Surprise guest post from Lil Light O' Mine's Courtney DeFeo

Note: I had hoped to do a recap of Hudson’s birthday and to tell you all about our amazing week at the beach. But I am teaching VBS this week and we still weren’t ready to officially be “back” from vacation, so those things will have to wait.

But I am so very excited to introduce all of you to the wonderful Courtney DeFeo from Lil Light O’ Mine. Courtney has a huge heart for children, families, and especially the Lord. Courtney believes that we can raise up a generation of children that light up the world and shine their light for Jesus. She is the creative genius behind the Lil Light O’ Mine ABC scripture cards I mentioned in a vlog recently.

Courtney is a beautiful writer and I asked her to please share some words of wisdom with all of you today. Please chime in and see what surprise Courtney has for you today! 

One of the biggest blessings of becoming a mother is seeing a TINY GLIMPSE of how God must see His children.

Have you ever just stared at your children as babies or 5-year-olds and just cried? I know I have when they are sleeping or just in a zone playing and I just watch.

Pinch me – this angel is MINE.

I could close my eyes and tell you every trace of her. I know exactly the spot where she has the tiniest freckle near her belly button. I know exactly where her arms and legs are the most ticklish. I know which hairs are going to get curly with humidity and which will turn blonde with sun.

She is the prettiest human – but I’m her mom. Don’t we all feel like that about our kids?

She was sitting in my room the other day and had my “destroy face with tweezers mirror.” You know, the up close one that reminds you that you’re not 21 … and was just staring at herself.

She said, “Mom, I really like me and just how God made me.”

OH MY HEART! It almost melted and then it sunk. Because I know the time is coming. I have to let her out of the house and off to school and the reality is she will begin doubting her beauty. Ads, other kids looks, others comments, what I SAY in the home, magazines and more will all communicate there is a standard of beauty that she isn’t meeting.

She’ll never see herself the way her heavenly Father sees her and the way her parents see her. I don’t want to settle with “oh well, that’s life.”

So, what do we do as parents? I don’t know the answer – so please chime in below!

I have a few ideas and thoughts.

  • HIDE TRUTH DEEP. We say this verse A LOT. I have to do my part in helping her heart grasp the OUTWARD APPEARANCE is not the source of her beauty.

  • We try to catch ourselves from complimenting only their looks – they are smart, courageous, funny, creative, imaginative, fast, etc.

This was a fun “spa day” we did the other day for fun. DO NOT try the shaving cream on the mirror – go with a shower or tub. Holy cleaning for days.  We wrote what makes us pretty (matters of the heart) on the mirror.

  • We try to say those things FIRST to other kids over “how cute!” or “I love that outfit” – notice something about their character and affirm it.
  • We’re going to pray protection and confidence over her heart diligently. It’s brutal being female and we know it. I’m begging God to make her so comfy in her shoes yet humble.
  • Teaching them to encourage others and never ever speak unkind words to others. I don’t want to assume my kids won’t be the ones to speak the hurtful words or mention someone’s differences (i.e. Ella’s glasses). They need to understand even the smallest comment might stick with someone for life.



I am so thankful for the truth of God’s word. It guides me as a mom. It gives me comfort and our kids unbelievable comfort and security to know the TRUTH. To know they are made in His image.

Tell me your thoughts on BEAUTY and how you will teach your kids about this issue. (or how you’ve faced this in the past if you have older kids – or not a mom).

If you do, you’ll be entered to win ONE SET OF ABC SCRIPTURE Cards!

Giveaway ends on Friday at midnight.

Random winner announced on Saturday morning.


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  1. says

    I think as a woman who is some what of a perfectionist and lives in the society we do, I often catch myself judging myself too harshly and trying to compare my appearance to a lot of others around me. Now that my daughter is here I really am trying to keep it in check and work on just loving me for the person God made me to be, because when she gets to that age where she understands what “beauty” means I want to be able to show her how to be a beautiful person in her actions rather than make is so focused on appearance.

