Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Brave Beauty Lock Screens and Giveaways!

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In this time of growing from child to adult, tween girls need God to help them so they don’t feel constantly pushed one way and then the other. God can make us all brave and give us the courage to be the true individuals He made us to be.

FREE LOCKSCREENS

Remind the tween girl in your life of who God says she is with these fun Brave Beauty lock screens. They can be sent via text or uploaded to your tween’s electronic device.

*** Sign up here and you will receive these six lock screens in your email.***

Brave Beauty helps tween girls to:

– Gain confidence by accepting her unique qualities and understand how they can work for her, not against her.

– Discover who God says she is, in His eyes, and how He can help her.

– Discuss the tough stuff she’s going through as she changes physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.

– Learn how God’s words can help her become brave and beautiful.

Soaking young girls’ hearts in the truth of God’s Word can make all the difference! Think for a moment of a girl you know who needs to gain Christ Confidence and discover who God says she is.

Will you help her get there by gifting her a copy of Brave Beauty? 

Lynn

Monday, August 21, 2017

70% of girls feel they don’t measure up

 

Let’s do something about that!

 

I recently read something that shocked me: A girl’s confidence peaks at age nine.

 

Age nine.

 

Not when she first sees herself as a teenager, or even in the future as she graduates from high school, begins her career or becomes a mom.

 

This saddens me because there is a whole lot of life to live past nine years old,and I have found that this life requires a lot of confidence — Christ Confidence — to get through it.

 

Seven out of ten girls feel that they don’t measure up… that’s 70%! You get that. You already see this in real life – in the teens and women around you, feeling like they don’t cut it in this world of perfection we live in.

 

When a girl feels like she can’t meet the standards set by her peers, just imagine how this affects her confidence. And if she’s not confident, how will she ever find the boldness to do what God calls her to do in life? 

  

I wrote Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You to help those statistics change. Especially for girls between the ages 8 – 12, Brave Beauty is not just a book — it’s a companion guide on a girl’s journey to learning to become courageous, confident and fearless.

 

Brave Beauty helps tween girls to:

– Gain confidence by accepting her unique qualities and understand how they can work for her, not against her.

– Discover who God says she is, in His eyes, and how He can help her.

– Discuss the tough stuff she’s going through as she changes physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.

– Learn how God’s words can help her become brave and beautiful.

 

Soaking young girls’ hearts in the truth of God’s Word can make all the difference! Think for a moment of a girl you know who needs to gain Christ Confidence and discover who God says she is. Will you help her get there by gifting her a copy of Brave Beauty?

 

 

Pre-order your book today (before August 31st) and receive these confidence-building resources:

  • Getting to Know Your Tween-ager Parent Guide
  • Grounded: Standing Firm in a Roller Coaster World mini-workbook for tweens
  • 5 Confidence Coloring Pages
  • “I Will Be Brave” Declaration cards
  • 5 Free Chapters of Brave Beauty

Just submit your receipt here to get these power-filled resources!

Click here to order your copy today! 

 

Lynn

Friday, August 11, 2017

Brave Enough to Do Something Scary … Together

 

Last night, I crawled into bed, hoping my eyes would hold up a few minutes longer; a least long enough to travel to a distant land through the portal of my bedside novel.

I needed just a few moments to take a break from our real world and relax my mind.

The past couple of weeks in the Cowell house have pushed us into a corner. My mind wants to ask “Why God?”, but God’s word, placed in my heart each morning, reminds me instead to ask “What next, God?”

My youngest daughter, Madi, sustained a concussion at work a month ago. Since that time, it has been a series of doctor visits, trying to determine how her brain is coping with the collision she had with a child.

Yesterday was the hardest day yet, as we made the call we didn’t want to make; withdrawing her from residential college classes in Virginia and making the tough decision to have her stay at home this semester to heal.

I’m not going to gloss this over … it’s been rough. Very rough. Disappointment is a pain-filled place to navigate life from, especially when the loss comes to someone you love so very much and there is absolutely nothing you can do to fix it.

I have to remind myself, not daily, but on the hour, as I continue to make phone calls, change schedules and call doctors … God is sovereign. He knows what He is allowing. He knows what my girl needs – the strengths and experience – to fulfilling the calling He has on her life. He is forming in her the courage, bravery and confidence to face the hard things that life will throw at her in her future.

