“Do I Look Pretty?”

What I tell my daughter when she asks if she looks pretty - a must-read for moms with girls!

You smile with glee as you slowly spin and pat the dress that we just wrestled over your head. You point your toes out for another admiring look at your new shoes.

“Do I look pretty, Mama?” you ask me, your eyes lighting up.

“You are SO pretty,” I assure you.

And I’ll tell you right now, baby girl, that there will never be a time that I don’t agree that you are, indeed, pretty.cBrenna 10 months 046

It won’t be because of what you’re wearing. Not the shoes on your feet or the bow on your head.

It won’t be because of how thin or curvy or short or tall you are.

Those things may help you to feel pretty… but they don’t make you beautiful.

You are pretty because of the way you care about others, pointing across the room at a wailing child to ask “is he sad?”

You are pretty because of the way you lean over to give a kiss… a bedtime smooch filled with love or a mending kiss when someone is hurting.

You are pretty because of the way you stick up for yourself. For now, it’s the way you say “No I’m Brenna” when someone calls you “Baby,” but I hope you will continue to advocate for yourself in respectful ways as you grow up.

You are pretty because of your determination, the way you insist “No, I do it by myself!” even when it takes a very long time to finish a task.

And yet, you are also pretty because of the way you are learning to ask for help when you need it, which is important in life.

Most of all, you are pretty because of the way that you love – wholly, completely, passionately, fiercely.cIMG_4543

So, my daughter, are you pretty?

Every day, yes.

You are pretty in your pajamas and you are pretty in your dress. You are pretty with your hair combed and with wild sprouts all over your head. You are pretty sleeping and awake, eating and running, smiling and tearful.

You are pretty when your heart lives for what God called you to do, who he called you to be, and how he called you to live. Your beauty bursts out of you every day.

You will keep asking, as you grow older, if you are pretty.

And my answer will always be the same.

Because I am not looking at you. I am looking within you.cIMG_5011

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25 thoughts on ““Do I Look Pretty?”

  • May 13, 2015 at 5:12 am
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    Your are so pretty Brenna! Thanks to your beautiful purpose in this life, I’m a better person now. Thank you for the beautiful lessons!

  • May 13, 2015 at 5:51 am
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    She is indeed beautiful, inside and out.

  • May 13, 2015 at 6:15 am
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    Wow this is a wonderful post! You said it all so perfectly. Thank you for sharing.

    • May 16, 2015 at 11:47 am
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      Thank you so much!

  • May 13, 2015 at 6:46 am
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    Your daughter is the most inspirational child I have read about I read every one of them nd when I’m done it makes me wanna go on with my life. Thanks for posting such beautiful things that god has done for u nd Evan. And that’s sharing your stories about Brennan. God blesss u nd your family.

    • May 16, 2015 at 11:47 am
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      Thank you!!

  • May 13, 2015 at 7:08 am
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    Perfect!

  • May 13, 2015 at 8:51 am
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    I love this. It not only fits perfectly for Brenna but for any other little girl growing up in today’s world.

  • May 13, 2015 at 9:22 am
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    Such a beautiful, sweet, kind and “yummy” little girl. Tears slowly dropping from this entry. Such a wonderful mom, and sweet, sweet, precious little girl.

  • May 13, 2015 at 11:22 am
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    Love this!

  • May 13, 2015 at 2:42 pm
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    What beautiful words! Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt post.

  • May 13, 2015 at 6:01 pm
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    Blessings to you and beautiful little Brenna! She is such a sweetheart! Hugs!

    P.S. Thanks for spreading the word! We already make a donation to an Ichthyosis organization that a friend had recommended to us. She has family members impacted by Ichthyosis. In fact, she shared your post link here with me.

    • May 16, 2015 at 5:44 am
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      Thank you for your support!!

  • May 13, 2015 at 6:28 pm
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    Your posts are such a joy for me to read! The love that you have for that little girl is so heartfelt that it spills into your writing. It is raw and real. You are living an experience that no one can prepare for, and you do it with class and compassion for your family. I follow your blog, so when I saw you in public yesterday I exclaimed, “There is Brenna!” You turned and smiled. In that instant I realized that you must get approached all the time. Please accept my apology, because you and Brenna deserve to walk through life without interruption.

    • May 16, 2015 at 5:44 am
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      Thank you so much!! And no apologies needed – it does happen all the time, but Brenna is pretty recognizable 😉

  • May 14, 2015 at 8:49 pm
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    Brenna you have taught and reminded me that it important to look within a person to see how beautiful they are. I have fallen in love with you, your spirit and your zest for living. If more of the world had your outlook and determination there would surely be more love, acceptance, and forgiveness in the world.
    I love reading your mommy’s stories about you and your brother you are truly a spit fire willing to take on the world. As you grow and go through life may you always have the voice to proudly proclaim, “I’m Brenna,” and “I can do it by myself.”
    Never for one minute doubt that you are more than pretty you are “BEAUTIFUL.”

    • May 16, 2015 at 5:42 am
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      Thank you so much for such sweet words!

  • October 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm
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    Brenna you are BEAUTIFUL

  • October 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm
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    Love your stories about brenna! She is not just pretty she is also beautiful! She is inspiration to all of us, I don’t look at someone abd say ‘eww’ anymore because you never know what happenedto that person to make him/her look like that I look inside them and say he is handsome or she is beautiful. So thank you for sharing your daughter’s story with us!

  • October 25, 2015 at 5:48 pm
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    Your daughter is so beautiful her smile is amazing and so love and can feel her energy and life with every picture you post!
    My Jordan had tubes NG,G, and even central line! Not quite the same but at 5 she asked am I pretty with this feeding tube and my answer was YES YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN SIDE AND OUT!! The same I would say too Brenna if we’re to ever meet her!!❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • October 25, 2015 at 5:58 pm
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    I was telling my mother about Brenna and describing her infectious laugh. I was saying that all kids are cute but that Brenna just has something special going on behind her eyes. Mom took one look at her picture and said “She had THE most beautiful smile!!”.
    Brenna has “pretty” in her pocket.
    Thank you for writing this post – it was extra-extra awesome.
    xo

  • October 26, 2015 at 5:55 pm
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    This is the most sweetest little girl and and truly a blessing .
    I enjoy seeing her smiling inside and out!

  • June 26, 2016 at 7:36 pm
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    Love that sweet spunky kid!

  • July 25, 2016 at 7:50 am
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    Monday morning. I was looking on Pinterest for more dieting tips and ways to make me look better, combat aging, get skinny and essentially, change or hide everything my body has accomplished over the last 29 years. I stumbled on this post and couldn’t be more humbled, and also embarrassed.
    Just yesterday I was dancing to “treasure” by Bruno Mars with my daughter, highlighting some of the key lyrics that are important for all girls to feel within.. ” pretty girl, you should be smiling, a girl like you should never look so blue”. The whole time we were dancing and having a good time, I was thinking about how I would manage to make her feel pretty as she grows in this world where somehow we’re never enough.
    Obviously, this is important to me because I have self esteem issues of my own that I don’t want that for her. I’m embarrassed that I try to teach that at home but come to work the next day wanting to change myself. This post will be printed in my home as a reminder of what pretty really is. Thank you for writing this. I’m new to this site but your family is beautiful. Your son looks so happy with his little sister. That’s what real love is…and where life begins. God bless you all.

  • September 1, 2016 at 3:05 pm
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    Hi Courtney,

    “Those things may help you to feel pretty… but they don’t make you beautiful.” I love it!
    This is a beautiful piece of writing, and yes your daughter is pretty.

Comments are closed.