Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WWT: I’m Not the Wicked Step-Mother

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The winner from Monday’s post is Angela M who posted on February 23, 2015 at 7:56 am. Please send me your full name and address, Angela and I’ll get the books right out to you!

 

One topic I have failed to cover in the 5 years I have been writing Wednesday Wisdom Tips is being a step-mom.

I wish I had before today. With so many of us moms in the place of being step-moms, help is sure to be needed! I guess since I have never been one, I knew I didn’t have an expertise to share from.

That is until I came across this article from my friend, Kathi Lipp. I have had the privilege of speaking with Kathi at Hearts at Home…and she is an amazing woman. Here’s from my friend. (and I’ll be giving away a copy of Kathi’s book, “but I’m not the Wicked StepMother: Secrets of Successful Blended Families at the bottom of this post.)

Start with Respect 

“I thought it would be easy: I would be nice, and my stepkids would like me. I would make their favorite meals and agonize over their Christmas gifts.

I did nice.

It didn’t work.

The problem? The harder I tried, the more I was ignored. Then I went to my stepson Jeremy’s hockey game in my true stepmom-of-the-year form, and cheered him on. When I shouted, “Great game!” he completely ignored me.

I cried and sulked. Then I asked a friend for advice.

To hear the great advice Kathi received and then followed, click here to read this article at Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. Then come right back so you can enter to win!

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To enter to win today, share who you would like to share this book with or if you’re in a hurry just say, “I’m in!” I will announce the winner this Friday!

Lynn

Monday, February 23, 2015

10 Verses for Building Unshakeable Confidence {Give Away Day}

MakeUsBrave

 

If you are joining me here today from my Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion, welcome!  I’d love to connect with you more on Facebook, TwitterInstagram,  and Pinterest at Lynn Cowell.

Maybe, like me, you have experienced a time when you found your confidence, not just in yourself, but in God, rocked? I am so very grateful that God didn’t just fill the Bible with those who were successful every time or those who always got it right. If He did, I am afraid there would be too many times I would want to quit; completely give up.

Instead, He shared stories of those who failed, like David, and who got up, praised Him and kept on moving.

Today, God can make us brave, whether life is all coming together or all falling apart.

We can have a heart and mind that is set in place, secure, and attached, even when our circumstances say “failure”. The first step toward having this type of unshakeable confidence is by knowing what God’s word says to us and about us.

Here are 10 verses for us to build unshakeable confidence, not so much in us, but in the Holy Spirit who lives inside those of us who are His! Print this list out right now, carry it with you and soak your heart in this truth!

10 Verses For Building Unshakeable Confidence

 

Psalm 118:8, 9, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” (NIV)

 

Hebrews 10:35, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” (NIV)

 

Philippians 4:12, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (NIV)

 

Ephesians 3:12, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 3:26, “for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” (NIV, 1984)

 

Hebrews 3:6, “But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” (NIV)

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

 

Proverbs 14:26, “In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.” (ESV)

1 John 2:28, “And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” (NIV)

1 John 3:21 – 22, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;  and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” (NIV)

3 books

Today, I’m giving away a Confidence Combo — a set of resources to help you build your confidence on God. This set includes:

* His Revolutionary Love

* Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

 

To be entered for an opportunity to win, share 1 person you would like to give this confidence bundle to! If you are in a hurry, simply say, “I’m in!” I will announce the winner on Wednesday with my Wednesday Wisdom Tip!

Lynn

Friday, February 20, 2015

Finding Freedom

I loved being busy! Being overwhelmed made me feel important. I loved nothing more than creating a to-do list, simply for the happiness of checking it off. Telling a friend about my busy life made it sound so important!

Busyness quieted the voices of insignificance that screamed inside my head. But constantly running wore me down. I sensed God asking me to let some stuff go, but I didn’t want to. When I didn’t, he started removing them . . . one by one. That’s when I began to experience freedom and peace from simply being me. I found my completion in being his girl.

Freedom is a word I want to fully understand. I define freedom as: unconfined by my human limitations; free to be an expression of my amazing God and his revolutionary love.

