Thursday, August 30, 2012

Top Ten Things I learned from the book

I am finished with the summer book study of "Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl " by Dannah Gresh. It was a fantastic book stuffed full of useful information. As a way of concluding the book study series, I put together a top ten list.

The Top Ten things I learned from "Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl " by Dannah Gresh.

10. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Don't let this be your little girl. The devil is not some red creature with pointy ears and a tail. No, he comes as the angel of light. He is crafty and knows how to tempt a little here and a little there - seemingly harmless. He comes camouflaged as cultural norms. He has desensitized the people into believing his lies. This book draws back the curtains of ignorance and opens our eyes to his schemes.

9. I always knew there was something wrong with Barbie, besides her crazy, unrealistic body proportions and now I know. Dannah tells us why {and now our Barbies are in the trash}.

8. My 3 yo and 7 yo both ask "why" all the time. Did you know that this has a different meaning depending on the age of your child? I didn't. I thought my 3 yo was being curious and my 7 yo was being defiant. Not so...find out what it means to ask "why" at 7.

7. I thought the only danger of this "growing up too early" culture was my daughter giving her heart and body away before she was married. There are other dangers such as eating disorders and depression. This book gives great advice for battling these dangers as well as premarital sex.

6. Do you ever feel like the lion in the Wizard of Oz? Do you need a dose of courage and strength? This book will empower you to say no to the culture and yes to the Lord. It gives valid proof of why certain things that seem so normal in our society are just plain WRONG. They are attacks from Satan and we need to be informed so that our conscience is informed and we are empowered to fight off the flaming darts {even when they come disguised as a "fun song" or "cute show" on TV}. 

5. Did you know that most teenage, Christian girls do not want to be Moms? That was me. I had no desire to have children as a teen and young adult. Thankfully the Lord has changed my own heart and we can learn {as Moms} to create the desire in our daughter's hearts to be mothers.

4. When is the right age for your daughter to date? Have you even thought about that yet? Will she go on group dates or alone with a boy {gulp}? When do you tell her the rules for dating? It turns out that you need to start thinking about this {and communicating it with her} when she is a tween so that she clearly understands the rules. The more she understands the rules when she is younger, the less {hopefully} she will fight about them when she is a teenager. 

3. Do you know how old your daughter will be when she has her first period? Did you know that you can be watching for clues? You sure can!

2. How will you have the important talks with your little girl? How will you tell her about her period? How will you tell her about the gift of sexuality and how this is a present for her future husband? How do you do this in a way that honors God, protects her innocence but equips her with the best information to fight temptation? How do you not scare her to death and breed self-loathing when talking about her period? How do teach her to stay as far away from any boy-girl relationship, but prevent her from thinking she is terrible because she thinks they are kinda cute?

1. The most important lesson I got from this book is that the best thing I can do for my girls is to be the parent. Be there for their questions. Be there for the fun times. Talk to them about these things in a God honoring manner. Cover them in love so they are not out seeking it from another source. Create a fun environment so they want to stay home and play with friends instead of always going to another house {this requires me letting go of some control issues I have - eek!}. Parent - child connectedness {and lots and lots of prayer} is the number one weapon in protecting her purity and helping her love who God made her to be.

There is a companion book for little boys, "Six Ways to Keep the "Good" in Your Boy " that I didn't think I needed to read, but.... God has put a little neighbor boy in our life and I am thinking this might be a good way to equip myself for conversations I might have with him. He is a very sweet boy {reminds me of my nephew}. I am not sure how long he will be in our lives but we pray for him and hope that we can be a light in his life. And if he is going to be hanging around my girls, I need him to be a "good boy".  {*wink*}

Did you read the book? What was the most interesting thing you learned? Did anything make you go "WOW!"?

Here are some great resources you might enjoy...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Trash 2 Treasure - Spool Tables

We were planning an end if summer party and 18 kiddos were invited. We have had that many kids over before and they usually sit on blankets around the yard. That is ok, but....

Driving down the road one afternoon, we spotted some electrical wire spools free on the side of the road. {light bulb}

These would be perfect tables!!!

And wouldn't you know, our local grocery had some super adorable, round table clothes on clearance for $1.

So, I measured 7 inches in on each table cloth and sewed on some elastic. This made a nice band to keep the clothes on  the table.

And, tada! Perfectly adorable tables for our super fun party!! Someone else's trash was my treasure!!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wishing Wells

As we walked by a stream of water at the zoo the other day, my daughter noticed some coins in the water. She wondered why those were there. I said that some people feel the need to drop {filthy, dirty} coins in any puddle of water and make a wish {yes even at the zoo where the animals live in that same water - not nice in my humble opinion}.  

But that got me to thinking...

I wonder how much money is laying beneath the countless bodies of water, big and small, deep and shallow, as money paid for a wish?

