind and personality. Use what you have been given in this life to make you stand out and be unique. “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” -Song of Solomon 4:7
6. You WILL mess up.
You will mess up a lot, and then many more times. You have to learn to pick yourself back up and brush it off. You’ll always have your support system to help you get back on your feet, but there is no greater life lesson than overcoming an obstacle on your own.
7. Never stop learning.
School is hard work, but well worth it. You’ll constantly be told that you are being prepared for the next step whether thats high school, college, grad school, or the real world. They’re telling the truth. Study hard, do your best and never stop learning.
8. Pray often.
Not just when times are hard or you need help. Pray in good times, sad times, bad times and boring times. Be in constant conversation with God. He is with you at all times. He is just waiting for you to start the conversation.
9. Learn to say “I’m Sorry.”
Admitting fault is something we all struggle with. We aren’t perfect, and we all mess up. It’s important to say I’m sorry and try and make amends.
10. Always keep a smile on your face.
This is my favorite piece of advice that Mom has ever given me. A smile will get you so many places. It shows you’re friendly, approachable and someone worth having a conversation with. Keep smiling!
11. Believe in yourself.
You can have all the support in the world, but it means nothing if you don’t believe in yourself. You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. Never forget that. Make it your mantra.
12. Makeup is fun, but don’t think you have to wear it to feel beautiful.
Makeup is fun! Don’t think it’s the only thing to make you look and feel good though. Take a day, or even a week, and go completely makeup free. It’s a great feeling, and it’s good for your skin!
13. Always be prepared.
It’s better to do the hard work now and reap the benefits later. This applies to homework, working out, eating smart, cleaning and grocery shopping. Learn this habit now and life will be just a little bit smoother ride!
These are just a few of the things I wish I had a big sister to tell me when I was growing up, and even now. I’m so blessed to have a little sister who is as smart and talented as you. Happy birthday, CJ!