I was typing at my computer from the back porch when the sounds of giggles interrupted my thoughts. I looked up to see my daughter jumping on the trampoline with her friends. I watched them for a few minutes, marveling at how easily they get excited over the simplest things.
She is only 11 . . . balancing between childhood and the teenage years. Innocence and joy radiate from my daughter and I don’t want the world to change her. Peer pressure and social media and TV can influence young girls and although I will do everything in my power to protect her. I know these things can eventually seep into her life; I am just now beginning to feel the weight of responsibility in raising a girl—teaching her to be strong and confident, yet also be kind and giving. There are so many things I want my daughter to know deep in her heart as she grows into a young woman . . .
I want her to know that she is the daughter of the King and that God loves her always and forever. I want her to trust in His plan for her life and know God will never abandon her. I want her to not only pray, but to have a relationship with God in such a way that she seeks Him out in all that she does.
I want her to never be afraid to use her voice, yet I want her to always speak with kindness and respect.
I want her to always feel confident yet never think she is better than anyone else.
I want her to always be kind, yet never let anyone take advantage of that kindness.
I want her to feel beautiful, yet always know that true beauty shines from within.
I want her to love her body and feel comfortable in her skin, yet respect herself enough to be modest.
I want her to know that she is worthy and valuable, yet she does not need a man to make her feel that way.
I want her to know that although I desire to be her friend, I will always be her mom first.
I want her to know she will have failures and disappointments but those do not define who she is and her reaction to them will be more important than her mistakes.
I want her to know true friends will never be jealous or hurtful, but will instead celebrate her successes and comfort her sorrows. I want her to find her tribe who will encourage, uplift, inspire and love her for who she is. And likewise, I want her to do the same for them.
I want her to know hard work and good grades are important, but never more important than how she treats others.
I want her to know she is deserving of love and respect and should accept nothing less. EVER.
I want her to help others without ever expecting anything in return.
I want her to believe in herself and dream big, but never sacrifice her integrity or morals to get where she wants to be.
I want her to know the power of positivity and hope and spread it to others.
I want her to love with sincerity and compassion, never judging or gossiping.
I want her to know that although she will never be perfect, she will always be good enough.
I want her light to shine bright in this world with God’s love.
I want her to be happy, but know happiness is a choice she has the power to make.
I want her to work hard, yet know that fun and laughter are good for the soul.
I want her to live with gratitude and never take the simple things in life for granted.
I want her to take risks and be bold, yet always be safe and not reckless.
I want her to know there are mean people in this world, but she is not one of them. Never stoop to their level.
I want her to know she is brave and strong and confident—even on those days when she doesn’t feel like she is.
I want her to know she always has the right and the power to say NO.
I want her to know she is my heart and always will be no matter how old she gets.
I want her to know I will always be her biggest fan, loudest cheerleader and her most faithful prayer warrior—even on those days when she thinks I am her biggest enemy.
But most of all, I want her to know how much she is loved, adored and treasured. Always and forever. No matter what. And I hope she knows I will always be here—watching from a distance —praying for her every day as she makes her way in this world.
Oh, how I wish it was as easy as me telling my daughter these things and her believing them. But I know she will have to learn these things on her own . . . as she experiences life.
In the meantime, I will keep whispering these truths into her ear, hoping they will eventually stick and she will believe them deep in her heart and soul . . .
So she can grow into the beautiful warrior I already know she is.
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