CONNECT WITH ME ON Find me on Facebook Follow me on TwitterFollow me on Pinterest SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG Subscribe to my blog

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom Tip – Is Your Child Hiding Their Messages?

Sexting, or the transmission of sexual language and/or pictures is nothing new to teens. Finding more creative ways to get it past their parents is and it would appear there are some adults who are willing to help them.

Check out the advertisement for the app “Hide My Text”:

Have you ever wanted to keep your text messages and your call logs private? …Would you like to be able to secure your text messages from anyone and everyone with a password protected decoy app? Are you looking for the coolest text messaging app out there? Well, here’s your answer!

“Hide My Text” says it will hide text messages/SMS messages for 5 contacts as well as hide call logs for 5 contacts.

Although most teens would say it is harmless, sexting can have some serious repercussions. Sending naked photos in North Carolina is considered child pornography if the person in the picture is under 18. Once a picture is in digital format, it’s life and the places it can show up on the internet are endless. In a young mind, though, the motivation to be liked and wanted are more powerful than the thoughts of the future.

What is a parent to do to protect their child from making such harmful decisions?

Having a relationship with open communication, where nothing is off limits might be your child’s biggest protection. Within this framework, you have the opportunity to help your child discuss why her peers participate in this type of behavior. A dialog about the consequences of digital pictures and conversations allows you to give instruction without causing your child to feel interrogated or accused. For me, a small group setting with her friends sets a great stage for these talks.

When talking, help your teen think through the why of sexting. Leslie Petruck of Stepping Stones Counseling and Consulting says the root cause is insecurity. “Kids that are already struggling with their self-esteem or feeling depressed may be more keen or more likely to send something,” said Petruk in an interview with Fox News Charlotte.

Most of all, don’t turn your head and say, “Not my child.” Cover your bases and talk.

 

Looking for a door opener for these conversations, take time this summer to go through “His Revolutionary Love” with your girl and a few of her friends! Click here for your free leadership guide

Lynn

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom Tip ~ Time to Talk

“We are witnessing a time when a generation’s perspective on sexual behavior is actively changing.” So says Dr. Joe McIlhaney, Jr. and Dr. Freda Bush in Girls Uncovered: New Research on What America’s Sexual Culture Does to Young Women. I couldn’t agree more and I am afraid as moms we’re not changing fast enough.

“Statistics are startling when it comes to “normal” behavior in our teen girls and even more disturbing is their lack of knowledge when it comes to how they can be effected.”

McIlhaney and Bush state “one of the biggest misconceptions with young women is that oral sex is risk-free. One study of college students revealed that fewer than 5 percent were concerned about STI’s (sexually transmitted infections) after being involved in oral sex.”

You may think, “Why should I be concerned about this, Lynn? My girl wouldn’t be involved in this sort of behavior!” I am sorry to say too many of our girls are. Statistics state that an amazing 40% or more of fifteen-to seventeen-year-olds have participated in oral sex. Among eighteen year-olds, it is 70% percent. During my “Revolutionary Love” conferences I often offer a Q&A session. “Am I still a virgin?” and similar questions reflect that fact that girls don’t believe that this behavior is sex.

As moms, it is our responsibility to bring up the topic of sexual behavior, not once, but often! In my home, it would be an understatement to say that we talk about it weekly. It is something that they are facing daily in their world! We cannot bypass this responsibility simply because it is uncomfortable.

Your girl needs you to give her God’s perspective on her body and the opportunity she has to protect it and enjoy the gift of sex He created her to enjoy one day with one husband. Be bold today, my friend. Ask her what she believes about this topic and then listen. Really listen, all the while asking the Lord to give you the words to deliver His message.

 

Are you interested in bringing your girl to a “Revolutionary Love” conference this fall or would your church want to invest in the girls in your community? Check out my schedule and learn more by visiting my speaking page!

Lynn

Monday, May 21, 2012

What’s Your Spiritual Gift?

 

 

I hope you had a great weekend! I had the privilege of joining with Erin Bishop of The Whatever Girls - (Philippians 4:8) to invest in the girls in Spokane, Washington through the “Revolutionary Love” conference. (Isn’t their above logo so cute!)

I have a confession to make: the night before the conference in my hotel room, I heard voices in my head. (Maybe I’m not the only one who hears these voices.) Voices saying things like, “You’re too old for this, Lynn. You can’t relate to these girls. Wouldn’t you rather be at home, hanging out with your family this weekend?”

