{Letters to my daughter} {No. 3}

Sweet Girl,

When you leaned over and whispered, “I don’t think she believes in me” I was a tiny bit caught off guard. I know that feeling. It’s a terrible feeling! I am sorry that something happened to make you believe that. I get it. Truth be told, I would probably feel exactly the same way if that thing happened to me.

But, I have to tell you something. Lean in and listen carefully. It’s important.

I believe in you.

Always. No matter what. I believe in you when you have a good day. I believe in you when you have a bad day. I believe in you when you are at your best. I even believe in you when you aren’t your best. You are incredibly kind, smart, talented, and beautiful. You are a good, loyal friend. You’re honest. You’re a good big sister. You love Jesus. You’re an awesome volleyball player. And, you’re even a little funny! (Ok, you’re a lot funny!) Should I go on? I could fill an entire page!

Here’s the thing: Those things don’t change based on other people’s opinion.

I know how hard you work. I know how far you have come. I see how much you’ve grown up.

Don’t you dare let what seems like one person’s lack of confidence in you define you. Don’t let that squash out your dreams. Don’t let it disappoint you. Don’t let one person saying no keep you from hearing all the people cheering for you and saying yes!

When you are doing everything that you are supposed to do, let that be enough. Work on the things you have some control over and let the other things become secondary. Take responsibility when you mess up and learn from those mess-ups. Find the people God has placed in your life who want to help you grow and help you reach your dreams. Keep those people close.

I will keep reminding you, in the meantime, that I believe in you. I’m proud of you. I’m here when you need me. And don’t forget — believe in yourself. You have great things in you. No kidding. Great. Things.

Keep going.

Love you, sweet girl.

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{Letters to My Daughter} {No. 2}

Sweet Girl,

You wrote me the most lovely letter. Thank you. Because I know you are dying to know — yes, it made me cry! Big. Tears. I didn’t cry just because you said nice things about me and to me. I cried because as a momma it is pretty awesome to see God working in your life.

God used you and your words in that letter to encourage me. That makes my heart swell to the point of bursting. Do you hear me? God used you. Let that sink in. 

There are three things I want you to know and remember.

1. Words are powerful. Use them well.  Speak life. Speak hope. Speak words of encouragement. Once you release your words, it is impossible to get them back. It’s like squeezing an entire tube of toothpaste out onto a plate and trying to put it back inside the tube. (I used to do that on the first day of school in front of the class. Trying to put toothpaste back into a tube is quite messy!) It’s the same with our words, you know. If used unwisely–carelessly–words hurt, leave scars, cause damage to relationships. And always, always remember your words reveal your heart. Guard your heart and use your words well. Let every word you speak be a reflection of Jesus’ love being perfected in you. The letter you wrote me is a glowing example of what I’m talking about. You spoke life and encouragement to me. What a gift!

2. God will use you. Look around and listen to Him. I am sure when you wrote my letter you didn’t think you were doing anything extraordinary. Yet the words you wrote were exactly the words I needed to hear in that very moment. You should know that there are people around you who need the same kind of gift you gave me–words of life. Can I challenge you to look for them? On purpose. Ask God to use you to encourage someone each day. Ask Him. I promise He will. This is not the first time you’ve used words to encourage. You have a gift of encouragement. Once you wrote an encouraging message to a kid who was a few years younger than you. You leave sweet notes for your siblings and for us. Keep doing that. Remember, you may never know how God uses the words you speak and that’s ok. You just be brave and bold. Be obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and speak life.

3. I love you. You are extraordinary. If I could line up all the girls on the planet and pick one to be my daughter, I would choose you. Every single time.

I’m glad you’re my girl. (Even when we’re having a bad day!)

XOXO.

Guest Blogger :: Maddie Grace

My sweet Madeleine asked if she could share a portion of her story here. I was happy to oblige. I am so thankful and grateful for all that God is doing in her life.


