Since I’m around teenage girls all day, I see the struggles they face and am already worried about our daughter’s teen years. Will she have loyal friends? Will she have confidence? Will she have acne? Will she love God? Will she trust me?
She’s 6 months in the womb and already I’m concerned that she’ll never get asked to a dance and girls will be mean to her. Instead of focusing on the multitude of fears that can be quite daunting at times, I’m choosing to focus on my hopes for our daughter. I started with 10 and it grew to 100. Sorry. Turns out I’m overflowing with hope for her.
1) I hope she loves Jesus and tacos and Anne of Green Gables.
2) I hope she goes on wild adventures.
3) I hope she gets her dad’s blue eyes but not his broad shoulders.
4) I hope she laughs so hard she sometimes pees her pants… like her mom.
5) I hope she grows into a confident, joyful girl who never doubts that she is loved.
6) I hope she finds friends to laugh with about boogers and poop and make-up and boys.
7) I hope these friends love Jesus too- that they are there on her wedding day and praying for her on her hard days. And when she is pregnant for the first time, I hope these friends tell her all the gory details of childbirth as my own friends have done. (I’m assuming I’ll have blocked all that nastiness from my memory. Mucus plug?!? Are you kidding me?!?)
8) I hope she is kind and offers comfort to those hurting around her.
9) I hope she is brave and stands up to the bullies of this world.
10) I hope she loves to read.
11) I hope she can laugh at herself and make others laugh, but never at the expense of someone else.
12) I hope she gets her dad’s creativity and singing abilities.
13) I hope she dances and sings in the car…even if she gets my singing abilities.
14) I hope she makes strangers smile.
15) I hope she learns to cast her cares at Jesus’ feet, to go to him when she is weary and burdened and there find rest for her soul.
16) I hope she can cross her eyes and make a mean double-chin.
17) I hope she loves waking up Sunday mornings to Rich Mullins…and I hope that like me and her aunt Heidi, she thinks she’s “rapping” when she sings Awesome God.
18) I hope she is humble but takes pride in her work.
19) I hope she has siblings and is a compassionate, only SEMI-bossy big sister.
20) I hope she keeps a diary… so I can secretly read it.
21) I hope she learns to care more about God’s opinion of her than the opinions of other teens. Because teenagers can be mean… and sometimes stupid. And God is neither.
22) I hope that like her dad, she loves to learn for the sake of learning, not just for A’s.
23) I hope that like me, she loves airports and Narnia and reality tv.
24) I hope she takes my “peer pressure” song to heart and doesn’t give in. (Because really, “peer pressure, peer pressure- what does it do? It squeezes the Jesus right out of you!”)
25) I hope she never feels entitled to an easy life.
26) I hope she realizes every good thing in her life is a gift from her God.
27) I hope she daily catches glimpses of His glory and marvels at the nearness of His Spirit.
28) I hope she’s not allergic to dogs.
29) I hope she finds true contentment in who God has made her to be….zits and all. (Because let’s face it, with my skin issues she is destined to have acne or warts or eczema or maybe all three. Sorry, sweetie!)
30) I hope she has thick skin and doesn’t let the mean words said to her or about her touch her heart.
31) I hope she is careful with her words and her wit, spreading words of encouragement not slander.
32) I hope she finds her identity in being a daughter of the king, not in her looks or grades or abilities or popularity.
33) I hope her friends are quirky and appreciate all the junk food in our pantry.
34) I hope she is continually awed by the ocean and sunsets and mountain peaks.
35) I hope she doesn’t like tuna in her mac n’ cheese…because that’s how Paul wants to make it for our children and I am firmly against it.
36) I hope she is full of questions… and isn’t afraid to ask us the hard ones.
37) I hope she isn’t obsessed with her looks and doesn’t take a gazillion selfies.
38) I hope she is quick to apologize and quick to forgive.
39) I hope she is salt and light in this cruel, dark world.
40) I hope she loves to camp and isn’t a wuss about peeing in the woods.
41) I hope she is proud to be an American.
42) I hope she travels the world and discovers a planet much grander than just the good ol’ US of A.
43) I hope she thinks beer is as gross as I do.
44) I hope she appreciates Disney movies from the 90’s.
45) I hope she notices the wallflowers of the this world and makes them feel seen.
46) I hope boys don’t notice her until she’s 31. Worked out well for me.
47) I hope her future husband loves Jesus and is kind and humble and brilliant and goofy- just like her dad.
48) I hope the B-I-B-L-E really is the book for her.
