Mentoring is a BIG deal here at Whatever Girls. In fact, it’s the crux of our ministry. We are thrilled to share a fabulous new resource for all of us who mentor and have been called to mentor. Our friend Janet Thompson, author, speaker, and founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring just released her latest book this week *”Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness“.
We have opened up our blog today so you can hear directly from Janet about her new book:
Last week, my eleven-year-old granddaughter and her friend were here to participate in a kids’ Drama Camp at our local outdoor theater. Both girls are baptized Christian tweens, at a perfect age for mentoring as they enter into middle school this year. We’ve been doing my Bible study Face-to-Face with Mary and Martha: Sisters in Christ together via SKYPE, or in person, for quite a while. We’ve had lots of discussions where I help them use Scripture from their Bibles to apply to their young lives. They have so many questions and are at a crossroads between not little girls, but not grown ups either. As tweens, they’re soon going to have more freedoms to make decisions—but not the wisdom that comes with maturity.
Every parent has heard the excuse, “But everyone else is doing it.” I remember my parents saying something like, “If everyone jumped off a cliff would you too?” Sadly, today many kids and adults are jumping off the moral and spiritual cliff to fit in with the culture, or they’re afraid to express beliefs that differ from the worldview.
Even children are bullied for supporting America’s president when their accosters usually don’t even understand why they’re reacting so violently. Where do these young bullies learn this reaction? Television, the internet . . . perhaps parents, grandparents, or even teachers?
I watched an interview of high school kids encouraged by their teachers to ditch school and participate in a protest march. Those kids had no clue why they were marching or what they were protesting?! They weren’t trying to change the world; they were being changed by a worldview they didn’t really understand.
We may want to pull the covers over our head and ignore the unrest in the world. But the parting words Jesus gave to His disciples regarding Christians’ place in the world, the Great Commission, reminds us there’s work to do, starting with our children.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
However, the last page in the Bible also foretells that the world will always have good and evil.
“Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.” Revelations 22:11
We all want our children and grandchildren knowing and doing what is right and holy, even when their peers encourage them to do wrong and vile acts! Parents and grandparents are the ones responsible for teaching and instilling these virtues. We cannot rely on the schools, and sometimes not even our churches.
The important thing is to help them not grow weary or discouraged doing good. Some things have helped me be a world change agent, while not letting the world change me. Maybe these will help you too in guiding and mentoring your children or young mentees.
Use the Word of God and Help Your Children Learn Scripture from Their Own Bible
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12 NLT
Teach them to paraphrase if they need to, but God’s Word applies to every area of life in every century (Heb. 13:8). Jesus used Scripture when tempted by Satan in the desert and taught the disciples to pray “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:13). Help them memorize Scriptures to resist temptation. My granddaughter’s friend said her Dad is teaching her Psalm 23 for when she’s afraid.
Stay Civil and Polite But Stay Firm in Your Convictions
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16
Satan is the ruler of this world, so those caught up in the world’s cults, atheism, alternate belief systems or lifestyles, feel compelled to challenge us for our faith in Christ, and they have devised a myriad of unkind words to call us. The hurt runs deep when it’s aimed at our Lord and Savior. So our first impulse is to engage in a debate. If you’ve ever tried arguing or reasoning with someone blinded by the world’s belief system, you know it’s usually futile. I mentor my granddaughter that her best answer is “This is what I believe because the Bible (or God or Jesus) tells me so.”
Other times, believers fall into the same trap the serpent used with Eve when someone asks them, “Did God really say…?” Simply say, “Yes He did, and I’ll find the Scripture for you.” Jesus didn’t come to sanctify the world’s ways, He came to save the world from its ways.
The World is In Darkness So Let Your Light Shine
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. John 3:18-20
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
The world loves darkness. Yet into this dark world came Jesus, the Light of the world, and He has hidden His light in each believer’s heart. Our light must shine brightly, no flickering. When we enter a room, a social media conversation, a family or friendly gathering, work, play, school, as parents, grandparents, employers, employees, kids . . . wherever life takes us . . . our light shines, even if we’re the only light for Jesus. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19
We are living in a lost world that is loudly anti-God and anti-Christian and influencing the next generation. We can’t be quiet. Our job as Christians is to be world-changers for Christ. We must worry more about what God thinks about us than what the world thinks. Our job is to put God back in the public square and reach the world with the love of Christ. It may be hard for kids to get this point, but they do need to know that there will be people who won’t like you for not agreeing to do the wrong thing. They may try to bully, dare, entice, make you feel bad, but that’s just because you doing the right thing convicts them for doing the wrong thing.