Have you ever turned in a jar of change at the bank and discovered how quickly it adds up? I have and I was GREATLY surprised!

So back to the wishing wells. How much money is there, in the fountains, ponds, wells, creeks? What if it were all gathered, counted and used to buy food for the impoverished? or build houses for the homeless?

Why do we just throw money away when it can be used for good?

Save your coins in a container and donate it to the poor.
Save your wishes and just pray to the true and living God.
Only He is able to make your wishes come true {Mark 11:23-25}.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Keep the Little in Your Girl Pt 7

"Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl" - Dream with her about her Prince.

"68 % of Christian girls {public, private and homeschooled} say they'd be happier if they had a boyfriend"

"Approximately 50% of 16 year old girls are sexually active and an overwhelming percentage are boy-crazy."

"Here's the challenge: You want to keep her off the boy-crazy train while at the same time developing within her a love for marriage. How do you do this?

You do it by being positive about boys and telling her about what she can have in the future - not by being paranoid about boys and telling her what she can't have now. Dream with her about the pure relationship God wants her to have one day, and teach her that the beauty of that relationship depends on how she lives today."

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
{Proverbs 31:10-12}

Have you ever noticed that it says "all the days of her life"? That means when she is 5, 13, 18, and 25. That includes the time before she even meets her husband. How can she possibly bring her husband good when she is just a little girl?

"That may mean not being boy-crazy when she's 8, or giving her heart away to guys when she's 13, or giving her body away when she's 16."

I never thought of it that way but it makes perfect sense. Of course it does, it is from the Lord, right?

So don't condemn her for thinking boys are cute, just use that energy to get her dreaming of the plan that God has for her. We know He has a perfect plan!

One thing that Dannah stresses is communicating the rules and values you and your husband have for the family before the time comes when you need to enforce them. This helps your daughter to know where the boundaries are {and why} before she wants to out with that guy on a date {or do whatever else...}.

She suggests having "the talk" about the birds and bees before your daughter is 10 {whew, I have some time!}. The exact age depends on what your child is exposed to. One thing to consider is, "by ten or eleven years, many children who have not received adequate instructions about the facts of sexuality become disturbed and worry about what is real. They usually have heard bits and pieces of facts from peers." {Jimmy Hester, founder of True Love Waits}

The greater the chance that your daughter may hear about sex from peers {public school, older siblings}, the younger you need to have "the talk". You do not want your timidity on the subject to create confusion in your daughter.

"Talking to your children about sex
between the ages of six and ten
isn't a moral choice,
it's a strategic choice.
It is much easier to build a sexual value system
from the ground up
than to dismantle untruths and rebuild."

A Connecting Mom is not a Perfect Mom.

I loved this chapter! After reading this book, I got the feeling that the author did everything perfectly and that it is a goal that is unachievable by me - regular Mom who fails on a daily basis.

This chapter is about being that regular Mom. It is about how we all fail, but with God's grace and help, this can happen.

But only with the power of God. So we need to be fervent in our prayers for our daughters and ourselves as their parents. We need to seek His ways {even in our own walks} and avoid what the world declares "popular".

How old were your kids when you had "the talk"? Did it go well? This is one thing that makes me extremely uncomfortable, but I know that it is much better to have open lines of communication so I will just put a bag on my head and force the words out. ha ha! I actually do think I'll use some books to help with the conversation and be reading some of the additional resources that Dannah lists in the book.

If you have a story - I'd love to hear about it!! Please, please comment. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012


I have come to realize that I am never truly hungry. Oh, I may hear my tummy rumble in the morning (seconds before I fill it up with hot coffee) - but I am not truly hungry.

I looked back at some of the pictures of the kids from Haiti and thought about how some of these kids know what that means.

They have been so hungry that it feels like their stomach would just chew through their skin.

They have been so hungry that they would eat anything put in front of them {including dirt}.
They know what it is like to watch someone die from malnutrition and starvation. 

They know what it means to have to give up a baby brother or sister because there isn't enough food to feed another mouth.

But me, I am not hungry. Whenever I feel the slightest lull in energy or tummy rumble, I open the cabinet doors and look for a snack.

I want this to change. I never want to wallow in the blessing the Lord has given me so that it turns into a curse. I don't want to take any resources for granted {although I am sure this is inevitable to some degree}.

Once a month, I am going to start fasting. This is in no way shape or form even close to what the Haitians (or other impoverished peoples of the world) experience, but it is a start.

As my tummy rumbles on this day, I want my thoughts to quickly turn into prayers.

Prayers for self-control. It would be so easy just to put a little morsel in my mouth.
Prayers for the people of the world who face true hunger.
Prayers specifically for those influenced by Three Angels Children's Relief in Haiti.
Prayers for opportunities to help.

