The Teenager

The words underneath the photos were originally posted on a homeschool blog that I used to write for. Since then the homeschool blog is no more, but I still feel like these words are relevant enough to share here, on my own blog. This post came to mind because my oldest just turned 13. I actually have a teenager. I know that we are just at the tip of our teen years, we have so many more years to go. But I truly feel like these will be the best years of our lives. Why do I feel this? Because I’m choosing a different path for us, one of joy and peace and not of turmoil. I’m choosing to be my child’s biggest cheerleader and biggest advocate, while also being her mother. I choose to be kind of my teen, but draw the boundaries very firm between being her friend and being her parent. I’m choosing to speak out a good and peaceful life for the both of us and believe we can have it, despite what the world says about us.

Here’s a thought…

Speak life into your teenager. Share words of encouragement. Approach the teenage years with joy and not fear. Say aloud the words you want to come to pass, and just maybe, we can get out of this negative spirit the world has cast on young people. Just maybe, they are the very best of people and are world changers just waiting for their parents to be their biggest fans.
Amy Schuff - Sacramento Family Photographer


Originally posted when my girl was just 11:

She’s got one huge freckle precisely under her left eye. I just know it’s going to grow and grow and become a sincere beauty mark once she becomes an adult. Her lashes are much longer than mine, even when I have mascara on, and her nose is a perfect little tan button. Her legs are like long tree limbs and her hair is a lovely shade of tree-bark brown. Everyone comments on how tall she is, but to me, she’s the perfect height to rest my chin on her head when we hug. On that note, she gives the best hugs. She sure knows how to wrap those tree branch arms around a person and give a good squeeze. One of her “love languages” is physical touch; she needs a lot of it in the form of hugs.
She’s my 11-year-old, technically a “tween.” Some would say we are embarking into the “tough” years full of hormones, slamming doors, and back-talk. That isn’t happening, and I truly feel from the bottom of my heart like it just never will. The Lord will help me if it does, but for now, I am going to look at my girl and speak optimism over her.

Let’s live with a sense of optimism about the tween and teenage years, that they will be full of grace, fun, and joy.

Let’s protect their childhood. They have all the time in the world to be an adult. What are they watching on tv, how are they allowed to dress, and who are their friends? To what extent are we willing to go out on a limb as their parents and fight for their childhood?

I’m talking about sheltering our children as much as we possibly can. Sheltering does not mean control. Sheltering doesn’t mean they don’t get to know what happens in the world. What I mean is, they are only allowed about 10 years of babyhood, and then playtime is over. Don’t we as parents owe it to our kids to prolong the amount of time our kids have to just “be”? Or are we so bent on being their friends that we just completely disregard the role as their parents?

How do we, as parents, raise our girls to be strong, independent, and confident?

1. By showing them that in our weakness, God’s strength is made perfect  (2 Corinthians 8:10-12)

2. By showing them that full dependence on Christ is how we achieve a life worth living  (Psalm 62:5-12)

3. By showing them that confidence in Jesus and His plan for our lives is the only way  (Jeremiah 29:11)

I want my tween to see my moments of weakness. I want her to see that it is okay to not be a woman who has it all together and that her mom is a woman who depends on her Lord for each day. A woman who doesn’t esteem makeup, the latest fashion, or the most perfectly decorated house. I want my tween to see a woman who esteems her heart first and does whatever she can to guide her into being the woman God wants her to be.

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