  2. Suzanne g says

    We daily teach them about how God sees them. We also try to fill them with affirmation when they do positive things or we see a strength in them. Hopefully they are secure in who they are through this and not how they look:)

  3. says

    I struggle with my appearance. Not particularly satisfied. Avoiding the camera, etc. But, what I have done lately is to embrace the camera-with Anderson Crew. I have my kids or my husband take pictures of me-being silly, or whatever. Embracing who I am. Loving how God has made me. Loving my wrinkles, and curves. My lumps and bumps. My grey hairs. Because each are a symbol. They point to blessings God has given me. And I am so blessed. I am being proactive about this, so I pass the right point of view down to my girls. So they don’t hear me complaining. My goal is not to brag or be vain. But, I want to pass on to them this view-they, and I, are beautiful, just the way God made us. And a smile is the crowning touch. Every time.=)

  4. says

    “beauty” is so tricky because it is “in the eye of the beholder”. But no matter what anyone else thinks, God is the one who created us and we should only concern ourselves with what He thinks!

  5. Laura says

    As far as teaching my children about beauty, I try to be an example myself. I don’t like to complain about my appearance, my clothes, etc. at all but especially in front of them. Their little eyes learn so much just from watching!

  6. says

    I have two boys, but I am still diligent about complimenting their character before their appearance. I also try to be mindful about what I say about myself or others so that I don’t teach them any ugly words myself!

  7. says

    I have two boys so we’ve talked about working on self-esteem and on character, for sure. I’ve had a few questions about why I wear makeup as I’m putting it on in the mornings. I’ve had to be very careful with my answers. I certainly don’t want my boys to hear me criticize myself, and I don’t want them to think that makeup is what makes a girl beautiful or that those who don’t wear makeup AREN’T beautiful. We’re focusing a lot on character and how that makes someone beautiful.

  8. Lauren says

    I have already started to teach my daughter and try to have her know that she is beautiful and smart. I also try not to make comments around her about my dissatisfaction with the baby weight I still have left from my son…it reminds me of the quote from the help….you is kind, you is smart, you is important. I want her to always know that and to treat others that same way.

  9. Kelly Sites says

    I have twins- a boy and a girl- age 13. I constantly teach our son to be kind to his sister and treat her like a lady- because I know one day this is how he will treat his wife.

    And my daughter- I teach her to respect her brother- allow him to take care of her, and look for ways to serve him by cleaning his room by surprise, or doing something really nice for him for no reason. I want my kids to have a servant’s hearts (in this generation of me me me) and always be looking for ways to honor others. I try to focus on my daughter’s characteristics rather than her outside appearance. I don’t let them watch any of the teen shows that are on TV that are all about shallow values and dating.

  10. Rae says

    I focus on what inner qualities they possess that make them unique and special. I also am careful with how I talk about others in front of them. I do not judge people based on their weight, etc. and teach them the same. It’s important to actually “walk the talk.” I feel my children will learn to treat others based on how they see me treat others.

  11. Sara says

    I try and teach my children by example. I am working really hard on seeign myself as beautiful and I hope they see that as well. I teach my children, though still a bit too young to fully understand that they need to treat other’s like they would like to be treated. I see everyday that my son tries to emulate how I treat other’s and that is such a great feeling, especially when he’s so young.

  12. says

    When my girls were younger we taught them to be kind to others and to be confident in their own abilities and appearance. They were given positive statements about themselves and when others made negative comments, we discussed what was going on and tried to decide why they may have made the negative comment. They are always reminded that their actions demand respect and not to accept mistreatment from anyone.

  13. maria says

    i’ve obviously dealt with this myself, but it’s something i tried to instill in the girls i babysat for. it’s not all about how “pretty” they are or what type of bow is in their hair. i would certainly use the cards in the future! thank you!

  14. says

    Growing up, my mom always told me that “it doesn’t matter how pretty you are on the outside if you’re not pretty on the inside” and I try to remind myself and my boys of that as they grow. I don’t use the word “beautiful” obviously, but we do use “cute” or “handsome” to remind them that it doesn’t matter if people think they are adorable on the outside if they are ugly on the inside.

