Turning "13" in an upside-down world

How do you celebrate a special girl’s 13th birthday in such an upside-down world – where girls that age no longer go get an ice cream cone with mom and dad, but are getting their social needs met by boyfriends on the internet, cell phone calls, and instant messaging. Pictures of pouty faced girls are everywhere in the media – a look of temptation and provocativeness – cell phone images are being passed around – girls looking for a moment of fame – their heroes are young girls themselves who have already sold themselves to the media.

I knew that I wanted my daughter to get a different message from us on her birthday…that turning 13 was a milestone and something to be celebrated in her spiritual journey – that we celebrate her value and worth as a gift from God, but it was not a license to pursue the culturally popular track so common today!  Now I know that daughters can make that choice even with parents who are really trying, so I am not judging anyone. In fact a friend of ours from the past has written a book and has a website just for this topic: Pastor Charles Stone and his daughter, Heather tell the story of their relationship through her tumultuous teenage years.

Back to the “13th” birthday – I decided to use an “enchanted” theme and utilize the best I had at home – “the men in our lives” – daddy (the king) and “the brothers”  joined me in making one enchanted day for our princess – the only daughter with 7 brothers (knights in shining armor).



With the invitation arriving early in the morning of the enchanted day and a tiara to make this princess feel special, our daughter launched out into the kingdom (she was such a great sport to wear the tiara proudly all day!) 



Following riddle clues, she met each of her brothers throughout the day for surprise activities – “breakfast with Brandon” where he told her she could have as much chocolate milk as she wanted – now it doesn’t get better than that!

  S6302352“photo shoot with Kirk” at the lakefront – he is our amateur photographer –

 MK and Brandon 001



“lunch with Zachary and Clayton” (her favorite – burritos and sparkling cider)


– movie and shopping (for royal wardrobe) with  mom and a close friend –

at the end of the day –

          outdoor dinner for two with dad, by lantern light –


picked up after dinner for coffee with Ryan and Wesley – at Starbucks –

Each event was accompanied by a clue written in Old English on parchment type paper, speaking words of blessing over the enchanted princess. Each brother was to tell her the story of where they were and how they responded (if old enough) to the addition of a daughter to a houseful of boys, 13 years ago. Then they were to share with her a special tribute. The smile on our daughter’s face at the end of the day was a treasure.

What a challenge to raise up our children in this culture that is so hardened to right and so accepting of wrong. Sometimes I get tired of the fight for their purity and safety, until they can choose it themselves, but about that time I read an article like, “The Cellular Generation” and I am off and running again. Our children are gifts and treasures of great worth. We must do what it takes to bring them up in a way that directs them toward God and His goodness – no matter what the cost!

My words for you sweet Mary,

       “Many daughters have done nobly,   But you excel  them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 31:29-30 (NASB)    I love you – mom


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