So what’s my part as her mom? I so want to buffer her from it all.

Yet, I know that over correcting it not the answer. As hard as it is, for some reason, God has allowed this season of suffering and pain in my girl’s life. I don’t want to get in the way and mess up what He’s trying to do.

But I can be here with her, each day, standing beside her as she navigates waters she’s never swam in before. Honestly, neither have I, but our fear fades when we do this scary together!

 

If you have a girl, ages 8 – 12, who needs to develop her own brand of brave beauty, be sure to order her a copy of my newest book before the release date so you can get all the freebies I’ve created just for her … and for you too! {Click the link in the profile to learn more about all the free resources you can claim today!}

 

I’d love to have you join Shari Braendel and I as we converse more about what it means to be brave … not just for our children, but for ourselves! Click here to join us!

 

Lynn

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Brave Enough to Pray The One Word Prayer

I’m not quite sure how old I was when I started getting the remarks on my report card: Lynn needs to learn how to be quiet. I guess it was at whatever age I started getting report cards. I read them. I talked to my mom about the changes I needed to make. But when it came to actually making the change, I didn’t.

I didn’t change until the consequences were about to become huge.

Begging my parents for a wonderful opportunity, they allowed me to make the switch from a public school to a private school in seventh grade. I really enjoyed it, but my teachers were not enjoying me. My talkative ways were disrupting their classes. So, after my first semester I was given an ultimatum: find the self- control I needed or find a new school.

Now, my teachers had my attention. The question was: Could I do it? Could I really have that much self-control?

I wrote in my little, gold Five-year diary: “Lord, I really like this school, but I don’t know if I can make this change. I really, really need your help.”

Help. It’s the one-word prayer God can answer.

The first thing I needed to understand in order to change was that I wasn’t just disobeying my teachers. By disobeying my teachers, I was disobeying God.

Second, I needed to get that God understood that change was hard for me. He wasn’t mad at me. He got me and He would help me.

Hebrews 4:13–16 tells us, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. Christ is Our High Priest. So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (NLT)

Do you see what I see? God understands our weaknesses. He is not mad at us; He gets us. That is why we can boldly come to Him as His daughters and bravely say, “Daddy, help!”

Jesus helped me. I learned the self-control I needed to keep my thoughts in my head until it was the right time to talk. I am so thankful I did. I got to stay at my school.

BECOMING BRAVE

Is there an area in your life you need to change? Reread Hebrews 4:13–16 in another Bible transla- tion. Ask an adult or older sibling to help you use Biblegateway.com and try reading this verse in The Message. Are you surprised at the way God feels about our weaknesses?

 

COURAGEOUS CALL

Dear Jesus, help! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Today’s post is an excerpt from Lynn’s newest book, Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You

Order today (before August 28th) and claim free resources written just for your tween and you! Click here

 

 

Lynn

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Brave Enough to Do the Scary Thing

 

What was the last scary thing you did?

Me?

Getting away to try to get the last of Brave Beauty written, I approached the mountain house, ready to write my heart away. That was when I spotted it … little bear paws on the red rocking chairs! Sleeping in that home all night by myself … that was scary!

How about you? How did you feel when you had to do the scary thing?

I think it is important as we grow up to reflect now and then on how it feels to be scared because sometimes we can forget what it feels like to be genuinely terrified. We have done so many frightening things in our lives, we no longer remember how scary smaller things were when we were young.

I remember when I was in sixth grade, my church had a contest to see who could bring the most friends to church. Yes, I wanted to win, but I also wanted my friends to learn more about Jesus, who I had come to love. I was afraid to invite them, though. What if they thought I was weird for asking? What if they talked behind my back about how strange they thought I was? Finally, I got past the whirling worry in my head and went for it. I decided the worst that could happen would be that they said “no.” I did it scared.

When I read stories of others who are courageous and do scary things, I see something that many of them have in common: they did it scared.

Most of them never overcame being scared, but that didn’t stop them from being brave.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego obeyed God rather than Nebuchadnezzar and were thrown into a fiery furnace. I bet they were still scared, yet they obeyed God.

Nicodemus went at night to ask Jesus questions about things he didn’t understand. I wonder if it was because he was scared.

Rhoda tried to convince the adults that Peter wasn’t a ghost, but was really at the gate.

The woman at the well kept listening to Jesus even though He knew all about her sins.

They all did what they did even though they were probably shaking in their shoes!