Welcome to a new school year! In my 19 years of being a mother, I have learned in the last handful of years just how important it is to start the school year off with prayer. But not just any prayers: intentional, focused prayers that have the power to change lives and legacies.
Two years ago a very dear friend of mine introduced me to a powerhouse of a book called “65 Promises from God for Your Child: Powerful Prayers for Supernatural Results”, by Mike Shreve. This book has changed my understanding of prayer-not just for my children, but for everything!
This year our theme for #WhenMomsPray is “Possessing the Promises”, and we are going to be focusing on God’s promises, praying those promises over our daughters, and activating them in their lives.
First though, we need to remember how critical it is that we speak life and faith, not death and doubt, over our children and our circumstances. Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Our monthly prayer calendar is our gift to you as a prayer guide as you claim God’s promises over your daughter’s life. Click HERE to download your calendar.
Resources For You:
-We invite you to join our private prayer community the “Whatever Girls Moms Prayer Group” where moms of girls from all over the world are gathering in prayer and encouraging one another. Click HERE to join.
-Start or join a Whatever Girls Group. Click HERE for more information about starting or joining a group. Whatever Girls Groups are a great way for moms to parent intentionally while helping their daughters navigate their teen years, and girls form lasting friendships.
-Whatever Girls Online Bible Studies (WGOBS) starts up Monday, September 18. We will be reading “Brave Beauty” by Lynn Cowell. Click HERE for more information and to sign up.
-Purchase our recommended resource “65 Promises from God for Your Child: Powerful Prayers for Supernatural Results”, by Mike Shreve. (Note, this link goes to Amazon Smile, where Whatever Girls is set up as a registered non profit. Our ministry receives a percentage of all qualifying purchases made through Amazon Smile when you select Whatever Girls as your charity of choice. We appreciate your support, thank you.)
-Our Whatever Girls Podcast “Elevating the Conversation” starts tomorrow, September 1. Be sure to follow our Facebook page and Instagram for links to our current episodes.
Friends, we are SO excited to announce that our fall Whatever Girls Online Bible Study (WGOBS) will be “Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You” by Lynn Cowell. We hope you will join us September 18-December 4 for this phenomenal study. Click* HERE to get signed up and to purchase your book, which just released TODAY. Congratulations, Lynn!
Have you heard about Whatever Girls Clubs for you and your daughter? Click HERE to learn more about them and how to start one or join one.
*Note: the “purchase link” goes to Amazon Smile, where every qualifying purchase through Amazon Smile, when Whatever Girls is selected, Whatever Girls is eligible for an Amazon Smile donation at no extra cost to you. We appreciate your support to our non-profit ministry.
By Erin Bishop
If you’ve been online at all in the last week, chances are you have heard about the whole Teen Vogue sodomy guide situation, the undercover Planned Parenthood video from Life Site, in which a Planned Parenthood worker advises a 15 year old girl in the ways of sexual exploration, or how Planned Parenthood advises parents to talk to their preschoolers about transgenderism.
I can’t imagine any parent wanting their child to seek or take sexual advice from Teen Vogue or Planned Parenthood, but when I shared this post on our Facebook page last week, a couple of commenters said if parents educated their kids about sex, they wouldn’t have to look to Teen Vogue or Planned Parenthood for their information. There’s some truth to that. Parents do need to educate their kids about sex.
My heart is heavily burdened for the kids who don’t have a parent or loved one in their corner educating them about God’s design for marriage and sex, who are instead getting their information and values from Teen Vogue, Planned Parenthood, (just) their school’s sex education curriculum, and other sources whose agendas oppose our values. We are well on our way to losing a generation of kids who have gotten swept into the idea that gender is fluid, that sex and marriage is not just between and man and woman, and other theories that go against our beliefs as Bible believing Christians.
The “Sex Talk” is the Parent’s Job
As parents, educating our kids about sex is our responsibility. Period. Talking to our kids about sex is one of the most critical, ongoing conversations we will ever have with them. Yes, ongoing. Not just a one time “sex talk”. They should be ongoing, age and topic appropriate conversations that begin from a young age, go throughout their grade school and adolescent years, and possibly beyond.