At the conference, I received the sweetest note from a girl:

“Thank you. Last year, I had a rough time with everything: identity, confidence, letting people encourage and love me. Your book in our study came at the perfect time.”

How encouraging this note was and how exciting spending the weekend challenging and praying with so many girls to follow Christ’s definition of purity, honor and wisdom.

When I am living out the function that God designed me to do, not only do I benefit, but someone else does too!

What’s your function? What has God given you to be His gift to this world?

If you don’t know, how fun to find out! In fact, you and your girl can find out together! Simply follow this link and take this quiz:

http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/

My girl took this test in preparing to go on a missions trip in just a few weeks. It was so amazing to learn things about her I never knew!

There is one test for adults and for youth! I hope you’ll come back here and let me know what you discovered!

Lynn

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

~Wednesday Wisdom Tip ~ Swimming in Soda

Thankful for an afternoon of interruption free work, my heart had no worries. My kids had their best friends over to play in our fenced-in back yard so I scurried to get as much done as possible.

Mid-way through the afternoon, I peaked out the sliding glass door, thinking I spotted brown liquid in our plastic kiddy pool.

Brown?

Approaching the now “pond”, I looked up to see two little guilty faces.

Coke.

These two creative persons slipped soda from frig, creating a Coke pool! How cool they thought! The evidence of empty cans had been thrown over the fence.

Furious, I lost it! A seven year old should know better! I quickly took the other child home and disciplined my son.

Today’s circumstances with teens are much bigger than coke in the pool!

Last Wednesday, I received the dreaded phone call. “Mom, I had a car accident.” Though many years later, I still felt the urge to loose it. But time and experience whispered to me, “Respond don’t react!”

Driving to the front of the high school, I had to talk myself down the whole way there. “It’s going to be alright. It’s just a car. Show compassion. How would you want to be treated?” It’s a good thing I live a ways from school!

I’d love to say I handled it perfectly, but that would be untrue. With the Lord’s help, though, this time, I didn’t loose it!

When you find yourself in the place where your mind and mouth are wanting very badly to react, giving your child a piece of your mind, breathe deep. Talk yourself down. When you give yourself time to calm down, the Holy Spirit has time to give you the response that you will need.

“They will know we are Christians by our love” applies to our kids too!

Lynn

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weak and Well-able

Comparison latches onto to my heart this morning, trying to pull me under, “Why don’t you have the energy she has? Why can’t you do what she does?” An embarrassment  only I feel, I wonder what is wrong with me.

Then Jesus whispers to me as I read His Word, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I must be going to be awfully powerful today, because I feel so awfully weak. I guess I am exactly where I need to be to get the supernatural help I need. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me…for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 – 10

Maybe you too feel weak today. Maybe raising children has made you want to raise the white flag of surrender. Maybe yesterday no one in your house acknowledged it was Mother’s Day. Maybe the responsibilities you face this week seem bigger than the heart and strength inside your body.

You’re in the right place, my friend. It is here, when we are at our weakest, that He is at His strongest.

Jesus, Monday morning brings a new list of responsibilities and challenges. Help me remember that nothing is going to happen today that You and I can’t handle together. And not just handle, but conquer and have victory over. Amen

Lynn

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom Tip – Whose Got Control?

There is a power struggle going on in my house. Maybe you’ve got one too.

My teen children are on the cusp of adulthood, yet I am hanging on with white clenched knuckles.

It looks like this:

“Did you practice piano yet?” “No, I’ll do it later.”

“Your room needs picking up. Stop what you are doing and do it now.” “I planned to do it when I went to bed.”

“Did you meet with your college counselor and get your classes for summer?” “I will next week.”

Why do I feel the need to micromanage my kid’s lives?

Of all people, Pharoah taught me today.

In Exodus 1, he gives instructions, “Look, these people have become much too numerous for us…if war breaks out, they’ll join the enemy and fight against us…so put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor.”

Pharoah saw changes happening with the Israelites; they were growing. These changes created one strong feeling: fear. I saw in Pharoah:

Fear is the imputes of control. 

Fear is the root growing my need to control. It’s not my desire to see my daughter improve in her musical abilities, nor am I wanting to be sure my other daughter learns to keep a clean house. It’s not that I want my son to get the best classes before they are taken. My desire is control and that control is rooted in fear.

So what am I afraid of?

I’m afraid my daughter will waste my money when she doesn’t practice piano.

I’m afraid my girl will waste her time and not pick up her room.

I’m afraid my son will waste years if he doesn’t plan his college course.

