My Precious Girls,
As I type this you are ages 8 and 5. Your dad and I just tucked you into your bunk beds stacked with fuzzy throw blankets, stuffed animals and American Girl dolls. You told me you loved me at least a dozen times. I suspect that’s a stall tactic, but I relish it nonetheless. We blew kisses and you begged me to stay. So I sat on the steps to the top bunk for a few minutes and prayed for you.
I never stop praying for you.
If the last eight years are any indication of how quickly your growing-up years will fly, then I will blink and tomorrow you will be packing the van for college. And nights like tonight—our ordinary, beautiful bedtime routine—may not even register in your memory bank. You will forget the scent of your strawberry shampoo, your innocent prayers for a good night’s sleep, and the words to the Praise Baby CD you still beg me to play when I turn off the lamp. But I will remember these details for all of us. Your childhood is safe in my heart.
YOU are still safe in my heart.
I am your mom.
Not your enemy.
I imagine you hold grievances against me now. I set rules for you that other kids aren’t expected to follow. I hold you accountable for your actions and remind you of God’s best when you might settle for good enough. These years are brutal, I get that. High school is a peer-pressure war zone. You think I can’t relate, but I was your age once, too. And I know you better than you think I do. I’ve been equipping you for this battle since you were in diapers. You’re strong and you are wise. Don’t doubt it.
He loves you. You know this, although you might sometimes forget. Do not fear the day your faith is tested. It must pass the test before it becomes your own. I will be on my knees for you as long as it takes. You are not alone.
You will make mistakes, count on it. Maybe big ones. I still do, too. But remember God’s grace is bigger, therefore so is mine. You don’t have to be afraid to tell me when you’ve messed up or when your heart is breaking. Talk to me. Whatever it is, I will never turn you away.
Some friends will draw you closer to Jesus. Some will pull you far. Learn to discern the difference. Today you think all the boys are buddies but someday they will want to play more than soccer. Protect your heart. Save it for the one God has picked out for you behind door number 17. You’re only behind door number 12 right now. “Wait for the LORD. Be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).
Technology will distract you and media will lie to you. Failures will attempt to define you, and accomplishments will never fully satisfy you. But God is right beside you, my lovely ones. He is faithful, loving, and good. He will pull you through rough and high seasons. I know, because I’m asking him to do it, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Tonight, ten years ago, I peeked in on you all snuggled beneath pink comforters, your angel faces glowing peaceful while you slept. I love you so much my heart aches.
As you mature into someone different, you remain inherently familiar to me. My girls. My gifts. You are God’s masterpiece. And I get the privilege of polishing you until you shine.
Of cheerleading you toward God and his blessings.
Of being your mom.
It’s been a pretty awesome job so far. But we’re not done yet. In some ways, we’re just beginning.
And I can’t wait to see who you become tomorrow.
* * * * * * * *
Today’s post was inspired by the new book, Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture, by Candy Gibbs. It encouraged me to realize we don’t need to fear the teen years; we can triumph through them. Using practical biblical wisdom and modern perspectives from today’s young adults, Rescue throws a lifeline to any parent struggling to keep teens afloat in a world of crashing social and emotional waves.
This week I’m giving away a copy of Rescue to one randomly selected winner. To enter, share this post with another mom and leave a comment letting me know you did. (Subscribers, click here to access comments on the blog.)
I hope you win!
**This post contains affiliate links.
Wonderful post! It does go by so fast! My oldest is 15 and will begin her sophomore year in the fall. Teenagers face so many important choices, great advice. Visiting from the Mom 2 Mom link-up.
Wow…straight to the heart. Sharing this with my best friend when we meet tomorrow for our Summer Bible study (with our 6 preteen girls!). : )
I love that you’re doing a summer study with your girls!
Janette T says
Man Becky, you have such a beautiful gift with your writing. You have a way of meeting me right in the special spots and emotions of mommy-hood. This will be one of the posts that I save away to read again and again. I also shared this with two of my dearest friends who also have little girls, and appreciate reading your tender words. Thanks so much for sharing your heart, the tender and the humorous and every part in between. Your sister in Christ and in this mama walk, Janette
You bless me, Janette. Thank you for walking alongside me, sister! xoxo
angie jahner says
Beautiful post today Becky! Our little girls grow up so fast! ! My oldest will be a teen in 1 short month! I know the moms I shared this with will be touched by it as well:)
Thank you! You are an amazing writer!!♡
Thank you so much for reading and sharing, my friend! Just one more month?? How does that happen?
Gay Boston says
I’m sharing this with my daughter, whose daughter is now 12. Great points!
Thank you for all your wonderful posts. I have 5 daughters ages 8 and under. The time has gone by too fast. I tell them they can’t have anymore birthdays and they look at me and giggle, but in my heart I wish I could stop the time. They are so precious even though some days they are preciously evil! I shared this with 2 of my close friends who each have 3 daughters of their own. Again, I really do like taking a time out and reading your thoughts from your heart. Thank you for your example and love for our Lord Jesus.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and to share your thoughts today, Sarah. I can relate to the ache of seeing our precious (yet sometimes maddening!) children taking shape before our eyes. Some days they seem so close to flying away. Blessings to you today!
Becky, this is beautiful! My little guy is only 2 and it seems as though time is already moving forward way too quickly. You have an incredible heart and bless all of us readers with your wisdom, humor and the realities of being a Godly mom. 🙂 I’ve shared this so other moms can enjoy it (and shed a few tears) too!
I just love hearing from you, Mikki! Thank you so much for your faithful reading, and for sharing this one today! Hugs!
Love this one! I don’t even have a daughter( just had a little boy in December) but still bawled big tears reading this post!! I shared with my best friend that just found out this week that she’s having a little girl in the fall you always hit the nail right on the head! Buying that book ASAP!
Girls, boys… they all grow up and stretch a momma’s heart. 🙂 Blessings to you, Lisa! Thanks for reading and sharing!
Thank you for this, Becky. I shared it with a friend who has two young girls almost the same age as yours. My six are growing up entirely too fast (they all do, for some reason!!). I’m to the point with my oldest where play dates are a thing of the past, so now we’ve started picking up friends to go thrift store shopping, which has been great!
Thrifting, yes! I just started doing that with my eight-year-old, too! In the throes of parenting littles, it’s easy to imagine our girls will be little forever. But they grow. Oh, how they grow so fast. Thanks for reading and sharing, Jessica!
I shared with a friend for encouragement who already has teenage daughters. So good to have friends who are at different stages of life. Thank you for your words of wisdom!
Thank you for sharing, Danece!
Now that’s an heirloom for sure, Becky! Your daughters are going to treasure that letter and intimate, sweet peek inside your heart. Yes, I was there, not too long ago with my boys. I still have to remind myself during the day that they are all much older, because, honestly, in many of my dreams at night they are in diapers! Maybe it’s my minds way of holding on to them just a bit longer! It’s bittersweet, for sure! Love your heart, my friend–almost as much as those girls definitely do!
This is so lovely. The teen years will be here before we know it.