Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day #9: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl series

Day 9, Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl: LORD, MAKE ME SELF-CONTROLLED

Day 9: Lord, Make Me Self-controlled


Oreos and milk.


My comfort.

My weakness.

My downfall.


In that order.


There is just something about the foods of childhood that I want to run to them, especially when adulthood has me down. They look so innocent with the flashing “2 for 1” sale tag in the cookie aisle. How can I pass up a chance to save my family money?


But once those circles of chocolate goodness enter my kitchen, the ability to leave them alone leaves me alone. Or so I feel.


Whether it is bringing home a new baby, starting a family activity or a shift in our work responsibilities, an addition to our agendas doesn’t always make for a smooth landing. That afternoon coffee, after dinner sweet or late night show seems to bring a comfort to the bumpy day of caring for everyone. It’s time to take care of me our mind whispers to our heart.

So how is the best way to take care of me?

Will the option I have in front of me bring the comfort I long for or will my inability to say no only create discomfort down the road?


Self-control, His control, is what I truly need to move me in the direction I want to go. I want to be a woman who is truly beautiful, when she is on top of her game and when she feels out of the game. The only way I can be that woman, the one who isn’t me-controlled, but Holy Spirit controlled, is for me to lean in to Him. Even when I am tired, overwhelmed or shaken. {Ok – especially when I am tired, overwhelmed and shaken.}


Jesus, this fruit of the Spirit, this last description is the hardest of all. Maybe that is why you put it at the end of the list. But just because it is last, doesn’t mean I want it any less. This season of change is pushing my buttons hard, Jesus. Help me to say “yes” to You, to Your control and “no” to being me-controlled especially in the area of _________________. Amen


Take a moment today to share with someone who loves you dearly the area you filled in the blank. My area has been my diet. I need to eat clean in order to stop the pain of inflammation in my back. So, I’ve told my husband, my kids, my mother-in-love, my Instagram. Who will you tell and ask to help hold you accountable?


If you have enjoyed praying these past 9 days for the fruit of the Spirit to be filling your life, take a minute and order Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants, a study for young woman in becoming the girl God wants. A girl overflowing with His beautiful traits of the Spirit. 


I’m making it super easy to study Magnetic this summer with the You and Your Girl Kit.  Make this the summer the two of you connect with each other and with God together!

To get the You and Your GIrl Kit, simply purchase copies of Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants for you and your girl. As soon as you send me your receipt with the purchase of 2 or more books, I’ll ship you:

* “Gorgeous is More Than a Face in the Mirror” magnets

* The Magnetic Manifestio frameable cards

* Fruit of the Spirit journal pages

* 40 Ice Breaker Questions

To make it even easier, the study guide is conveniently located in the back of Magnetic.

Packed with revealing quizzes, interviews with guys, and practical tools, Magnetic empowers young women to:

Move beyond negative thoughts, capricious emotions, and others’ opinions as she gains unshakeable confidence.
Limit the draining affect of “girl drama” so she can invest her time in becoming the best she can be.
Replace the agonizing frustration of wanting to be noticed and liked with a deep assurance that she already is.

As your girl lives out nine amazing characteristics—known as the fruit of the Spirit—she will not only cultivate an inner and outer beauty, but she will also hold an irresistible appeal for godly guys. Help her shift your focus from a guy to the Guy and become the magnetic young woman God created her to be.

If you have more than one daughter or you are starting a study with your girl and her friends (which is a terrific idea), just purchase a book for each. Magnetic also works as a journal, giving each participant a safe place to record her thoughts and all she is learning. Then, let me know how many you need and I’ll send enough kit supplies for everyone in your group (up to 10 of each)!

All you have to do is 2 simple steps:

1. Purchase your book through your favorite retailer. Paperback or eBook – which ever works best for you and your girl!
2. Email me a copy of your receipt to Include in your email your address and I’ll get the kit to you before school gets out!

Offer good through May 27, 2015


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Day #8: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl series

Day 8, Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl: LORD, MAKE ME GENTLY by Lynn Cowell

Day 8: Lord, Make Me Gentle


But I made this for you?


My whining tone even threw me off. Why was I overacting? All he said was he wasn’t hungry.


Slipping into my office, I gave myself a time out. I knew I needed to ask myself: What’s going on? Why are you so irritable? Why the short temper these past few days? What has triggered this? In less than 30 seconds I knew the answer.


I was tired.


When schedules are upside down and the pattern that was right is now not right at all, our minds grow weary. Routine brings a certain rhythm. When the design of our days is interrupted, we can easily be interrupted. Our gentleness is gone faster than my homemade cheesecake baked for a family birthday.