David must have been a bit like me; a man who had to preach to himself on occasion. He told himself, “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts” (Psalm 119:45).

David was saying that he could have freedom because he was seeking God’s commands. Most non-Christians don’t think of Christians as being free—especially Christians who try to live under God’s law. But lawless living leads to all kinds of spiritual, physical, and emotional imprisonment.

Since God is not a God of chaos or confinement, when I follow his ways he brings freedom. He causes the things he has not called me to do, or to be a part of, to fade into the background.

Maybe like me, are you addicted to frenzy and you don’t want to exchange crazy for calm? Ask the Lord to give you a desire to experience his peace.

 

Father, I need to live without being driven by compulsion or emotions. Help me find your freedom. Amen.

 

What would life in your community look like without laws? What would your life look like without God’s law?

(This post is an excerpt from Devotions for a Revolutionary Year)

Lynn

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom Tip: Help Your Daughter Find the Kind of Guy God Wants for Her

Ever wondered how to help your daughter find the kind of guy God wants for her? In a video I had created for Magnetic, I asked 7 Godly guys what they’re looking for and their answers are so good!

Our daughter may not always listen to us, but {maybe} she’ll listen to them.

If you can’t see the video, click here.

What’s your best advice for your daughter or a girl you know who wants to date a Godly guy? Everyone who shares today at The Mom Initiative will be entered to WIN a signed copy of  Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants.

Come on over!  Just click here. 

Lynn

Monday, February 16, 2015

He Cried Too

We sat on the floor in the empty house. Why did we have to go? We loved our church, our house, our town. Just two days ago, the now empty house had been filled with Christmas: people, laughter, and tasty treats. Now all that was left was an empty shell.

As we wept on the floor, my family knew it was time to begin our move. Our broken hearts and bloodshot eyes wouldn’t change the fact that we had to go.

Tears. Like a flood busting a dam, they may spill out of our eyes, but they begin in our hearts. Hurting friendships, broken families, disappointing outcomes.

Jesus wept too.  John tells us in the shortest verse in the Bible:

“Jesus wept.”

John 11:35

 

His dear friend Lazarus had died, and his heart had crumbled.

Maybe it’s a bit twisted to think this way, but I’m glad Jesus felt this loss. I’m glad because it makes me feel less alone when I’m hurting. Knowing he felt the same pain I feel comforts me; helps me know he gets me.

You’ll feel sad sometime in the not too distant future. A friend will forget you. Your spouse might yell at you. Your kids disrespect you. When those tears well up and course down your cheeks, shut your eyes. Picture yourself crawling up in Jesus’ lap. He’s stroking your hair and whispering in your ear, “I’ve been there. Just let me hold you.” You’ll be amazed at the comfort he will bring.

 

Jesus, I am sorry that you experienced loss when you were here, but I am glad that even in sorrow, you get me. Amen.

 

Jesus had such compassion for his friends, he wept. Show some of that compassion to the people you interact with today.

Lynn

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Don’t Miss This Sale!

Postcard from Boston

Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants

 20% OFF

Proverbs 31 Ministries bookstore 

this weekend!

Grab a copy for ONLY $10.99 today –>

 

Click here! 

Give the girl in your life the tool

she needs to cultivate the character Jesus wants for her!

Lynn

Friday, February 13, 2015

We Don’t Have to Hate Valentine’s Day

 

I hated Valentine’s Day. Most of all, I hated the annual flower fundraiser at my high school. When that day started, I was hopeful. Maybe there was someone who would use this day to express how he really felt about me. First block, second block, lunch. Nothing. Fourth block . . . . Then “the flower girl” glided into our room.

She called my name! I saw it; the pink flower. SOMEONE wanted to ask me out! My heart began to flutter. Then I saw who it was from. Really? Him?

For a brief second, I allowed myself to get excited.

Then reality kicked in. “There’s no way this can be true.” He was popular; I was not. There’s no way he would want me. I shoved the flower down in my backpack. I feared it wasn’t real, so I acted like it never happened. Never knowing the truth was better than finding out it was a joke.