    This will also be a useful piece of wisdom to use when it’s time for them to start dating and looking for a spouse. I can see looking at them one day saying, “Son, it doesn’t matter how pretty she is on the outside if she’s not pretty on the inside.” Hopefully, this truth will have taken root in their souls and my daughters-in-law will be beautiful both inside and out!

  15. Jennifer B says

    I try to be careful about what I say. I don’t want me son to hear me complain about my body. But I also want to compliment my son on his politeness and smartness as much as I compliment him on his cuteness.

  16. says

    I am not a mother yet, but I have found it is SO easy to gush over a child’s looks and clothes and I try to instead make a point of praising them on their character, special things they do to help, or kindness that they exemplify.

  17. jamie smith says

    Whenever we are able to, we talk about how beauty comes from the inside… we talk about ways to be beautiful- speaking kind words, helping someone, etc. and that it’s not all about what we look like!!

  18. Courtney C says

    We complement both girls’ non physical attributed, but we also tell them that they’re pretty. As someone who has dealt with low self esteem based on looks, I want them to know that they ARE beautiful…. Especially in God’s eyes!!

  19. says

    My daughter is only 10 months old, but I already worry about the hurtful comments she might endure (or speak herself) like you mentioned. I always pray that God will protect her from the things that I cannot. Sure, I’m thinking along the lines of car wrecks and other accidents, but I also can’t protect her from bullies or the high demands of society. I try to be an example myself by not cutting myself down and pointing out the good in others. We take time every day to notice the beauty around us. Not just the physical (that bird has pretty colors), but the internal (that bird’s voice is lovely). Thanks for sharing your thoughts! We’re all in this together. 🙂

  20. step moMster says

    if i comment on someone’s appearance, i try to focus on health and healthy habits – rather than on physical beauty per se. i’ll say things like they look happy or like they just spent the day doing something outdoors or with family or what an expressive face they have. if i do comment on someone’s appearance, i’ll focus on people who aren’t beautiful by hollywood standards. i’ll compliment their adorable glasses (i really *do* love kids in glasses – so cute!) or beautiful hair (if it’s in a different style or texture than we’re used to seeing) or on the gorgeous color of an older woman’s gray hair. it’s not all teaching tools though. i really do love the ‘unusal’ or ‘quirky’ in people. asymmetry, moles on faces…that sort of thing….i find it much more interesting to look at….it makes people so uniquely them.

  21. Ells says

    We pray over our two girls every night, for them to grow up loving Jesus first and most, for them to be women of strength and courage, and for them to each love their sister well. We pray for future husbands who love Jesus too. And we both tell them they’re beautiful! I want them to grow up with lovely hearts that outlast their lovely faces, but I also want them to have a foundational memory of being beautiful to their father and me to build up their confidence in the face of those years when it might be hard to realize.

  22. Jackie E. says

    My children, both girls, are 17 and 20 (both beautiful on the inside as well as the outside) were always told by me that it is better to be pretty on the inside. Inner beauty is where it’s at – always.

  23. Brenna Zung says

    I have worked with kids in a hospital setting for the last 12 years and have always been taught and teach that as adults we need to label the behavior and not the child. And while I know this is typically for negative behavior, it also works really well as a rule of thumb for interacting with kids. Now that I have 3 kids of my own, I realize how easy it is (especially as the parent!) to say how cute or pretty my child, the outfit, etc is and I always try to follow it up with a “you shared that toy really well” or “you did a great job being kind to your friends” and so on- trying to build up their confidence from within as well! (my mom also always told me it doesn’t matter if you are pretty on the outside, if you are ugly on the inside that shows more!)

  24. KC says

    People stop me everyday to tell me how beautiful my daughter is. I think she is pretty cute too, but I’m her mom 🙂 I make a point to tell her all the time that she is smart and beautiful inside and out. I’m not sure that she understands this quite yet, but I want her to know that her personality and her heart are what truly make her beautiful!

  25. Eunice says

    great suggestions – something to remind myself of daily!! i try to have a healthy balance between complimenting my daughter on her inner beauty/characteristics and on her looks. both are important but i love the quote above “it doesn’t matter if your beautiful on the outside if you’re not beautiful on the inside”!