I’m so glad Jesus doesn’t expect us to be the do-it-all, have-it-all together girl. If that was the criteria to be His or to be used by Him, I’d be out. Because I don’t. I don’t have it all together. {Honestly, some days I don’t feel like I’ve got it half together!} But when I don’t, He still doesn’t leave me. He won’t judge me, condemn me or even get mad at me. In fact, He is gentle with me.


So as I receive His gentleness toward me, I pray that even in a season of change, I’ll be able to be gentle toward others. Because the more I accept His gentleness for me, the more I can pass on His gentleness to those around me.


Jesus, change brings out the bear in me. I get tired, weary and just plain worn out. I know You are gentle toward me. Thank you. I need it. Please help me to pass that gentleness on to those around me today. Amen


When do you most feel like you loose the ability to be gentle? When you are tired? Hungry? Angry? Overwhelmed? Target your trigger point. What is going on in you when you fail to be gentle?


Monday, May 18, 2015

Day #7: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl series

Day 7, Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl: LORD, MAKE ME FAITHFUL by Lynn Cowell

Day 7: Lord, Make Me Faithful


Lord, give me just 15 more minutes.


I grab my phone and slide the little button under my original alarm setting, giving me more time to prepare.


Prepare to face another day of different.


As I lay there, I can’t go back to sleep as I had hoped. Instead, I begin to pray; asking the Lord for healing my family members who are sick, work for those who need to provide and for me…the discipline to get out of my bed.


Lord, help me to place one foot on the floor so that I get up and spend time with You.


Changes in one area of our lives can bump into the peaceful patterns we once set in place. Getting out of bed to read my Bible and praying before my family awakens usually is not hard for me. But lately it has been. Very hard.


I don’t normally struggle except when I’ve tossed and turned the night before waiting for the daughter returning from a road trip.


Discipline is easy except when it is not.


I’m squirming in this place of expected interruption. Expected because life always has interruptions. And so, once again, I need Jesus to help me be faithful; help me be faithful through the change rather than waiting to become faithful after the change.


It is easier to maintain a discipline than to create a new one.

So, in this place of change, we ask our Lord, who understands our frailty, to empower us to keep being faithful. And when we find our faithfulness has failed, to stoop down and help us to begin again.


Without judgment or condemnation, He will do just that. Listen to His faithfulness toward us in Hosea 11:4, “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.” (NIV)


Jesus, thank you for reaching out to me when I struggle to be faithful. Faithfulness is so hard because it requires me so often to say no to me and yes to You. Help me today to be faithful to what You are calling me to do. Amen


What area are you struggling in to become faithful? What small change could you make today that would help you to conquer this struggle?


Day #6: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl series

Day 6, Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl: LORD, MAKE ME GOOD

Day 6: Lord, Make Me Good

The radio lyrics fanned the flame to reach the incredible pinnacle of 17. Everything in me just wanted to get through high school and be there already; experience the very best age possible.


Looking back, I don’t remember this last year of high school as a year I would want to relive because it was so amazing. I do recall a lot of tension. An uncomfortable time between my mom and I as my mind told me I was ready to leave home, but my reality didn’t make it quite possible. Stuck between the here and the not yet, the power struggle didn’t make my last months at home the most enjoyable…for anyone.


As nurturers, we can look back on our own growing up experiences and vow we won’t repeat them with those we love. We’ll give more freedom as they try to make their own decisions. We won’t require them to tell us where they are every minute of every day. We’ll do our best to let them grow up so they can learn to be responsible, productive young adults.


Then why is it, when we have all of the best intentions, we still find ourselves doing those things we don’t want to do?


Yelling when under stress. Withdrawing because we feel hurt. Closed-minded when our children dream the impossible.


I’m not quite sure the why behind all the things we do that we said we wouldn’t.


I do know: we’re not alone.


The apostle Paul did the same thing: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15)


So, when we find ourselves wanting to be less than good when it comes to loving others, we can stop beating ourselves up when we fail. We can trust that God wants to and will empower us with the strength and grace we don’t have in ourselves, but can find in Him. We can find this power just as Paul did: “we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit”. (Romans 7:6) We can find the ability to be good and serve others by His spirit.


You can do this, friend. You can give to your family in a way you could never do alone, but can do in His strength. We have to be sure we’re not doing it alone.


Jesus, if I am going to show and do any good today for those I love, I have to have Your Spirit living through me. Pour in me and then pour through me. Amen


Times of change can pull out the worst in us, tempting us to behave in ways we’re not proud of. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see and choose, today, the opportunities we have to do good.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Day #5: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl series

Day 5: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl: LORD MAKE ME KIND, by Lynn Cowell

Day 5: Lord, Make Me Kind


Ever extend an invitation to someone you have never met?


