To the Frustrated Mama of a Strong-Willed, Sassy Tween Girl

Parenting girls is not for the faint of heart. But if you have a sassy, strong-willed tween girl? You might have just hit the jackpot.

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The eye rolls. The huffy-puffy breaths. The door slamming. The “whys” and “why nots” and all the Academy-Award-winning fits.

Raising girls is not for the faint of heart.

Somedays my nine-year-old is a precious, tender, servant-hearted gem of a child. Other days she is a full-fledge nine-ager (that’s a nine-year-old who thinks she’s a teenager) who decides to take her life into her own hands and buck up to her mama (that’s me; I’m her mama).

Bless. Her. Heart.

My first response to her sassiness is most definitely not gratitude. It’s usually a raised eyebrow, accompanied by a steely glare, while I say something parental like, “PARDON ME?”

Today, though, I am choosing my response. Today I’m choosing gratitude, gratitude for her sassy self. Why? Well, the enemy wants me to get caught up in today, to only see her fiery, funny, argumentative attitude as a major downfall.

God sees the bigger picture, though. He reminds me that, once molded and refined, her fire, humor, and unwillingness to back down will be marks of a great, godly, brave, bold woman who will change the world for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our kids can change the world.

God can take those traits in them that drive us crazy now, no matter what we might think or feel today, and mold and refine them so that our people look like Jesus. He can do it. He’s good like that.

I’m thankful for her spark, and I’m thankful for her willingness to take risks (even when they lose her privileges). I can be thankful for the hope of who she will become, and I can love and parent and discipline her on her journey to adulthood, encouraging her to grow day by day.

Thank you, Lord, for these formative years. Thank you for the privilege of being her mom. Thank you for the good that’s in her, and I ask that you’d dig in deep and grow her into a woman who looks and loves like Jesus. I pray the same for all of my girls reading today, and for their own sassy-pants kiddos.

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This post originally appeared at Feel Free to Laugh.

Jordan Baker Watts
Jordan Baker Watts is a wife, mother, worship leader, speaker, writer, and former Miss America. Ok, that last one's not true, but one time she watched it on TV. Jordan's heart is for sharing Jesus with those around her, whether through song, speaking, or the written word. She shares from a real, raw place and loves to encourage those around her to come honestly and comfortably before the Lord just as they are, not as they "should" be. She uses the medium of humor to engage her audience, and she loves to laugh! Her story is one of freedom from the lies of the enemy, and of triumph over bondage, all solely by the grace of a merciful and kind God. When she grows up she wants to run a marathon (but only if there are snack breaks along the way). Follow her blog at http://www.feelfreetolaugh.com.

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