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Monday, July 21, 2014

It’s Not Unattractive to Him

What does this week hold for you?

Are you excited about it? A little scared? Full of boldness?

All of those adjectives describe me.

This is the week the team of Proverbs 31 Ministries invites women from all around the world to come to Concord. Those who feel a calling to speak and write gather together to learn and encourage each other for a few days at a conference we host called She Speaks Conference.

And it is all things great and overwhelming for us at the same time.

So, before I head into the preparation chaos of the office, I soak my heart because I know it’s going to get poured out a lot today.

Psalm 144:1 -2 provides the quenching liquid I need:

“Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield and I will take refuge in him…” Psalm 144:1-2a

And as I read, my heart creates a prayer:

God, thank you that my neediness is not unattractive to you. Thank you for delighting in being my rock, my loving ally, my fortress, tower of safety and rescuer. Today, this week and for my lifetime. My shield – make this week the week I learn more about war. I know you have given me everything I need for the battle ahead.

Filled with His peace, I will tuck it close to my heart and hang on. Keeping close to me what is really important. Not that the efforts to color lift my hair yesterday gave it a slightly orange tint in direct light. Not that I’m getting my pictures for my website taken on Tuesday immediately after getting my top braces off and hope this “orange” doesn’t show up and not that my frig is completely empty yet I am leaving my family for four days.

I’ll cling today to what I have the opportunity to do: embrace this day, this week and look for Him in it all.

Could you keep me in your prayers this week if the Lord brings me to mind? I have the amazing opportunity to speak twice at She Speaks and I so want to say only what He wants me to say and keep quiet about the rest. Also, I won’t be back until next week…whichever day I can recover :)

You are precious to me and even more precious to Him!

What does your week hold? How do you need to look to Him to be your rock?

Lynn

Friday, July 18, 2014

Does the Source Matter?

The winner from Wednesday’s post: See What You Don’t See Coming is Martha who posted July 16th at 9:56 a.m. Please email me at Lynn@LynnCowell.com, Martha, and I’ll ship the Wise Women Raising Wiser Daughters Gift Pack.

 

I hadn’t even thought of it; didn’t recognize the words I said as potentially hurtful. That was before my daughter pointed it out.

With kindness and respect, Madi helped me see what I had not.

Hours later, Madi asked, “Why are you quiet, Mom?” Not realizing I was quiet, I let her know I was just taking her correction to heart.

“I didn’t mean to correct you! Correcting someone is bad.”

And that is when our teacher/student role reversed.

Psalm 141:5 says, “Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is a soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it…” (NLT)

David tells us correction is a gift; an opportunity for me to change for the better. Every time we are presented with this opportunity, we have a choice: take it or leave it. In this verse, David indicates the wise person takes the chance to grow.

When I accept correction, no matter the source, I model for children how to resist pride. Since pride has always been a struggle for me, this is another verse I need to take to heart.

How do you deal with correction? Does it matter who that correction is coming from?

Lynn

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

See What You Don’t See Coming

 

 I would venture to say many of you can relate to my story today of teen angst, either when you experienced it or have been caught in it’s whirlwind with a child.

If we are going to teach another to fight emotions that seem too powerful and deal with mood swings that try to take her peace away, we’ve got to first put this into practice ourselves.

Partnering with the Holy Spirit, we can follow these:

5 Tips to Guarding Our Hearts:

1) Be selective to what we listen to

Noise of all sorts surrounds us constantly: tv, radio, iPods, conversations. And while we might think they are no big deal, these sounds are in fact a very big deal. Our ears might be tuned out, but our hearts are constantly tuned in. Put in your ears and your heart.

Just last night, my older daughter decided to watch an old ’80′s movie; one I had not actually seen. But when I came in to see what she was watching, it just took the sound of the music to instantly transport me back to a dance floor my senior year of high school. A place I didn’t want to be!

A sentence or phrase, not matter how small, can be all our hearts need to get tugged to a place of vulnerability. We have to be on guard.

