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Friday, July 27, 2012

Can Anyone Really Know You?

 

“Isn’t it weird and sad to think that no will ever really know me? No one will ever know everything I think and all the depth of the feelings I feel?” Her teary eyes revealed the depth of her thoughts.

I wasn’t quite sure what to say; my daughter was right. Proverbs 14: 10 says “Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.” In Wednesday’s post we talked about finding a “soul mate”; that one person who “completes” you. Truth is, as Solomon said, each heart only knows their own heart.

But that’s not the end…

As the created, we are limited by our insights and understanding. Not only do we desire to be known deeply, but we want to know another. The limitations of our own senses, ability to listen and understand another’s mind and heart hold us back.

But it will not always be so! At the end of the chapter giving the full description of perfect love – the ultimate expression of being known – we are comforted with these words:  “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12b (NIV)

Fully known; how wonderful! In the original Greek language this is a combination of two words which mean when + come to know. One day, we will have both! We will be able to fully know and understand each other. The biggest revelation will be fully and knowing God as He already completely knows us. This deep desire will finally be fully met.

We need to be aware of our need to be known, for it is deep. It can bring us great joy as we open our hearts to healthy and safe relationships. It can also bring great pain if not monitored or controlled. It can drive us to expose our hearts, and even our bodies, in relationships that are not for our best; possibly not honoring Jesus. Instead of feeling known, we can come away damaged and feeling exposed.

What a powerful truth for us to grasp and pass on to our girls. I was never so glad to share with my girl that she is completely and fully known by the one who created her. He says to her and He says to us: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12 Ahhh…

Has this deep desire to be known been a factor in your life and in your relationships? Has it caused undue pressure on those who are not capable of knowing you fully? I’d love to hear your story of how you are working through this in your life.

Let’s dialogue with the young women in our lives, teaching them to take this desire and place on the One who can truly fulfill it!

 

Need help expressing this truth to your girl? “His Revolutionary Love” teaches young women that the love they have been looking for has already been loving them!

Lynn

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Can You Help Her Find Her Soul Mate?

 

 

 

It’s an extra special day today for Greg and I. Twenty-five years ago, we said “I do!”

Crushing on him since 6th grade, I never thought I would get to spend my entire live with the amazing guy whose name I wrote all over my folders!

While our marriage is far from perfect and at times under lots of raising-teen-children pressure, there is one secret that has helped to make our marriage strong. A secret I’m passing on to my girls.

A man can never fill the love gap in your heart. 

Like me, you may have grown up hearing there was one, a soul mate out there for you. Princess-like fantasies grew in our minds of being adored, affirmed, attended too. All those ’80′s songs songs reinforced it, didn’t they? I hear Steve Perry now, singing, “I’m forever yours …faithfully.”

But for some of us, the man we married as a young woman has not stood beside us faithfully. Where has that left us? For others, there never was a man who said “I do”. Does that leave a girl empty or broken?

I have walked beside several dear friends while they have walked this road. Dreaming of picket fences, two kids and a dog, those dreams never came true. But while on a journey they never intended to take, they too have found:

No man can ever fill the love gap in their hearts.

No man but one…the Love, Jesus. Jesus, the one who created our delicate love space to be filled by himself. Jesus, the perfect, unconditional and always faithful love.

I learned this truth before I married Greg. As a teen girl, I sought and found Jesus to be the one who filled the gap, removing my loneliness and rejection and replacing it with joy and acceptance. I truly believe that looking to Jesus each and every day to meet my needs has taken the pressure off of Greg and put it on the only one who can meet all my expectations and needs.

Recently when sharing this truth at a speaking event, a woman approached me sharing, “If I had only known that my husband couldn’t meet all of my needs! If I had only know that Jesus could fill me with the love I was missing…I wouldn’t have divorced my husband last year.” My heart broke!

Friend, this is the truth you can grasp today. This is the truth you can teach your girl. No matter what life brings, you can find true love. A love that will never disappoint, never leave and never reject.