Guess how many times the Bible says “fear not”? One translation has it 74 times. Seventy-four times God tells us to not be afraid. God told us “do not be afraid” so many times because He knows fear is a huge problem for us. While it might be normal, it is not what He wants for us. He wants us to be fearless.

Like all these Bible characters, finding the fearless you begins with finding faith in the God in you. By yourself, it is almost impossible to simply stop being afraid. When we teach ourselves the truth about the power that is within us, the same power that created the world and raised Jesus from the dead, that’s when our faith makes us fearless!

Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said: “Our God is able!” (Daniel 3:17) It’s not that they thought they were all that great; they knew their God was all that great. He can do anything. He is the one we can build our fearless faith on!

Is there a scary thing you’ve been shying away from that God can help you to be brave and go forward?

 

Lynn

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Brave Enough to Learn

There it was. That beautiful voice, drifting down the stairs, once again. If only I could understand even one of the words she sang. The fullness of her voice belonged in a cathedral not holed up in the tiny bedroom where she practiced with her piano again and again and again.

For months, my daughter Mariah practiced, went to lessons and followed every instruction given by her vocal instructor. She wanted to be part of our state’s honor choir, and she committed to doing what it took to be chosen.

The first scary step involved singing a solo for her teacher. Terrified, she signed up for the audition and gave it her all. Several days later, she got the great news. She made the cut!

Next, she traveled hours away for the state audition. With my ear glued to the thick, wooden door, I strained to hear that expressive melody again as Mariah sang for the panel of judges. College professors and professionals would make the call. The hours of waiting dragged as we paced the halls. We were told the list would be posted outside the door.

When the results were finally tacked on the board, Mariah’s name was missing. Certainly there was a mistake. Didn’t they hear her? The disappointment Mariah felt overwhelmed her. She had worked so hard this year. Next year, she would train even harder.

The next year, she did it all again. Sang for her teacher. Traveled to the state audition. Performed for the judges.

Again she didn’t make the honor choir. And that was it. She was a senior; there would be no more opportunities.

Sometimes, even when we do the scary thing, the brave thing, it still doesn’t work out.

As her mom, it crushed my heart to witness Mariah’s pain, not once but twice. I wanted to fix her heartache, take the bad pain away. Looking back, it was a good thing I couldn’t take it away.

Mariah could have quit after the first time. Even after the second rejection, Mariah could have been done doing hard things. When I asked her how she remained so positive, she said, “Because I believed I could do it.”

Did you catch what happened? After Mariah allowed herself some time to feel sad about her loss, she eventually became even braver! Doing the scary thing prepared Mariah to be brave again and again. She knew if she could do it once, she could find the courage to do it again.

 

No one wants their loved one to hurt or feel pain. If I could have stepped in to remove the hard thing, I would have eliminated the test. Yet if I could have taken away this trial, I would have gotten in the way of Mariah learning to be strong, brave and confident and stunted her growth in trying hard things for the rest of her life.

It’s been five years since that hard time. And today, Mariah is one of the most courageous people I know.

Mariah’s under graduation, this past May, in Social Work

In Judges 3, the Lord allowed the Israelites’ enemies to remain in the Promised Land for one reason: to teach them. He wanted His people to learn how to do hard things, depend on Him and not run away.

These difficult times in our lives, and in the lives of our children, can be the exact opportunities to learn not to quit. Here, we learn to be brave and to do the hard things again and again and again. In the tough places, we can change our perspective to see: we are not losing; we are learning. We are learning that our God is faithful to help us; He will never leave or forsake us. That is when a bad thing can become a good thing.

Dear God, I want to develop courage and bravery and help others in my life become courageous and brave too. Help me remember that even if the trial is hard, You are beside me. I trust You. Please help me with __________________ {fill in the blank}. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

When have you seen your child learn, even when it felt like losing? I’d love to hear your story!

Brave Beauty helps tween girls to:

  • Gain confidence by accepting her unique qualities and understand how they can work for her, not against her.
  • Discover who God says she is, in His eyes, and how He can help her.
  • Discuss the tough stuff she’s going through as she changes physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.
  • Learn how God’s words can help her become brave and beautiful.

Order before August 28th and claim these prizes! Click here to learn more! 

 

Lynn

Monday, August 7, 2017

Brave Enough to …

Join me this week for Brave Enough, a series where we’ll look at the every day situations where all of us girls, no matter what our age, find ourselves needing to be brave enough! 

