Live Original (Sadie Robertson) (7 page)

BOOK: Live Original (Sadie Robertson)
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I know a lot of teenage girls would think being part of Fashion Week would be the greatest thing ever, but when I first arrived, I saw that it could be very intimidating. Let me explain.

When I showed up for my first appointment, I walked into a room full of models from places like Russia and other European countries. To me, they all looked about six feet tall and were super skinny. They were pretty obsessed with their weight, so instead of having snacks or treats, they smoked cigarettes and drank coffee. They all seemed to be a lot older than I was, or at least a lot more experienced. They were quiet, and they seemed either sad or kind of angry. No one in the room was in a very good mood.

I totally stood out when I first saw all of them. There I was, a cheerful sixteen-year-old from Louisiana, eating M&M’s and saying, “Hey, y’all!”

Many of them did not say a single word back to me. They just looked at me like they had icicles in their eyes. Without using words, they sent me a strong message: “What are
you
doing here?” It was pretty uncomfortable!

But I knew I was there for a reason. It was where God wanted me to be that week. The fact that I even got invited was kind of a miracle. I was there to showcase my line of “Daddy-approved prom dresses.” Those kinds of dresses are not very popular with professional models.

As I went through the week, I realized something. A lot of girls my age would think those models might be some of the happiest, most confident people on earth because the fashion industry views them as the most beautiful people in the world. But most of them did not seem confident at all. They seemed to be trying to live up to an image someone else had created for them—to be people they were not—and that is not good for anyone. They actually seemed to have a lot of insecurities, and that comes from having the wrong idea about what confidence is and where to get it. They seemed to be looking for it in places it does not exist, seeking it from their looks or their professional connections. They cared way too much about their outward appearance—and confidence is an inside thing. It has nothing to do with how people dress or what they look like. If people try to become confident by trying to make themselves look better or feel better, they will never get there.

By the end of Fashion Week, some of the models I met really warmed up. One time, I got my hair and makeup done before any of them did, and they were very curious about that. One even asked me, “Why do
you
get to go first?”

I explained to them that I had to do media interviews, which is not something many models do. I was able to talk a little bit about
Duck Dynasty
, which is not a big deal in the models’ home countries, so they had never heard of it and had no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it. As they started to understand more about me, some of them thought what I was doing was awesome. A few even said they wished they could do something similar. Others seemed to look down on me and be frustrated because I got to get my hair and makeup done before everyone else. What I went through with the models, especially in the beginning of Fashion Week, could have caused my confidence to take a major dive. I could have totally lost it over the comments people made and the icy looks they gave me. But I didn’t. God had been training me all of my life—with a special emphasis during my eighth-grade year—to be strong and confident in who I am in Him.

One Bible passage that really applies to my time at Fashion Week is 1 Peter 3:3–4:

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles,

expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.

You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty

that comes from within, the unfading beauty

of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

The way to become confident is through a relationship with God. In my life, I know that the stronger I get in my faith, the more confident I become as a person. That’s the way it works. Just give it a try and you’ll see.

Live Original Challenge
1.
 What would you do differently in your life if you had as much confidence as you would like?
2.
 What kinds of situations can cause you to lose your confidence? What Bible verses can you use to strengthen yourself when these things happen?
3.
 What are your best qualities? Knowing your strengths and good qualities helps you grow in confidence.
4.
 What is one dream or goal you would like to achieve, and how will confidence help you get there?
DON’T FORGET
No matter what you want to do, confidence is key!
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful.
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.
—1 Corinthians 10:13

CHAPTER FIVE

You Can Only Fix You

M
y dad told us about a time he was on an airplane and the person sitting next to him took literally hundreds of selfies with her phone. That’s all she did the entire flight. Now, I must admit, I have taken a selfie or two in my life, but Dad said she was taking them the entire flight, and when she wasn’t taking a selfie, she was looking through and editing her album of selfies on her phone. I thought maybe she was taking off on a big adventure she had been excited about for a long time and wanted to post pictures of herself finally on the plane, headed for someplace exotic. That would have been kind of understandable. Or I thought maybe she was going to Snapchat someone, but then I realized she would not have had any service in the air. My mom even asked my dad if maybe the girl recognized him and was trying to fake him out by appearing to take selfies but getting a few photos of him along the way.

We will never know what she was doing or where she was going that day, but my dad insisted that she really seemed to be simply snapping selfies like crazy—seriously,
tons
of them—then editing
each one to make it look better than the real photo actually did. This is
not
what I mean when I talk about “fixing yourself”!

