Preparing Her Heart for Back to School: Using Proverbs 31 Ministries “First 5 App”

By Lynn Cowell

Preparing her heartMany of us are experiencing it, but in so many different ways.

Some are preparing their lessons to homeschool. Others are shopping for the supplies on the public school list. The private school is hosting their ice cream social. And a few of you like me are dorm shopping and moving your kids to their school.

No matter what back-to-school looks like, we can all do one thing to help our kids prepare for their school days.

Teach them to start their day right.

When I stopped homeschooling my kids (my son was a middle schooler and my daughters in elementary), my heart started to ache because I no longer had the free time to teach them Jesus’ truths like I once did. For a least a year I simmered, thinking that was just the way it was.

Then I got the idea for what I called “Breakfast and the Bible”. I had my kids all come to breakfast at the same time, even though they left for school at different times. It only lasted 10 minutes, but these moments together allowed us to connect with each other and with Jesus before the rush of the day. When they were really small, I read them devotions. When my girls were in middle and high school, I wrote “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year” for us to use.

This school year, my kids will begin their day at three different colleges, but I am still encouraging them to start their day in God’s word using Proverbs 31 Ministries First5 app. This new app is actually an alarm clock on their phones. All they need to do is set their alarms each day in the app. Then, when their phone goes off in the morning, there is God’s word. First thing. They can simply lay in bed for a couple of minutes and start their day with Jesus in His Word.

Although I have taught my kids the power of opening God’s word for themselves each and every day, we all know this is a hard disciple to create. With the First 5 app, it couldn’t be any easier.

Even better, we can talk about the content together because we can each be reading the same thing each day.

Give it a try – Breakfast & the Bible. Gather your tribe a few minutes earlier than last school year or share the app together. It’s a beautiful way to grow closer to God and closer to each other!

Why be the Smart Girl?

By Hanna Chaffin

Why Be the Smart GirlLet me be clear, being smart is powerful. I am sure you have witnessed those girls in school who twirl their hair as they pretend to not know the answer. Or, they act dumb to get the attention of the cute boy sitting next to them. If you think that getting a guy’s attention entails flipping your hair, showing puppy dog eyes, and loudly saying, “wait, what?” after every joke, or question asked, you’re wrong. I mean sure, you may look unthreatening, and somewhat cute, but for the most part it is just a tad air headed!

In high school, I remember thinking that girls shouldn’t have to dumb themselves down in order to be less intimidating to guys. It seems that in today’s society more emphasis is put on being the center of attention for negative reasons, rather than having confidence in the woman you have been created to be.

Why would we pretend to be something we are not for the sake of a crush that really doesn’t deserve our time? Some women say they are looking for a man who is smart and confident. Why can’t we want the same thing for ourselves?

Having a keen intellect should be something to strive for, not run from. The right guy should not be intimidated by your strengths, but rather work alongside you and challenge you to become better. He should never keep you down.

The right guy should not be intimidated by your strengths. When you get up in the morning and head to school, have confidence in who God created to be. Surround yourself with people who don’t make you change or act different just to fit in. Be YOU, and remember that God wants us to be who He created us to be.

As a woman, I know that there is power that comes with being smart. Don’t be afraid to stand on your own, and have your own opinions.

Reflection Questions:

  • Have you ever acted like someone else to get a guy’s attention?
  • What are some benefits of owning your intelligence?
  • Do you want to spend time with a guy you can’t be yourself with?

God’s Truth to Stand On:

God created each of us for a special and unique purpose. He has great plans for our lives.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Putting It Into Practice:

  • Move beyond negative thoughts, capricious emotions, and others’ opinions as you gain unshakeable confidence.
  • Limit the draining affect of “girl drama” so you can invest your time in becoming the best you.
  • Replace the agonizing frustration of wanting to be noticed and liked with a deep assurance that you already are.

As you live out nine amazing characteristics—known as the fruit of the Spirit—you will not only cultivate an inner and outer beauty, but you will also hold an irresistible appeal for godly guys. Shift your focus from a guy to the Guy and become the magnetic young woman God created you to be.

Magnetic coverPurchase “Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants” by Whatever Girls contributor and Proverbs 31 Author and Speaker, Lynn Cowell.

What Do Guys Really Want?

By Lynn Cowell

So you’ve got kids that are dating, or will be before you wish they would. Just the word “dating” brings back so many memories. Like the time you thought you had a date to prom; until he found someone “better” or when your best friend told that guy in lunch block you were crushing on him…and it crushed you because he wasn’t crushing back.

