In October 2008 my friend and I hosted a retreat. The theme was “Shoes” and the verse for the retreat was Habakkuk 3:19; “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”
Well before (years) and throughout the retreat I received confirmation from the Holy Spirit that because of my burdened heart for teen girls I was to start investing in their lives and begin a ministry. The timing was perfect because I had a daughter who was in the thick of the tween years and I desperately wanted Grace to have a better teenage experience than I did.
As the retreat was drawing to a close, we had a foot washing ceremony. When my friends were washing my feet they prayed for me and shared what the Lord was placing on their heart about me. Each lady told me that I should be ministering to young teens and moms.
Less than a year after the retreat, I lost my job due to a downturn of the economy. Unbeknownst to us at the time, the Lord had been putting some things in motion over the last few years so that I would be able to stay home with our kids- a dream come true for me. I began spending more time on this notion of a girl’s ministry. Through much research, prayer and consideration the Whatever Girls was created.
Our first meeting took place on a hot August evening. A handful of Grace’s friends and their mothers sat around our living room sipping punch and eating cookies as I described my plan for this mother daughter group.
My vision was:
-These like-minded in faith and morals girls would go through their teen years as a team
-These girls would get together regularly to share their hearts and discuss what was going on in their lives. They would help and each other to remain accountable to their core values
-The mothers would be intentional and consistent in raising their girls to be godly young women of honor
Our group has been meeting for over three years. We have held many successful events in our community that have benefited many mothers and daughters. These events have enabled us to enlarge our territory and raise funds to continue our growth and offer more events in our community for the purpose of rising up intentional moms and intentional daughters.
Our online presence is growing by leaps and bounds. I re-launched our web site in January, which also includes a blog and resources for mothers and daughters. I have fifteen women, including Grace, and myself, that write for our blog and I expect to add a handful more in the next few months. Our web site has over 200 visitors per day and our Facebook page recently reached nearly 3,000 people in a seven-day period. We have readers in Spokane and nearly every state in America and around the world including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
I’ve had several moms throughout the country ask me how to form their own mother daughter group like the Whatever Girls and I am developing material for pilot groups that I can come alongside and mentor these ladies through this process.
This October we are hosting a Harvest luncheon and silent auction, and in November we are hosting our first annual father daughter ball. Our goal is to honor the men in our community who take their roles as fathers seriously and to encourage other men to do the same. Both events will bring in revenue for our first ever conference, which we are hosting in downtown Spokane in the spring of 2014 at the Doubletree Hotel. We are anticipating upwards to 200 mothers and daughters from all over joining us.
I take the platform with which I’ve been entrusted more seriously than any paying job I’ve had. I think that’s because I’m in this “sweet spot” where God is using my natural abilities and talents- things I enjoy doing, along with the things He is equipping me to do, like speaking and more writing than ever before. And, I know without a doubt this is my purpose.
I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to sharpen my writing and speaking skills. I am presently working on my first book and plan to meet with potential publishers and agents this summer when I attend a conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministry in Charlotte, North Carolina.
If someone would have told me five years ago, or even a year ago, all of the things the Lord would be doing in my life I don’t know if I would have believed it. I’m sharing all this with you not to put the spotlight on myself, but to point to God, who is using me to accomplish these things.
Last night I went to bed feeling very discouraged and with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I love what I do, but I felt so stretched and so numb. I doubted my ability to carry out what God is calling me to do. I begged God to give me confirmation that I was on the right path either with some sort of a sign or a Bible verse that would spur me on. This morning when I woke up I opened my daily devotional book called “Jesus Calling” and read this:
“You are feeling weighed down by a plethora of problems, both big and small. They seem to require more and more of your attention, but you must not give in to those demands. When the difficulties in your life feel as if they are closing in on you, break free by spending quality time with Me. You need to remember who I am in all My Power and Glory. Then, humbly bring me your prayers and petitions. Your problems will pale when you view them in the Light of My Presence. You can learn to be joyful in Me, your Savior, even in the midst of adverse circumstances. Rely on Me, Your Strength; I make your feet like the feet of a deer, enabling you to go on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
As I was sitting at my dining room table sipping my hot coffee this morning, my prayer was answered. 1. The devotional message seemed to be written just for me, 2. The verse in the devotional was the very verse that was used at the retreat- the very verse and retreat that was used to spur me on to this calling.
My heart started to soften up and my shoulders relaxed. I had asked God to show me a sign and He gave me three!
I am reminded yet again, that I cannot do what I do without prayer and support. I humbly come before you and petition you for prayer.
- That I would remain humble and put God first in everything
- For my family
- That I would be connected with women in the local community who will be as passionate about the Whatever Girls ministry as I am, and that they would feel called to “adopt” us and help me with the events and all that encompasses planning an event.
- For finances and resources: Professional development and hosting events are expensive and often require an up front investment. It just so happens that we need a new furnace, roof and stove- and as of five minutes ago, we need to call a plumber. Roger and I are committed to remaining debt free and save up and pay cash for what we need. Please pray that we would make wise financial decisions and for discernment. I’m also praying that with those who God brings forth to “adopt” this ministry He will also bring forth people who feel led to help support this ministry financially.
a. The conference I plan to attend this summer will total nearly $2,000. This conference will undoubtedly be a great networking opportunity while I sharpen my skills and pitch my book proposal to publishers and agents.
b. The conference we are hosting in the spring of 2014 will come with a price tag of nearly $20,000. I will be working diligently to find sponsorship with vendors, organizations and individual donors to help offset our expenses.
- Non-profit status: At present we are fortunate that our church allows gifts and event registration fees to go through their accounts. I believe it is time I look into getting our own non-profit status and would greatly appreciate prayer for wisdom and discernment, as this is an area I am quite unfamiliar with.
Many of you receiving this update and request for prayer are familiar with the Whatever Girls ministry and the journey I’ve been on these last several years, while some of you are just learning about the Whatever Girls. I’m so humbled and honored that I’ve been entrusted with this ministry and so thrilled with the vision God has given me. This never was and never will be about “me”. It’s about God and how He has done a major work in my heart and what He can do for anyone who is willing to let Him have their heart.
Thank you so much for being part of my life and allowing me a few minutes of your time to share all the wonderful things that are happening. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that if you felt led to make a financial gift to the Whatever Girls ministry I would be ever so grateful- I would (just ask me how). But I want to thank you for your prayers and your encouragement along the way.
You can keep in touch with the Whatever Girls by visiting our web site at: www.thewhatevergirls.com