I had never even talked to Kelly before I called, proposing we get our children together to play. Her husband had just accepted a promotion to the same office as mine and they were getting used to a new city and home. Her garage was probably still filled with boxes demanding to be unpacked. Even so, she accepted my invitation.


It’s always a bit awkward having someone to your home you have never met. What do we talk about? What if our kids fight? Will this turn out ok? My mind swirled with so many questions. Anxiously, I hung close to the window so I could spot her car when Kelly drove up.


Right on time, her mom-sized vehicle found it’s way up my drive. Before I could turn from the window to head for the door, a towheaded youngster popped out of the backseat.


As soon as I saw him, I knew Kelly was a good mom.


It’s wasn’t the way the little guy took his mommy’s hand; waiting for her to lead. Nor was it because of some flowers he carried to tell me thanks. In fact, I would find him too shy to give what others might call a proper thank you. It wasn’t anything like that.


I knew Kelly was a good mom because of the way her son was dressed.


A sports jersey, mesh jogging shorts and cowboy boots was the “going-to-company” outfit of her four-year-old.


Honestly, my first thought was, “She’s crazy letting him out in public looking like that!” That was before I considered how truly amazing Kelly was.


Kelly wasn’t ignorant of her son’s appearance. As a very stylish person herself, she knew he looked ridiculous. Kelly had made a choice to not allow the appearance of her child to define who she was as a mom. Wisdom whispered her son’s heart was more important than her reputation as the perfect mom. Kelly listened to her heart. She let her son express his taste even if others might have thought his outfit was tasteless. Kelly chose kindness.


In times of transitions, our kids will be awkward. They will dress in ways we never would. They’ll say things we wish they wouldn’t. They’ll do things we’re sad they did.


If we think back, we did too! We put our parents through all of these same seasons.


Our place in this very special position as mom, is to be kind. To give them the grace they need to work through these awkward and painful times of change. Our privilege is to encouragement them as they work to get to the other side of their transition.


Jesus, help me to catch my thoughts before they become my words. Empower me to show my child kindness and grace as they work through seasons of transition. Make me gracious with them, as you are gracious with me. Amen


How can you show kindness to a young person in your life today?


Friday, May 15, 2015

Day 4: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl series

Day 4, Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl: Lord, Make Me Patient by Lynn Cowell

Day 4: Lord, Make Me Patient

“How to Survive 6th Grade”; that was the title of the book my husband told me I to write. Not for kids, but for parents! While this transition year is hard on kids, 6th grade seems to hold the potential to drive any mom crazy. Are they also going to be this awkward? Why do they struggle to be comfortable in their own skin? Is my child going to make it?


It’s not just the adjustment that comes with moving to 6th grade. Preschool to kindergarten. Elementary to middle school. Middle school to high school. Passenger to driver. Chaperoned to more alone time.


These transitions of moving from dependence to independence carry the possibility for exciting and new as well as fear and anxiety.


In the middle of this movement there is a bit of awkwardness.


Our kids want to drive our car, but not mow the lawn. Stay out late, but not wake up early. Go to a friend’s to play, but not pick up their toys. Have a sleep over, but not make their bed.


So, which are they? Child? Adult?




Yes, they are both. They are in transition and so are we.


The older our kids become, the pressure and the consequences of their actions grow. And our heart can hover, like a helicopter at an emergency scene, trying to find a place to land to assess the damage. We want to help.


But more times than not, our place is not to lift them, but launch them.


Help them to get on their own.


Lord, grow in me patience. Patience to watch my child struggle in the cocoon of change, for here she will gain the strength to become what You call beautiful. Amen


What season of change have you come out of, are in or are going into? Why will patience be the fruit of the Spirit you will need in it?



Is your girl struggling with patience during this time in her life? Plan to go through Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants this summer and together allow God to grow the fruit of the Spirit in both of you!


COMPEL Training: Subconscious narrative, sticky statement, hook


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day #3: Prayers to Pray During Change #YouandYourGirl series

Day 3 Prayers to Pray During Change #YouandYourGirl: Lord, Make Me Peaceful by Lynn Cowell

Day 3: Lord, Make Me Peaceful


Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27


Homeschool three kids? If you had told me when I was a young professional that one day I would homeschool three kids, I would have cracked up! The rolling-on-the- floor, holding-your-stomach, tears-streaming-down-my-face type of laughter. I just would not have thought I had what it would take.