2) Be careful with social media

Again, you might think this is just a kid thing, but it is not! My husband just recently got a Facebook account (he avoided it until it was a company requirement). After “friending” him, my eyes slipped over to pictures of the many old friends from our high school. Again, memories pulled at my heart.

Our kids need to be selective with who they follow and what is read on social media…and so do we. Remember, the enemy doesn’t need an open door; just a tiny crack!

3)  Be choosy who you surround yourself with

It is so important to pay attention to who we spend time with and how much time we spend with them. Jesus invested in those whose’s hearts were empty and needed to know His love, but He also spent much time with His father and those who loved Him. Pour love on those in your life who have yet to know Jesus, but be intentional to have an inner circle of friends who are also pouring into you.

4) Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day

Recently, I found myself feeling a bit distant from God. When I looked at my life, I couldn’t spot any sin in the way; nothing stood out right away. Then I realized I had been “Bible snacking”. That’s what I call the days when I get in a quick reading and prayer before I plunge into a busy day.

We might be able to do that for a couple of days in a row, but when quick moments with God become too often our norm, our hearts can get worn down. And as I tell my girls, “When we’re down spiritually, it is really easy to get down emotionally as well.

5) Be sure to get enough sleep

Seem like a strange step for guarding your heart? I know in my life, when I am tired and worn out, all kinds of things can go wrong. I can make poor choices in what I eat, what I watch and toward whatever is easy. Being on guard requires energy and for that, we need to be caught up on our sleep!

Gift pack

Today, I’m giving away a Raising a Wiser Daughter Gift Pack which includes His Revolutionary Love and Devotions for a Revolutionary Year, a DVD and CD message of His Revolutionary Love, a CD message Building a Bridge to Your Child’s heart and a His Revolutionary Love wrist band to help a young woman to fill her heart with the unconditional love of Jesus and empower them to guard their hearts.

To enter for a chance to win, share which one of the 5 Steps to Guarding Your Heart you think is the most important for you. I will announce the winner on Friday!

 

PS….it is getting closer! Only two months until my new book releases: Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants! I can’t wait! Be sure to sign up for my posts to get all the news of our big party with lots of give aways!

 

 

Lynn

Monday, July 14, 2014

 

lonely in families .jpg

 

There is a wedding happening here.

Right here, as in my backyard, this Saturday.

Just as this verse says, my dear friend, Julie, is being set in a new family.

She has a family now, a very good family. Parents and a sister who love her dearly, but who are also very far away. She also has children she loves with all of her heart.

She’s also been a part of my family. Walking through the highs and lows of life, we’ve enjoyed many years of being her family away from her family.

But this Saturday, something new is beginning. A new family is coming together; a new place for God to do His work and blend his love.

God does set the lonely in families; in different ways and in different seasons. As His children, we can partner with Him in this work. We can be aware; look around, for those who need a family, a place to be cared for.

Who can you open your doors and heart to become family to today?

 

http://www.lynncowell.com/2014/07/3820/

Lynn

Monday, July 7, 2014

Not If, But When

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One word stuck out: when.

“For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock….at his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.” Psalm 27:5,6

Yep…the Bible definitely says when, not if.

So I have to stop having the mentality “when we just get passed this one” when it comes to my trials. Because when we get passed this one, there will be another. And another. And another.

That’s just the way life on this planet works.

Now the good news: when the trouble comes, we can find our safe place in Him, not to escape the storm, but to be secure until this one passes.

We can help hold each other up during the storm; come alongside instead of criticize.

Are you in a storm today? Me too! How can I pray for you?

Lynn

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom Tip: The Friendship Factor

SuzieLowerCreek

 

Yesterday, my dear friend and fellow Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker Suzie Eller wrote a beautiful devotion yesterday called When You Feel Stalled about a day she and I went hiking together in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

She begins her devotion:

“I hung on to a vine to climb over one more rock. My heart was beating hard, and I struggled to catch my breath.

