The words came out of my mouth before I could stop them.
I think the other girls at the party will be wearing jeans. Are you sure you want to wear your Easter dress?
“I like this dress, Mom. It’s pretty and I can twirl in it,” my seven-year-old daughter replied as she proceeded to demonstrate its full twirling capacity.
I know, sweet pea, but the other girls…
She interrupted me before I could finish.
“I don’t care what the other girls think. I want to wear THIS DRESS.”
Having silenced my protests, my youngest headed off to her friend’s birthday party feeling beautiful in her favorite twirly dress. Meanwhile, I couldn’t stop thinking about the exchange.
Why was I so concerned about what my daughter wore to the party?
The humbling answer: Because I wanted her to fit in.
Later that week, I had a heart-to-heart with God and asked forgiveness for trying to push my daughter to dress like her peers. I told Him how much I appreciated the way He created each of my girls and thanked Him profusely for giving them strong minds that aren’t easily swayed by their mama, who spent her whole life trying to keep up with the opinions of the other girls.
I confessed that I still cared too much about what people thought and told Him how deeply I wanted to raise children who sought His favor more than the favor of men. And then I asked Him to help me, because there was no way I could do it alone.
Friends, our God is faithful and within days He began to open my eyes to truth from His Word that helped me reshape the way I see myself and the way I parent my girls.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far is this:
Raising confident daughters who stand firm against the opinions of others requires me to accept and embrace who God created me to be as their mom.
I often paraphrase Psalm 139:14 to my children, telling them:
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made; God’s works are wonderful, you can know that full well.”
And I believe it … for them.
From the first moment I saw each one of my girls – whether on sonogram or smiling from the second story of an orphanage window – I praised the Lord for His wonderful work in them. As they’ve grown, I’ve joined the psalmist in giving thanks for their unique talents and abilities. I know full well they are beloved by God – exquisite in His eyes.
What God challenged me to do as a parent is to ask: Do I believe Psalm 139:14 for myself?
- Do I look in the mirror each day and say with all sincerity, “I praise you Lord, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”· Do I live in this truth, feeling secure and confident in His love for me and His plans for my life, regardless of outside circumstance or opinion?· Do I recognize the unique talents, gifts, and abilities He’s given me and find ways to use them for His glory?
In Power of a Positive Mom, author Karol Ladd writes:
This means that no matter how often I tell my daughters they are unique creations of a loving God — beautiful in His eyes — if they see me criticizing myself, comparing myself to others, or doubting my own abilities, they’ll eventually have reasons to question the sincerity of my words.
The day my daughter boldly proclaimed, “I don’t care what the other girls think,” inspired me. Now, when I’m tempted to make a decision (or encourage one of my daughters to make a decision) based on someone else’s opinion, I remind myself:
I don’t care what the other girls think.
God’s works are wonderful and I’m going to praise Him today by being who He created me to be and allowing my girls to do the same.
Well … most of the time, I remind myself. The rest of the time, I’m sure thankful for grace.
It’s your turn: How do you share the words of Psalm 139:14 with your daughters? Do you believe the truth of this verse for yourself?
Tarissa Helms is an incredibly shy introvert, wife, and mother of three who believes we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by a Creator who loves us immeasurably more than we can imagine. She shares her adventures in faith, parenting, and the introverted life on her personal blog, Introverted Mama. You can also find Tarissa onFacebook and Twitter where she is tickled pink to discover that authentic friendships can be made on social media.
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