Wednesday Wisdom Tip: Your Life Still Counts

But what if my own story is a mess? 

This is a question moms often ask me after sharing my Wise Women Raising Wiser Daughters message. In this session, I encourage moms to share their stories with their daughters. Stories of their greatest moments…and their worst.

Because here is the thing:

Chances are your girl has already had some worst moments…you just don’t know about it. By you sharing with them the times when you got it right and the times you have not, you are opening the door for them to share back.

At the Magnetic Experience event just a couple of weeks ago, a mom shared with me that just that week her girl broke down and told her of some poor choices she had been making. After emptying her heart, she told her mom, “I knew I could tell you and you wouldn’t judge me.”

When we share with our girls the things we would want to change about our past, we can teach them Christ doesn’t want anyone living in the shadow of their past, but in the light of His future for them. While we don’t encourage them to make poor choices, we do want them to know God is bigger than their mess ups and our’s.

We can’t change the past but we can allow God’s truths to change our hearts, and in turn, change our future by embracing God’s promise that He will never waste our pain.

Maybe you’re thinking, but I’m still haunted by my past.

You are not alone! 

That is one reason I am so excited about my friend, Tracie Miles, new book Your Life Still Counts

Tracie has learned that God has a special plan and purpose for each of our lives – not despite our past, but because of it. Through her new book she shares the healing, hope, and peace found in Jesus Christ while inspiring women to look at their past experiences as a foundation for an amazing purpose God has in store for them.  Your Life Still Counts will help you:

  • Break free from the pain of your past by learning how God can mend your deepest hurts
  • Restore self confidence by embracing your value and worth in the eyes of Christ
  • Uncover your spiritual gifts and qualifications by exploring your past with a new perspective
  • Embrace life with new passion and purpose by discovering your life still matters to Christ
  • Be inspired to step out of your comfort zone and pursue the life of purpose God designed for you


Today, I’m giving away a copy of Your Life Still CountsFor an opportunity to win, share below how you feel about being vulnerable with your girl or those in your small group. If you’re in a hurry, just say, “I’m in!”. I will announce both the winner from last Friday’s Teaching our Girls the Holidays Don’t Have to Be Harried Give Away and Your Life Still Counts this Friday!



  1. This was just what I needed to read today! I don’t really “enjoy” being vulnerable, but believe it is important that my girls know that I have made mistakes, too. I want them to see that God is our Redeemer and is working all things for our good, so I take a deep breath and share anyway. 🙂

  2. Over the past year, in talking with my daughter about my own insecurities, disappointment and happy memories; I have personally experienced a beautiful healing process. While the intent of our open and honest discussions were meant to offer her a safe place to dissect and clarify her thoughts, I often find that I am the receiver of the clarity and am so amazed how God works through my relationship with my daughter to show me his love and grace.

  3. Definitely what I needed to read to start my day!! I have 2 beautiful daughters that are currently both in their 20s. Sometimes I seem so far away from the struggles of their generation compared to what I struggled with at that age! I am slowly learning that our “struggles” and “issues” are really not that different and in conversations with them we have grown closer to not only each other but also to our Lord!

  4. We became parents very young. We have two amazing boys and we were blessed enough to raise our three nieces. My husband and I have made sure to share our past experiences with our children – we want them to know we all make mistakes but our mistakes make us stronger. Being open with each other helps open the doors to great communication not just between ourselves and the kids but between the kids as well.

  5. Being vulnerable is hard – especially to your own children. But it is such an important part of open communication. And it doesn’t stop when they leave home – parenting adult children requires a lot more vulnerability as often communication isn’t face to face. But what joy can be found in truth and transparency !

  6. Sharon Serrano says:

    I discovered this a few years ago. Being vulnerable isn’t just awesome for the other person, but for you as well. You feel encouraged that you are able to relate to someone, you feel hopeful that your not where you need to be but you definitely aren’t where you used to be and youre thankful that God reached you in time. Vulnerability allows God to work both in the people you’re impacting and in you. Woot woot for transperancy.

