I’ve said it, and had it said to me. I’ve seen it embroidered on pillows, screen-printed on t-shirts, and painted on wine glasses: ”Just put on your big girl panties and deal with it.”

And we know exactly what those “big girl panties” (BGP’s) are all about, don’t we. It’s about dealing with the issues of life- the big ones, and the little ones that seem big- by calling on our inner strength of character, that part of us that doesn’t cower to challenges. It’s about being strong in the face of whatever life throws at you, or at the ones that you love. Because we not only have to wear those BGP’s for ourselves- we have to wear them for everyone else that we love, too.

Well, my friends, my “big girl panties” are wore slap out. So, I would like to announce that I am tossing out my BGP’s and replacing them with Granny Panties (GP’s).

The thing I love about Granny Panties is that they can stare life’s challenges straight in the eyes and in a split second decide whether it’s a battle worth fighting or not. And more often than not, the wisdom that comes built-in to GP’s understands that most of the battles that wore out our BGP’s are not worth the time and energy (or elastic, if we want to stay true to the analogy). They know that most issues will work themselves out with or without us. They know when to walk away, and (most importantly) unlike BGP’s, they aren’t afraid to do just that.

Granny Panties don’t have a need to be the victorious General on every battlefield. They don’t need to be everyone’s hero, nor do they need to make everyone’s battle their own. They need to sit quietly with a cup of tea, a purring cat, an enjoyable book, and good conversation with a friend who has also transitioned from BGP’s to GP’s. They need laughter, a plate of warm homemade cookies, and sunshine on their shoulders. GP’s take time to be generous with other people, to wait patiently, to be kind to animals. They give what they have- money, time, themselves. They work with their hands and enjoy having the opportunity to do so.

Granny Panties make very careful choices about where they spend their physical and emotional energy. They understand that these choices will determine whether they spend their days in frustration and bitterness or in joy and confidence. GP’s have a true strength that carries them through their days and never leaves them, even when they feel physically weak and tired. It is the strength of goodness and mercy that comes from a source outside of themselves.

Granny Panties are not ignorant of the struggles in life, they just choose to deal with them differently. For those who are still in “big girl panties,” the solution lies in their own importance, their own ability to be strong. If a situation doesn’t work out to their desired end, they must find someone to blame, and it’s often themselves.

Those who have graduated to Granny Panties have learned not to overestimate their own importance. Like John the Baptist, they have learned that what makes their joy complete is stepping out of the way and letting Christ have the reins in all of life’s struggles. Because the truth of the matter is, this life is not about us, it is all about Him. He must increase, and I must decrease (John 3:30).

So, who is with me on this? Are you ready to toss those old, worn-out big girl panties and graduate to the Granny League? Let’s make the change and watch what happens. It may not change the whole world, but I guarantee you, it’ll change ours!