Friday, October 31, 2014

When My Mind Says “Fail”

AllComingTogether

 

“My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises.” Psalm 57:7 (NLT)

 

Fail. It’s a word I’ve heard my kids use when something goes wrong. Just plain “fail”.

 

And it’s how I felt. In charge of an event, I had done all I knew to do to make the weekend what I would define as “successful”. According to my measurement, I had fallen so short.

 

Confused, I’d wondered why God didn’t help me. I was doing it for Him. You would think He would have stepped up and helped me. Now it was over and I found my mind swirling.

 

What did I do wrong? Maybe I’m just not cut out for this?

 

What I felt was anything but confident.

 

In today’s verse, David speaks of confidence. Confidence placed in the right source: “My heart is confident in you, O God.”

 

You might think when David wrote the words from today’s verse, life was going amazingly well. Ruling from his castle, eating chocolate and watching re-runs. Moments from marrying the king’s daughter and living “happily ever after”.

 

His reality, in fact, was so far from “well”. As he penned these words, he was literally running from a mad man who not only wanted to kill him, but also had the power to do so.

 

At least he was surrounded by family encouraging him and a spouse supporting him like I was. Friends telling him he would make it through like I had.

 

No, that wasn’t the case either. When David wrote the words, “my heart is confident in you, O God, no wonder I can sing your praises” he was hiding in a cave, with 400 guys who were also running from trouble, in debt or just plain discontented with life as they knew it.

 

Here, in this awful situation, David reaffirmed his security hadn’t changed; it was still built on God.

 

According to my study Bible, the word translated confident in the original Hebrew

means: set in place, make secure, to be made ready, be attached.

 

I love this last definition: be attached. I immediately get a mental picture of a girl with a boyfriend on her arm or a new bride. Her face glowing, she’s confident. She’s attached to someone and that someone cares deeply about her. This relationship brings her confidence.

 

David’s relationship brought him confidence as well. Despite his horrific circumstances, David experienced security because God was with him even in those circumstances.

 

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, attached, even when our mind says “fail”.

 

Jesus, the way you define failure and the way we define failure is so very different. I know often my circumstances are a set up to teach me where is the secure place to build my confidence. Always and only on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

This weekend, no matter what your circumstances may say, may your heart say, I am confident in You, O God.

 

Lynn

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom Tip: {Exclusive Video & Discussion Questions} What Do Guys Really Want

The winners from yesterday’s post, 10 Ways to Living Out Good, are Lynette Myers who posted October 28, 2014 at 7:07 am and Jenny Lenarz who posted on October 28, 2014 at 9:34 am. Congratulations! Please email me name and address to Lynn@LynnCowell.com and I’ll get them right out!

 

Video Shoot

When writing Magnetic, I had the privilege to interviewing some really guys and asking them the question:

What do you find attractive in a girl?

I knew from the Q&A time at my conferences that this was a question many girls wanted to know. I think the answers will surprise many {including you}!

Video Shoot - Zack

 

This free resource – the following video and discussion questions – is a great conversation starter for you and your girl or for your small group! This is a wonderful opportunity to reenforce – gorgeous is more than skin deep.

 

 

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

For the free discussion questions, just click here.

Lynn

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10 Ways to Living out Goodness in Our Families


WhatGoodAmI

If you are joining me here today from my Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion, welcome! I’d love to connect with you further through Facebook, TwitterInstagram,  and Pinterest at Lynn Cowell and by sharing with you my Wednesday Wisdom Tips which you can get by subscribing here!

I want to known as a woman who is a bringer of good to those around me and I want to teach my kids to be the same!

We’re told: “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.” Proverbs 3:27 (NLT) Let’s take a look at :

10WaysToLiveOutGood

10 Ways We can Live Out Good in our Families

 

1. Think before we talk.

My friend Kelly shared with me a piece of advice she gave to her daughter this week: “What we think & what we say don’t have to be the same thing!”

2. Look for small acts of goodness.

The elderly with groceries, the neighbor’s garage can that needs to be taken up. These are all invitations to do good.

3. Refuse to point out mistakes.

When we make a mistake, we know it right? Let’s stop pointing out the obvious.

4. Serve each other.

Need a napkin? Dishes need unloading? We can serve before we’re asked demonstrating goodness.

5. Give out compliments

If you have a good thought, say it!