I saw the results when Pharoah controlled the Israelites. “They made their lives bitter…” (Exodus 1:14) and ultimately, Pharoah’s fear brought them death (Exodus 1:16).

I’ve got to open my eyes to what I am destroying with my control. I’ve got to get God’s perspective.

God has a lot to say about this root spreading through the garden of my life. “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 2:17 ESV

Power, love, self-control; these are his way, not fearful living.

So what if I gave Jesus all of these fears? He would:

1) keep me from building walls of communication between my children and I

2) lift my anger and anxiety

3) allow my children to learn from consequences

Just listing the possible benefits of living without controlling fear causes me to sigh; to breathe deep and know that is exactly what I want.

Could you possibly want that too? Maybe it’s not a child, but a husband, boyfriend, friendship or employee. If so, what area are you struggling to control and what could Jesus do if you let go of your fear?

Jesus, I’ve got to over come this. Each day I’m adding bricks of control to the wall in my relationships. If I need to teach something, give me Holy Spirit inspired ideas and if I need to just be quiet, empower me to do so! Amen

Lynn

Friday, May 4, 2012

Calm in Chaos

There’s a certain peacefulness that comes with routine.

I know what time to get up, get breakfast for my family, get them off to school and work, spend time with Jesus, start writing. For the most part, I know what to expect each day. That is until the unexpected happens. When alarms don’t go off, family is sick or poor choices bring painful consequences. That’s when the chaos begins.

Sometimes this chaos is a result of decisions we have made, but often, by no choice of our own, we are a part of other’s chaos. It’s in this place that I can find myself struggling; struggling with judgment and anger. Struggling to get on my knees and ask God for His protection in the chaos.

I know my God can bring the calm in the chaos; He showed me this morning.

In Exodus 11, the worst of the plagues is getting ready to  hit Egypt; the first born male of each family will be dead. God gives this promises to His people,

“There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.  But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.”

Peace. Calm. While all around the Israelites there was unimaginable pain, God gave His people peace.

Life can be a lot like a tornado storm moving from calm to chaos in a matter of minutes. But God offers His people calm in the chaos as we purpose to live each day hidden in Him. Take shelter, my friend, and find His peace.

Jesus, there is one thing that is predictable. You said that in this life we will have trouble, but You have overcome the world. (John 16:33) Overcome the world in my life, in my chaos and trouble today. Amen

The winner of Wednesday’s signed copy of “His Revolutionary Love” and a gift card to Starbuck’s is Linda  who posted at May 2, 2012 at 8:03 am. I am so glad you are getting this book to share with your grandchildren! Please email me your full name and address at Lynn@LynnCowell.com and I’ll get it right out!

Lynn

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

~Wednesday Wisdom Tip ~ Making it Natural

Wouldn’t it be so perfect if we could fast forward our children so that they have the faith we have now, only at their age? It sounds great, but if you look back on your faith, the depth you have today comes from the history you made with God yesterday.

Since we can’t literally give our children our faith, how can we best share our faith?

I believe natural conversations can be an answer; conversations started through stories, statements and scriptures.

Sharing a story can be so easy! Who can refute your testimony? I share with my kids what God is doing in my life . A prayer answered, a friend healed…each one is an opportunity to draw attention to my king.

Statements are short little comments I make here and there which point to Jesus. Today was a gorgeous day in Charlotte; a perfect spring day. I just could not help sharing with Madi on our way home from softball, “Isn’t Jesus just so good to give us a day like today?” Gratitude spoken not only gives glory to God; it can be contagious too!

Scripture sharing can either spontaneous or scheduled; I like both! When I have found a scripture in my time with Jesus that really stands out, I tell my kids or text and tweet it to them. If it encourages me, chances are it will encourage them too.

I also have scheduled times to share; every morning at breakfast and during a small group with their friends. I love these times because it allows me to know that even if stories and statements don’t happen, I have made room to share scripture with them on a regular basis.

That is one reason I wrote “His Revolutionary Love”; so moms and daughters would have a resource to learn more about Jesus’ crazy love together. Does this sound like a way you’d like to connect with your girl? Just check out the free leadership guide and first chapter under my “freebies” tab.

Today, I’m giving away a free signed copy of “His Revolutionary Love” as well as a gift card to Starbuck’s where you and your child can share stories, statements and scripture together! In order for your name to be put in today’s drawing, just share with us which one of these three you feel works best for you to share with those you love! Then, be sure to stop by on Friday when I will share the winner!

 

Lynn