  7. Gretchen Scoleri says:

    My mom didn’t share much with me growing up. I think that was partly a generational thing. Partly because she was very private. I never told her or my dad any of my bad choices. I thought she was the “perfect mom” and so I never really saw her as a person unfortunately. I want to learn to do this with my daughter

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      You really hit it, Gretchen. “I thought she was perfect so I never really saw her as a person.” When we share not just our past, but our current struggles, it makes us human to our kids and makes it so much easier for them to come to us when they are struggling too!

  8. Every day I pray to God for my daughters salvation and for reconciliation with her. She is a mommy now to a beautiful 5 year old and she dosent even know I exist. My daughter husban is only 36 and has colon cancer he has lost his colon,rectom 3/4Of his liver and now everyday is a gift from God that he is still here and we can pray too for his salvation. I just want to hold my daughter,I pray the Good Lord will infuse the Holy Spirit into their hearts so they know this life is just a Just a blink of an eye and soon we will all be together for eternity!! I pray for my daughter & granddaughter that they will be held in the lords hands. Being unable to even to even talk to my daughter has been a eye opener yo me, I now know the horrific pain I caused God by not accepting his love and dying for me !!Psalms 27:14 is another promise from God and I have full confidence thatOne day I will be able to hold my daughter and granddaughter and share the lords love & his word. Praise God for Everyday we are blessed to worship him and spread his word

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Kimberly, what pain you are experiencing. You are so brave and I hear hope in your voice. Yes, one day God will wipe away every tear we have!

  9. I feel tugged to tell my daughters about my past because I don’t want them to have the emotional scars I have due to the mistakes that I made as a teen. I didn’t tell my mom about my bad choices growing up because I didn’t want to let her down so I can understand sharing things with your daughters so you don’t set up this guilt factory. I make bad choices, I feel shame, I hide the choices, I feel guilt, so the bad choices haunt me even more. I ask God to forgive me but never really believe he has forgiven me because I am hiding it all from the people I love the most. It is a bad cycle. However, my husband is concerned that sharing what you did makes it seem like it is “ok” to do these same things. So, I have been trying to pray through that pressure as well. I know God will let me know when is His time to share the right things in a way that he can use them for good in my daughter’s lives and probably my own as well. I appreciate you talking about these tough issues.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Jenelle – I completely understand your husband’s concerns. I can only share from my experience, that just because you share the truth and the consequences you went through, it doesn’t mean your kids will repeat it. My mom shared with me many of the mistakes she made. She was vulnerable and I was one of those who learned from other’s mistakes instead of having to experience them myself. Ask the Holy Spirit…He’ll tell you.

  10. I grew up in a single parent home with my mom. She did not talk about her choices in life and I felt the need to hide my own bad choices from her. It is hard for me to be vulnerable with anyone, much less my own daughters. But I want to change this and be able to teach my two daughters that God’s grace is bigger than my bad choices and I know the only way to do that is to be vulnerable with them.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Natalie – maybe reading “Your Life Still Counts” would help! Seeing the vulnerability of over 20 women who share their paths, trusting God He will bring it for good! They are brave, brave women!

  11. I definitely know that my daughters remembers just about every “real life” story I tell them — they do NOT remember every rule/quote/lecture! True, personal stories are super powerful for connecting with kids for sure!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Yep – stories stick!

  12. My daughter has been going through a very rough time and is struggling through the stresses of college to the point adjustments have been made to her schedule and she has been sent to counseling. I didn’t know how to make her realize she isn’t alone in trying to overcome depression and anxiety. I believe God prompted me to share a very difficult experience that I had in college that I had to overcome and I had kept from everyone but my husband. When I explained it to her and how I overcame and moved forward, she responded positively. I believe my ability to share has helped her heal somewhat and pray she will remember that she isn’t alone in dealing with adversity. In addition, some of her Christian friends and adult mentors have shared their struggles with mental issues which has been a blessing to me and her. I believe it is so important to share our vulnerablilites with young people to help them cope and heal.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      You are so right! Thank you so much for sharing, Gussie!