6. Find the positive in the bad.

Rainy day? Play in it! Bleach on a shirt? Tie die it! Look for the good even when it seems all bad.

7. Serve together.

The holidays are coming; what a great time to serve together! Make shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Sponsor a needy child.

8. Give together.

Last year, my husband asked our children to pick a ministry they would like to give to. It was beautiful to see where their hearts gravitated toward!

9. Stop Gossip.

Make gossip a dirty word in your house. If it’s not good, it’s a no-go.

10. Get gorgeous!

Goodness is a trait of the fruit of the Spirit – something that draws others to Jesus and to Jesus in us as well. Let’s teach our kids – gorgeous is more than a face in the mirror. Goodness is gorgeous!

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (NIV)

Do you know a teen girl you long to see grow in goodness and reach her God-given potential? Today I’m giving away two personalized copies of my latest book Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants, a study based on the fruit of the Spirit.

To enter to win a copy, simply share below which of the 10 ways to living out goodness you will do today. {To enter, you must enter in the comments. If you are receiving this by email, please head to my website at www.LynnCowell.com).

I will announce the winner tomorrow on my Wednesday Wisdom Tip – an exclusive video and discussion questions – What Do Guys Really Want?

Lynn

Friday, October 24, 2014

It’s Not About My Opinion Any More

Congratulations to Sandy who posted on 10/22 at 8:21 for winning “Your Life Still Counts” and to Amanda Evans who posted at 10/18 at 6:59 a.m. and Carissa who posted at 10/18 at 11:37 a.m. on winning copies of “Everyday Confetti”. Please send me your full name and addresses to Lynn@LynnCowell.com and I’ll get those sent out!

 

All my life I’ve been very opinionated.

I’m sure when I was little, it came off as a know-it-all.

In middle and high school, I was judgmental.

And now…I’m just trying to get to this place:

Where it’s no longer about my opinion, but about what God says.

 

We’ve all got opinions. And sometimes, that’s great.

What color I should dye my hair or paint my laundry room.

If I should work out by walking or go to a boot camp.

Whether I should keep my hair longer or go with a shorter style.

All great opportunities for me to express myself and my style.

But…

When it comes to issues where God has spoken in His word, that’s where my opinions have to end. It doesn’t really matter what I think. All that matters is what God said. And when I come to the place, where there is nothing standing between me and obeying Him, that’s when He can really do something in me.

Will you join me?

Set our opinions aside and surrender to what He says. 

 

Lynn

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom Tip: Your Life Still Counts

But what if my own story is a mess? 

This is a question moms often ask me after sharing my Wise Women Raising Wiser Daughters message. In this session, I encourage moms to share their stories with their daughters. Stories of their greatest moments…and their worst.

Because here is the thing:

Chances are your girl has already had some worst moments…you just don’t know about it. By you sharing with them the times when you got it right and the times you have not, you are opening the door for them to share back.

At the Magnetic Experience event just a couple of weeks ago, a mom shared with me that just that week her girl broke down and told her of some poor choices she had been making. After emptying her heart, she told her mom, “I knew I could tell you and you wouldn’t judge me.”

When we share with our girls the things we would want to change about our past, we can teach them Christ doesn’t want anyone living in the shadow of their past, but in the light of His future for them. While we don’t encourage them to make poor choices, we do want them to know God is bigger than their mess ups and our’s.

We can’t change the past but we can allow God’s truths to change our hearts, and in turn, change our future by embracing God’s promise that He will never waste our pain.

Maybe you’re thinking, but I’m still haunted by my past.

You are not alone! 

That is one reason I am so excited about my friend, Tracie Miles, new book Your Life Still Counts

Tracie has learned that God has a special plan and purpose for each of our lives – not despite our past, but because of it. Through her new book she shares the healing, hope, and peace found in Jesus Christ while inspiring women to look at their past experiences as a foundation for an amazing purpose God has in store for them.  Your Life Still Counts will help you:

  • Break free from the pain of your past by learning how God can mend your deepest hurts
  • Restore self confidence by embracing your value and worth in the eyes of Christ
  • Uncover your spiritual gifts and qualifications by exploring your past with a new perspective
  • Embrace life with new passion and purpose by discovering your life still matters to Christ
  • Be inspired to step out of your comfort zone and pursue the life of purpose God designed for you

BookCover_YLSC

Today, I’m giving away a copy of Your Life Still CountsFor an opportunity to win, share below how you feel about being vulnerable with your girl or those in your small group. If you’re in a hurry, just say, “I’m in!”. I will announce both the winner from last Friday’s Teaching our Girls the Holidays Don’t Have to Be Harried Give Away and Your Life Still Counts this Friday!

