Shop the fall collection ➔

To my (not-so) little girl,

Here are 11 things I want you to know before you become an 11-year-old

1. I will always love you, no matter what.

Just like God’s love for us, my love for you is not dependent on what you do or don’t do. Tell me everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly – because my love isn’t going anywhere.

2. Life is so much better God’s way.

The world out there will try and sell you on all sorts of things. Please realize that most of them are flat-out lies. God has a plan and design for your life, the way He intended. Look to Him and His Word on this, not to the world around you.

3. You are so incredibly beautiful.

God created you, He knit you together in your mother’s womb (hey, that’s me!). Every part of you was hand-crafted; learn to love the one and only masterpiece that is YOU.

4. Difficult things can also be good things.

Life is not just about comfort and ease. Some of your hardest days can also be your best ones too. Living sacrificially isn’t always easy, but it is what we are called to do as followers of Christ. Do it well, with all your heart!

5. You are a leader, and the best leaders serve.

You have a gift of leadership. Learn how to love others and then use it to lead. Jesus is our best example. Always be ready to wash people’s feet everywhere you go.

6. Respect your body in all you do.

Did you know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? It was designed by God, and in Christ, God dwells there now! So take care of it, sweet girl. Feed it with good food for fuel, keep it moving and active, honor it in everything you do and in who you share it with.

7. Sex is sacred and good.

Society has twisted this up in all sorts of ways and I’ve had to unlearn a lot of it myself. But you need to know that God designed sex to be an intimate union between man and woman; it is a good and beautiful thing. Do not take it lightly. Protect it like gold right now and enjoy it like diamonds one day.

8. Don’t plan everything out.

Trust me, kiddo, I get it. You and I both are crazy for a good plan and are pretty great at arranging ideas and timelines. But always be ready for whatever God may have for you. Never be too focused on your own plan that you miss out on something amazing, or even someone amazing.

9. Motherhood is valuable.

You will face plenty of pressure to succeed and climb in a career of your choosing. Remember that being a mom is an amazing gift that deserves your attention also. You will be a great mother one day and your children will think so too.

10. Don’t for a second stay stuck on what somebody else said.

People aren’t perfect. They may end up hurting you with their words, sometimes on purpose out of jealousy or anger, or other times they may be totally clueless. Either way, their words don’t define you. Read and know His Word instead.

11. Your worth is already determined.

Do not try and find your worth in clothes, in boys, in grades, in achievements, in the affection of others, or in anything else. Christ has already determined your worth and it is so high that He willingly died for you. Know that your worth is wrapped up in Him, and He wraps you always in His love.

So very sincerely,
Your (not-too) old mama

You may also like:

The Sweet Spot of 11

I Will Always Love You Anyway

Dear Daughter, Do Not Be Perfect

Dear Daughter, The Truth is Not Everyone is Going to Like You (and That’s OK)

Michelle K Umbehauer

Michelle K Umbehauer studied Journalism at La Salle University in Philadelphia. She soon opted to become a stay-at-home momma (x5), yet has never stopped with her love of writing. She's currently a regular speaker at Crossroads Community Church and a local leader of Moms in Prayer in New Jersey. Whether in ministry, motherhood, or marriage, Michelle has a life passion to encourage others in Christ, and she especially loves doing so alongside of her husband, Doug. Her recent book, GOT YOUR HANDS FULL, is currently available on Amazon.

I Know What It’s Like To Have a Difficult Child

In: Child, Motherhood
Little girl kneeling on deck, color photo

One Sunday morning during church, I was standing around bouncing my fussy premature baby around the cry room. This room is special—a place for nursing moms and moms with young kids to watch the live sermon on a monitor. I wasn’t alone, two other moms sat on the couches, and we were all chatting. A beautiful but tired mom sat with her little girl snuggled in her arms, gazing at the lights.  “She’s so chill. She’s like this all the time, much easier than my other son.”  I looked over at her with big eyes and a laugh, “I’m jealous!...