My friend turned in concern. “Are you okay?”

Well, yes and no.”  (You’ll have to read the devotion to see the rest!)

 

The day I left my family to go and spend a couple of days in the mountains with my sweet friend, my daughter asked me, “Why are you guys going up there?”

“To spend time together.”

No other reason. The sole purpose for our trip was to enjoy the gift God has given us…our friendship.

Our extremely busy culture doesn’t seem to embrace friendships as much as the days of the Sunday afternoon visits and front porch tea. But we need friends, real past-the-front door friends more than ever!

As women, our girls will take their clue about the value of friendships and the place they hold in our lives from us.

What friend have you been missing? Give her a call. Make a date. Take some time.

 

Friendships…they’re good for you; they’re good for your family!

Lynn

Monday, June 30, 2014

Am I Messing Up My Kids?

AmIMessingUp_slider-01

I have definitely asked myself that question!

Join Proverbs 31 Ministries for our next study: Am I Messing Up My Kids? … and Other Questions Every Mom Asks by Lysa TerKeurst

Limitless LifeJuly 13-August 23, 2014

Do you ever lie awake in bed at night worrying about your children and wondering if you have what it takes to be the mom they need? So do we.

Join our active community of moms of all ages from all over the world!

Our 6-week study of Am I Messing Up My Kids? will equip you to:

  • Overcome the weight of mom-guilt and learn how to forgive yourself for honest mistakes.
  • Stop comparing yourself to “perfect” moms by turning to God for perspective, guidance and permission to be the mom He’s created you to be.
  • Anchor your identity to who you are in Christ instead of chaining your worth as a mom to your kids’ fragile choices.

Your life can be crazy. Your Bible study doesn’t have to be. We offer real hope for real life.

Click here to sign up!

 

Lynn

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What’s the Point?

Today I am so happy to share with you my precious partner in ministry, Bonnie Wallace. She is so gracious to work along side me, in whatever way I need. She does it with a smile; expecting nothing in return. Listen to the wise words from this beautiful mother of 5.

Bonnie

 

What’s the point when you think you’ve given all you have until your blue in the face, worn in the heart and the mouth is weary from words?  So. Many. Words.  What’s the purpose when the children you love take all the training you’ve poured and they reject and despise you for it?  When the roll of the eyes, the slam of the door and the slander of the tongue leave your efforts feeling useless and dry?

What do you do when all of your mothering energies seem to have evaporated in the foul heat of the world? When the scale of effort slams hard to the light yield of fruit seen and those that you have labored over choose less than God’s best?

Those darling babes can leave a mother feeling let down; despondent by harvest not seeming to equal work.

I am a mama of five, and sometimes the want of children giving God glory seems out of reach.  And when I am feeling worn, and like none of my efforts matter, I do the only thing a mama can do – I go to God’s Word.

This is what He gives me:

But I myself said: I have labored in vain,

I have spent my strength for nothing and futility;

yet my vindication is with the Lord,

and my reward is with my God.

Isaiah 49:4 (HCSB)

 

I say, “Yes.”  My head nods in agreement and my soul is calmed with reassurance that my efforts do not go in vain.  And just when I think I understand and believe God has given me enough for the day, He takes me a step further and He gives me more.

He always loves me beyond my expectation and my deserve.

He breathes me this:

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, children, a reward.

Psalm 127:3 (HCSB)

 

In the way that only Jesus can, He takes the two, ties them tight together and He binds the heart of a mother wanting Him for hers.  His intertwining Word gives me guarantee that my work will be blessed and reward is always a promise granted by Him.

The point is, children are a reward and the reward is always with God.

I do not have to rely on my efforts, my words or my works.  My hope is in the promise of the Lord.

 

I know too many mamas whose hearts are stretched thin and tight between hope and glory; the hope that their efforts today will produce generation-glory for tomorrow.   They are good mamas who love and care and pray and seek and knock.  They’ve been a direct arrow of God’s grace and love and they’ve done well to hit that mark far more often than they’ve missed.

