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A Birthday Letter and Gift for My Tween Daughter


My little girl is not so little any more.

It’s hard to believe that almost eleven years ago I was in a New York City hospital anticipating her early arrival. This precious little girl that I held in my arms is a few short years away from becoming a young lady, no longer my baby girl. She’s a tween. Even though I see her everyday, I wonder how did she grow up so fast? When I look at her, I see a beautiful smile, long lanky legs, and my husband’s features. She’s almost as tall as me.

I know that the next few years will be a time of transition for her. As she matures I want her to be strong and confidant, and to know her value comes from being the daughter of The King.

As her 11th birthday approaches, I decided to write her a letter and share with her a few things I’d wish I’d known when I was her age.

Dear Ava,

I am so excited to be a part of your life and watch you grow into a young lady. Over the next few years your body will go through changes that are going to seem weird, but I promise you, that they are completely normal. You will be tempted to compare yourself to others when you look in the mirror, get your report card, or step onto the lacrosse field. Resist the urge!

Did you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) He lives in you.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) The creator of the universe breathed life into my womb and designed you just the way you are. You are not an accident. Those things that make you who you are, God put there! He gave you a compassionate heart and weaved the love of music through your soul. He planted within you a desire to cook and try new recipes. He also gifted you with the drive you have to compete in sports.

Steward what God has given you – your talents, your desires, your mind, and your body.

Be yourself, do the things you love, and do them well – for Him! (Colossians 3:23).

God already knows the awesome plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11). With a heart of gratitude, be expectant for those plans to be revealed to you as you walk through life. (Colossians 4:2)

Keep your eyes open to the wonder of God each day.

I am always here for you. But, you know who is even more reliable than me? Your Heavenly Father.

Trust in Him always.

I believe in you, I am proud of you, and I love you.



(Just a second, I need a tissue.)

Along with this letter, I am giving my daughter a copy of Body & Soul, A Girl’s Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life by Bethany Hamilton. It contains both Biblical truth and practical application for active tweens and teens.

The author, whose real life story is depicted in the movie Soul Surfer, lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing. She is now a professional athlete who has excelled despite the incredible challenges she’s had to face. My daughter has already been inspired by Bethany’s story, so this gift is perfect for her.

With the Word of God as a backdrop, Body & Soul explains how young girls can develop a healthy lifestyle, understand their changing bodies, and establish healthy living through eating and exercise. It contains workout routines and recipes that I am looking forward to digging into along with Ava!

I am not sure what the next few years hold for my daughter but I pray that my words will encourage her, the Word of God will fill her, and Bethany’s book will inspire her to be confident in who God created her to be.

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Your Turn

Do you have a teen or tween daughter? What have you shared with her about this season of her life? How have you encouraged her in being herself and becoming the woman God intended her to be? Leave a comment on our blog! We’d love to hear from you!