To be honest, it isn’t rejection that scares me when it comes to my kids and dating. It’s more the Doctor Jekell and Mr. Hyde thing. My concern is they will feel pressure to become someone they are not, all for the look they’re dying to get. The attention they want desperately to have.

And so, I did what any normal mom would do. I wrote a book. (Ok – maybe that is not so normal, but you’ve got to work with what God gave you and God gave me words).

While writing this book, this book called Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants, I interviewed guys (because the book is for girls). Lots of them. Guys who were in middle school, high school, college and newly married.  I asked them questions:

  • What are you looking for in a girl?
  • What do you find unattractive in a girl?
  • What do you think of girl drama?

I asked these questions because these are the types of questions girls ask me in our Q&A time at my events. Girls want to know.

I found many guys don’t want a girl to change. As in become someone she is not. Instead, these guys help me to share with girls, through words and video, that often what I call the “captivating characteristics” and what the Bible calls the fruit of the Spirit is exactly what attracts godly guys to godly girls. Traits like love, joy and peace – something a bit lacking these days.

So, when a girl focuses on becoming the girl He wants – the girl God created to reach her fullest potential in Him – that can be very attractive to a godly guy. It’s like a two-for-one deal!

Today, I’d like to share with you a free resource – the video “What a Guy Wants” as well as the free discussion questions. Take a night this week and make it a girl’s night – you and your girl. Add a few of her friends too. Watch the video and talk about guys. Help your girl take one step closer to becoming the girl He wants. (Not the guy in the video, but the guy named Jesus).

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Packed with revealing quizzes, interviews with guys, and practical tools, Magnetic empowers you to:

o   Move beyond negative thoughts, capricious emotions, and others’ opinions as you gain unshakeable confidence

o   Limit the draining affect of “girl drama” so you can invest your time in becoming the best you.

o   Replace the agonizing frustration of wanting to be noticed and liked with a deep assurance that you already are.

As you live out nine amazing characteristics—known as the fruit of the Spirit—you will not only cultivate an inner and outer beauty, but you will also hold an irresistible appeal for godly guys. Shift your focus from a guy to the Guy and become the magnetic young woman God created you to be.

Lynn_Cowell_HeadshotLoResNeed a tool to help your daughter learn to wait on God? Check out Lynn’s newest release: Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants. Connect with Lynn more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at Lynn Cowell

 

 

 

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Why have you said, “no”, God?

2015.01 WaitBy Lynn Cowell

Why have you said, “no”, God?

The whole situation didn’t make sense. The job opening fit me perfectly. Lining up with the same passions I had, I just knew God made me aware of this opportunity so I could move forward in my plans for ministry. Yet now, all the doors were closing and I couldn’t figure out why.

As years passed, I continued being stuck. I kept looking back, wondering why God had kept that opportunity from me. Maybe there was something more I could have done to make it work? Why didn’t I try harder? Even though time went by, I wasn’t any closer to seeing my dreams come to pass or understanding why God kept me from the seemingly perfect position.

I think Sarai, Abram’s wife, felt stuck too. God promised her and Abram offspring as many as the stars in the heavens. (Genesis 15:5)Yet time is ticking. Sarai is growing old and she has yet to have a child.

Finally, she reaches her breaking point; she won’t wait any more!

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Genesis 16:1-2 (NIV)

Maybe Sarai felt God had forgotten her and it was time to take matters into her own hands. She’d get a child without God and maneuver whatever she needed to in order to get what she wanted.

She got it all right. A pregnancy and a whole lot of trouble. When Hager became pregnant, she also became haughty, looking down on Sarai. Now Sarai was more miserable than before.

If only she had waited instead of manipulated.

Like Sarai, I had a hard time waiting on God. I couldn’t understand what was taking Him so long! Yet, when He did answer my prayer, opening the perfect position down the road from my home instead of a thousand miles away, it all made sense. So often, as I take that short drive, I find myself very thankful. I wasn’t waiting for nothing. I was waiting for Him to make the move, not me.

If we can wait and not manipulate, God promises us He is always at work for our good and His glory. We can trust, even when the situation seems to be going the wrong way, His way will be best. We must simply wait and trust.

When we wait and see God’s goodness come to pass, we create a history with God. These collections of faith moments, when we have seen God come through, build a foundation for our faith. They build us up so we can trust Him again and again.

These stories, these faith-building encounters with God, are the same stories I share with my kids, helping them to trust God with their dreams for the future as well. Helping them to also learn to wait and not manipulate.