If you are one of these, do not be discouraged by what you cannot see, but rather, be refreshed that the only work done in His Name must be born out of His Name, too.  He is with those children that you love; the ones who are a reward out of His generous heart and the assurance of His blessing.  Your work will not go in vain and He will bring righteousness to His cause.

 

Jesus, I ask You to refresh my efforts for my children with the assurance of Your Word.  Comfort me with the understanding that my children are a reward born of, and in, Your Name.  Give me confidence that You are with them and with me, that my efforts are not in vain and that You will bring righteousness to Your cause.  It is in the Name of Jesus I pray.

 


Bonnie’s passion is encouraging women to seek God-purpose for the next season of life, as their children move forward in their own.  She is the creator of “Live Like YouKnow …where you are going”.  Her desire is for women to know, “The best is always yet to be.”  She does this through speaking events and her online, devotional site.  You can connect with Bonnie on her blog at bonniejwallace.orgFacebook, and Twitter.

 

Lynn

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Can I Make a Suggestion?

Conversationsbeginning
The winners of two tickets to my “When More is Not Enough” conference this Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma are:
Tina who posted June 24, 2014 at 7:44 am  and Freeda who posted June 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm. Please email me at lynnettecowell@gmail.com and we’ll get you registered!
As I prepared to write this week’s Wednesday Wisdom Tip I realized: I have been writing these tips for over four years! That’s a lot of tips and a lot of life I have lived with my three kids! I’ve had two graduate and go off to college with my last child being a senior this year!
Today, I thought instead of giving a tip, I would shared a tip I needed! It came from one of my readers: Sue H. Last week, Sue shared this tip on my post “The Letting Go”:
“I have a 23 and 21 year old. I say the phrase, “That is just a suggestion,” a lot when giving my “kids” advice. It is so hard for me to sit there and watch them make their decisions sometimes, but I know I am not trusting God with them if I am constantly hovering.”
Like Sue, I have kids who are no longer kids. Zach will be 23 in just a few days and Mariah will be 20 in August. The time has definitely come for me to share suggestions too!
But I don’t think this is just for those of us with adult children. I can utilize this wisdom with my daughter still at home.

Sometimes, our choice of words can make all the difference. The difference between a conversation beginning or ending.

“Can I share with you how I see it?”
“Do you have a minute to talk?”
“When you have a minute, could you…”
When I choose words that show my child I respect him or her, not in the aspect of authority, but because they are a living, breathing creation of God, walls come down and windows of conversation can open up.
What “line” can you change today, to demonstrate to your child you respect her as one of God’s own?
Lynn

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Want to Get Away for the Day? {Give Away Day}

 

Not enough.

Your husband, kids, career. You secretly feel like it’s just not enough. There has to be more. There is!

This Saturday, Lynn will share her own discovery of finding the truth of how God sees us; how He can fill our lonely, aching hearts and how completely transforming His love is! Join us and you will walk away knowing:

*Ways to stabilize your emotional life and avoid spiritual highs and lows.
*Where to finally find loving acceptance and lasting approval.
*The definition of spiritual maturity.
*How to be empowered to become spiritually mature.Ever feel frustrated? Like what you have, your house, your marriage, your job…it’s not enough.

We would love to have you spend the day with us in Norman, Oklahoma this Saturday learning what His “more” is!

For this special day for women and teen girls too, my friend, Donna and I, would like to help you join us with a give away!

Donna is going to give away two tickets and so am I!

 

“When More is Not Enough” 

Saturday June 28, 2014

10:00 am to 2:00 pm 

 Alameda Church of Christ in Norman, 801 Alameda St. Norman, OK 73071.

 

You can learn more at:  http://alamedacofc.org/node/1702

 

If you would be able to join us and want to win a pair of tickets, just say “I’m in!” in the comments below! Tomorrow on my Wednesday Wisdom Tip, I’ll announce two winners – each winning a pair of tickets!

Lynn