Since then I have discovered Jesus has chosen me—chosen a life for me. He has work for me to do, through faith and love and endurance.

“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.”—1 Thessalonians 1:3-5

You too are chosen! You are not an accident; nor a mistake. You are a person of worth and purpose created by God, and through him you can have power and conviction.

When a girl is picked as the Homecoming Queen, is she shy? Would she try to run away when they put the crown on her head? No! She is confident and self-assured—she already knows she’s won. You can have that confidence too. Just know that you are chosen!

Lord, I’m trying to get it: you have chosen me for a role far more important than Homecoming Queen. Thank you! Amen.

(This post is an excerpt from Devotions for a Revolutionary Year.)

 

Lynn

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Are You Brave Enough?

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This week, when’ve been learning about being brave from 3 guys in the Old Testament. If you missed the first post, you can start here.

I wonder if like me, when you see your child studying for a test, all you can think is “I’m so glad I am done!”

Passing tests isn’t just a school thing. It’s a life thing. Every day, our lives are full of tests, some small and some huge. I feel like I have been in one test after another every since it turned January 1st on the calendar!

Whether or not we get to move forward, mature and experience the blessings God has in store has to do with how well we do in those tests.

In the lives of our girls, their character is tested every day:

When her sister takes her straightener, again, how does she react? It’s a love test.

Valentine’s Day comes and goes without any one coming after her. There’s a joy test.

When she sees the girl sitting alone. What does she do? It’s a kindness test.

These tests, these choices, when added up, determine the girl she is becoming. Because each and every day, she is becoming. Becoming a girl who is loving, joyful, kind, gorgeous or a girl who is merciless, miserable or mean.

Who are you becoming?

To become the one God intended us to be, the one reaching her fullest potential through Him and His power, takes bravery.

How old were Shadrach, Mes at this point, at this time when they are saying they would rather die than conform? With that type of courage, you might guess they’re pretty old, right?

The Bible doesn’t say exactly, but from the context clues, it would indicate they were young, possibly younger than teenagers. Age is no issue when it comes to bravery and beauty. They were following God, passing the tests of character and becoming the best they could become.

Now, it’s is your time.

Now is your girl’s time.

We’re not literally facing death by fire like our 3 brave guys, but daily we face a fork in the road. A place where we decide.

Who are we going to be?

Like the brave ones, investing time, energy and emotions in God? Becoming the girl and woman He wants us to become; reaching our fullest potential?

Or the one constantly changing, like the styles every spring, trying to figure out – what do they want? What does that guy want? What does the crowd want?

 

It’s time, this Valentine’s Day, to become the one who understands that the perfect Guy, Jesus, is already absolutely crazy about you. The One who already loves you perfectly, unconditionally, just the way you are.

It’s time to be done. Just be done investing all your energy in the wrong place. And instead focus on becoming the one.

I’m not talking “girl power” here. I’m not into that. What I am saying is every girl should break out of the cultural definition of beautiful and break into God’s definition of beauty so she can reach her fullest potential.

YOUR fullest potential. To discover and hone the very best parts of you; the true you. The absolutely gorgeous because you are comfortable in my own skin you.

And to do this, you must be brave!

 

To be the one who finds gossip repulsive and kindness exhilarating, you must be brave!

To break out of “normal” on the weekend, to stop turning your back on the wisdom you have, you’re going to have to be brave!

 

 

You, brave girl, can be the one who finds the courage to listen to wisdom instead of to her heart.

Yes, I’m telling you NOT to listen to your heart. Your heart will lie to you – just listen to Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.” The Message

Instead, listen to the One who loves you and will give you the bravery you need to be the best you you can be and teach your girl to be brave too! 

Be brave. Be brave enough to depend on God for your beauty to come from Him. Not from your make-up bag, closet or scale. Gorgeous is more than a face in the mirror. Gorgeous comes when God’s glory is glowing in you; flowing out of you.

 

Do you have a girl or know a girl you want to be brave? Brave enough to live out her full potential and glorify God in her own skin?

Invest in her life and give her “Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants”. Magnetic empowers young women to move past fixating on the temporary of now in order to reach for the best of her future!