  26. says

    When we found out we were having a girl I began researching this exact topic. Our daughter is now 2 and one of the things that is helping her is showing her the Veggie Tales video called “Sweetpea”. The video focuses on this exact topic. We also try to compliment her inside characteristics before her outside looks so she always knows she is kind, sweet, smart, etc. over what her appearance is on the outside.

  27. says

    I have a 21 month old and to my husband and I she is the most beautiful thing in the world. We tried for a long time to have a baby and when she came to us we were overjoyed with the blessing of having a DAUGHTER. That being said, we immediately started thinking about how cruel the world can be – especially to girls. I tell her all the time that she is beautiful and gorgeous (what pretty eyes you have…that kind of thing) but I praise over and over again when she does something nice or kind (what a great helper! Thank you for the hug! etc). Most importantly, we pray over her every night that she find her worth in Christ and that she run to Him with abandon.

  28. says

    i love when the comments of a blog post are better than the actual post. keep em coming people! this is such GREAT stuff for me to read. thank you so much.

  29. Julianne says

    Love one another as I have loved you, and Treat others how you want to be treated are the most important things to instill in my daughter. I was raised that way, and feel as if it is a great way to teach her to share, kindness, love, and so much more!

  30. says

    I love everything you’ve said! As a mother of a beautiful little girl, I am very much aware of this issue. I want her to have all of the characteristics you’ve listed, epecially to be confident in herself while being humble as well. I pray for her to have love in her heart, for herself and others.
    As her mother, I know that I am the direct influence in how she builds her own self esteem. I make a concious effort to not “check” myself in the mirror or “suck it in” when i notice my reflection 🙂 I also do not talk about “needing to loose 5 lbs.” like is so common in these times. She’s prefect, just as she is and I want her to know that.

  31. says

    I have a little boy that is 15 months old. I try to tell him how handsome he is all the time. I still say he is cute, but I want him to know he is a boy, and boys are handsome. There are lots of other things I am looking forward to teaching him as he gets older. I know I talk about myself being “fat” when in reality I’m not. I want to work on not talking negatively about myself in front of my kids, because I know they will learn from me. I also want to try to not talk about weight very often. It is already hard enough in our society to not think about your weight all the time without having to deal with it at home. I have been wanting some of your scripture cards and would love to have them for our family!! They are great!

  32. Rebecca Scott says

    Awesome post! I have three girls and as they get older (the oldest just turned three) I have been struggling with how to teach them this, that they are beautiful because God made them that way. But I still haven’t figured out yet how that looks except for the first thing this post suggested, hiding truth deep in their hearts : )

  33. Jennifer Z. says

    Great post! I have a boy and a girl, and I am amazed at how I have to parent each so differently. I want to make sure my girl knows that she is beautiful and that both of her parents think this! I have also been convicted to stop trying to be so perfect myself – no talking about my weight, grey hairs, etc.

  34. says

    As the mommy of two very young girls, I want them to know that they are beautiful no matter what. However, it is most important for me that they know that God made them exactly as He wanted them to be…that is their true beauty!! He is the perfect creator and nothing He does is a mistake. I hope to fully stress the importance of true inner beauty.

  35. melissa n says

    I struggle daily with “beauty” – I take pictures only to delete them if they’re not to my standards, I feel awful in everythign I wear, I know I’m a chunky one and it makes me miserable. But, when I stop degrading myself, I realize I have an 18 month old who oesn’t care (right now atleast, lol) what I look like, he just loves me. I have an amazing husband who thinks I’m the most beautiful woman on the planet, and treats me as such. I can’t complain in the end. 🙂

  36. says

    We have started really teaching our children about beauty within.. Telling them that no matter what our outside may look like God loves us and thinks we are all beautiful. Our actions speak more beauty than our facial looks.

    My son has dermatitis eczema and it’s considered severe. We deal with lots of red dry area’s all over his body. And recently his face has been the victim with this horrible Texas heat. And he is 3 and was telling my husband and I how “ugly” he is.. We’ve been telling him how sweet and caring and thoughtful he is and how God loves him even the eczema. I think more people teach that beauty is more important from in than out. We might not have as much bullying.

