My daughter’s birthday list

March 8 is a special day in our house for two reasons.

First, it’s my oldest daughter’s birthday. Andrea was born on March 8. She’s turning ten years old. She wrote her birthday list last night.

Our almost-10-year-old collected acorns recently, possibly to feed to the hamster that she's not getting on her birthday.

Andrea’s Birthday List

  • Jean jacket
  • The latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book
  • Smelly markers
  • Case to hold my art supplies
  • Hamster

(In case you were wondering, the hamster isn’t happening.)

March 8 is also International Women’s Day. I didn’t know much about International Women’s Day until I met Heidi Hatch, my friend and colleague who fills my Facebook feed with her passion for women around the world. Thanks to Heidi, I’ve been awakened to the importance of this day. We take this one day to remember the tremendous potential of every woman and to speak against injustices that women around the world face daily. (Check out this slideshow from Reuters of women around the world.)

A birthday list for my daughter

As Andrea turns 10, I’m thinking about the wish list I would make for her and for every girl around the world.  Andrea’s reality seems worlds away from children like her in Bangladesh or Bolivia, but can’t we pray these prayers for every little girl, no matter where she lives?

1. Live free from violence.

May no one ever hurt your body, my precious daughter, whether it’s a husband, a boyfriend, or anyone at all. Use your brain to avoid danger, but don’t blame yourself if it comes looking for you. You don’t deserve to be hurt by anyone, ever. Never accept it.

If my daughter could meet these girls in Peru, they would find that they share common hopes, dreams and prayers.

2. Live free from fear.

You will soon discover that the world is more dangerous than we have let you believe. Be careful, but don’t be afraid. Look the scariness of this world in the face, and speak against it in Jesus’ name—especially when it means defending people who are weaker than you.

3. Marry when you choose.

Believe it or not, some girls are forced to get married at your age. At age 10. Pray for those girls with me. Fight the injustice of child marriage with me. And relish your freedom to marry at the age you choose, whether you’re 20 or 40 or never.  

4. Learn.

Study hard. Algebra is cool. Calculus is even cooler. Many girls can’t go to school at your age. You are blessed to be one of the girls who does. Treasure the opportunity. Then, use what you’ve been given to help the world.

5. Get up again.

Someone might hurt you. Someone will disappoint you. You might be the victim of crime or injustice. But you are a survivor. You will get back up, repay evil with good, and pray for your enemies. You will overcome.

6. Follow Jesus.

Trust Him. He’s the one who made you a girl. He knows what He’s doing. God made you in His image. You are lovely. You are His. And, by His grace, you are mine.

I’ll read this list to Andrea on her birthday. What items are on your wish list for your daughters?

Heidi, whom I mentioned above, is hosting the International Women’s Day Walk in Phoenix, Arizona on March 10. If you’re in the Phoenix area, please join her!

About Wendy McMahan

Wendy McMahan is grateful for her front row seat in watching God “reconcile all things to Himself.” (Colossians 1:20) She still can’t believe that she gets to participate in His story every day. Wendy and her husband are proud parents to two daughters and have been foster parents to children of all ages. Wendy serves as Director of Church Engagement at Food for the Hungry. She hosts the Poverty Unlocked podcast.

, , , , ,