Lynn

Friday, October 17, 2014

Teaching Our Girls the Holidays Don’t Have to Be Harried Plus a {Give Away}

The winner of Magnetic from Wednesday’s Wisdoms Tip: The Top Reason Your Daughter Shouldn’t Date in High School is Cindy H in Texas who posted at October 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm. Email me your full name and address Cindy and I’ll get it sent right out!

What was your home like during the holidays growing up?

Since I was number 7 of 8 kids, Thanksgiving and Christmas meant my older siblings came from afar bringing many, many nieces and nephews with them. I know there was no way of getting around it, but my mom didn’t do much celebrating. Literally day and night for days before, during and cleaning up afterward, she was buried under preparations for all those people living under our little roof for several days.

I guess I thought that is just the way it was supposed to be. Mom did the work; the family enjoyed her work.

Fortunately, the past few years, God has brought into my life some women, who believe investing in your family doesn’t mean you land in crazy land after January 1st. Learning from their que, I have so learned to curb back. Do a few things that are my family’s absolute favorites and let the rest fall away.

We can pass onto our girls:

The holidays are about people;

not projects or parties.

If the projects and parties are part of celebrating and investing in “our people” – great! Let’s do it! But if the projects and the parties are more about doing what we’re “supposed” to be doing and actually take us away from our people during the holiday season – let it go! Let’s focus on enjoying those we love not fixating on having it all.

My friends, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer are two of the people who have really pointed me in this new thinking. They have a fabulous free resource to help us get our priorities about our people in the place just before November hits!

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It is called 7 Days to a Hassle-Free Holiday

To sign up, simply enter your email address and for the next 7 days you will receive ideas and encouragement for taking the hassle-out of the holidays in your cleaning, decorating, cooking and baking, gift-giving, and traditions. You’ll also be given some great out-reach ideas to help your family focus on giving and serving rather than getting and “stuff”. And finally, as an added bonus, Karen and Glynnis share 25 easy and delicious recipes as a PDF that include:

  • Holiday get-together (or take on the road) dishes

  • DIY food gifts

  • Quick and easy dinners for those crazy-busy holiday-prepping days

  • Fun foods to make with kids

  • Retro Christmas cookies

(Don’t forget – these are ideas you can pick from, not a list to do!!)

CLICK HERE to sign up for the free resource 7 Days to a Hassle-Free Holiday.

And, please leave a comment telling us what most casues you hassle at the holidays. Karen and Glynnis will be giving away two copies of their book Everyday Confetti: Your Year-Round Guide for Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions.

 

Lynn

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom Tip: The Top Reason Your Girl Should Put Off Dating In High School

FocusOnBecoming2

 

You don’t want to depress your girl, but she might need to know this.

I did a Google search (because you know everything on the internet is true, right?) and typed in:

 “At what age do guys mature?”

The answers might just bum them out a bit.

A National Institutes of Health study proposes that the part of the brain that restrains risky behavior, including reckless driving, and thinking skills is not fully developed until the age of 25.

That’s the brain. When it came to emotions, the top three posts all said 43! 43 years old is when the male brain is fully mature when it comes to emotions.

Maybe, like me, you’ve taught your girl: “Make your list of what you are looking for in a guy and don’t settle.” I’m not saying we shouldn’t teach this; we should. Here is the deal though: for guys to be the guys that matches up with her list, chances are they’re probably not in high school!

With that in mind, challenge your girl today to make a switch. To bravely make the switch from looking for the guy to becoming the girl.

Take this time. This amazing time in her life, to focus on becoming the girl. Becoming the girl who is reaching her fullest potential. The girl who is investing her time, energy and emotions becoming the best she can become; the best God created her to become.

Then, if and when God brings that mature godly guy into her life, she’ll be the mature godly girl too.

 

Copy this graphic today and text, Tweet or Instagram your girl today. Empower her to reach her fullest potential!

Today I’m giving away a personalized copy of Magnetic. 

Packed with honesty, encouragement and perspective-changing truth Magnetic  (available at AmazonB&NCBDeverywhere books are sold), empowers girls and young woman to reach their fullest potential by focusing on becoming who God made them to be! A girl who reflects God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. A girl who will attract the right type of guy one day: one who loves God with all his heart and who will cherish her!

