By Jen Ferguson

To My Sweet Girl,

I confess. I’ve been raiding songs from your iTunes account and put them on my running mix. Somehow, I never grew out of the boy band phase. Sure, I don’t listen to New Kids on the Block anymore, but I am a sucker for One Direction and Justin Bieber. Is this so wrong that I’m your mom and I can bob with the best of them?

Maybe it’s embarrassing to you, but can I tell you a secret? It’s good that I know what you listen to because there can be so many false messages in a song. Sure, I don’t let you download songs that have the “bad words” in them, but maybe a few have slipped by me that have tainted messages? Maybe I figured that you were too young to understand what the lyrics “really mean” and so I let you sing them. But maybe what I’m doing is just creating these mantras in your head that, when you are older, you will understand what they mean and those lyrics…do I really want those words to be what you sing to yourself when you’re crying your eyes out over a boy?

These are the questions we moms lose sleep over sometimes, you know?

I don’t have all the answer yet, to this question or many others, (you’ve probably noticed this by now, haven’t you?) but I thought I’d share an idea with you. Some of these secular love songs can become really good mantras if we imagine that it is God singing them to us.

Listening to One Direction’s “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” makes me smile every time I hear it. Yes, the boys are cute, the beat is good, and it makes me run faster, but there is another reason.

It makes me think about how God sees me. Can you imagine God saying this to you every time you show Him your sweet face?

Baby you light up my world like nobody else,
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed…

If only you saw what I can see,
You’ll understand why I want you so desperately,
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe,
You don’t know,
Oh oh,
You don’t know you’re beautiful.

Can you even stand it? So many times I look in the mirror and a thousand other words come to mind that don’t come close to the word “beautiful.” All these years, though, I’ve been looking at myself through the eyes of the world and comparing myself to an image that has probably been altered six hundred ways before it graced the cover of a magazine. I didn’t have any other mantra in my head, but girl, oh how I want you to have one. These words may not be as catchy as a One Direction song, but they’ll serve you a lot longer. God’s Word never seems to go out of style after all these years.

Do me a favor? Will you take these words and put them on your mirror? Will you hum them to yourself when you get dressed for school? Will you repeat them to yourself after someone has said an unkind word to you? Will you let God’s Word speak louder than the one of your new boyfriend, or the mean girl down the hall, or your best friend that was having a bad day?

Here they are, written just for you:

God created you, just the way you are. You are precious in His sight and beautiful to boot. Make that your mantra.

I love you,

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