Some parents get nervous over the notion of talking to their kids about sex. But know this: your kids are going to hear about sex whether you tell them about it, or not. In fact, depending on their age, there’s a good chance they have already heard about it from school or the media. So you’ll want to establish the truth before the false narratives start, because when we abdicate our role as the primary influencers in our children’s life, we shouldn’t be surprised when our kids become sexually active before marriage, and get confused and traumatized as a result.
Here are 8 tips to help you get started:
- First and foremost: pray. Pray that their hearts and minds would receive the information you share, and that the truth of God’s design for marriage and sex would take root in their hearts and minds and that the world’s imitation would not tempt them. Pray this over your children daily.
- Start the conversations early. When they are very young, tell your children that their private parts are private and special, and that’s why we keep them private. As they get older, the conversation topics will mature.
- When you do talk to your kids about body parts, marriage, and sex, let them know they will hear a lot of different versions and words at school and from friends, but to come to you, their parent, because as their parent, you have the right information and you want them to know the truth.
- If you’re nervous or uncomfortable talking about sex with your kids, they will pick up on it, and they may think sex is something to be ashamed of, unnatural, and wrong to talk about or do. Also, know that talking about sex with your kids will most likely cause them discomfort and even embarrassment. Let them know it’s perfectly normal for them to feel that way, but remind them it’s an important topic to discuss and reassure them that their feelings will change as they get older.
- Let your kids know it’s perfectly normal to be curious about their body parts, the body parts of the opposite sex, and to have questions. Tell them their body will start to change as they grow, what to expect, and that it’s perfectly normal as they grow into adults. Let them know there is no shame in these changes, and that kids of all ages mature at different rates, shapes and sizes, and that God made everyone’s body just how He wanted.
- Don’t assume your kids know anything. Start from the beginning and let them know you’re always available for questions.
- Be a good listener, in everything. This tells your kids you are interested and available, so when the questions about body parts and sex come in, they won’t hesitate to come to you to talk.
- Be consistent. If you tell your kids that sex is a special gift from God for a husband and wife then you’ll need to back that up with the books you read, movies and television shows you watch, and how you conduct your life.
You’re not in this alone. Click HERE to join the “Whatever Girls Moms Prayer Group”, a private, online community of Christian moms across the world who support and encourage each other through prayer. We’re here for you!
Want to be an intentional about raising a teen girl who is rooted in her faith and prepared to navigate the challenges of being a teenager? Consider starting or joining a Whatever Girls Club with your daughter. Click HERE for more information.
“How to Have “The Talk” with Your Child”, a toolkit from Dr. Meg Meeker, M.D..
“Passport2Purity”, from Family Life Today.
“Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter” by Vicki Courtney
Whatever Girls is launching “Whatever Girls Clubs” in August, just in time for the start of the new school year!
The teen years can be like walking a tightrope. There are so many issues that can cause teen girls to stumble and fall. It’s even harder for a Christian girl trying to stay true to her values when peer pressure can be so intense!
That’s where Whatever Girls Clubs come in!
When my daughter, Grace, started middle school in 2009, I didn’t want to just sit back and hope that she wouldn’t give in to the peer pressures of her teen years, so, I started Whatever Girls. We started out as a club for moms and daughters to get together, study the Bible, and talk about and prepare our daughters for the issues they may encounter throughout their middle school and high school years. Now, we have several clubs like ours across the United States, host online Bible studies, have a writing and speaking team, host local events for moms, daughters, and dads, and reach thousands of people around the world every day on social media.
Whatever Girls Clubs:
- Are for middle school to high school age girls and their moms
- Are Biblically based
- Are led by mothers
- Are a place for girls to grow in their faith and relationship with Jesus Christ
- Equip girls to think on, and exemplify the pillars of Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy”. (This is where we get our name, “Whatever Girls”)
- Are a safe place to ask questions and learn about: peer pressure, dating, friendships, sex, Biblical feminism, drug and alcohol use, Internet and social media safety, sex trafficking, bullying, and more.
- Strengthen mother-daughter bonds
- Are a place to develop lasting friendships
The nationwide launching of our clubs is a grass roots movement that provides girls with an alternative to what the world offers, and keeps moms involved along the way. Our goal is to have at least one Whatever Girls Club in each state by the end of 2017.