You have your own set of unique gifts God has given you to share His love with the world. Share them!

 

Is there a certain activity the cool kids at your kid’s school do?

 

At Alexandra’s school, all the cool kids played sports. For girls, the sport twas softball. Every year since first grade, Alexandra had her mom sign her up to play too. Only there was a problem. Alexandra wasn’t really great at softball. She struggled with fear every time she got up to the plate. Things in the outfield weren’t much better.No matter how much her mom tried to encourage her to try another activity, Alexandra wouldn’t. Her closest friends all played softball; she wanted to as well. Then, Alexandra’s doctor discovered something going wrong with her back—she had scoliosis. That means that as Alexandra’s back grew, it wasn’t growing straight. It had a curve in it. Her curve became so big her doctor suggested she have surgery to put two metal rods in her back to help straighten it out.

Alexandra was very scared. The surgery sounded painful. On top of that, her doctor told her that after the surgery there would be some things she couldn’t do well and some things she couldn’t do at all. Softball was one of them.

The year Alexandra chose to have the surgery, she didn’t go out for softball. Instead, she joined a singing club and tried acting too. I’m sure you can guess what happened. She loved singing and acting and she was very good at both!

 

Alexandra as Morticia Addams in The Addams Family in high school

Check out 1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

Do you see how God has given each one of us different gifts? We’re not all the same! God has given us gifts so that we can use them to help each other. We can begin using these gifts as soon as we discover what they are, no matter what our age is! Whether we are young girls or older girls, God has place within each one of us the gifts He wants us to use to show this world the loving God He is.

Be brave enough to be yourself so that others can experience the unique gifts you bring to this world!

Have you found your own unique talents or gifts? I’d love to hear about your unique gifts and the gifts you are seeing in your children in comments below. How are you using these gifts to show the world the love of Jesus?

If you’re not sure what your unique gifts are, ask others to help you discover what those gifts are – your friends, mentors, parents, teachers, pastors, coaches – anyone who knows us can help us to discover them. It may take courage for you to try new things, but you’ve got it in you!

Dear Jesus, sometimes trying new things is hard. What if I am not good? What if others make fun of me? Help me to be brave and try new things. I know You will help me discover the unique gifts I have to offer the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

Lynn

Monday, July 31, 2017

I am Brave {GIVE AWAY DAY}

If you are joining me here today, welcome! Let’s continue to connect, ok? It’s easy! Just sign up to get my posts automatically by clicking here.

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A girl’s confidence is at its peak at the age of 9.

That’s what research tells us.

Nine years old. 

When she is teetering on all that change … right around the corner. With all the world before her …

If a girl’s confidence peaks at age 9 … that doesn’t make the future look all that bright!

Let’s change that!

 

“Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You” is written especially for girls between the ages 8 – 12. It’s not just a book — it’s a companion guide on a girl’s journey to learning to become courageous, confident and fearless.

Now is the time to help her to build a confidence in Christ that stands firm for the days to come.

 

Brave Beauty helps tween girls to:

  • Gain confidence by accepting her unique qualities and understand how they can work for her, not against her.
  • Discover who God says she is, in His eyes, and how He can help her.
  • Discuss the tough stuff she’s going through as she changes physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.
  • Learn how God’s words can help her become brave and beautiful.

 

I’m sharing this free I Am Brave printable to help you and your child to remember who God says you are and be brave!  It’s easy to receive! Just fill in here:

 

Lynn

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Permission to Be Brave

How can we change that?

This is a discuss  my friend Suzie Eller and I had when I shared with her this statistic: a girl’s confidence is at its peak at the age of 9.

Nine years old. 

Maybe you remember being 9 years old. Carefree. A child on the edge of all of life changing as she knows it.

Where did she go?

I believe God wants to restore the courageous girl in each of us and, in return, help those coming up right behind us to be confident and brave as well.

Join Suzie and I in this vlog as we dive deeper into this conversation and share with us how you think we can change this statistic … together.

 

Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You empowers girls ages 8 – 12 to find His confidence. Pre-order today!

Lynn

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sometimes It’s Ok to Quit {GIVE AWAY DAY}

Today I welcome my friend and fellow Proverbs 31 Ministries author, Glynnis Whitwer, to share from her new book, Doing Busy Better. I pray this post encourages you to have the confidence you need if you find yourself in a commitment you might need to step away from. Or perhaps it will help you as you coach your daughters through similar situations.