I am not going to write about when I am fasting - that would defeat the purpose a bit. Jesus tells us to beware of letting others know about our fasting:

And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. {Matthew 6:16-18}

But if you would like to choose your own {secret} day of fasting each month, I am sure the Lord will bless that and use it for good.

Won't you join me in experiencing just a tiny bit of what it means to be hungry - for maybe the first time in your entire life?!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Keeping the Little in Your Girl Pt 6

Part 6 of "Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl " covers chapters 8 and 9.

Unplug her!

"The average tween girl will absorb 38 hours a week of video games, computer time, music, television, radio, and print. If she is at a public or private school for another 35 hours a week, that doesn't leave you much time to be the primary molder of her value system. What's a Mom to do?"

Unplug her! Back away from the screens and media swallow your little girl whole!

Dannah {author} suggests the following:

1. Set limits in terms of screen time - this includes all screens such as computers, iPods, TV, gaming systems, and movies.

2. Turn off all screens during mealtimes. I cannot even imagine watching TV during dinner, but I know many families do. This is such a great time to talk {and listen} to each family member. What a special time!

3. Set a good example by being physically active and by limiting your own screen time {gulp}. Yes, our children are watching. The greatest lesson they learn is the one they see us living out each day. It is good to turn off the screens {even my little smartphone} and take time to play with the kids and be busy working in our home. That is my job, isn't it?

When your kids are watching TV or on the computer, make sure you know what they are watching. Use it as teachable moments when there is an example of sin and help her interpret the messages as the media attempts to brainwash her. You should even pre-screen some things before she is even allowed to look at it. Dannah had some of the lyrics from a Lady Gaga song and wow! I cannot believe any parent would allow their child to listen to that *stuff*.

Also be sure to address what it means to be truly beautiful as she is watching these teen pop stars on TV. No one looks like they do on TV {even the pop stars themselves} in real life. It seems to be more and more of a struggle to have a healthy body image with these twiggy stars on every magazine cover with flawless faces and incredible hair. It is no wonder that "one-third of 10-year-old girls are worried about their weight."

Be sure she knows that even though man looks at the outer appearance, God looks at the heart. That is what is truly important.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. {Proverbs 31:30}

Unbrand her!

Don't let the media tell her what looks cool and that it is OK to run around in super short shorts and tank tops that used to be considered underwear! I am appalled when I go out and see what little clothing {and large amounts of make-up} these little girls are wearing - and they are with their parents!! It isn't like they are even sneaking out of the house and changing how they look in the mall bathroom.

The Lord tells us that, "Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." {1 Peter 3:3-4}

It is ok to want to look nice, but this does not have to involve showing so much flesh and trying to make a 13 year old girl look like a mature woman.

So what can a Mom do?

Practice modesty yourself. Be an example.

"Make a new goal for yourself - and help your tween daughter establish the habit of spending more time in God's Word each day than she does in front of the mirror. It's easy - if you spend 15 minutes getting ready each morning, you need to spend 15 minutes with God. If you spend 30 minutes painting your face and spraying your hair, you need to spend 30 minutes with God." {double gulp}. That sure is convicting!

Dannah also lists out several "Truth or Bare" tests that are great ways to see how modest your tween's clothes {and your own} really are. This is a great way to talk about her body and how it is precious and beautiful, but it is also private and to be saved for when she is older and married. It is a gift for her Prince Charming.

How will you pass the Truth or Bare tests? I dare - no double dog dare - you to click over to her website and see how your outfit checks out.

I am so thankful for the wisdom in this book! Have you been reading along? What are your views on screen time and modesty? Will there be any changes made around your house?

Friday, August 10, 2012

What did you expect?

Now that the summer book club {you can read about that over HERE} is over (don't worry, I'll post the last blog posts as soon as I locate my book - lol!), I am picking up another book, "What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage " by Paul David Tripp.

This book is SO convicting!

I wanted to share what I read this morning:

Page 77 {emphasis added}

It is a GRACE to be willing to listen and consider criticism and rebuke. It is hard to see ourselves with clarity and hard to accept what we see when we do. It is so easy to be defensive.

All of us carry inside ourselves an inner lawyer who is easily activated and quickly rises to our defense. We've all been in one of those moments when someone is pointing out some wrong in use, and although we are not speaking aloud, we have already begun a silent defense of ourselves against what they are saying. As they are pointing to evidence of a need for change, we are marshaling evidence that we are not, in fact, the person they contend we are.

It takes GRACE to be ready to listen and willing to hear.
It takes GRACE to quiet our mind, to focus our attention, and to settle our heart so that we can actually receive the help that God is offering us in that moment of unexpected confrontation.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved {and continues to sanctify} a wretch like me.