A Letter to My Tween Daughter

Originally published Wednesday, 27 May 2015.

Hi, Friend! I apologize in advance for the upcoming “link overload” but I have so much I need to tell you!

I want to introduce you to Katie M. Reid! She is a writer, photographer , and singer who invests the beautiful work of her heart into the kingdom of God. Today, she is sharing a letter about beauty to her Tween daughter.

A couple weeks ago, Katie interviewed me about my book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, as well as the Beautiful Blog Series. After you read the beauty of her words, I want to encourage you to click over to her blog where you can see the interview.

Also, tomorrow is #findingherthursday! If you join us via Instagram, twitter, or facebook by using the hashtag as well as subscribe to my blog, I will send you the Kindle Edition of Nothing to Hold but Hope as a special gift! You will also receive my eBook Mercy Waits for FREE!

Already a blog subscriber but still want the book? Just participate in Finding Her Thursday and send me an email telling me you did. Easy Peasy!

This special gift is valid only for tomorrow’s #Findingherthursday, so join us!

Dear Tween Daughter:

Once upon a time there was a young lady who fretted and fussed over her flawed appearance. She loathed the abundance of dark hair on her arms, she longed to be taller and detested the blemishes that surfaced at the most inopportune times.

 As she gazed into the looking glass, for far too long each morning, she criticized what she saw and struggled to make her reflection more beautiful.

 She longed for the approval of others, to be like them, with big hair, skinny thighs and tan skin. She wanted to blend in yet be noticed at the same time. So, she sneakily applied pink frosted lip gloss and caked on deep blue eye shadow—against her mother’s orders—to try and fit in and feel more grown up.

That girl was me, darling daughter. And I see traces of those same longings in you.

You don’t struggle with unwanted arm hair but you’re embarrassed by your chapped lips and persistently ask if you can wear make-up yet.

“Not yet, sweet girl, but soon.”

You respond with eye rolls and a quick exit out of the room at this answer.

I didn’t like it when my mom told me “not yet” either, but now I understand her reasons for it, because it’s how I feel about you.

I want you to feel confident with your bare-face daughter, to see beauty in the undecorated.

There is nothing wrong with using make-up—when it’s time—but you don’t need it to be accepted. I don’t want it to become an idol that trips you either.

Stand tall because you are made by the Star-Breathing, Paradise-Creating, Body-Forming, Loving-Artist; God.

I want you to be known for your sharp mind, witty humor and compassion for others; that’s what makes you beautiful.

You’re probably confused because you see me plucking and fussing over unwanted flaws, frowning at my thin salt-and-pepper hair and carefully applying a layer of make-up before heading out the door most days.

You see your mother making external beauty a top priority, but, I want more for you.

More than a pretty face, I want you to have an attractive heart. One that extends the beauty of grace to others, one that makes up quickly when it wrongs, one that is clothed in love—knowing that she’s accepted in Christ and therefore approved by God.

Yes, tween daughter, I want you to look your best with His help for His glory, pointing others to His attractiveness.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying beauty but don’t let it turn into something ugly and distorted—becoming too important and all-consuming. Remember that vain step-mother from Snow White? Yeah, don’t be like her.

You are beautiful tween daughter. inside and out. Your eyes sparkle with a zest for life, your smile lights up the room, and your generosity is impacting those around you and those abroad.

 May your heart be the thing you spend the most time on in your beauty regiment.

The world will tell you that you should look and act a certain way, according to their ever-shifting ideal. As I look back I regret the countless hours I’ve spent scrutinizing what God gave me. I want you to focus more on reflecting Him than what you see reflected in the mirror.

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” -1 Corinthians 13:12

This quest for beauty has been placed in your heart by your Creator. Follow His lead and don’t get sidetracked by the artificial found along the way.

Keep searching for the inner beauty that is found down deep, rooted in His Truth and grounded in His Love. This kind of loveliness will not spoil or fade but will grow more valuable and more treasured with each passing day.

That’s the best beauty secret I can give you my daughter. Look into His face and see what He sees: a one-of-a-kind, lovely young woman who is blossoming at just the right time, His time.



As a Tightly Wound Woman (of the recovering perfectionist variety), Katie M. Reid fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She uses her writing—as well as singing, speaking and photography—to unwind in His Presence and point others to Jesus. Join Katie and learn to let go and hold on the Only One who is always in control and truly perfect.

Katie would love to connect with you at katiemreid.com and on twitter and facebook.