Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fingerprints

Much of my preteen years were inspired by heroes in Stoneybrook, Connecticut.  Kristy Thomas, Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, and Stacey McGill started an awe-inspiring group of babysitters and I raced through the The Baby-sitter’s Club series with interest AND the mind of a sponge.  I wanted to be cool for my “regulars” just like them.  And I logged a lot of hours watching fun little people…

When I saw her again she had no idea who I was.  There was no reason that she should.  I ditched the long, permed hair and overly large (once fashionable) glasses in favor of shorter, straight hair and contacts.  Having more than doubled in years and bore three children of my own, it was me that had changed. 
“Every parent showed.  I am just getting in here.”
I instantly recognized the voice and her face and put two and two together.  Back in my babysitting days I spent countless days with two of her family members.  Two children who’ve made a mark on the Kingdom. Their family was close and, because of that, we’d come in contact.  It took everything in me not to go, “Oh my gosh I know you,” but I figured it would come off more nutty than normal to a tired woman so I opted for silence and grabbed her a bowl to fill with warm soup.  Lord, thank you for resurfacing some of those sweet memories.
When a paper arrived in the mail over a year later with her name inked in I knew our paths were bound to cross again.  This time more extensively.  She was about to become a significant influence in our daughter’s life.  “That’s good,” Hannah smiled.  “Her daughter dances at the same place I do.”  Small. World.
“Oh, that will be great,” my friend who also happens to be Hannah’s godmother cheered at Bible Study that night.  “We were once roommates.”  Shocked, I took it as confirmation from Above that this was a match made right.  A bit overwhelmed by the unlikely link, I rushed home to tell my husband.   The connects are becoming too much.
A pint sized woman with a gallon sized heart, she welcomed time with Hannah wearing a smile on her face.  In her presence is a spirit of calm and a confidence first birthed by God and nurtured by the power of her perfectly placed encouragement.  This wise woman, praying protection over kids’ hearts and leading in a way that inspires impressionable youth to be the best version of themselves, is helping give our girl wings and dream new dreams.    
Because of her influence our time intersected more often too.  During quiet moments conversations opened up about parenting with purpose and I found myself holding on to each word that exited her mouth.  She chooses them so carefully that each one feels inspired in a way that leaves me longing to hear.  And I knew I was being gifted by her presence just like my daughter.  In this beautiful woman I see a shining example of the intentional parent I want to be as my children grow.  Mentorship is born and I drop to my knees in thanks.  I’m undone, Lord.
I must confess I have moments where humanity gets the best of me.  Where I feel like life is too random, unexpected, and surprising for a planner like myself.  And, in those moments, I whisper, “Where are you, Lord?” 
And then God says, “Open your eyes and look around, my child.”
We have a God who never lets go.  Moments may overwhelm.  Times may raise questions.  But His grip remains constant and when we take the time to really see there is a myriad of visible evidence of His fingerprints hemming each season of our life together into one perfectly sown life.
I could not have written this Jesus-filled woman into my days as He has.  When I look at her in my life so many years ago and back purposefully again I don’t just see cute clothes and a warming grin.  I see a reminder of the Weaver’s Hands proving to me His constant presence.  I see His majesty and am challenged to lay down my fear and apprehensions about how everything will turn out in favor of thanksgiving for the earthly reminders of His eternal design. He is weaving together a tapestry worthy of my trust.
And He does the same for you.
This Thanksgiving I invite you to open your eyes and look around.  Whether you are in a season of confidence or plagued by doubt, He is with you.  Maybe He will remind you in the face of another.  Maybe you will see it in the leaves that refuse to give way to the cold or a tiny reminder outside your window.  But, when you do, the “where are you, Lord” will fade to the powerful voice of the cross drawing your gaze to the One saying, “I am right here.”

This is worthy of celebration.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Holiday Gift Guide to Remind Your Teen Girl Whose She Is: 10 Gifts with Eternal Intention

We are entering the Christmas season and teens can be some of the hardest to buy for.  Since my work puts me in constant contact with them, I thought it would be fun to create a holiday gift guide for this special group of young people to help those of you with girls that find yourself stumped.



