Friday, July 2, 2010

Little Girls, Young Ladies

Some things we never outgrow...some things were never meant to be outgrown. Young ladies, as we are ushered into the years of young womanhood, we should certainly "put away childish things" (1 Cor. 13:11), but there are some things that we should hold onto forever...
What are the things little girls love? If my childhood days are any indication (and I believe they are)...princess dresses, fairytales, tree houses, flowers, horses, baby dolls, butterflies, ballerina slippers, dollhouses, tea parties, paper dolls, ribbons and bows...and, in my case, tales of knights and pirates, sword fights and damsels in distress (always with happily-ever-after endings, of course), toy guns, wooden swords, and playing detective (Okay, so I had a few tomboyish tendencies as a little girl).
Often today, little girls are pushed to grow up prematurely. And often, young women are not good role models for them to follow.
When I was little, I always looked up to my two older sisters (I still do). Even though I am ten years younger than one and thirteen years younger than the other, Kimberly and April played and spent time with me. They never told me that my make-believe princess balls, elegant tea parties, or treasure hunts were childish or silly. Instead, they would join me in building a tent in our living room, playing hide-and-seek, and carrying a treasure map (really a retired Candy-Land board) around the front yard in search of buried riches.
I carried my favorite doll (Beth) with me almost everywhere I went from age 1 to age 11 or 12. I still love relaxing with a coloring book and crayons, and I don't believe I shall ever outgrow the blissful times spent decorating my dollhouse and playing out stories with its residents (Now I can play dollhouse with my niece McKenzie, but I don't know which of us enjoys it more).
My point in saying all this? I simply wish to relay a message. To little girls: Grow into mature, virtuous young ladies, but savor your childhood days. Do not wish them away, dreaming of being grown up.
To young ladies (such as myself): We must strive to be godly examples for the little girls in our lives, encouraging them to be exactly what they are--little girls. And remember that some things we enjoy during childhood certainly should be carried into our teen years and even into adulthood...such as the innocence, the love of beauty, the  books and stories that have shaped our character, and of course, the lessons we have learned.

Books girls of every age should read...and reread... again and again...
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Anne of Green Gables series (8 books) by L. M. Montgomery
  • Emily of New Moon trilogy by L. M. Montgomery
  • Nancy Drew mysteries by Carolyn Keene
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
  • The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop
  • The Way Home: A Princess Story by Max Lucado
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  • The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Little Pilgrim's Progress inspired by John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
(I know there are many more that I have not yet read which qualify for this list. I hope to work my way through some more children's classics soon!)

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