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Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding

Congratulations Jo! You are the winner today of the Revolutionary Love Bundle. Jo posted at April 27, 2011 9:19 PM. Please email me at Lynn@LynnCowell.com with your address and t-shirt size. I can’t wait to get these prizes to you!

While preparing breakfast for my family this morning, I decided to turn on the tv for a peak at the royal wedding. The music was glorious! Listening to the praises to the King echoing in Westminister Abbey was such a beautiful way to start the day!

Emerging from the cathedral, Princess Kate shined. A beautiful humility surrounded her that I have never seen in a bride. To me, her countanence spoke to the fact that she was very confident in who she was and in the new position she held following the holy ceremony of a wedding.

Every girl should experience confidence.

Not the type of “girl power” confidence we see advertised in commercials or promoted in our sit-coms.

Every girl should know the confidence of who she is.

Every girl should experience the transformation that comes following the holy ceremony of the wedding…the wedding of our hearts to Jesus.

When a girl, no matter what her age, gets this truth, confidence is the outcome:

“Don’t be afraid…I’ve called your name. You’re mine…I paid a huge price for you…That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creationh, just for you.” Isaiah 43:1, 4 MSG

This confidence empowers a girl to make right choices. When presented with the choice to give herself to a boy she barely knows or save herself for one that Jesus will handpick, she waits for God’s man.

When faced with the opportunity to experience that high everyone is talking about or trusting the quiet Spirit in her, she listens to the One who loves her most.

When confronted with a decision to have a good time now or continue down the pathway to God’s blessings, the confident girl will call on the truth of the calling of God in her life and choose to stay the course she has already chosen.

I know this can happen because I was that girl. Discovering that Jesus was wild about me as a teen empowered me to choose a life of purity; a life of honoring Him. We want our girls to radiate Jesus.

“Those who look to Him ar radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm 34:5 NIV

Radiant is what I want my children to be, but it doesn’t just happen. It’s not due to luck or fate as in a fairy tale story.

“You see, good lives don’t just happen; fate has nothing to do with it. There is no such thing as luck. Wise Choices + the Power of the Holy Spirit = a Blessed Life. Notice that I didn’t say a perfect life, but it is a life with God’s goodness and joy in it.” (“His Revolutionary Life, pg. 114)

Jesus, thank you for making us your’s, whether that was years ago as a young girl or just yesterday. Today, I am your princess; your bride. Lord, give us courage and hearts to take this truth to our daughters, nieces, granddaughters and neighbors so we can see them become the confident princesses you create each and every one of them to be! Holy Spirit, create a radical love revolution and use us!


If you were not a winner of today’s give away but still want to give the girl in your life the chance to hear the truth of who she is, click here to order
!

Lynn

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Love I Was Looking For

If you are joining me here today from Proverbs 31′s Encouragement for Today, welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by!

To celebrate the launching of my new book this Monday, His Revolutionary Love, I’m giving away a “Revolutionary Love Bundle” – a signed copy of my book, a CD and a t-shirt! More on that at the bottom of this post. I will post the winner of the bundle on my regular Friday post.

My own love story with Jesus is actually a story of rebound.

I was desperate. Instead of a heading to the altar I headed into heartache. The serious relationship I was in ended. Empty and alone; my heart was scared and scarred. Elevating this man to a lofty place in my heart was a serious mistake. The cavity that was left was not something I was prepared for.

What could fill a hole that size? Something bigger than a man, bigger than a career. Could Jesus offer that? Knowing Him as my shepherd, my friend, my savior was how I grew up. But I felt I needed something more; maybe the more was in Him.

Moving boxes in my warehouse job, I cried out to God, asking Him to fill the cavern. He could, I knew it, I just didn’t know how or what that would look like. He promises that if we will seek Him we will find Him if we search for Him with all of our heart. I began my pursuit.

During my quest, a verse changed my entire perspective; on Him. On life. “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.” Hosea 2:19 – 20 (NIV)

He came, in my heart, in that warehouse, offering to marry me. The King of the Universe was down on one knee proposing! He offered everything I desired. Everything I needed. The perfect marriage; the perfect relationship.