Think of the situations you find your girls in? Wanting to date that guy in first block? Trying to get on the theatre teacher’s good side to get the lead role? Doing everything the coach says so he’ll move her up to varsity?

Share with your daughter your stories of when you waited and saw God’s faithfulness. Also, share those times when you have not waited, and like Sarai, it turned out all wrong. Together, we can help our girls learn it is best to wait and not manipulate.

Lynn CowellNeed a tool to help your daughter learn to wait on God? Check out Lynn’s newest release: Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants. Connect with Lynn more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at Lynn Cowell. 

 

 

People Not Projects

By Lynn Cowell

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29, 31-32 (NIV)

If I could just avoid people who are hard to love my life would be so much easier.

I couldn’t believe I had just had that thought. Really, Lynn? Avoid people? Getting through my to-do list and getting to the weekend can easily become a one-way road I hop on come Monday morning. Though I would have never voiced it, the fact that I thought avoiding people was an answer to getting through my goals each day seriously concerned me. This thought revealed something I didn’t want to see about me: I can easily become all about me.

Hearing my own thoughts showed me I was missing it big time. It is not all about me; life is about Jesus and Jesus is all about loving people.

Today’s verse in Ephesians 4:32 says we are to be kind and compassionate to one another. In order for me to be kind and compassionate, I have to be around people who need to be shown kindness and compassion. And most of the time, this is not going to be convenient. What they need to receive and what I need to give is love.

1 Corinthians 13:4 defines love: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

God’s word gives us clarity with every day examples of what love looks like. It looks like Jesus.

He went out of His way to speak to a hurting woman drawing water for the day (John 4). Stopped to heal a man ignored by most (John 5). Instead of saying it wasn’t His responsibility, He chose to feed 5,000. (John 6) He stands up for the woman no one else would have compassion on (John 8). He washes the dirty feet of those who should have served Him (John 13).

No matter what His schedule for the day held, Jesus put others first. People, not projects were most important. The hurting, the humble, the hungry…they all came to the head of His list of importance.

As today’s verse reminds us, I want to be kind and compassionate, even when it doesn’t “fit in my schedule”. People, not projects, need to be my priority. That’s when I am filling the great commandment of love.

And I know, when people not projects, become my priority, my kids will see. It won’t be a matter of teaching them the greatest commandment, they’ll see. And hopefully, they’ll do the same.

Lynn CowellLynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 Speaker and the author of “His Revolutionary Love; Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You” and “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year“. Her passion is empowering women and their daughters to find confidence leading to wise choices. She does this through her books and her conferences. You can connect with Lynn on her blog at www.LynnCowell.com and on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest at Lynn Cowell.

I’m Afraid of My Kids

By Lynn Cowell 

I have a confession to make.

I’m afraid of my kids. At times, I am uncomfortable with the conflict that might develop when I deliver news they’re not going to like. So, when I have to confront them, about something, about anything; I just don’t like it!

Have you ever had thoughts similar to these:

I wish I didn’t have to ask her to pick up her room. I feel like such a nag.

I wish she didn’t ask to go to that movie. I know she gets tired of me saying “no”.

I have to ask her change her clothes again! I’ll be happy when she understands the word “modesty” better!

Often, my mom-heart longs for the day when I’m not in this place of “authority” like I am today. Days when I’m more of a peer than a parent. I have to keep reminding myself: that day will come. But if I don’t live out my role as a parent today, the opportunity to be a peer might not come.

I was reminded of this when I read the story of King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:24. Saul was given clear instructions from God, yet when it came time to carry out those directions, he obeyed them partially. When the prophet Samuel called out Saul on his disobedience, Saul responded: “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.” The consequences for Saul were substantial: Saul jeopardized his position of being the King of Israel.

Fear; what a powerful emotion capable of holding us back from completely following through on our callings as moms.

I must remember: if I want to be my kid’s peer one day, I have to earn their respect their parent today. If I do not, I risk the chance of my child actually resenting me in the future because today they need a parent; not a peer.

As Solomon said is Ecclesiastes 3:3; there is a time for everything. Today, Lord, help me be the mom you’ve called me and empowered me to be today.

Lynn CowellLynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 Speaker and the author of “His Revolutionary Love; Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You” and “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year“. Her passion is empowering women and their daughters to find confidence leading to wise choices. She does this through her books and her conferences. You can connect with Lynn on her blog at www.LynnCowell.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest at Lynn Cowell.

 

 

 

 

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