Donations Needed for Cure for Cat Raffle Basket

The Whatever Girls are asking the Spokane business community to donate items (merchandise, store/restaurant gift certificates) for the Cure for Cat raffle basket that will be raffled off at 3:45PM on Saturday, October 27 as part of the $10,027 on 10/27 fundraising campaign for Cat Davis.

Raffle tickets are $5 or 5 for $20.  100% of the proceeds go to the Cure for Cat fundraising campaign.

To donate, please contact Erin Bishop at:  [email protected] or 951-7822.

“You’re Already Amazing”

Thank you to Revell Publishing for the opportunity to review Holley Gerth’s book; “You’re Already Amazing”.

I’ve been following Holley’s blog for a few years now and always feel like she really “gets” it.  She gets life, relationships, struggles, insecurities, doubts, fears and life in general.  She writes about the things I might hesitate to share even with a close friend.  She gives a voice to the things the enemy tells me belong under the stairs in a dark corner. After I’ve read something she’s written I feel like I’ve just had a heart talk with a close friend over steaming cups of coffee.

When the opportunity to review “You’re Already Amazing” came up I didn’t hesitate to say yes. This is one of those rare books that when you open them, you feel like you’re being hugged into the pages.  Holley addresses what many of us struggle with; our identity and worth.

The question of our identity and worth starts at a very young age and often follows us into adulthood.  The enemy has been hard at work since the Garden dispelling our very identity and worth endowed by our Creator. Lifelong whispers in our ear like “you’re not (pretty, smart, talented, outgoing, friendly, thin) enough” make the title “You’re Already Amazing” kind of hard to swallow.  As a life coach and certified counselor, Holley is able to dig deeper and provide the reader with several very useful exercises to challenge our thinking and replace the lies with truth.

As a mom and someone who works with teen girls, I strongly recommend this book not only for women, but for teen girls, too.  It is imperative that we mothers and mentors bring the truth that we are already amazing to all the girls in our sphere of influence. Imagine a world where women of all ages are sure of their worth and are living out the purpose God created them for.

Revell is generously giving away a copy of “You’re Already Amazing” to one of our readers.  Since there are lots of you out there that need to know you’re amazing, I’m going to give extra opportunities to enter the giveaway.

  • Leave a comment about how you have struggled with your identity and/or worth
  • Share this post on Facebook (come back and tell me you did so in the comments)
  • Tweet this post (come back and tell me you did so in the comments)
  •  “Like” the Whatever Girls on Facebook (come back and tell me you did so in the comments)
  • Follow the Whatever Girls on Twitter (come back and tell me you did so in the comments)

The giveaway is open from now until midnight on Monday, October 29.  The winner will be chosen at random and announced here in this post and contacted via email on Tuesday, October 30.

Why Mothers Must Recognize Lies

I’m so excited to welcome a post from my dear friend, Jen, today.  Last week Jen texted me saying something happened to her daughter that day and that she had material for a guest post at the Whatever Girls site and she’d send it over.  My mama kitty claws came out and I asked if I needed to fly down to Austin to teach someone a lesson.  Turns out our adversary in Jen’s story is “THE ADVERSARY”, so some praying solved the issue.

Before we dive in, can I just say I’m grateful for friends like Jen who text me to say they are sending me something for my web site?  That’s the equivalent of the friend who walks into your house without knocking and grabs whatever they want from the fridge.  I love friends like that.  It shows a certain level of confidence in the relationship, don’t you think?

Jen has something to share that I think we as moms and teens can all relate to.  Here’s Jen:
If I hadn’t just experienced it, I would have missed it.  Missed the root, I mean.

 You, my oldest daughter, eight years of age, began protesting about going to swim practice.  Full-blown melt down, I tell you, filled with words like this: 

“You’re a mean mommy!  If you were a nice mommy you’d let me stay home.”

 (Tears)  “Why can’t you let me miss just one class?”

 “I’m not good enough.  Coach Steve said “perfect” to me only once.  I am so bad at swimming.  Everyone else is better!”

 “I’m not going.  Ever.  Again.”

 And my personal favorite:  “You don’t understand how I’m feeling!”

 Oh, sweet child of mine.  I understand all too well.  And if I hadn’t been under the thumb of the enemy just yesterday, I would have just chalked all of this up to disobedience.  But God is faithful and He doesn’t waste anything, even the bad stuff.  He used my own war with the liar to help me spot the lies coursing through your mind.  You see, I know that:

 You think if you can’t do something perfectly, there is no reason for doing it at all.

 You think that if someone else is better at it, you might as well quit because being the best is all there is.

 If you hear one comment that you interpret to be negative, that’s all that really matters.  Positive comments mean almost nothing when you throw in something that you did wrong, or could have done better.