Hi everyone!! I’m Maddie, and in 8th grade Bible this year, we were given the assignment to write milestone moment speeches. Basically what these are is you think of a time in your life where you felt God working in you. I shared my speech with the class and many people were inspired. I hope that my story can help inspire you as well. Hopefully it’s good 🙂

I’m just an average girl, I live with my mom and my stepdad and honestly, I’m extremely grateful that God has blessed me with such a great Christian family now, but life hasn’t always been easy.

Earlier in my life, I really struggled with the fact that my parents were getting divorced. I was really young at the time, about 3 years old, with a younger brother only a few months old. I don’t remember much, but in the midst of all the arguing and confusion, I do remember feeling really alone.

Things got even more complicated in 2008 when my dad remarried to a woman was abusive to my younger brother and me. I remember her telling me, you’re not beautiful, you’re not worth anything, and she told me I didn’t deserve anything special. Being only 8 years old, it really affected my self-confidence and I remember being in tears most of the nights I spent with my dad and stepmom. To make things more confusing, my dad NEVER took up for me, the man in my life who is supposed to tell me how beautiful and treasured I am, just stood there and let a woman ruin my confidence. But, one night I remember my mom sharing a verse with me that really encouraged me to not care about what the world says about me, but to know that I am God’s masterpiece, created in Christ to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10)

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My relationship with my dad is very damaged because of my stepmom’s influence. I honestly couldn’t trust him anymore, and I still have trouble trusting other people, even if they seem completely innocent. Somewhere in the middle of my broken relationship, I realized that what I needed was a strong relationship with God. I knew that in the book of Psalms it says to call on God and He will rescue me.

So in 2011, I really began to pray and read my Bible and figured out what it means to have a meaningful relationship with God. I especially began to pray that God would work things out with my dad.

In 2012, my dad and stepmom announced that they were getting a divorce. It took them 7 years to realize that their marriage wasn’t healthy. I saw them getting a divorced as an answer to prayer. I thought that maybe, a new, restored relationship with my dad would be made possible. But I was wrong. My dad has continued to make some very bad choices and he recently made a huge mistake that has again, affected my brother and me in a very negative way; but I will definitely keep praying that God will continue to teach me through these tough spots.

God is truly amazing. I’m so grateful that He is always there and I know now that even in the darkest points in life, I can fully trust him no matter what. I’m also very thankful that he gives me opportunities to share my story and show his unconditional love to others.

~Maddie Lewis

{Letters to My Daughter – No. 1}

Remember our first mom-daughter date. We put on nice dresses and went to a fancy restaurant. We talked. And laughed. I might have cried a tiny, little bit. We had fun being together.

You looked beautiful. Your sweet smile lights up the room. I love your smile.

Do you remember what we talked about? It’s been quite some time since our date. So, I want to remind you. We talked about being a girl who knows that she is God’s masterpiece. I reminded you that being this girl means that you make choices for yourself that reflect that very important truth. This girl knows who she belongs to. She cares about modesty and purity. She values good character and integrity.  She is the daughter of a King.

You are valuable and beautiful simply because you are YOU. You are created by the God of the universe, the Master Creator. You are unique. A masterpiece. That is what Scripture says, which means that what God says. About you!

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that and even harder to really believe it. There is so much pressure to look like everyone else and fit in. There are so many competing voices and ideas. It’s hard to make choices about some of the important things – like modesty and purity – without worrying about what all your friends will think. After all, we all want to belong. To be accepted. We were created with that basic desire (every single one of us). And you, my sweet girl, belong to God.  That is the truth. When it seems hard to make choices that reflect that truth, come talk to me. And, talk to Him. He hears you and sees you and is concerned with all the details of your life.

Let me also remind you that real beauty is not about what you wear or how you fix your hair. Please do comb your hair. And brush your teeth. And wear clean, stylish clothing. But always remember that there’s more to it than that. It begins with a heart that loves Jesus. It begins with believing what He says about you and carrying those truths with you into every moment of your day.

Remember who you are and who you belong to. Make choices that are wise. Be the girl God created you to be. Make those wise (sometimes really hard) choices even when you don’t feel like you are that girl. Then pray that God will help you really believe what He says about you.

You were created on purpose. For a purpose. You are highly favored. You are valuable. You are His masterpiece. Believe it. Live it.

I love you. So does He.