To enter to win, share in the comments below your thoughts on dating in high school. I’ll post today’s winner on Friday’s post: Teaching our Girls the Holidays Don’t Have to Be Harried. 

Today’s post is an excerpt from my message “Are You Brave Enough?” from the Magnetic Experience. If you are interested in learning more about hosting a Magnetic Experience in your community, just email me at Lynn@LynnCowell.com.

 

Winner from Friday’s post, The Push I Need, is Monica who posted at October 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm (Edit). Please email me at Lynn@LynnCowell.com your full name and address and we’ll get out to you Just Rise Up!  by Sarah F. Martin.

 

Lynn

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Push I Need

The winner of I Want God by Lisa Whittle from Wednesday’s post: When Our Daughters Will Want God is Amber M. who posted 2014/10/08 at 12:20 . Please send me your full name and address, Amber to Lynn@LynnCowell.com and I’ll get it right out. 

 

It’s been just what I’ve needed. Maybe you need it too? With all the investing we do as we women, we need other women to come along side us, pushing us to grow and reach our fullest potential. My friend, Sarah Martin has been doing for me that last couple of weeks. Sarah When I read this passage yesterday in Just Rise Up, I thought, “That is exactly what Magnetic is about!” “John 15 talks much about fruit. If sin separates us from Jesus, the flip side is that repentance and obedience (sticking close to Him) produces fruit in our lives, namely, the fruit of the Spirit that Paul wrote about in Galatians 5. When we step away from sin, redirect our course in repentance, and stay connected with the Lord, He promises love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Each of these molds our hearts to live more like Jesus. Each fruit adds depth to our personal character as we live out our faith and love for our King. When we “taste” this fruit daily and allow God to enrich it in our lives, we then see that fruit grow in more of an outward expression.

Those around us see the fruit and want some for themselves.

Our actions may even encourage them to examine their lives, repent, abide in Christ, and RISE UP! to pluck their own fruit off the tree, so to speak.” I want my girls to learn to keep their hearts soft and pliable before Jesus, free of sin so they can develop the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. I want that for me too!  This study has encouraged me to keep bowing my heart and life to Jesus each and every day, so I will become magnetic, attracting others to my King. Maybe you need a study to do the same? If so, join Sarah’s Online Bible Study coming up November 3rd. JustRiseUp

It is common to look at our faith as something that just “is”. It’s not strong, nor is it weak; it’s simply a part of us. But faith is something we desire to strengthen. It is a vital relationship with our Lord that should be nurtured, celebrated, and shouted from the rooftops as the most incredible gift we will ever receive.

Just RISE UP! is a call to do just that. This invigorating study motivates women to do life differently by making Jesus famous in all aspects of life. Many have the itch to make a difference with their lives but don’t know how. By living a life of praise, with a humble posture and a Kingdom perspective, women will step into their life purpose. With Just RISE UP! readers will evaluate their present stance before the Lord and become excited to RISE UP! and take their place in the Kingdom to make the name of Jesus renowned.

Features include:

  • Snippets of conversations with Sarah’s readers
  • Journaling prompts to help the reader dig deeper
  • Questions to facilitate dialogue

Today I am giving away a copy of “Just Rise Up!”. To enter to win, just comment below how you feel we can best stay “connected” to the Lord each day. If you’re in a hurry, simply comment. “I’m in!” I will announce the winner next week on my Wednesday Wisdom Tips.

 

PS  Sarah is sharing what she’s learning in Magnetic on her blog today and giving away a copy. I hope you stop by!

Lynn

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom Tip: When Our Daughters Will Want God

LisaWhittle

I am so excited to have my friend, Lisa Whittle, the author of I Want God: Forever Changed by the Revivial of Your Soul, sharing with us today. We’re giving away a copy too!

 When Our Daughters Will Want God

Our girls are watching us.

We know this, and sometimes we cringe.  Because we know of our imperfections…our battle to love our body…our struggle to handle relationships well, read our Bibles and stay close to God.

We wonder: how can I be what she needs me to be and be who I need to be, too?

I know my daughter is watching me.  I see her mimicking my mannerisms without even being aware…following in my mommy footsteps.

She’s 9, and it’s the first time I’ve taken her with me when I speak, all the way in California.  She wears a Christmas dress from Target – maybe the cutest one I’ve ever seen – and sits in the crowd while I take the stage, hanging onto my every word.

