There is a four year old red head in my house who is a princess and a mermaid, a ninja and a spy. She runs like her Mama (which is to say awkwardly and slow, but don’t tell her. I want to be there when she catches a glimpse of herself for the first time.), fights like her brothers, is serious like her daddy and has a confidence that I’m so proud of.

She thinks she’s right 100% of the time. It’s awesome and a little scary all at once. This little girl already thinks that she can rule the world. Not one day, but right now if she chooses.

I’m so pleased about this. 

You might be saying what?! I know, it makes for some hair-pulling-out, frustrating, give-myself-a-timeout parenting oftentimes, but the young lady she is becoming is going to be one that can navigate whatever world she finds herself in. As a Mama of a daughter, as a woman grateful to other women who went before me and broke glass ceilings and paved pathways, as a female who has navigated male-dominated careers and jobs and schools, I (mostly) don’t mind this strong will of hers. 

Because I know that if I can teach her to have a tender heart toward hurting people, show her that even one person can make a difference, guide her to serving others in some capacity, along with her strong will and absolute confidence, she will indeed rule the world. Not with an iron fist, but with a velvet glove.

God bless all the Mamas of strong-willed children out there. It’s a tough road to the finish line but just wait and see what kind of human being emerges-I bet you’re going to be so proud!

PS, This is the outfit I let her leave the house in yesterday, notice the skirt and the boots (that are two sizes too big) are sequined–she is my daughter! Talk about your big, bangin’ confidence!!!

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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Birthday Girl

To my darling girl,

I could never have known how you would change my life when we met four short years ago. Even though you were my third baby, you were my first girl and my first pregnancy.

I will never forget the first moments of your arrival: scary, wonderful, messy, loud, then quiet as I kissed your tiny red-headed baby face. You are a precious daughter, and I am so glad I got chosen to be your Mama.
I prayed for you, you know. Even though I was terrified of being a mom to a girl. I had adopted your amazing brothers already so I knew what to do with boys. I loved being a mom of boys. Would I do ok as a mom of a little girl?

This meant I would be the role model. The one you would look to to show you how a woman is supposed to be. The one who would demonstrate, in good ways and probably bad, how to love others, be a mom, be a wife. Be strong when life is crashing down around you but tender when the dust settles.

I’m supposed to teach you how to say you’re sorry and how to stand up for yourself. How to put on makeup but feel good about who you are at your core. How to take care of yourself so you can care for others. I’ll be the woman you measure yourself by, and yet I have so much more growing to do myself.

I’m still learning how to do all these things, sweet girl. I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t always get it right. I’m doing my best, and if you only learn one thing from me I hope it’s that you have a heart for serving Jesus. The rest of it is great, but everything else takes a backseat to how you live this life with love.

Four years and so many more wonders and heartaches and love and hugs and smiles and surprises and tears and laughter to come, little girl. Hang on, because it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

I love you,


(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015)