Need a little help passing this truth on to your girl?“His Revolutionary Love” can do just that! Through Lynn’s story and God’s word, your girl can find the acceptance, affirmation and approval she is looking for and find it in the right place! Click under “freebies” at www.LynnCowell.com to find a free leadership guide for you and your girl to go through together!

Join us a Lynn

Monday, July 23, 2012

She’s Intense

 

 

I’ve just gotten back from She Speaks 2012Proverbs 31 Ministries‘s conference for women who feel called to speak and write. These ladies were in my speaker evaluation group and were just fabulous; I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to use their amazing stories!

Drum roll please….I have some terrific news to share with you!

If you were not able to get into the conference this year (maybe you were one of the 300 on the waiting list), Proverbs 31 is offering She Speaks Intensive this January 20 -22 in Concord, North Carolina!

She Speaks Intensive is for you if you are ready to roll up your sleeves and take your speaking and writing to the next level!

Lysa TerKeurst and special guest, communication and marketing expert Ken Davis will be there, giving practical tools as you work on your skills.

Speakers will create compelling messages using proven methods, have personalized speaker coaching and leave with a 3-minute speaking video.

Writers will have personalized writing coaching and will receive a thumb drive with a professional proposal ready for submission. Best of all, the top five proposals will be submitted to publishers by The Fedd Agency!

There are only 100 spots, so be sure to reserve your spot today! For more information, contact Proverbs 31 Ministries! I hope to see you there.

Now, for the winner from Thursday…Susy who posted at July 19, 2012 at 8:28 am! Susy, shoot me an email at Lynn@LynnCowell.com and I’ll get your signed copy of “His Revolutionary Love” as well as “Building a Bridge to Your Child’s Heart” out to you!

 

* Receive

Lynn

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Boundary Markers

If you are joining me today from my Proverbs 31 Ministries devotional “Boundary Lines” welcome!

In the culture we are living in, boundaries between right and wrong, safe and unsafe, wise and unwise have begun more and more fuzzy. As parents who love their children, our desire is for our children to grow in maturity, yet do so in the safest environment possible. Boundaries help to do that.

They always say “hind- sight is better than fore-sight.” No place is that more true than when it comes to deciding where those boundaries are placed. I wish I had consulted more parents with older children so I would have known what safe guards to set; it is easier to set rules before the fact than it is after.

Raising wise children is not just a matter of creating a list of rules and going through these now and then. I make a point to share with our kids stories as often as possible. Stories of those who made wise decisions and those who have not. Positive consequences for good choices and negative outcomes of bad. Stories can make an impact that a list of rules never can and they can casually be shared during the dayt

Greg and I have developed some boundaries for our family. I’d put them in a document and would love to share these resources with you for free! Just click on the “freebies” tab on my website (www.LynnCowell.com) for our His Revolutionary Love heart & body covenant and our Family Purity Code

What boundaries are important to your family? Let’s share our wisdom with each other! I’ll be choosing from one comment today someone to receive an autographed copy of my book for young women “His Revolutionary Love” as well as my CD message, “Building a Bridge to Your Child’s Heart”. I’ll be back from She Speaks on Monday and will post the winner then!

 

 

Lynn

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom Tip: Stop the Fighting

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom Tip question comes from Nidia:

“As soon as I tell my 12 year old daughter to do her chores she starts mumbling and throwing things; she always has something to say back. The only time we get along is if I do something she wants me to do for her, then she goes back to being mean and angry…I long to have a relationship that other mothers have with their daughters. Is it too late to have that relationship? Do you have any suggestions on how to discipline an emotional and angry daughter and ideas on mending our relationship?”

Nidia, we all want to have loving relationships with our children and sometimes as we head into the independent years it becomes more and more difficult.

In our home, I have found that most conflicts begin when I haven’t made our boundaries or expectations clear. One good example is their bedrooms. One day I want everything off the floor, with the beds made and the next, I simply shut the door on the mess. When I become angry that their rooms are messy, it’s confusing to them. I’m inconsistent.