(I know this, because afterward she tells me back one of my stories, only she sounds far cuter.)

And then, we fly home.  And I think the event is over.

But just days later, she starts doing something.  Without announcing she has a new name for me or exactly why she replaced my mommy one with this one in particular, she starts calling me, with dramatic flair, “woman of truth.”

I ask her to empty the dishwasher.  “Ok, woman of truth,” she grins and says back.

I ask her to please take the dog out…turn off the tv…clean up that incredibly messy room, and with all requests I am met with the same response – the “woman of truth” one.

I know…it’s just a name and she’s being a little silly.  I know…she’s not really thinking about what it means.  But I am reminded…with what I say and what I do…she’s there, watching.

And I know this very important thing: she needs me to back up what I say with my life.

I understand that if she could really verbalize what is going on in her mind it is likely something along the lines of: please be a woman of truth so your words match your life…and if I’m completely honest, it scares me to death.

I want to be a woman of truth.  I want to raise her to be a woman of truth, too.  But I know myself.  I know I may get in the way.  I know, because I am human, I may mess her up.  And I desperately don’t want to.

This phrase she has somehow taken to calling me has brought out all my mommy insecurities and reminded me, all at once, that in order for me to be a woman of truth, I’m going to really need God.

The truth is: we all really need God.  We need Him to help us be better than we are able, wise beyond our understanding, steady and discerning and grateful and a really good mom.

But it has to go beyond that.

In order for our girls to want God in that passionate way He wants, we are going to have to show them what that looks like.

* Saying yes when He asks us to do something hard, helping them learn to trust Him.

* Rising above our need to gain the approval of other people so they won’t waste their life away fighting to be popular.

* Integrating Him into every area of our life, not just relegating Him to Sunday visits so they understand how to make Him a part of their daily life.

And will we be perfect? No.

But can we be their greatest spiritual influence? Yes.

 

Because when our daughter’s see us wanting God more than anything else, they will know how to want Him in the same way, too.

 

IWantGod

 

 

Today, I’m giving away a copy of I Want God: Forever Changed by the Revivial of Your Soul. Please share one way you think we can show our girls we want God. Just leave a comment below and I will announce the winner this Friday!

 

To read more about I Want God, click here.

To connect with Lisa, visit www.LisaWhittle.com.

Also at:Instagram: http://instagram.com/lisawhittleTwitter: https://twitter.com/LisaRWhittle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Whittle/189067321123012?fref=ts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lisarwhittle/

 

 

 

Lynn

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom Tip: Know the Effects of Selfie Trends on Our Kids

 

Madi&MomSelfie

The winner from yesterday’s post, Helping You Put on Your Best Outfit, of the of the Magnetic book and bracelet, is Patricia B who posted at 5:05 p.m. at 9/30/2014. Congratulations, Patricia! 

 

We’ve seen our kids take them and we take them too!

The selfie…

They seem so fun and innocent…and I am sure most of the time they are. But my research this weekend revealed something we might not have expected.

According to a new study by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), the rise of ‘selfies’ is having a huge impact in the facial plastic surgery industry. Here’s some scary statistics we should be concerned about:

* 1 in 3 surgeons saw an increase due to patients being more self aware of looks in social media.

* 13% of doctors surveyed identified patients’ dissatisfaction with their own image on social media sites as a rising trend in practice.

* 10% – the increase in rhinoplasty in 2013 over 2012

“Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and the iPhone app Selfie.im, which are solely image based, force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a more self-critical eye than ever before,” says Edward Farrior, MD, President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. “These images are often the first impressions young people put out there to prospective friends, romantic interests and employers and our patients want to put their best face forward.” – “Selfie Trend Increases Demands for Facial Plastic Surgery” 

It’s important for us to be aware of this growing trend and respond to it.

First, let’s be mindful to be positive about our own body image. Seemingly small comments about our size and shape are soaking in to the hearts and minds of our kids. They are listening to the comments we make – good and bad.

Next, being over focused on their appearance is having long term effects on our children’s self-esteem.  Let’s open up dialogue with our kids and draw this topic of self-awareness and body image out in the open. Ask questions about how they view themselves and help them embrace the beauty God has given each and every one of them! Try memorizing scripture together and holding each other accountable for the words you use to describe your bodies.

Lynn