Growing My Girls for the Will to Win


I can’t imagine being 7 years old and having to make sense of peers being invited to something that she wasn’t. A “something’ that implies, “You’re smart,” or “There’s something special about you.”

She stuffed her feelings. Didn’t say anything about it. Just kept smiling as if everything was okay.

Then, a prime opportunity to reclaim self-esteem and feel smart again. The science bee. The history bee.

Representing her class among her peers with the winners from the four other classrooms. What a sense of accomplishment it would be if she won the grade-level bees? How super proud would her parents be of her?

It was a temptation far to relevant. And she lied. To feel smart. To feel special. To have her parents express their excited praise!

So, she said she won.

Did you see that? The trap. The belief that to restore this feeling of self-worth, a lie was necessary. I don’t blame her. How often do we do it too?

But when the truth is laid open, it humbles. And it restores.

She has strong interests in technology, science, social studies, media, and how things work (a.k.a., engineering). She has a teacher’s spirit and enjoys instructing others, making her a natural leader among her peers. She excels in language arts and tackles math like it’s a fun game. She loves people and cultures and exploring the differences among us.

Then, the 9 year old big sister weighs in. Tells her she is smart. She is special. She doesn’t need to lie to feel good about herself. And that just because you didn’t get something like your friends, you are still a great sister. One who loves. One who helps. One who teaches. All you have to do is think about all the good things, and winning isn’t everything.

I’d never ever seen this kind of maturity and wisdom in big sister before. It was beautiful. It was inspiring. It was tear-inducing. Sheer pride at her ability to communicate so clearly what she thought about her little sister lying. Just to feel smart and special.

No, winning isn’t everything. But the will to win is. Growing my girls with the will to win is a daily priority.  Most days it gets messy and complicated. But then there are those moments in life when their self-worth and esteem shine bright because they understand the will to go after what they’re good at.

Doing your best sometimes misses the mark or gets overlooked. Yet, refocusing on the will to win is what’s most important. I am thankful for these lessons learned and perspective changed with my girls this week.


10 Things Job’s Daughters Teaches Boys


Twenty-plus…er…uh…years ago, I was reading through the local paper and saw a picture of friends at my high school in white Grecian robes with a box of sweaters and coats for a local charity. The girls were smiling and proud and the article called them Job’s Daughters.

The next day at school I made it a point to ask my friend Shelly what this group was all about. She quickly explained it was a leadership organization for girls who were somehow related to a Mason. I asked how I could join and what sort of activities they did, besides community service. She told me about girls leading meetings, learning parliamentary procedure (Robert’s Rule of Order), supporting the Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment, an annual Pageant to select state representatives, Grand Session – Virginia’s annual conference at Ferrum College, among many others. My interest was piqued and I was bought in.


Closing prayer,
a moment of sweet reflection and calm

I joined a few weeks later on November 22nd. And I loved it. There was something so special about the organization that captured me. Based on the story of Job’s life – his trials, misfortunes, and later reward for his faithfulness, patience, and trust in God – I saw young women, my peers, turning into strong, independent, opinionated, confident individuals who understood what it means to be a part of a successful team. It was attractive, and it still very much is today.


Virginia Job’s Daughters Pageant 1994
(I’m the one on the end of the 2nd row on the left in the blue dress)

I was a member for 5 years and have maintained some connection with the organization since aging out in 1997. I have been blessed to serve and support three local Bethels (one in Maryland and two in Virginia), as well as serve on various committees and councils. It is a legacy-filled sorority of mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters. Lots of daughters. Which has been my motivation all along.

Once Jasmine and Elise came into our world, I could easily see the day when they too would be initiated into this formative organization. I have to admit, with dwindling membership and seeing Bethels closing, I started to grow concerned that my girls wouldn’t have the opportunity to be a part of Job’s Daughters. Because it helped me to become who I am today.

A legacy of Job's Daughters

A legacy of Job’s Daughters

But this past weekend, I realized something more powerful. Beyond myself. Beyond my daughters and their future membership. I saw something new in my son. Honestly, I should have noticed it before now. After all, I married a man I met at a Job’s Daughters’ conference in Vancouver, BC in 1998.

10 Things Job’s Daughters Teaches Boys

1. Boys learn that the older girls think you’re cute (in a little brother sort of way).

2. Boys learn there is always food around to eat.

3. Boys learn about instant friendships built on common values.

4. Boys learn respect for girls, and practice good manners.

5. Boys learn that good girls are easy to find.

6. Boys learn there will always be enough chaperones, and Dads to keep an eye on you.

7. Boys learn organized line dances and the ratios are extremely good for a slow dance.

8. Boys learn the value of equality with girls. It is their organizations after all.

9. Boys learn that girls in Job’s Daughters are loyal and dedicated.

10. Boys learn they are accepted for who they are, just like the girls.

Quentin and I at the post-Pageant dance.

Quentin and I at the post-Pageant dance, 2013.

All across the Job’s Daughters’ world, there are beautiful pictures of young women preparing for higher education, careers, family, and whatever life throws their way, just like Job. In a few, you see their brothers, their sons, their nephews, and grandsons. I have typically shied away from bringing my two boys to activities with Job’s Daughters because it is girl-centric and well-intended that way. But, I don’t think I’ll do that anymore. Boys can benefit from this organization just as much as the girls can, and I think my husband would agree.