 You see, sweet daughter, I was the first born, too.  And I know what it’s like to try to live up to expectations that you will never meet.  And that’s why I want differently for you.  I wanted you to go to swim practice because you needed to confront the lie that you aren’t good enough and that you’ll never be good enough. 

 If I had let you skip, that would be like giving into your truth, which is not The Truth.

 I want you to know Truth — that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

 I want you to know that not your earthly father, not your earthly mother, nor your Heavenly Father expect perfection.  I’ve learned that one the hard way and it’s a battle you really don’t want to have to fight if you can win it now by knowing real Truth.

 I want you to know that it’s a constant struggle for this mother to find the balance between nurturing and pushing you beyond what you see your limitations to be.  I’ll naturally push before I’ll nurture and sometimes that will be a mistake, but today, today, I was right.  That will happen every now and again.

 I want you to know that you are more than what you think you are, not because I am your mother, but because God tells me so.  Because God tells you so.  It took me decades to realize that I am more than what I do, what I say, and what I look like.  A lot of women much older than me still don’t know that.  (And to be honest, there are still tons of days that I have to remind myself over and over and over again.)

 But I get that you need outside perspective, that you need more than just your mother’s words.  So I drag you to swim practice and you stomp your feet and pull your swim cap over your eyes for the third time and I tell you “fine.  If you want to quit, you have to tell your coach why.”

 And this stops you in your tracks.  But we make our way to the coach, who thank God was accessible at that very moment, even though we were late to practice.  He sees your tear-stained cheeks and your red eyes and asks to know what’s wrong.  I look at you and I know that, momentarily, you are unable to speak.  And so I give voice to those ugly lies you told me, knowing (and praying) that Coach Steve will speak the same Truth that I did. 

 He sits you down on the bench and he takes the floor.  “You know,” he says, “I never expect perfection because if you expect yourself to be perfect, you’ll just be letting yourself down.  Nobody can be perfect, especially all of the time.”

 You nod your head.  You know what he means.

 “And if you are always comparing yourself to the person in the lane next to you, you’ll find yourself disappointed then, too.”

 You’re still nodding.  You’re still listening and I see your heart turn to this light.

 “This team is about getting better and having fun.  Let’s partner you up with a friend and give it another try.  What do you say?”

 You look at me and I see the Truth has seeped in.  When I watch your strong arms complete lap after lap, I smile.  When I see you smile and laugh with your friends, I feel the lies losing their grip. Oh, I’m sure they’ll be back another day, but it’s always good to have a victory under your belt, eh?

 This I assure you, sweet daughter:  I’ve lost too many battles and I’ve wasted so much time, but it can be different for you, just like it’s different for me now.  

 Let’s link arms and march to victory, shall we?

Graceful; Letting Go of Your Try Hard Life

Congratulations to Chelsey, you are the winner of Emily’s book!


Thank you to Revell Publishing for the opportunity to review Emily Freeman’s latest book; “Graceful; Letting Go of Your Try Hard Life”.

I waited in anticipation for “Graceful” to arrive in my mailbox.  I enjoy opportunities to learn about how God is using others who are called to minister to teen girls.  And, I love it when God shares things about the girls I’m ministering to through others.  Reading Emily’s book brought about many “a-ha moments” for me.

As I read through the pages of this book memories from long ago resurfaced.  Not from the academia and extracurricular perspective, but from the social angle.  For some reason I didn’t care about my grades that much, and I stopped caring about getting involved after convincing myself I wasn’t cheerleader material.  The constant pressure to act a certain way was always there.  Sometimes it surfaces now in certain settings.

Over steaming cups of coffee I recently asked a friend if she ever felt like she’s playing a part in someone else’s story for her life.  “Yes.  All the time.” she said.  Do you ever feel the pressure to be perfect or that you have to say yes to everything so you don’t disappoint someone or even keep them from disapproving of you?

The majority of teen girls I work with are freshmen in high school.  The next four years will likely play a critical role in the direction their futures take.  Grades really count and it’s time to start looking at colleges.  I often hear things like “My dad wants me to be a doctor, but I want to be a fashion designer” or “My parents met at this college, and they expect me to go there” and “If I don’t get a 4.0 throughout high school and do letter in sports and music I’ll never get into a good college”.   Add this to the stress of getting asked to the dance, having the right friends, making the cheerleading squad, wearing the right brand of clothes and dealing with strife at home and with friends, and so on.

“The energy it takes to live for you is killing me- to see me through your eyes, to search for myself in your face, to be sure you are pleased with me.  I want you to always be pleased with me.”  (Emily Freeman, from Graceful; Letting Go of Your Try Hard Life)

The perfection lie has taken root in many young women’s hearts and it must be destroyed.  I encourage women of all ages to read Emily’s book because she’s a gifted story teller, an experienced mentor to teen girls and most importantly, because she has walked through the try hard life and experienced God’s freedom.