Yet, here I was, trying to move on after my years of homeschooling. Was I supposed to get back into the business world? What value could I offer an employer even if I did go back to work? I had been out of the corporate culture too long; too much had changed in our race-to-the-top world. The loneliness of my quiet days were beginning to get to me, though, as I tried to figure my life out. What should I do now?


Life can be funny. What we thought we would never enjoy becomes our joy and then, before we know it, it is gone. Seasons and schedules move on; at least for everyone else. Though we don’t always show it on the outside, often our insides are stuck…and distressed.


When “normal” has broken up with me, all too often it feels like high school rejection all over again. I liked normal. We were getting along so well. Why did you have to go and dump me?


This is exactly when my history with God brings me His peace. Just as God knew what was best for that young, teen girl, God knows what’s best for me today. He knows what is best for you too! While we may not like change, we can still find His peace in the middle of it.


His peace.


He says it is not the kind to peace the world gives. We might view peace as the peace of having the money for our wants. The peace of our kids living exactly as we expected. The peace of putting down roots and getting to stay.


His peace is not circumstantial peace. His peace comes right into our trouble, meeting us right where the turmoil swirls.


Dear Jesus, I wish I could avoid this change, but I can’t. I know that even here you can bring me Your peace and Your best for me. Help me to look for Your peace so I will not be troubled and I will not be afraid. Amen


Take a moment to reflect on a time when you clearly saw God’s faithfulness. Reminding ourselves of these times can bring peace to our current circumstances. We’d love to hear your story of when you experienced God’s peace in your life!




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day #2: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl series

Day #2, Lord Make Me Joyful: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl by Lynn Cowell

Day 2: Lord, Make Me Joyful


“Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)


Painting the room. Buying the clothes. Filling drawers. There is something so very sweet about preparing to bring your child home for the first time.


At least it is supposed to be sweet.


Instead of preparing my home, I was packing my home. With five months left of my pregnancy, my husband received a job transfer 1,000 miles away from this dear place. Away from the friends we loved like family. Away from the church that embraced community.




My heart was broken. My last pregnancy was filled with joy. My closest friend and I were pregnant together. Friends who loved and took care of my family and me surrounded us. I would miss them so with the arrival of this little one.


I didn’t have the choice to move but there was one choice I did have: sorrow or sweet? I could choose to spend the reminder of my term lamenting over what I had lost or look forward with joy to what was to be.


Sometimes, we don’t think of joy as a choice. Joy seems too nebulous to be an option we have control over.


In Nehemiah 8, The Israelites were celebrating a season of change. The wall around the city of Jerusalem, which had been destroyed with enemy invasion, finally was rebuilt. The Israelites had much to be joyful about! The day of celebrating had come. Included in the festivities was the reading of God’s word, but as these words were read, the people wept as they listened.


The Bible doesn’t tell us why the people were weeping. They could have felt guilt for years of disobedience. They may have been overwhelmed with just how much the Lord loved them.


Whatever the reason, Nehemiah tells the people not to cry. He goes on to make this clear: joy is a choice. “Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10


I don’t think Nehemiah was saying we should never grieve. The Bible tells us there is “a time to a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:4 He was making it clear there is also a time to stop grieving and choose to be joyful.


The people obeyed Nehemiah’s instructions and the party erupted! “Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.” Nehemiah 8:12


It is not always easy to embrace change in our lives and choose joy. Like the Israelites though, we can make an intentional shift away from the sorrow to embrace the new God is doing. The choice is our’s.


Jesus, honestly, I don’t like this change. The future has me concerned and it doesn’t look all that bright. But, I will, find the strength to go through this new season well, knowing that Your joy will see me through. Amen


Today, be on the look out for where you can make the choice between sorrow or sweet. What action can you take to help yourself make the choice to be joyful?




Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day #1: Prayers to Pray During Times of Change #YouandYourGirl series

Day 1: Lord, I Want to Be Loving


Day 1: Lord, I Want to Be Loving #youandyourgirl. 9 Prayers to Pray During Times of Change by Lynn Cowell

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34 – 35


Why couldn’t he just do it my way?


The irritation spark fanned by my prideful thoughts combusted. Nine hours of flying plus miles of unknown roads had flat worn out our family. Looking for the easiest way to get the bags out of the car and into the quiet hotel, I offered my suggestion. {Was it suggestion? I think command-disguised-in-a-sweet-tone-of voice is more like it.)


