“Everyone’s talking about the Victoria’s Secret fashion show … how this one girl wore this multi-million dollar outfit …. and how amazing they all are …”
The lights on my daughter’s tree glisten late in the night. We are up too late, pillow talk, chewing on all things girl: how it’s hard to admit when we are wrong, how friend hurts run deep, how some girls seem to get everything they ever want — clothes, jewels, purses, shoes … and does that mean happiness?
And we talk about the real stuff: like how love is all the soul really needs; how persevering through the tough thick of life makes a woman beautiful; how honor and respect are the prettiest adornments we can wear.
And we say it all because we learn the hard way, because the longing to be beautiful is within us, and because Jesus is and always will be the utmost answer on anything Beauty.
We talk about how God feels about women flaunting their bodies as if they were up for sale, and how he loves pretty things, but we can’t get our security from a full closet or a twitter feed or even what people think. How His gifts are fuller than that: they are love, faith, perseverance, hope, character that blooms. Ultimately He is the greatest Gift.
Her bright lights glimmer, ballerinas and balls and beads … memories of a more simple time.
We count gifts – the gifts we already have. Like the way the lamp casts shadows of light on the wall; the warm, colorful blanket that not everyone on earth has; and the tree adorned with childhood memories. And we thank Him for the greatest Gift of all, the gift of Himself in the person of Jesus.
I teach her to do this in the hard moments because I know that gratitude brings beauty to the surface, and finding our value in Him makes us gritty, strong, courageous women — and some day, she will be one.
So I preach some of my best sermons on that pillow-tossed couch of hers, and lay my head beside her weary one till she sleeps, telling her She is More Beautiful Than She Knows, because He is More Beautiful Than We Know too.
If there is a gift we can give a teen girl, it is knowing who she is in Christ: Loved, Already (no matter what people say) … Beautiful as she is made (even if her body never looks like Project Runway) … she is Priceless and Worth Protecting … her body is Holy and set apart for her husband (no matter what the magazines say). We can teach her Beauty begins at home and spills out in our behavior (it’s not put on or sprayed on like makeup); and she has Potential and Gifts and Dreams that no one can steal from her.
She is God’s Beloved Daughter, and He will ever believe in her, fight for her, and promise her hope and a future. If she comes to Him and seeks Him with all her heart, she will find the Most Precious Gift of All.
Teach a girl today she is More Beautiful Than She Knows, because God is her One True Mirror, and He is More Beautiful than all the charms this world can offer.
We have even put together matching Gift Sets for you, with jewelry to adorn the girls in your life with their true beauty and value.
As she falls asleep, I gaze at the lights. The ornaments are pure. Simple. Childhood has passed. Now is the time for grit. Strength. Courage. Grace. Mercy. Humility. Forgiveness. Perseverance. Honor, and Faith that never gives up or gives in. If I give her any gift, it will be the Greatest One:
Christmas IN us. Knowing who she is, because she knows Whose she is.
For the Girls….
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”