His proposal had so much to offer. Promising righteousness; that He would make decisions that were right for me every time. Justice – every action He took for me would be guided by truth, reason, and fairness. He offered love with no ulterior motives. He extended compassion; tenderness to remove my sorrow. He was faithful; giving certain love in an uncertain world. Everything He offered was beyond what any human relationship could promise.

Taking Him at His word, I threw all of me into Him. Writing out this verse and others, I posted them in the warehouse.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (NIV). He told me I wasn’t alone. He calmed the anxiety of my wanting heart.

“The king is enthralled by your beauty…” Psalm 45:11 (NIV) filled my desire to be found beautiful.

Song of Solomon 2:16a stated “My lover is mine and I am his…” assured me that even if there was never on man on this planet who wanted me; He did!
This truth changed everything. It completely revolutionized my relationship with Jesus and radically changed the way that I saw myself.
Years passed; our love grew stronger. Out of our relationship, Jesus sparked a passion; a passion to share with girls this side of Jesus that they also needed. Many don’t know He is what they want. Searching for value, love and significance they grab after boys, sports, the internet, girlfriends.

Things aren’t really different for us girls as we get older, is it. Desperately looking for that thing, that someone, who will fill our hearts. Men, careers, kids, food. As women we want to be wanted. We want to feel valuable.

Jesus is flipped-out, madly in love with women of all ages – from 13 to 103. This passionate love is what our hearts crave; it is what we were created for. On those days when our husbands can do nothing right, we wonder why we had kids and our work drowns us in its wake, His love fills the wanting. The things of this world can never make us fully happy. Things or other people can’t fill us; we were created to find fulfillment in Jesus alone.

Whether you have known Him as your Savior for fifty years or have yet to know Him, this truth stays the same. Jesus alone satisfies.

Do you know a young woman whose life would be transform if she found this truth? Maybe you are just the person God wants to use to bring that truth to her! Next Monday on my site under “Freebies”, I will be offering free of charge a leadership guide where you can walk a young girl through “His Revolutionary Love”. Providing practical tools and thought provoking questions, it will take all the guess work out of sharing this life transforming love!

If there was one thing that you could tell her or your young 16 year old self, what would that be? Leave a comment below and you will automatically be entered to win the Revolutionary Love Bundle pack! If your in a hurry, just say “I’m in!” and I’ll be sure to count you!

Lynn

In the Know – Refuge When Raising Teens

Unfamiliar with my new surroundings, I lay my head down wondering where the sun will rise this morning. It will come; no doubt about that. It is just a matter of where for a weary traveler.

Then morning dawns, sure and true, popping out from behind the mountain. Burning away the fog as it slowly rises, the sun takes its place in the early sky.

Some nights as I lay my head to sleep, I contemplate my unfamiliar life situations. Surely as the dawn rises; God is there, though often I feel engrossed by the unsettling fog of worry, tiredness or discouragement. But just like the sun, His wisdom, presence and strength come to me as I seek His face. He is faithful.

“Please pray for me. I am so weary from raising my teen. I am not sure how much more I can take.” another mother expressed her pain with me last week.

I have been there my friend. Even more important, God the Father has been there, raising His children who often resemble rebellious and irresponsible teens.

He is here for us.

Psalm 9: 9 – 10 “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (NIV)

As I observed that foggy morning sky, something happened that I had never seen before. The fog rolled back in again; this time covering the sun. Yet as thick and dark as it was, the heavy mist could not shut out the powerful light nor the warmth that continued to burn on. Try as it may, the fog is no match for the sun.

The same is true in the lives of our children, my friend.

Our situation may be dark and heavy.

Their choices may be causing a turbulent storm.

But friend, this fog, this seasonal climate is no match for the powerful Son!

Be encouraged today! He drew you close to His heart. He knew what you needed to make you His own. He has the same wisdom for your own!

Have you found this encouraging? If so, please share with a friend! A little bit of hope goes a long way.