Revell is generously giving away a copy of “Graceful; Letting Go of Your Try Hard Life” to one of our readers.  Since there are lots of girls who need to let go of the try hard life out there, I’m going to give six different opportunities to enter the giveaway.

  • Leave a comment about how you have been a try hard girl or tell me about a try hard girl you know that you would like to win this book for
  • Share this post on Facebook (come back and tell me you did so in the comments)
  • Tweet this post (come back and tell me you did so in the comments)
  • “Like” Emily’s Facebook page (come back and tell me you did so in the comments)
  • “Like” the Whatever Girls on Facebook (come back and tell me you did so in the comments)
  • Follow the Whatever Girls on Twitter (come back and tell me you did so in the comments)

The giveaway is open from now until midnight on Friday, October 19.  The winner will be chosen at random and announced here in this post on Saturday, October 20.

Revell shipped me a free copy of this book for the purpose of doing a review.  The opinions in this review are mine.  I was not compensated for this review.

The Friendship Series; Part Three: Deposits and Withdrawals; the Friendship Currency

Welcome to part three of our three part series on friendships.  You can read part one here and part two, here.

The late Dr. Steven Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” had a brilliant concept in his aforementioned book called the “emotional bank account”.  Dr. Covey illustrated that each of our relationships contain deposits and withdrawals.  Dr. Covey states that “An emotional bank account is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship.  It’s the feeling of safeness you have with another human being.”  Dr. Covey goes on to assert that we make deposits and build up a reserve in our relationships through: courtesy, kindness, honesty, and keeping commitments.  By continually making deposits we can be assured that when withdrawals are made there is enough reserve to cover it.  When the trust/emotional account level is at a high balance communication is easy, instant and effective.

Here are some examples of deposits that I appreciate:  showing up when scheduled, follow through, prompt response on messages, good manners, and respecting my time.  (My doctor’s office could stand to learn these things)

Deposits can be made in all our relationships.  And so can withdrawals.

If someone has a habit of “showing discourtesy, disrespect, cutting you off, overreacting, ignoring you, becoming arbitrary, betraying your trust, threatening you or playing little tin god in your life” your emotional bank account will eventually become overdrawn and the trust levels get low.

Here are some examples of things I consider to be withdrawals:  wasting my time, not responding to my messages, not being accountable, lying to me, and taking advantage of me.

Sometimes, relationships get so tense that they become overdrawn or, they are officially declared bankrupt or unsalvageable.

Dr. Covey identifies six ways to make deposits (or reduce withdrawals):

  1. Understanding the Individual:  “Really seeking to understand another person is probably one of the most important deposits you can make, and it is key to every other deposit.”
  2. Attending to the Little Things:  “The little kindnesses and courtesies are so important.  Small discourtesies, little unkindness’s, little forms of disrespect make large withdrawals.  In relationships, the little things are the big things.”
  3. Keeping Commitments:  “Keeping a commitment or a promise is a major deposit; breaking one is a major withdrawal.  In fact, there’s probably not a more massive withdrawal than to make a promise that’s important to someone and then not to come through.  The next time a promise is made, they won’t believe it.  People tend to build their hopes around promises, particularly promises about their basic livelihood.”  I get so annoyed when people habitually cancel.  Has that ever happened to you?
  4. Clarifying Expectations:  “Imagine the difficulty you might encounter if you and your boss had different assumptions regarding whose role it was to create your job description.” Or in many of our cases, imagine if you and your child had different expectations of household responsibilities or even a curfew?
  5. Showing Personal Integrity:  “Personal integrity generates trust and is the basis of many different kinds of deposits.  Lack of integrity can undermine almost any other effort to create high trust accounts.  People can seek to understand, remember the little things, keep their promises, clarify and fulfill expectations, and still fail to build reserves of trust if they are inwardly duplicitous.”
  6. Apologizing Sincerely When You Make a Withdrawal:  When we make withdrawals from the Emotional Bank Account, we need to apologize and we need to do it sincerely.  It takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one’s heart rather than out of pity.”

Several months ago I presented the Emotional Bank Account model to the mothers and teen girls of the Whatever Girls.  It went over really well and was a “sticky lesson” for everyone.  Every so often I’ll hear the girls bantering back and forth about “deposits” and “withdrawals”.

What do you do if you have a relationship with a declining balance?  You make some deposits.  And not just any deposit.  As #1 above stated, it’s important to understand the individual.  For example, if I’ve made some withdrawals from my daughter’s emotional bank account I try to think of a way to make a deposit that will really mean a lot to her.  I like to take Dr. Covey’s theory and pair it with Dr. Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages.  Try making deposits that line up with the person’s love language.

Take Away:  Be intentional about all of your relationships.

I’m curious.  What would be a deposit for you?  What would be a withdrawal?

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