Lynn

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

10 Ways to Help Your Girl Fall For Jesus: #youandyourgirl series (February)

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Every girl wants to be wanted. We’re born that way. Desiring attention, affirmation and approval. I think it is Jesus’ way of making us yearn for Him from the very beginning of our lives.

But I would venture to say most girls, most women, for that matter, don’t realize the reason for this craving. They just know they feel a void and their heart is telling them the empty space can be filled by a guy.

It can! His name is Jesus and the earlier we can start teaching our girls to lean into Him to have this place filled, the sooner they will experience unconditional love and potentially avoid making unwise choices and experiencing heartache.

So join me over the next 10 days as we help our girls fall in love with Jesus!

If this is your first time joining us for the monthly You and Your Girl Series, you can read more about it here and see what you might have missed!

Content taken from His Revolutionary Love and Devotions for a Revolutionary Year

Last month you were challenged to start new conversations with your girl. 

I would love to hear from you and what you learned about your girl.  Was there a day that was hard to talk with her.  Were you surprised by any of her answers?

Other women could will be encouraged to hear from you and your journey last week with your girl. If you missed each day, the post has been updated with all the graphics.  You can find it here.

Lynn

WWT: What is the Most Attractive Trait?

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On Monday, we started looking at the brave and confident lives of three guys – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Click here if you missed the first post.

Our three guys saw this whole set up, the craziness of King Nebuchadnezzer’s  plan, for what it was. They recognized that they were in a culture where they didn’t belong and they weren’t going to do what it took to belong. They may have been the “freshman” of society, but they had wisdom way past everyone else.

The police discovered our 3 guys; not that it would be hard seeing them standing while all are bowing. They reported Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to the king.

The Bible says, Neb was “furious with rage”, demanding the guys to be brought to him. This is when I think the 3 guys get really attractive; stand out among the rest. Listen to their response to King Neb, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

King Neb comes back in verse 19, “Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace (the place where the fire was held) heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and these three men firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.”

Courage. Bravery. Fearlessness. Spunk. Grit. Guts. Lion-hearted. Confidence.

You name it. It is attractive in guys and it is attractive in girls.

Gathering research for the book, “For Women Only” Shaunti Feldhaun asked guys what was the one thing they found most attractive. You know the number one answer was?

Confidence

It is what Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego had. It is what your girl can have  too, when she makes up her mind about who she wants to be. When she stops fixating on “that guy” and starts focusing on The Guy – Jesus. When she gets beyond trying to figure what outfit will catch his eye, what hairstyle he likes or just how to get his attention.

When she becomes brave enough to be herself; to become the best God created her to be, she becomes magnetic. Others will want to know what is different about her.

The difference is Jesus.

I think these three guys had decided way before this fateful day, what kind of guys they were going to be. The courage they displayed didn’t just “come over them” when the fire of pressure was turned up. No, they had made up their minds a long time ago. They pre-decided who they were going to be and every day, through their choices, they were becoming those guys.

Maybe Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego had memorized these words from the Bible and they were deep within their hearts:

 “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life…I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous…be very strong and courageous. Be careful to obey…do not turn to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go….meditate on my law day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:5 – 9

I think the guys knew this part of the Bible. They listened and soaked their hearts it in. They allowed God’s word to get in them and form them into who they were.

So on this day, this day when Neb is calling all those who are “in” to do what it takes to stay “in”, the guys were ready. They had already decided who they were and what they were about.

It was now the time to live it out.

Were they scared? You better believe it!

Did they want to back down? I’m sure they did!

Did they wonder, “What is this about, God? Why are we going through this? I love you, live for you…why?”

I can only imagine what was going through their minds.

No matter what their feelings were, they didn’t let feelings call the shots. The guys followed God’s word and it determined who they were and who they were going to be….no matter what it cost them.

Time to talk: What type of situations have you found yourself in or continue to find yourself in, where you have a choice to stand up or blend in? What types of feelings do you feel inside? Are you ready to start allowing the Lord to call the shots in these areas?

 

 

Lynn