May this be your inspiration AND help you keep relationship with Christ at the center.





How awesome would this Red Letter Words message be for your girl to see every day?  I love the look but even more I love the reminder that God created us each with a unique purpose to carry out.  Take a look at all the print options to decorate your girl's bedroom or bathroom with life-giving words.





What girl doesn't love ruffles?!  My friend Maggie makes the sweetest handmade bags, wristlets, wallets, headbands, etc. each with her signature ruffle.  But, what I love most about her products is the story behind it.  It wasn't that long ago that learning to sew and starting a handmade business was merely a dream.  God has grown it into a beautiful success story that will keep your girl fashionable and inspired.

 
 
If your girl likes to work out how about this great tank that marries cute with Scripture?  Cross Training Couture is where it's at.
 
 
 
And as long as you're at it, why don't you reinforce the value of your girl's body and God's design for healthy relationships with my book.  When she knows whose she is and why He created the boundaries He did for future relationships she is more likely to honor Him and experience His best.  True stories and questions from her peers will keep it current and cool and reinforce the purity messages you are sharing at home.


There are very few magazines anymore that you can order subscriptions to and wonder if the message it sends will support your values but Sisterhood magazine will.  It's filled with current issues, a cool look, and an online sisterhood support to help your girl keep a Godly focus in a culture with sliding values.  AND, MODSquad is giving away three subscriptions right now so hop on over there ASAP and enter your comment to win one of the best gifts you could give.


I can't wait until my girls' fingers are mature enough to have a ring that won't need constant resizing because this crown ring is a great way to remind girls that they are a daughter of the King.


 
 
The writer girl will love this Carey Scott "Because of Jesus" journal. With a cover that highlights the many names of who she is thanks to Jesus being in her life it is sure to help encourage and refocus her writing session. 
 
 
 
 
Everyone loves music and Britt Nicole has a great beat and lyrics every girl should get the privilege of hearing.  Her CD "Gold" is worth every penny for the song for the song Gold alone.  If you haven't heard it, treat yourself now. 
 
 
 
 
Do polka dots equal cuteness or what?!?!  This GoYePreach iPhone cover is rubber so it won't crack like a hard case, plus it's affordable, stylish, and a constant reminder that she is covered in His love.
 
 

Last but not least is one of my favorite gifts to give females of all ages.  KraftyKash custom bible verse necklaces allow you to put your teen's life verse (or just a verse they can be encouraged by) into wearable form.  And, since each one is hand clipped there are no two that look exactly alike, making it totally unique just like your girl.  Side Note: I add a pearl bead.
 
AND SPECIAL FOR YOU
 
Kashoan has offered all my readers a 15% discount off your ENTIRE KraftyKash order so get one or two or lots. :)   In addition to bible verse necklaces, she has map and dictionary necklaces and fun  leather cuffs.  Check it all out here and simply use the code NOV2013 before midnight on 11-25-13 to get your great gift at a steal of a deal!
 
**Picture credits belong to the sites from the products I have highlighted.  I do not receive a financial kick back from any of the gift options except obviously purchases of my book :)  I just really liked the things I selected and knew you would too**
 
Have fun shopping for the girl(s) you love! 



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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One in the Dark

God gave you a gift of 86, 400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you?”
William Arthur Ward

The lights were off and the room fell silent.  After a busy day, our children were wiped and wanting to go to bed.  This alone was indicative of a miracle.  Our six year old climbed up on my lap and snuggled in.  I brushed her hair behind her ears and whispered that I loved her.  Every mama knows it is in these moments that the little in our girls and the movement of time collide.

“I want to sleep, mom, but I can’t.”

The events of her exciting day ran wild through her mind.  She was caught up in the moments and struggled to let them go.

I can relate.  I struggle with the same.

I often see what is right in front of me.....

To finish reading this post and read many more on "being thankful" please visit MODSquad
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