A more positive example would be spending time with the opposite sex. Our kids are not allowed to spend one-on-one time with the opposite sex until they are 16. When my oldest was under 16, he hated this rule. Since we stuck to it, after a few attempts to get us change our minds, the fighting stopped. With our girls, it came up a time or two, but again, when we were consistent, the fighting has stopped.

Sticking to our boundaries has probably been the hardest part of parenting for us. When we have, it eventually brings peace. When we haven’t, it breeds continual turmoil. Our kids don’t know which answer they will get each time they ask a question.

It takes time, sometimes a really long time, but eventually our kids really do understand that our boundaries are because we love them deeply. Set a rule and with all you have, stick with it!

Do you have something that works in your family to avoiding fighting? We’d love to hear from you! Just click on “comments” below.

 

Does your relationship with your girl need a mother/day day together? Check out Lynn’s speaking schedule this fall and join us for a “Revolutionary Love” conference!

Maybe you would benefit from spending time together in God’s word? Click under “freebies” at www.LynnCowell.com to find a free leadership guide for “His Revolutionary Love”.

Lynn

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom Tip – Sex & the Ball Field

Today’s Wisdom Tip question comes from Breeana:

“Hi Lynn. My daughter plays softball on a high school team. She recently shared with me that her teammates “interviewed” her, asking if she was gay or straight. She tells me half the girls on her team are gay or bi-sexual; in fact, two girls date each other. This makes game time uncomfortable. Also she got invited to go swimming at a teammate’s house that claims to be gay. Do I let my daughter go? …Society makes these girls think that it’s okay to have relations with the same sex. It’s hard to know if I’m teaching my daughter the right way.”

This is a tough issue, Breeana, and one our family has faced. Here are a few tips to help you navigate these uncertain waters.

Teach your child:

1) To have compassion; to love.

My daughter reminded me yesterday that if Jesus was physically here right now, He would be hanging out with those who didn’t know him. If we are going to share His radical love, we need relationship.

 

2) To find out what the Bible says about this sin.

Don’t just give your child your opinion; gently show them the Lord’s. This is where you are going to have to dig in and know your Bible so you can teach your child truth.

 

3) Loving and accepting are the not the same.

One of my daughters has several friends who are gay/bi. They know that she loves them, genuinely and deeply. They also know that she doesn’t approve of their choices. Loving them keeps the doors open for her to share and show real love from Jesus. They will know we are Christians by our love, not our rejection.

 

4) This sexual sin is no different than other sexual sin.

1 Corinthians 6:18 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” Make sure she knows that all sexual sin hurts us and our relationship with God. All.

 

We need to know each one of our children well. Know what sins they are more susceptible to; have a bent towards so we can help them to create wise boundaries. At the same time, we are also teaching and showing them that we are the light of the world. Jesus has given us life and truth to share with those around us so that they too can be radically changed by His revolutionary love.

How are you handling this situation in your family? I’d love to hear the wisdom God has given you! Just click on “comments” below!

 

Lynn

Friday, July 6, 2012

Getting Under My Skin

 

If you’re joining me here today from my devotion “Under My Skin” at Proverbs 31 Ministries, welcome!

Maybe the monotonous devotions and prayer life I spoke of resonated with you.  Yes, you’re reading your Bible everyday; praying too. But you’ve fallen into the same old pattern. Does it look something like this?

Head to your favorite chair. Pick up your devotional book; spend two minutes. Look up the verses at the bottom. Pray for each of your family members. Head to the shower.

Ok…maybe it’s not just like mine was, but similar? Consistency is good; boring is bad.

Break out! Try something new!

I fall into these patterns really easily; I’m a creature of schedules and systems. Here’s what I am doing right now to make time with my Love fresh and new.

Last year for my birthday, Greg got me a Hebrew-Greek study Bible (word on the street has it that it is the same one Beth Moore uses). Today is my son’s 21st birthday and I got him one too!