Not seeing my plan as the best means of unloading our vehicle, my husband shared his idea and we embarked. While I would like to say his plan was fine with me, it was not. As we turned the corner to discover a one-way street, the turn into the parking deck came up too quick. We drove right past the entrance and the heat in my head began to smolder. If he had listened to me, we would have been in our room by now. Circling the block once again, we found our turn and came to a halt in the hotel’s garage. While finally making progress on checking in to the hotel, my girl and her friend quietly slid toward the back of the elevator. They had no idea what to do while the silence hung in the stale, city air.


Now would have been a good time for me to apologize for my crummy, prickly attitude. I could have chosen to move on and finish our day well. Key word: could have. Instead, the tension didn’t lessen as I continued to hang my pride on the always available hook “My way was better”.


He doesn’t value me whispered my heart.


That’s when my senses finally began to return. That was a flat out lie. My husband does value my opinion and more often than not, chooses my suggestions over his own method. My embryonic reasoning was interrupted as my man lovingly chose to part the silence. “What happened back there?” He asked. Reality finally began to break through the clouds of my demeanor. Under the pressure of environmental and time changes, I had allowed myself to become defensive. I finally saw that if I had given it a chance, love could have won a long time ago.

At the crossroads of peace and conflict,

love makes a right turn. 


When we are in uncomfortable, even scary, situations, being defensive can be the first reaction coming to our rescue. We can, however, learn to recognize the warning signs before we choose conflict.


Listen to the first whispers in your head. Combative or loving? Let’s stop our words and actions. Give ourselves a few moments and long enough to pray a simple prayer.


Lord, this situation makes me uncomfortable, even a bit scared. I can feel myself wanting to be defensive in order to protect my heart. Please empower me to respond in love instead. Amen


In the changes in your life, how are you tempted to be unloving? How can you turn around your words and attitudes to show unconditional love to those around you?




Monday, May 11, 2015

#YouandYourGirl May Series: 9 Prayers to Pray During Times of Change

9 Prayers to Pray During Times of Change by Lynn Cowell


 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)


Dragging my feet and my heart, I headed to her room, finding her buried in schoolbooks. She was responsible; I hadn’t been.


Welling up with tears, I began my apology. Seems like I’ve been doing that a lot lately. This time I failed to order my daughter’s graduation announcements.


What kind of mom am I?


My girl reassures me: this is not an emergency. Smiling and tilting her head as I blubber my confession, she looks at me as if I’m from another planet. Not because I forgot, but because I’m crying. Who is this woman? I imagine her thinking.


I know she must wonder about me these days.


Lately I haven’t been recognizing me either. The normal organized, rational, on-the-task woman can’t seem to keep it all together.


Maybe the forgetting isn’t so unintentional. Could this be my heart’s way of trying to put off the inevitable?


On my desk sits the form, the one I’ve procrastinated completing, requiring me to admit her age. She’s an adult now. How did that happen? My mind wanders Will she still need me? Who am I now? What is my place?


When I began preparing for our You and Your Girl series this month, I intended to write 9 prayers to pray for your girl during times of change. That’s what this series this year is about – our girls. Then I realized, as I read the traits I wanted to pray for my daughters this month, I was the one who needs these prayers.


I’m guessing like me, you’ve either just come out of a season of change, are entering a season of change or one is just on the horizon. It might not be your youngest graduating from high school. You might be returning to school, making a move or looking for a new job. Change swirls in and around the lives of all of us. Just when we adjust, like a squirming toddler, life just won’t stay still. We finally think we’ve got control, when chaos erupts. One activity stops while two are added. And whether we like the new that has come, or we wish we could run and hide, our feelings don’t change the inevitable.


To handle this constant change well requires traits that I haven’t completely developed yet. Under pressure I have thought I’m just not patient. I can’t be kind. We want to wait until it is easier to be kind or self-controlled.


Maybe, just maybe, change is God’s way of bringing the change. He just might be setting up this opportunity for me to grow into the woman He knows I can become.


We can allow the pressure of transition to transform us. We can permit the rain and the sunshine in our lives to grow in us His fruit, the kind described in today’s key verse: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.


Every day we are becoming. The question is who are we becoming? During the planting, watering and weeding of change, if we will be diligent and faithful during each season, we will see beauty instead of bitter grow in our lives. As we lean into God, asking for strength through the peace or through the pain, He will make us into the woman He’s intended for us to become.He will make us women who are becoming His definition of beautiful.


Over the next 9 days, let’s pray for God to do His work in us, while we do the work of investing in our girls through seasons of change.


Jesus, I don’t always like the change that comes in my life, but I do want to be beautiful instead of bitter. Grow in me the traits you call gorgeous and help me to embrace this season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.