  13. Katie Rettig says:

    I have two young daughters and a baby son. My husband and I discuss what should we share with them and how and when of our past in order to help teach them the value of good choices and more Importantly following God in all you do. Thank you for the reminder that we are not alone in this.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Katie – this is so very hard and something we need to rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom. I believe He will share with us just the right time to impact their lives and open our relationships up to even deeper conversations.

  14. I need this book. I feel the Lord is leading me to share about my past that still haunts me at times.

  15. I have always tried to be real with my kids, in hopes that they will learn from my mistakes…also weaving into the stories how God always worked it out for my good. Thank you, Ladies!

  16. I have experienced a lot of hurt that I don’t want anyone to know about let alone a child. I am realizing that I need to share my story to help others. It is a difficult thought to face.

  17. I’m in! My daughter is just now getting to the age to begin sharing with her. I know it won’t always be easy, but I plan on seeking God’s direction & wisdom every step of the way.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      James 1 promises He will supply the wisdom you need, Chasidy!

  18. Jessica F says:

    I have an 11 year old daughter and feel like I can tell her about the bad choices I made in the past so she doesn’t think am perfect. Just like another person posted my husband doesn’t think it’s a good idea but I see that she realizes that I wished I hadn’t make thst choicd and she is learning from it. Am still haunted and regret so many things I did and certainly hope that God can still use someone as imperfect and broken like me. Thank you fof this, I hope I can help my daughter how to be like Him.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Jessica, the answer to both is yes! Yes God can and will use someone as imperfect and broken as you. (He has used me and this book is filled with stories of women He has used!) And yes He can help you help your girl to be like Him!

  19. It is absolutely terrifying to me to share some of the mistakes & consequences of past choices with my daughters…mainly because I am still working through feeling forgiven for my sins….I am so afraid that they won’t understand & will look at me differently….I have always felt so unworthy, I don’t know if I could handle rejection from my daughters too…I know I need to though, because I absolutely do not want them to make the same mistakes I have made

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Vicki – I am certainly not saying we have to share everything with our kids. I am sure there are things the Lord wants us to shield them from…especially details they don’t need to know. If and when He wants you to share, because it will be helpful to them, He will let you know.

  20. Yesterday was such a moment where I had to share with my teenager how my rant on social media had hurt someone and how my words, although they sounded dine in my head, came across as a smear against someone. I shared because I wanted her to be prepared if someone commented to her about it, if they saw it bedore I took it off. And because I wanted her to see what happens in a real time situation like this. You can delete a post and people may forgive you, but people won’t forget. I am praying she remembers this lesson and will benefit by never venting in a public way like that.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Laura, what your daughter learned from you yesterday was humility. She won’t forget it. Thank you so much for sharing!

  21. LaKenya P. says:

    I am in ! Thank you for re-directing me !
    Sincerely, LaKenya

  22. It was encouraging to see this, although I am reading it a day late. LOL. I am in the process of writing out my past as a short testimony. There is a lot I don’t want my kids to know, but maybe it’s time they did. Thank you!

  23. I’m in!!! Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom with us, Lynn! Much much appreciated!

  24. I don’t have children yet but I have had many experiences in my life that I wished I hadn’t. Sometimes I feel that Im not good enough for God because of all the your choices I have made. I often wonder what is my purpose for living and I feel like I have none. But I keep holding on to God because I know he will bring me through this trial Im going through. I would really love to read the book your life still counts because I think it may help me get through the guilt I stll carry from my past. Unfortunaly things are really tight with my budget right now and I can’t afford to purchase one right now. I’m just glad I do have God in my life cause I don’t think I would be here today if I didnt, thanks for reading and God bless you all

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