Lynn

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Making It Stick

Have you ever been in speaking to your child or teaching a small group, Sunday School class and wished you could really make your point? Find a way to help them not forget it?

I have found a trick!

Click here to learn my secret for getting the point to stick!

Lynn

Monday, April 25, 2011

Contagious

Happy Easter Monday, friends!

As a believer, we hope that our faith is contagious, but you know there are other things contagious as well…like the flu!

I’m heading back to bed, but I wanted to share with you my friend Karen Ehman is hosting me as a guest on her blog today. I’m giving away a Revolutionary Love Bundle pack so please stop by! www.KarenEhman.com

Lynn

Friday, April 22, 2011

Train Me So I Can Train Them

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” Psalm 18: 32 – 34 NIV

To know that it is God who gives me what I need. God. Not my wisdom. Not my ideas or what I think might be right. It is God.

Not only does He give me strength, but He makes my way perfect. I am sure like me there are many days when you crawl in bed and think “That day was FAR from perfect!” This word in Hebrew means without defect, blameless, perfect. That is how I want my days to be filled. This is what I want my children to see; a mom who gains her strength each day from her God and HE makes her way, the path she is taking, blameless.

Friends, I can’t say that every day, but I want to! Psalm 18 says He arms me with strength. Strength in the Hebrew means capability, skill, valor – these are description words for a solider! Jesus gives me each day through His word and prayer the capability, skill and valor I need to do what I need to do. Raise child who honor Him. Invest in my marriage so it lasts a life time. Step out in faith to pour into others in ways that are so beyond my natural abilities. My God arms me with strength.

As we allow Jesus to train us, we can in turn train our children and those who are in our influence to turn to Him for strength, skill and valor.

Would you like someone to come along side of you as your train your daughter? Someone who can provide material as well as questions to spur on conversations?

The first week of June, I will begin going through my new book for young girls here; helping you to train your daughter or the girls within your influence. “His Revolutionary Love”, empowers girls with confidence in the love of Jesus leading them to make wise choices. Every Wednesday, I will give a nugget from two chapters of the book for you to go over with them. At the same time, on my website for teens, http://www.radrevolution.org/, we’ll be going over the same chapters. I will also have a short video on RadRev where I speak directly to the girls. This is a great way for you to invest in your teen over the summer together! I hope you’ll join us. His Revolutionary Love releases May 2nd; you can click here to pre-order! Let’s start a revolution in the lives of God’s girls!

Lynn

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In the Know – It is God…

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” Psalm 18: 32 – 34 NIV

It is God…don’t you just love those first three words? It is God. It is God who arms me with the strength to raise my kids in this world. It is God who makes my way perfect when I don’t know how to make a decision. It is God…

Last week, there were some harsh feelings trying to plant themselves in the Cowell house. It was my youngest daughter’s birthday on Thursday. Madi is our sentimental one; the one who has very high ideals and expectations as well. It is very important to Madi to celebrate her birthday ON her birthday. End of story.

My middle child had an important occasion on Thursday, same day as Madi’s birthday. It couldn’t be move, couldn’t be repeated another time. Thursday was the only day.

Oh the words that were brewing; the thoughts that were swirling. I saw no way out. I feared it would be one of those horrible memories that would go down in Cowell history – Madi’s 14th birthday. I really saw no way out; no compromise where one person would not come out scarred.

On the second day of the “discussion” I was prepared to talk to Madi; to ask again if she would change the day we would celebrate. I feared she would read me wrong; feel manipulated. So before I headed out to car pool, Mariah and I prayed together. I asked Jesus to do what only He could do; make a way where I saw none.

As soon as Madi hopped in the car, she smiled, said she had a great day and then talked about her birthday. She suggested moving her celebration to the day before so Mariah could attend her event. I couldn’t hardly believe my ears! Completely shock over took me! I knew I had asked Jesus to answer the situation, but I was completely blown out of the water. I never said a word and He took care of it all.

