Keeping Your Daughter Innocent by Sonya

 

As I am raising three daughters, I am learning a lot about keeping their innocence. Especially my oldest daughter, I have realized our parenting needs to be so intentional as my husband and I are training her up where she should go! This verse has been essential to us, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” Proverbs 22:6.  I truly believe if you are training your children in God’s word, and rooting them in His truth, that they will not depart from it. I am experiencing this firsthand as my daughter is in middle school and has lots of pressures of looking and acting a certain way. She comes home and tells me what things go on and what things are not appropriate and I try not to have the shock look but just listen. Because the more we just listen the more they share. My daughter sharing with me is allowing her to discern right from wrong and what God says and what the world wants you to believe. This is so powerful if your daughters can understand who they are in Christ and realize the importance of that.

Keeping your daughter innocent by speaking the truth does make a difference. The relationship with your daughter or children doesn’t come over night but takes constant effort and communication to work towards having that solid connection. This relationship of open communication and trust has been key in keeping her innocent because she hears first our opinion and not what her friends think on certain issues. Another essential part is being involved in their lives and helping out at school or their activities. I am thankful my daughter lets me chaperone her socials because I get to see her friendships and what her classmates are like. Being involved shows your daughters that they are valued and taking the time for them shows so much love and support. Also letting them be who God has designed them to be is very important in keeping them innocent and not trying to push your agenda or grow them up faster than they are ready for. My daughter loves ballet and dance and music and I never took dance so it took some time to get used to the fact that she didn’t want to do sports. I was an athlete in school and wanted her to experience that, but she doesn’t like sports so I had to hold back and allow God to develop her in the way she was made for.

Keeping that little girl in your daughter is about allowing her to just be in love with the simple things. My daughter still loves to play Barbies and babies and she is almost twelve years old.  Also she still wears bows in her hair to school almost every day just because she loves to dress up. As a parent embracing her little girl side and encouraging it is the best way to keep that innocence. So tell your daughters out there to “Rock that bow and keep the little girl side!”  Remind your daughters they are made in His image and, “They are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago,” Ephesians 2:10. God has big plans for your daughters and helping to keep your daughters innocence is a big part of that!

 

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The Repurposed Life by Bombi

Recently I’ve been on the hunt for new dressers for my kids. Nothing fancy. Just nice, neat, functional. The more I look, the more I realize how much I love the unique stuff. The more unique, the more expensive they are. I’m not talking about dressers lined with crystals and diamonds, I’m talking about that cool vintage look, but not necessarily old. The more I look, the more I see I love the stuff that’s been repurposed, that mix of old meets new, meets one of a kind. The cooler the repurposing is, the more valuable it is.

Then there goes my mind. Thinking about people. I think about how so many wish they had new body parts, new stuff, and new lives. But here’s the thing, we all have one life to live, then we are in eternity. Sometimes life can deal you some awful stuff, sometimes we can put ourselves in awful places and find ourselves doing “time” with our decisions. Sometimes we feel like our mistakes took the purpose and value out of our life. This can sound depressing if you keep Jesus out of the picture, but here’s the good news, Jesus is ready to give you a renewed life. He already did it at the cross. He brought reconciliation to all.

He isn’t here to throw you away, He’s here to restore you. He still has a plan and a purpose for you. He’s going to take the life you treated as junk and trash to throw away and turn it into treasure. He’s going to repurpose you in a way that will bring the quality of your life so far up, you’ll want to pinch yourself to see if you’re dreaming. You can go from the trashed life, to the repurposed life when you hand your life over to Him.  He did it for me, He can do it for you.

Colossians 1:22New International Version (NIV)

22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

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Working For My Good by Kenika Smith

 

I am a huge fan of getting together with my friends for coffee, lunch, and my personal favorite, breakfast.  It seems as if life is getting busier and busier these days even if that’s the perception and not the reality of it all. Because of this, I so enjoy our “catch up” times, as we call them, where we dedicate moments to fill each other in on what we’ve been up to.  These meet ups widely range from exciting announcements to revelations of sadness and tragic events.  One way or another, I always leave uplifted.  Maybe it has to do with iron sharpening iron, or simply the act of investing in key relationships.  I’m a bit of a talker so over the years I’ve tried to train myself to listen just as much or even more than I talk. Listening to these amazing, Godly friends of mine help me to feel encouraged and oftentimes inspired.

Recently I had breakfast with one of my awesome friends as we chatted about life.  We talked about what has happened, what’s currently going on, and what we hope to do in the future.  We found ourselves revealing some very deep rooted heart issues and disappointments we had previously faced.  At one point, I said, “I am still learning how to embrace and accept the fact that all things are working for my good.”  [Reference Romans 8:28] To which she responded, “It’s so true.  Even in the midst of (insert her challenging situation) somehow there are good things coming out of it.”  How great is our God?  I have no idea how people cope with the ups and downs that life constantly throws our way without a hope that everything will eventually work out.

Life will never slow down or hold back.  There will always be challenges or “tribulation” in this world as Jesus once said.  The comfort of it all is that no matter what happens, it will all work out for our good. Even the yucky stuff, the disappointments, the heartaches, the losses, the pain, the let downs, it is working for our good. Wrap your mind around that for a minute.  Think of the absolute worst or lowest moment in your life up until this point.  That, even that will have an outcome that will be favorable to you!  It is so hard to grasp in the moment, but the difficulty does not diminish the truth of this promise from God’s word.  This balances the scorecard in life if you ask me!  It just goes to show that we can face absolutely anything without fear.  There is truly nothing that anyone or anything can do to put or keep us down.  In the darkest of nights, just remember and recite this promise, “It’s working for my good.”

 

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