Keep Reading

His First Haircut Was the Start of Letting Go

In: Child, Motherhood, Tween
Toddler smiling and holding popsicle, color photo

My son has the most beautiful curls. I remember when his hair started growing as a baby and a little ringlet appeared. My momma heart was bursting with excitement. Yes, I will admit something as superficial as a curl made me squeal.  The kid just has adorable hair—and where does this wondrous flow come from? He didn’t inherit it from me, and his dad doesn’t have a curl to boot either. In a way, it’s become my youngest’s trademark.  The day came for his first haircut, and then his second one. I remember watching his curls fall to the ground...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Your Joy Is Contagious

In: Child, Motherhood
Baby smiling

Dear daughter, Thank you for teaching me what joy is. Thank you for waking up laughing and babbling, no matter how dark the night was. Thank you for that sweet smile you give me when you see me, half-awake and lying in bed in the morning. Thank you for the grin that lights up the room when your dad comes home from work. RELATED: My Beautiful Baby, You Revealed in My Heart a Love I Never Knew Possible Some days are rough. When you’re crying and I don’t know what you want, or when my arms are sore from holding...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, My Heart Wasn’t Ready for You To Grow So Fast

In: Child, Motherhood
Little boy running in the surf

Dear son, I wasn’t ready for this. But you were. I had it all planned out. I would enjoy the last few months of your toddlerhood—that beautiful and wild in-between age between the baby and little boy phase.  When I get hundreds of cuddles a day. When you cover me with kisses randomly. When you hold my thumb while watching a show together.  I knew the toddler phase was coming to a close, and I was doing all the things getting you ready for this next season.  Your clothes were getting smaller, dinosaurs and cars were your main passion, and...

Keep Reading

Why Does It All Go So Fast?

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl running down sunlit path

I remember the day you were born so vividly. It’s etched into my brain as one of the best moments of my life. As if I could ever forget. I remember the way I felt when I saw you for the very first time. That first snuggle. That feeling of I did it, you’re finally here and thank goodness it’s over. I remember the first time I tucked my finger into your delicate little hand. When I looked down at you and you looked up at me. That was when my entire world stopped. I realized at that moment my...

Keep Reading

To the Daycare Teachers Watching My Babies Grow with Me

In: Child, Motherhood
Child smiling

I remember the knot in my stomach when my husband and I made the decision to put our kids in daycare. On a stormy afternoon, we toured the facility we had picked, 35 minutes from our house. After the tour I knew without a doubt if my kids had to go to daycare, this is where I wanted them to be.  The knot I had in my stomach, in the beginning, has since gone. My son started coming home every afternoon talking about how much he loved “school” and how much he loved his teachers, which helped ease my worries....

Keep Reading

What the Mama in the Meltdown Really Needs

In: Child, Motherhood, Toddler

I was so excited to enroll my 3-year-old daughter into gymnastics—she’s my always active, fearless, stubborn, and daring girl. The girl whose teachers had to ask me to remind her that swinging from arch to arch in the classroom was not OK, and who has nearly given me heart attacks flipping off the couch. The girl who has so much high energy, that I know getting it all out with sports would be so healthy for her. The girl who is fierce about doing everything “by herself . . . “ I just knew she would love gymnastics. And she...

Keep Reading

When Your Last Baby Goes to School

In: Child, Motherhood

In just a few short weeks, our daughter will start preschool.  On Monday and Wednesday mornings, she’ll sling her little backpack over her shoulders, pull on her tie-dye sneakers, and head out the door. If you ask her about it, she’ll get a big grin on her face and tell you how excited she is. But me? While I’m ready for her to go and fully confident she’ll thrive, my stomach has also been doing flip-flops at the thought. Because she’s our youngest. Our little. Our last. If you’ve been here before, you know: When your last baby goes to...

Keep Reading

New Mom, Don’t Be Afraid to Blink

In: Child
Newborn photo in white bedding, color photo

I can barely keep my eyes open and my entire body is shaking from the anesthesia. As they stitch me up from this unplanned C-section, someone brings him to me, wrapped tightly in a blanket with a small blue-and-pink striped hat covering his head. My baby, who I felt growing within me for the better part of this year. My son is here. Blink. He screams with excitement when he realizes he’s no longer holding onto anything. He’s actually doing it. His first independent steps. He can’t keep the huge grin off of his face as he toddles across the...

Keep Reading

Coming Home to Kindergarten

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little boy with green backpack holding man's hand

I’m standing outside a row of heavy, metal doors and tentatively press the bright red “call” button. “Good morning, can I help you?” a bright, cheerful woman’s voice asks. “Yes, I’m here for my registration appointment?” I ask in return, despite the fact that it’s a statement. I’ve chosen to speak it as a question as if I’m not quite sure. Is that indeed what I’m here for? Can that possibly be true? “Welcome! I’ll buzz you right in. You can meet me in the office.” I hear the buzzer sound, the clicks of the lock mechanism unwinding, and I...

Keep Reading