  37. Melinda B says

    We are blessed with two girls and I recall vividly how looks never phased me until about 8-9th grade. My parents never focused on appearance. So I have concentrated on that with my girls. We tell them often they are gorgeous but more often than that we tell them how smart they are, how kind, just how proud we are of THEM, not what they look like. I never really knew if they caught onto that until my father in law told them one day they were beautiful and my 7 year old came back with yea, but I’m smart!

  38. says

    I definitely work to praise good choices, compliment character, and show unconditional love (even when disciplining) before focusing on outer appearance. I am also working to let my daughter make her own style choices (she’s six – so it’s more about seasonally-appropriate items, matching clothing, her choice of accessories, and having her hair brushed) so that she develops confidence in her outer beauty – because the world will focus on that first. I feel that if she has confidence in her own choices, she will better be able to tolerate the criticism (spoken and unspoken) she will endure simply because she’s a girl.

  39. Sarah says

    I love this! I want my little one to grow up being confident and knowing she is beautiful just how God made her 🙂 I want to tell her that what makes her so special is that God made her, there is no one else like her anywhere else, she is the only one! And she should remember every day that God made her and has a plan for her life. That she is so special and that no one can take that away!

  40. aimee says

    i needed to read this post so badly! I stumbled upon through Kelly’s Korner. My 4 year old daughter asked the kids at preschool.. “do you only want to sit by me because I’m so beautiful?” Clearly I’m failing miserabley at the modesty lesson. UGH! THank you for posting this. 🙂

  41. Lindsey says

    It’s so hard to undo the damage that society can cause on young children in terms of how they view themselves. I am due in October with our first girl and I pray that God will give me the strength and wisdom to instill confidence in her so that she can experience the freedom of knowing her spirit and faith are her beauty, and that she can share that light with others.

  42. says

    I have a 2 year old son and no daughters (yet!), but I still think beauty is an important topic. I tell him everyday that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made”. I remind him often that character is far more important than outward appearances.

  43. china says

    I don’t have children yet (hopefully soon), but I am teacher and work with children daily. I work with 4-5 yr. olds and many of them have special needs. We teach that everyone is special and it doesn’t matter what differences they have, but who they are. It’s wonderful to see through a child’s eyes, at that age, acceptance and love of others that aren’t the same as them.

  44. says

    I have 3 boys – and as a mom of only boys I feel the pressure of realizing that I am raising men/husbands/fathers. I want them to grow up as Godly men and know that their worth is more than just the physical things they can provide for their families. My oldest son is almost 13 and he is definitely noticing girls and has made comments before about how a girl is “hot.” I quickly use that as an opportunity to explain to him what a girl/woman’s worth is – and it is not based on her outward appearance. This mom gig is a hard job we all have – but knowing that there are other Godly women who love their children like I love mine makes me know that there is hope.

  45. Annie says

    As a mom of three boys, I feel like I have quite an opportunity to raise my sons to be kind, chivalrous men. I want to teach my boys to open doors for ladies and generally treat them like queens. This would all be so much easier if they were growing up in a society that values modesty. Instead, they will be tempted by low cut shirts, tight dresses, and swimsuits that leave zero to the imagination. Right now, I am their basis of modesty and femininity. If we want to raise a generation of men, not boys, we as moms need to preach and practice the importance of modesty.

  46. Jessica R. says

    My daughter is 14 months old and I worry about her enduring the plight of most women, which is to be tormented by insecurity about her looks. I know it has been a hard road for me, and it still is. When does trying to be “healthy” veer, really, if we’re honest, into vanity and feeling like our looks are the most important thing? (Or at least a very important thing?) I’m really trying to conform my thought life to the way the Lord wants us to see the world. That our faith character are the most important things, but we can also honor God by trying to be healthy and modest.

  47. Haley says

    I have a son and hope to teach him to value other people by their INSIDE and not whats on the OUTSIDE. I want him to respect women and their minds & not get so obsessed with looks like our society. I hope to teach him all about what GOD values in us, not what our world values.