Friend, do ever feel that with your child that you don’t have an answer? You don’t see the way that a bad situation could possibly turn good? He is God; He is more than able. Last week on a Proverbs 31 conference call, my friend Luann Prater reminded us that often our prayers are not answered because they are never actually said. So true, my friend, so true!

Lynn

Friday, April 15, 2011

Being Needy Isn’t Bad

Have you ever heard this CD playing in your head, “You don’t have what it takes”? I sure have. In fact, it was just yesterday.

Experiencing rejection on a project for the sixth time, the enemy tried to capitalize on my battle. My heart wanted to give in; it wanted to nurse that rejection. Massage it; even cry over it. So I did, for a minute. Then my spirit swelled up, pointed to the source of these feelings and encouraged me to embrace truth. That is the wonderful, powerful thing that happens when you fill your heart up each day with God’s Word; his truth.

Hebrews 13:21 tells us He will “equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (NIV)

Friend, like me, you may not have what it takes. You may not have what it takes to raise your child in this world we are living in. You may not have what it takes to lay down your life to make your marriage work. You may not have what it takes to step out in faith and do that thing that the Lord is calling you to do….but God does!

There is power in knowing that when we don’t have what it takes the Almighty God does so we are in a very good place!

On her post on Monday, Lysa TerKeurst shared “We are only as weak as our strongest link. Sometimes it’s not our weaknesses that leave us vulnerable to attack. Sweet sister, it’s our strengths. Those places where we feel especially confident, invincible, and quite able. But, as my friend Cile reminded me recently, “our strengths can become strongholds if we’re not careful.”

So we are really in a great place when we are weak, because being weak makes us dependent. Being needy is not bad, my friend. In fact, it is the very best place to be.

Lynn

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In the Know – Be Willing to Let Them Make Mistakes

Thanks you so much for joining me again for this series on building a bridge to your child’s heart. I appreciate the encouraging emails I’ve received from many of you sharing how our talks have been helfpul!

Today’s post is the sixth in our series together. It is preceded by:

1. Being Informed

2. Being Approachable

3. Being Available

4. Being Vulnerable

5. Being their Discipler

If you have not yet requested he article in it’s entirety free of charge, just email me at Lynn@Proverbs31.org. I’ll be happy to forward it to you!

For me, this last brick in building a bridge to our child’s heart is the hardest! When it comes to our kids, we desperately want them to learn from our mistakes and not make their own. In fact, it’s a daily prayer.

Yet, if we look back on our own lives, when did we learn our most powerful lessons? What situation were we in when we saw how desperately we needed a savior? What eleventh hour was it when we found Jesus to be our healer? It would seem that sometimes the only way to learn is by making a few mistakes.

Often, these mistakes increase as our children prepare to leave home. Independence is their mantra as they make one decision after another.

This process reminds me of a baby eaglet as it prepares to leave the nest. The internet gave me insight into the way of the little bird:

“Once most of their wing and tail feathers are developed, the eaglets can finally leave the nest. First flights usually occur at 9 or 10 weeks of age and are preceded by vigorous exercising and flapping. When a male and female are in the same nest, the male may fledge first. The chick will typically lift off of the nest by facing into the prevailing winds and flapping. Sometimes the adults will force the eaglets to fly. Often the first flight will be to the nearest branch above the nest. When chicks leave the nest they usually glide to a nearby tree or stump, returning to the nest tree frequently and continuing to be fed by the adults. At first the eaglets have difficulty landing on tree limbs. However, if they land on the ground, they need open space to flap their wings to become airborne. While eaglets improve their landing and flying skills, they depend on their parents for food. The adults will bring food to where the eaglets are perched. Eaglets will stay close to the nest and nest tree during the first few weeks after fledging. Within one month after fledging, eaglets will soar and drift over the river.”

How do we respond when our child makes a mistake? Do we run to their rescue each time or do we give them the opportunity to mature and let him figure it out? In your home, are you allowing situations and opportunities in your child’s life that will allow her to test drive her wings?  Will she have to wait will to fly until she finally leaves home? Our children need opportunities where they can make their own decisions and either reap the positive benefits or the negative consequences from that decision .

