Two down, one to go. I've prayed for Kyle and college, Alek and his future, and now I'm turning to my beautiful tween daughter, Maddy.
Being a young girl today is excruciating. If I didn't say anything else, turning eleven in our world and culture and heading toward teen land and womanhood would be enough to pray about. The pressure to be perfect--pretty, funny, thin, smart--lurks everywhere. Just flip on the TV, duck into a movie, or turn the glossy pages and check out the ads in the magazines are girls are reading. Walk the long halls of school and listen to the conversation. The drive for popularity and acceptance thrives even inside the safety of a homeschool group or a Sunday School classroom. These girls have nowhere to run. Nowhere safe to hide. Nowhere to relax and feel good about themselves.
Girls wear make-up, don bikinis, get their teeth whitened and go through two sets of braces, one now, one later, just to feel good enough. And they're just little girls. Little girls checking out the world and coming to the conclusion that at ten, eleven, twelve, they will never measure up unless they get in the game early.
That breaks my heart because in their strive for popularity and perfection, they neglect the one place they should be running for acceptance--at the feet of Jesus.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beautyof a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
I understand your need to be validated--for someone to tell you you're pretty and smart and talented. And all those things are true. You are a beautiful girl and you will grow up to be a beautiful woman. I'm excited you like to learn new things and grateful school work seems to come easy for you. When you play the piano, your fingers running over the keys fill the house with sounds I love to hear.
And all of that is important to your heart. It was important to mine at your age. To be honest, those things still hold value for me. I melt when your dad tells me he loves my hair or my dress or the way I look on a certain day. Being asked my a friend or colleague to solve a problem or to share my skills or talents makes me feel as if I have something to contribute. And when someone comes up to me and shares that I've touched their heart or their life with my written words, my heart soars across the sky.
But even if we didn't have any of that, we are still beautiful in God's eyes. Because He made us and the inside of us, the state of our minds and hearts, holds so much more importance to Him than the outside of us.
Jesus, Maddy has a journey to take that will last her a lifetime. You see what's ahead. You know her heart. Protect it. Cover it with Your peace and Your validation. Whisper in her hear constantly that she is beautiful and special to You. But go beyond that. Let her understand and rest in the knowledge Your opinion is the only opinion she needs. Ever. Take away her need to seek acceptance anywhere else. Bond her to you in a way that is lasting, deep, and meaningful. You are a great God and we often forget You desire to shower Your love and blessings on us daily.
TAKE ACTION TODAY. PRAYER WORKS.
THE PRAYER CAMPAIGN
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About Lori Freeland
Lori Freeland, a freelance writer from the Dallas area, holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her other life, the one BK—before kids—she has worked as a social worker and a certified dyslexic reading tutor. Currently, she embraces her status as full-time homeschool mom to three awesome children. Her big dream? Becoming a Young Adult novelist, a goal she diligently pursues during the wee hours of the morning with help from a very large mug of coffee and occasionally some chocolate-covered peanuts. In addition to blogging and contributing regular inspirational articles to Crosswalk.com, The Christian Pulse, and Believe.com, she loves to mentor new writers and encourage people to share their life stories. As a member of the Cancer Mom club, she desires to connect with others in hopes of giving support to those struggling down the messy paths of life. You can find her hanging with the North Texas Christian Writers as a Critique Group Leader and Writing Coach or cheering on her writers on the Faith Team at The Christian Pulse where she recently took on the role of editor. She also loves to attend Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators meetings where she has begun a critique workshop for new writers. You can visit her website at LAFREELAND.COM.
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