  48. says

    This is such a great topic! It’s so fun to dress up my daughter in cute clothes, and people always compliment her long, curly, blonde hair, but I definitely don’t want her to think she’s valued just for her looks…even if she is super cute! I also worry about modesty and plan to keep her in smocked dresses, etc until she in jr. high! ha! Love reading the comments and learning from other moms!

  49. Leigh Anne says

    I think three things gave me the confidence to be who God created me to be as a little girl, flaws and all, and I want to continue this with my children. First, knowing His Word and what he says about me. Knowing that my life is purposed to glorify the Lord – it’s not about me! Second, having parents who affirmed me and did not try to mold me into something they wanted me to be. Third, having a dad who was present and affirming. Little girls need to know their daddy’s think they are wonderful!

  50. says

    I try to really watch what I say about my body, even if I have two boys. My oldest, 3 1/2, remembers and repeats everything so I try to not to put down myself in front of him because I don’t want him to start speaking in that way. I really work on inner values with him–confidence, generosity, compassion, instead of focusing on how he looks. I know we have just started teaching life lessons—such a hard, but important, job as a parent!

  51. says

    I don’t have any kids but I do have 4 nieces and nephews under the age of 3. It’s so easy to tell them how adorable they look (because let’s face it, you just wanna snuggle them constantly to soak it up!) but I always do my best to talk to them about their hearts. I make it a habit of telling them the “why” of doing certain things, like being kind to one another or sharing, is because it makes God happy. It’s wonderful being able to see their attitude change when mentioning something that they were born with— a recognition of a Creator. It no longer is a battle between baby and Aunt KiKi for control, but one that I fight for them in prayer against the Enemy.

    I’m so excited about these flashcards. I think they’re a wonderful way for kids (and adults) to learn scripture!

  52. Christen says

    I love that you expect them to encourage others. I think my own mom unintentionally taught me to pick myself apart by picking on others flaws when they weren’t around. I think she was honestly trying to teach me to see beauty, but I just became very good at seeing what needed to be fixed. As I focused my own energies on quitting that habit, at some point, I was able to see only good in other people and only ugly in me. Only God’s eyes and a Godly worldview–we are beautifully and wonderfully made in His image–can change this destructive pattern.

  53. meme says

    I don’t care how messy it is-I plan to do the shaving cream on the mirror just as soon as my daughter is old enough to appreciate it! Love that! SG is only 16 months old but I am already worried about this topic. I don’t know what the right answer is but I do know that I will always tell her how beautiful she is to me.

  54. says

    Im sure this has already been mentioned, but I try really hard not to speak negatively about my own self image problems. I don’t want them to hear me complain about my weight, complection, and imperfections. i try to always set an example for my girls that God made me just as I was intended.

  55. Melissa says

    I have a daughter and I do not ever talk negatively about her looks or anything external. I also keep a healthy mindset for myself.

  56. Laura says

    I don’t have any children but I do have 2 nieces. As they grow up, whenever I get to see them I try to make sure that they know they are loved and how pretty they are (and of course to not make those things mutually exclusive). I also am a librarian at a middle school and I keep my ears open for any talk between the kids about appearance, especially those that might be bringing others down. At my school we’re committed to putting an end to that kind of talk and while we probably will never stop it completely, hopefully we can make a small difference.

  57. Ashlee says

    While I don’t focus on this, I do pick out things about my daughters’ appearances to compliment them. I tell one how much I love her brown hair and her green eyes and I tell the other how I love her blonde hair and blue eyes. I want to increase their confidence in the way they were made. Perfectly. The world will tell them they are ugly and imperfect, and I want to do everything in my power to counter that for as long as possible. We also spend a lot of time talking about matters of the heart. We pray for kindness on the way to school each morning. We pray for their ability to be a good friend. While I compliment their looks from time to time, I try to emphasize that they are pretty because of their hearts.

  58. says

    We just had a baby girl almost 4 weeks ago! I am so fearful for the ugliness in the world that she will sometimes have to face. I hope to focus on the fact that God created all of us in His perfect image. I, of course, am already in love with every single feature of my baby girl, and I plan to make sure she knows just how wonderful she is from head to toe. I also pray that I can fully instill in her that beauty truly comes from within.

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