 

Glynnis is also giving away a copy of Doing Busy Better to one of my readers, plus she has free downloads for all of you! Here’s Glynnis:

 

 

Ever find yourself wanting to quit when things get hard?

 

Whether it’s learning something new, joining a group where we are the outsider, or being around people who don’t treat us like we deserve to be treated, most of us find ourselves in a difficult situation at some time or other, and getting out seems like the best avenue.

 

Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to press on, persevere, not give up hope, be brave, believe, and trust the Lord to strengthen us as we face our challenges.

 

Is there anywhere we are encouraged to stop?

 

The answer is yes, and we find a powerful reason to quit given by Jesus Himself in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.

 

When It Causes You to Sin.

 

Jesus taught that sin in our hearts is just as bad as the sin we commit with our words or actions.

 

I faced sin in my heart during a time as children’s ministry director at my small church. It was a great part-time job that seemed manageable. I had three small children at the time, so I was already involved in that ministry. And because I have the gift of teaching and administration, it seemed a perfect fit.

 

For a while everything went great. I loved helping pick out curriculum and organizing the teacher supply room. I liked working with the other leaders, who shared a similar passion for teaching. And I loved the children.

 

Where this job fell apart for me was with the volunteers. Every week it seemed somebody called to cancel, or worse yet, just didn’t show up. And most often I deemed their excuses flimsy at best. After all, I didn’t let a headache stop me from showing up. And I went to bed early on Saturday night so I wasn’t too tired to show up.

 

Week after week I grew more and more annoyed. Especially since I was often the one to fill in for that volunteer, meaning I missed the church service I desperately needed.

 

I grew prideful as I compared my commitment with others and found them lacking. I grew resentful at their lack of dedication, and my compassion meter ran on empty.

 

After a year of praying and asking for God’s strength and trying to resolve these issues through practical means, my heart was steadfastly in the wrong place. I didn’t like the person I was becoming, and I went to the pastor and gave notice (and stayed till we found a replacement).

 

There are a few reasons I couldn’t handle that job. First, my energy and compassion were pretty much consumed by raising three little boys. Second, pride had a firm hold of me back then, and I was starting to see that it would take much to root it out. And third, I just wasn’t spiritually mature enough to handle the job.

 

Being on staff at a church requires a depth of spiritual and emotional maturity I didn’t have. I didn’t have the undergirding of personal prayer nor did I know how to handle all the knowledge that came with that position. It was absolutely the right decision to quit; I’ve never second-guessed that one.

 

As you consider all your commitments and responsibilities, is there one where you know either your thoughts, words, or actions aren’t right? If so, it’s always best to seek God’s help before quitting.

 

God has used hard situations to convict and correct me of sin. There have been plenty of other times I wanted to quit a responsibility due to my own sin, but God kept me there and changed me.

 

But if you are in a situation where you are continually tempted to sin, or are already in sin, and you don’t feel equipped to handle it, you could be facing the go-ahead to quit.

 

I know the idea of quitting anything can feel wrong. But when we do it in the right way, for the right reasons, it can be one of the best ways to get ourselves on a healthy track of life.

 

—-

 

The Giveaway

Comment below and share a commitment that God is calling you to slow the pace in, or perhaps one He has called you to quit in the past. One random winner will be chosen to win a copy of Doing Busy Better and will notified by email on Friday, July 14. (U.S. addresses only please).

 

Free Downloads

 

Glynnis has five mobile lockscreens you can download to be reminded of what God’s Word says about rest by subscribing here. You can also download a sample chapter of Doing Busy Better, and if you purchase a copy, be sure to redeem your receipt to receive a FREE companion Study Guide. Get the details here.

 

About Doing Busy Better

 

In Doing Busy Better, Glynnis helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest. Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work and for rest.

 

About Glynnis

Glynnis Whitwer is Executive Director of Communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and contributor to their Encouragement for Today devotional, reaching over a million women each day. She’s the author of nine other books, including Taming the To-Do List and I Used to Be So Organized. She and her husband, Tod, live in Arizona and have five young-adult children. Connect with Glynnis at www.GlynnisWhitwer.com where she encourages women to live with margin and room to breathe while still getting things done.

 

Lynn