When I say, “You can only fix you,” I mean that each of us is responsible for ourselves. This is something people my age really need to understand. Blaming our parents or friends when we do things that are not good for us is easy. Making excuses is easy, and as teenagers, we can come up with some
really
good ones. Taking responsibility is not so easy, but it’s what helps us grow up. One way to think about taking responsibility is to look at it as the opposite of blaming other people. Something that really gets on my nerves is when people blame others for problems they created for themselves or for things that may not be anyone’s fault; they just happened. I don’t know about you, but I
know
when something is my fault. I might not want to admit it, but I know it. I also know that if I try to blame someone else, I will not grow (plus, I would be lying if I said it was someone else’s fault when it wasn’t). But if I take responsibility for whatever happened and look to see what I can learn from the situation, I will grow because of it.

GROW UP GREAT

I want to grow up to be a great person who makes a positive difference in the world. I hope you do too, because you have all the potential you need in order to do that. If we are going to make that happen, we have to start taking responsibility for ourselves now, while we’re young. We have to learn to be good at who we are.

If we want to be good at sports, we have to go to practice; we have to stay in shape; we have to build our endurance. We also have to discipline ourselves to take responsibility for doing the things that are necessary for being good athletes. The same is true for musicians, people who want to excel in schoolwork, and anyone who wants to do anything well. I once heard that it takes ten thousand hours to be an expert at anything. It’s not just about talent, it’s about hard work and putting in the practice and the hours to make yourself great at anything you want to be great at.

If we want to be our very best selves, we have to try to do what’s right and be the type of person other people want to be around. We need to be kind and positive and make good choices. Sometimes we have to work at being kind to others. For some people that takes a little more work than it does for others. Or you may tend to see the negative in others, to see the glass as half-empty. Being positive may be something you have to really work on or practice. Two-Mama tells me that my uncle, her son, seemed to have been born negative. She says that when he was a little boy, she would make him tell her three positive things about his school day as soon as he walked in the door, before he could say anything else. She did this to try to teach him to think more positively. Sometimes positivity takes practice.

Also, some people are just not that easy to be kind to. That’s when we have to remember, “You can only fix you.” You cannot control what other people say or do or how they act. You can only control how you act in response to them. Jesus said the greatest command is love: loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbor as yourself (see Matthew 22:37–39). Being kind, positive, patient, generous, not jealous, not rude, unselfish—all those things the Bible defines as love—takes work. And only you can work on those things for yourself.

“Fixing you” means that whenever we notice a character flaw, we fix it. When we are tempted to do something wrong, we stand strong against it. We make decisions we are proud of—decisions that build us up on the inside and that benefit not just ourselves but others. And we don’t make decisions that will lead to disappointment or cause us to live at a level that is less than we want for ourselves or God wants for us.

All of us are growing and becoming what we are supposed to be. We aren’t there yet. If we want to reach a place of being our very best, we have to start now to fix ourselves and make adjustments in our lives. I can only fix me, and you can only fix you. If we will all do that, we can make the world a better place.

I CAN’T FIX ANYBODY ELSE

I mentioned in chapter 1 that whatever you put into your mind will come out. When people make bad choices about what they watch, read, or listen to, the garbage they put into their lives reveals itself in their decisions, their choice of friends, or the ways they spend their time. And almost always, it comes out of their mouths.

One time I was with my friends and one girl started using really bad language. In Louisiana, we call that “cussing”! She did not use just one or two bad words; she let a whole string of them go. I was totally shocked!

Most people hear the kind of words she used from time to time. A lot of people use them when they stub their toe, but it’s a whole different deal when someone hammers them all the way through a conversation. That language does not make her a bad person, but it
puts hateful speech in my mind, and God wants my thoughts and words to be pure and joyful.

After I got over my initial shock, but before the girl had said too much, I told her, “When you’re with me, I don’t want to hear that stuff. Your words affect the people around you, and I don’t like the effect they could have on me.” Maybe she thought I was being picky, but I had learned the “garbage in, garbage out” principle when I was in junior high school and I had not forgotten it. I did not want the words she chose to use to get into my mind or come out of my mouth the next day. So I told her what I thought.

Whether or not the girl continued to speak the way she did was her choice. If she was okay with doing that in her life, that was her deal. I could not stop her, but I did not have to listen to her. When people speak that way, it influences the people around them. When it affects me—or you—I have a right to stand up for myself and to decide what I will or will not listen to and allow into my brain.

My point is that I could not do anything about the way that girl spoke. She was in charge of her own vocabulary! I could not do one single thing to improve her choice of words, but I could do everything about whether or not I chose to listen. I am learning that we can’t change other people, but we can always change ourselves. In 1 Timothy 4:12, the Bible says,

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.

Be an example to all believers in what you say,

in the way you live, in your love,

your faith, and your purity.

My job is to obey God’s Word, and that often means being different from the people in the world around me. God says I need to
speak in a way that sets an example for others. That’s what I’m determined to do, and I hope you are too.

BOOK: Live Original (Sadie Robertson)
7.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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