Zach, my oldest at 17 asked me to see a certain movie. “What’s the movie?” was the logical question. As soon as the title escaped his lips, “no” rushed out of mine. I had already seen the preview for that particular movie and knew it was not a movie I wanted him to see. Irritation showed all over his body as he responded to my answer, but an “ok” came from his mouth as he left the room. When my husband got home, I informed him that Zach had asked me if he could go to the movie and I told him no. Greg asked Zach to come downstairs. I wondered what was about to take place.

After Zach sat down, Greg said with tears in his eyes, “Zach, I appreciate that you asked your mom about going to the movie. You could have gone and lied about where you were going. You could have said you were going to a movie other than the one you told us about. Instead, you came and asked for permission. Because you were honest, I am going to allow you to make the decision on what is best for you.”

This was not what I wanted to happen. I didn’t want my son to have that type of control.

The truth is, my son already had that control. He already had the means to make his own decisions; it was time for me to acknowledge that.

We’re in a new stage of life now that Zach is a freshman in college. We are learning to allow him to make decisions and then either benefit from the right decision or pay the consequences from the wrong. This is far from easy!

In this season often our children do not want our advice. It is time for them to move on and begin making major decisions on their own. What we need to get out of the way and let God finish His work. If we can recognize this process as it is happening it will be easier not fight it . Through this we can allow  our children to “leave the nest” naturally.  For us, this season has been very difficult, but the thing I keep hearing Jesus whispering in my ear is this: “You wrote your story with me, now it is time for Zach to write his.”

Jesus, what we want most of all is for our children to love you with all they have; to be passionate about You. This is something I can not force or do for him. I know that you will protect him and draw him near as You promised You would. I trust You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Lynn

Monday, April 11, 2011

Where Did the Time Go?

“May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.” Psalm 144:12 (NLT)

Where did the time go? I remember like it was only yesterday…the dark-haired little princess dancing on top of the coffee table, star-studded sunglasses gracing her face, singing as though she was the next “American Idol.”

Now, she’s a beautiful young lady in the making, grinning at me from the dressing room. Her smile still says, Look at me, Mommy, don’t I look pretty? And she does, in so many ways. Her beauty is more than just physical. I see a tender heart and I long for her to learn who she is and become who the Lord made her to be.

They used to say “Sugar and spice and everything nice are what little girls are made of.” Today’s girl has to made out of much more. They are under so much pressure to be this and do that; spinning as they attempt to please the ever-changing culture. Caught between the daytime world of school and evening world of family, the weight can often bring with it confusion. Their deep and real desire to be accepted is the same as it was for us, only the burden is more intense. They want to know that they are valuable. They want to know that someone sees them and they are significant.

Maybe that is why God created mothers – to be the conduit for the power of God’s truth to the next generation. It is our place to teach our daughters exactly how He sees them. To be the voice that says, “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Solomon 4:7, NIV). When they are looking in the mirror picking themselves apart, we can pour in God’s Word. Psalm 45:11 “The King is enthralled by your beauty…” (NIV). “Enthralled” means captivated. They are desperate to have someone say, “You make my head spin” and who better to say it than their Creator who is flipped-out over them!

As I think about today’s key verse, “May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace,” I am reminded that pillars are not born. Pillars are formed. Carefully, an artesian chisels away at the stone little by little, creating a masterpiece. You can be the artesian in the life of your daughter. Don’t be afraid. The Master Artesian is your teacher. You can be the one that the Lord has appointed to take the rough piece of stone and carve it into the graceful pillar, fit for a palace.

One way you can “chisel” your daugther is to introduce her to RadRevolution; a site designed to help her become a woman who honors God!

Another step is to pour God’s word into her each day! Click here to find my favorite verses that every girl should know.

Dear Lord, this task seems too big for me. Raising a daughter that glorifies You could not possibly be more contrary to our culture. I do want my daughter to bring You honor. Show me opportunities today where I can lovingly speak Truth into her life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

What are the steps you are taking to help form your child into being a person who glorifies God?

Lynn