10 Things That Make You My Beautiful Girl {the next five}

As a mother learning to help her daughter navigate the treacherous waters of body image, I am learning one of the most valuable things that I can do is help her understand the true definition of beauty by identifying teaching, encouraging and reminding her on a daily basis of things about her that are beautiful – and unrelated to weight, size, and our warped and idiotic (I know it’s a strong word, but it’s true) cultural ideals of beauty. I want my daughter to understand and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that even if she loses all that this world shallowly defines as beautiful, her inner beauty will still remain, and shine clear and bright in a dark world. Last week I began a seven-week series on body image, by writing about five things that make my daughter beautiful, and this week I am sharing five more. If you have a daughter, I encourage you to make a list of at least ten things that make her your beautiful girl and read it to her. I know she will be lifted up and encouraged, as my daughter has been!

6. Your identity

A person’s name is a way we identify someone. When Daddy and I found out you were a girl, we spend countless hours pouring through baby name books, looking for the perfect one for you. We wrote many lists of names we both agreed were beautiful, then carefully researched the meanings. Then (together) we prayerfully decided on the name we gave you on that unforgettable day you were born. Amazingly, the meaning of your name has proven itself to be a true representation of your remarkable and strong character and personality! Your identity comes not only from your name, but from the story, personality, gifts, talents, passions, hopes, dreams, family, friends and experiences (both the good ones and the difficult) that make you, YOU. Your personal identity is completely unique, 100% original and beautiful in every way, and I am so thankful that I have been given the privilege of seeing your identity and story grow and unfold into something more amazing than I could have ever imagined!

7. Your strength

I’ll always remember the way your tiny yet very strong fingers wrapped around mine when you were a baby, and you squeezed with all your might. And I remember the day you decided you wanted to roll over, and you practiced relentlessly until you accomplished the amazing feat. Even when I was pregnant, I could feel that you held an incredible sense of determination. I’ve seen what happens when you set your mind to something, and your tenacity and “stick-to-itivness” inspire me every single day. From pushups to a difficult math problem. From teaching your dog a new trick and not quitting till she gets it right, to practicing a dance routine until you can perform it perfectly. From learning a new volleyball skill with Daddy to following through with a personal decision you made about anything from eating healthy food to keeping your room clean, your determination to finish the task you’ve started is a rare and valuable quality. Keep on working hard, flexing the muscles in your spirit, body and brain, and growing stronger ever day. Your strength is beautiful and powerful, and will help you accomplish great things.

8. Your hands and feet

I’ve always loved these words:

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 NIV

This verse reminds me of YOUR beautiful hands and feet. I know that you want to travel to foreign countries and share the Gospel someday, but let me tell you a little something about you that is happening at this time in your life. I’ve seen your feet run towards those who need help. I’ve seen them walk into places and lives void of the Gospel and share the love of Jesus with people who may never have heard of Him before, as you served refugees and orphans. I’ve watched your feet walk beside a little one, holding their hand and helping them stay safe along the street. I’ve seen those beautiful feet of yours walk towards a person who is sad, so that you can give them a hug. I love the way your feet can’t stay still when you hear music you love. Those feet of yours have been dancing since you were a tiny girl – bringing joy everywhere you go. I’ve seen you dance in praise when no one but me is watching and it makes (happy) tears roll down my cheeks. I know God loves watching you too. I love the way you kick off your shoes and run barefoot every minute you can. And your hands! They are incredible! They care for others, they create, they make music, they draw, dance, hold books while you read, they write, they help – I could go on and on and on. Your hands and feet are perfect, and absolutely beautiful.

9. Your knowledge and love of learning One of the things I love most about you is your unstoppable desire and quest for knowledge. When you want to learn about something new you will research it for hours on end. It’s exhausting for me to even think about it! I love when you gain new insight and understanding on a matter and the light bulb goes off over your head. I’m in awe of the way math comes so easily to you. How quickly you learn foreign languages, and when something interests you, you give yourself no rest set until you’ve learned more about it. Your intelligence, knowledge and love of learning is an incredible gift, and it is beautiful.

10. Your sense of adventure If we lived in the days of pioneers, you would be on the wagons rolling west. If there was an uncharted mountain looming in front of you, you’d want to climb it. If someone was in danger, you are the girl who wouldn’t stand on from the sidelines wringing your hands as you watch, but instead you would bravely run to help.  Your wonder & excitement in not only the big things but tiny treasures like hummingbirds and butterflies are a joy to see. Always keep your sense of adventure. Never lose your wonder. They are beautiful.

Blessings to you my friend, and to your daughters. Thank you for taking the time to visit my little spot on the web. May each of us understand more of what it means to be truly beautiful. ~ Justina Dee

Related post: 10 Things That Make You My Beautiful Girl {The First Five}. Next week’s Healthy Monday post: “Body Image: Why Eternal Perspective Matters”.  Also coming soon: How Your Unique Creativity & Talents Make You Beautiful

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