We invite YOU to join our movement in a few ways:
In the next month we are completing the development of leader kits for new Whatever Girls clubs, participating in community events to share about our clubs, and doing a lot of behind the scenes work to prepare for the response to our launch.
-Start a Whatever Girls Club or join a Whatever Girls Club in your area. Email us HERE for more information and HERE to get started. For those wanting to start a club, we are with you every step of the way from getting you started to supporting you along the way.
-Join our launch team. You will play a vital role in helping us ensure teen girls and moms all over America learns about the invitation to start or join a club. Click HERE to apply.
You can help us launch our vision into all 50 states by the end of 2017 by making a tax deductible investment of any amount.
- We invite you to partner with us by sponsoring a Whatever Girls Leader Kit at $30
- Giving a gift in any amount
- Partner with us monthly with a reoccurring gift of any amount
To give by check, you may send your gift to:
P.O. Box 13191
Spokane WA 99213
Thank you for helping us change the world, one Whatever Girl at a time!
By Erin Bishop
We were walking around Pier One and I gave him permission to go off and explore on his own. I was looking for something, and he was getting bored, being a 13-year-old boy.
He found me sniffing candles a few minutes later. “Mama, come here, I want to show you something!”
I followed him past the wind chimes, outdoor wreaths, and outdoor furniture, until he stopped at the lamps.
“I think I found what I want to get you for Mother’s Day, Mama!” he proclaimed, as he proudly pointed to a lamp. A lamp I never in a million years, well, it’s the thought that counts, right?
“Wow! That is quite a lamp, buddy! You are so good to me, thank you. You know, I actually don’t need a new lamp right now. You know what I’d really love for Mother’s Day? Time with you. And a hug.”
He playfully lowered his shoulders, pretending to be defeated. But was he pretending? There I go again, saying the wrong thing to one of my kids.
“Actually, I don’t even need a Mother’s Day gift. Time with you really is the best gift. But if you were to do a gift, a gift card to somewhere would be nice. You know, so I could shop and use coupons?” Ever the control freak, that’s me.
He wasn’t moved by my words, and he walked off towards the vases, pretending to be interested. Awesome job, mom.
As the week went on, Mother’s Day was everywhere. All the stores I visited had big displays front and center filled with “all the things mom needs to feel special and appreciated”. Sponsored Facebook ads flooded my newsfeed with contests for massages, facials, and special brunch offerings for mom.
I don’t need, or deserve, any of that stuff, I told myself.
I’ve never been big about celebrating myself. Especially as a mom.
When I think of my early days as a single mom to my little girl, I don’t think of the loving, devoted, and determined mother that I know I was. I think about all the times I selfishly put my social life above time with her.
I remember all the times a crying little girl looked up at her mommy who couldn’t handle the stress of the morning routine and took it out on her innocent little girl. Barking orders like a drill sergeant that no child could measure up to.
Years of major depression and anxiety, chronic fatigue, and more than a little shame from those afflictions, have stolen so much of my life and the lives of my children.
I think about all the times I said “maybe later”, “mommy doesn’t feel good right now”, or “I need to take a nap”, my heart breaking for disappointing my kids.
The times my husband would come home from a long day at work, and I’d have nothing to show for, often sitting in the same place as he left me, hours before.
I just couldn’t do it. Life. It was hard. And I was so tired. And sleep was my escape.
I’ve always measured my shortcomings by the Proverbs 31 woman yardstick, while relating better to the less popular Proverbs 14:1 woman, who, with her own hands tears her house down.
I felt as though I was wrapped up in a tight cocoon, tucked in so tightly by layers of shame, regret, sadness, anger, fear, and hope, yes, even hope.
Hope is the birthplace of victory. And victory was coming.
He was preparing me. He makes all things new.
He has all the answers, and even more grace.
He comforts those who mourn. I have known mourning, and I know His comfort.
When it felt like there was no way out of the dark, He made a way for me in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)
He tells us if we put on a garment of praise, it will wash away our despair. And wash it away, He has.
So for me, Mother’s Day is not a celebration of the mother I am, it’s about the mother I get to be to my children. The two precious lives God birthed inside of me, whose hearts I have been entrusted. It’s the privilege of feeling the kind of love that nothing else comes close to. It’s knowing that sometimes I am the only person in a world of billions that can meet the needs of my child in any given moment.
Mother’s Day is my day to celebrate being a mom.