Real love is my new topic to dig in and study. Each day I am taking one segment of 1 Corinthians 13. Today’s was “love keeps no record of wrong”. In my Bible, two of the words have numbers next to them, telling me I can look in the back of my Bible and see the meanings of the words in Greek.

“Record of” in Greek is logizomai meaning “to put together with one’s mind; to reckon anything to a person is to put something to his account, either in his favor or what he must be answerable for”.

“Wrong” in Greek is “to kakon” – “evil as in the cause or source of evil; harm or injury done to anyone”.

I took these in depth meanings and personalized them for me: love doesn’t keep score. Love doesn’t recount; never builds a case or rehashes the past. When love forgives, it leaves the healing of the wound to God; if doesn’t pick at it.

From here, I looked up additional verses that speak of love and forgiveness listed in the cross reference column down the middle of my Bible. I really got a fresh perspective on “love keeps no record of wrong.”

Do you need to break out of your reading routine too? Try getting a new Bible or a new devotional. Move to a new location; maybe a sun porch or patio for the summer months.  Shake up your old pattern and begin to pursue Jesus today in a new way.

We’d love to hear how you keep your relationship with Jesus fresh? What new things are you trying in your time with Him this summer? Just click on comments below and share your idea.

P.S. I am so excited to help your teen girl break out of her reading routine! September 4th I’ll be releasing “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year; 365 Days of Jesus’ Radical Love for You”.  Make sure you order her a copy!

 

Lynn

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom Tip – Starting the Tough Talks

Sitting on the side of the pool, my youngest speaks in a tone not much louder than a whisper, “I’d really like to tell you something, but I don’t want you to make fun of me…or worry either.” I inch my way closer to my girl, showing interest, yet not wanting her feel as though I’m pouching on this opportunity.

I don’t take this for granted; the fact that my daughter is willing to talk about the tough things in her teen life. I didn’t have this open relationship with my oldest son, so I know it is rare.

So how did we get to a place where my girls feel comfortable talking to me about the touch stuff in their world? Why are they open to the questions I ask about their personal lives?

Here are a couple of pointers I have learned about controversial conversations with my girls:

1)      Make no topic off limits.

No matter what it is, friendships, sexual questions or guy/girl relationships, nothing is off limits. In fact, more often than not, it is me who brings up these hard topics. Often, a question in a non-threatening tone cracks open the door.

2)      Make sure you listen.

Don’t be so caught up in planning your advice that you don’t hear what they are saying. They can tell if you are really listening or waiting for your time to talk.

3)      Make your ears and mouth a safe zone.

Kids need a safe place to unload. My kids know that they can tell me anything and it is safe with me and their dad.

Tough conversations with our kids are so important; giving them a place where they don’t have to rely on peer advice for the hard decisions. Show your child today that you are that safe place.

 

 

Lynn

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Power of a Touch

As I spotted her coming down the airport escalator, I realized just how much I had missed my girl while on her missions trip to the Dream Center in Los Angeles. The Dream Center is a volunteer based organization that offers services and programs including residential rehabilitation programs for teens and adults, a shelter for victims of human trafficking, a transitional shelter for homeless families, mobile hunger relief and medical programs, and a foster care intervention outreach.

Seeing the brokenness of those on skid row broke Madi’s heart. Moving with her team to reach out to today’s “very least of these”, she said she heard one thing in her heart, “Touch them”. As she would bend down to pray for the homeless and hurting, she would simply lay her hand on them. “Touching them made them human and I saw that they were just like me. At the Dream Center, I saw each convict, each murderer was really just like me.”

Madi’s words cut me. As a mom, I often miss the power of touch. In a hurry to get supper on or move to the next commitment, I bypass the opportunity to hug or kiss. As a writer, I can hide behind this computer or pen, never physically touching those I hope to invest in.

Today, let’s look for that person who needs our physical touch. Like Madi, it might be a complete stranger who needs to know that someone cares. It might be your husband coming in from the long hot summer day wondering why he’s working so hard. Your child, your neighbor, your parent…who is Jesus nudging you to be His hug or kiss today.

Lynn