49) I hope she gets the Hardeman toes as well as our love of basketball and missions. When she sees her great-grandparents trotting around the globe, sharing Christ’s love, I hope she is inspired to join in.
50) I hope she gets the Van Dyk work ethic and when she sees her great-grandparents painting and hiking and even pushing a massive rototiller around the yard, I hope she’s inspired to work a little harder on her math homework.
51) I hope she realizes her large and sometimes, okay OFTEN, embarrassing family is a gift.
52) I hope this glorious family rubs off on her in all the right ways.
53) I hope she is laid-back like her Bumpa and learns from him how to never take life too seriously and always make God her first priority.
54) I hope she is generous like her Grandma Hardeman and disciplined like her in reading her Bible every morning….preferably not with coffee until she’s at least in college.
55) I hope she has an unshakable faith like her Aunt Heidi, that she prays as hard and gets a tiny bit of her fashion sense. (But not too much or else we’ll go broke.)
56) I hope she is thoughtful and has a servant’s heart like her Uncle Dan.
57) I hope she is sensitive to the needs of others like her cousin Vander.
58) I hope she is studly but unselfish on the basketball court, just like her cousin Hudson.
59) I hope she lights up a room with her joy like her cousin Logan.
60) I hope she is curious and cuddly like her cousin Lincoln.
61) I hope she loves dogs as much as her Uncle Trav and laughs as easily and often as he.
62) I hope she has a heart for Africa like her Aunt Emma and shares her compassion for the broken and hurting people in our world.
63) I hope her cousin Cami teaches her how to be the best big sister.
64) I hope her cousin Corbin shows her the joy of shooting hoops and copying her dad.
65) I hope she’s as adorable as her cousin Denver- one of the few babies who didn’t look like an alien.
66) I hope she’s competitive and bold like her Uncle Trent…but never punches a teammate.
67) I hope she’s hardcore yet girly like her Aunt Teri and can open coke cans with her toes.
68) I hope she wears a constant smile like her Grandma Van Dyk and inherits her love of art and snorkeling and finding adventures on mundane days.
69) I hope she gets her tech skills from her Grandpa Van Dyk and learns to pay attention to detail like he does.
70) I hope she learns to speak Spanish like her Aunt Alyssa and studies as hard as she did in school. Who knows, her brother may end up marrying her high school teacher one day…
71) I hope she loves board games as much as her Uncle Ryan and is a faithful sibling like him, always there to help her family.
72) I hope family is important to her and even when she’d rather hang out with friends, she chooses us.
73) I hope she joins me in the anti-pickle club….Paul is already plotting how to win her over to his pickle-loving ways.
74) I hope she trusts God, even when life is hard and doesn’t make sense at all.
75) I hope she trusts her parents, even when we say “No” and she wants to strangle us.
76) I hope she is honest…. but when she lies, I hope she is confesses quickly.
77) I hope she experiences great success… but when she fails, I hope she learns and grows from her failure.
78) I hope she is patient with the annoying people in her life.
79) I hope she doesn’t think I’m annoying.
80) I hope she is a loyal friend and refuses to gossip.
81) I hope she’ll sunbathe with me but always wear sunblock.
82) I hope she is filled with the peace that surpasses human understanding.
83) I hope she’s a better driver than I was at 16.
84) I hope she’s faster at doing chores than her dad.
85) I hope she gets stronger teeth than both her parents. (Can that even happen?)
86) I hope she is wise.
87) I hope she’s not quick to judge those who are different from her.
88) Instead, I hope she appreciates different perspectives and is willing to learn from people who don’t look or live or think like her.
89) I hope she loves ice cream as much as her parents do.
90) I hope she can whistle like her dad and do cartoon voices like her mom.
91) I hope she has a resting nice face.
92) I hope she never sees war but is ready to fight the daily spiritual battle.
93) When she’s lonely or sad, when her grief is heavy and hard, I hope she always runs to Jesus… and then to me.
94) I hope she can see through the liars and schemers who may try to take advantage of her.
95) I hope she appreciates hummingbirds and mangoes and a good hammock.
96) I hope she wrestles with God about Hell and suffering and why He seems silent at times.
97) I hope she learns to trust that God is loving and just…even when His ways are mysterious.
98) I hope she gets a scholarship to college…because it is DANG expensive.
99) I hope she loves dancing in the kitchen to “oldies” tunes.
100) I hope she too is overflowing with hope… and that this hope in Christ anchors her and enables her to smile and sing even in the darkest of storms.