Discipleship · Mentoring

A Favorite Tool for Building Girls

The right tool can help accomplish a task with skill and precision! The right knife to cut bread easily, a food processor that can grate a block of cheese in seconds, and good pans that allow you to cook without the food scorching or sticking are all SO helpful.

While the right tools are essential in the kitchen, they are also needed to disciple women and girls! Let me explain ~

I have a precious 12-year old neighbor girl who trusted Christ after Bible Club at my house a few years back. Because she doesn’t attend church, I’ve been so burdened to help her grow in Christ. As she will soon be entering her teen years, I wanted to help her to learn to make right choices, based on God’s Word. How would I do that?

Then I learned about a book, by Dana Gresh written especially for girls! The book is called, Lies Girls Believe. As I looked through its pages, I knew that this book could serve as just the right tool to help me teach her about God’s Word.

Image result for lies girls believe and the truth that sets them free

We are all faced with the lies of this world. Young girls are especially vulnerable. They hear things like,

  • God is not enough!
  • I have to be pretty or popular to be valuable.
  • There are things I could do that would make God stop loving me.
  • My parents just don’t get me.
  • Being a mom or homemaker isn’t important.
  • I don’t need to talk to my mom about stuff going on in my life.

These are just some of the lies that are addressed in the book. I was impressed with how relevant the topics were to my young friend’s life. The illustrations shared in the book were from real girls in real situations in which girls can truly relate.

Image result for lies girls believe and the truth that sets them free

I’m sharing this in case you have a daughter between 10-12, or you know a girl that age – a niece, a granddaughter, a girl at church, or in your neighborhood. Who will share TRUTH with her if you don’t?

Are you frightened you won’t know what to do? Well, just like we learn how to use those kitchen tools, you can learn to disciple a young girl! To be honest, I was a little afraid, too! I was afraid she wouldn’t open up, or that I wouldn’t know what to say, but as in anything we do for the Lord, He gives strength and wisdom to accomplish the task!

Let me share with you how I structured my time as we went through the book:

  • I kept communication open with her mom. Some of the topics were sensitive and I always wanted to give her mom a heads-up (like when we were going to discuss her menstrual cycle).
  • I made it casual. In the summertime, we sat out on the back porch. In the winter, we were in the living room on the sofa, in our sock feet with the fire burning.
  • I offered a beverage and sometimes a snack or dessert (depending on the time of day we were able to meet.) Girls love chocolate for the most part, so I often just had snack-sized candy bars or small cookies out so she could indulge, if she wanted to.
  • I stayed flexible. Between school and sporting events, she’s busy, so I tried to open up my week to work whenever she was available.
  • I had her read the illustrations about Zoe, the “main character,” who helped us learn each week’s lesson. We would go back and forth reading the chapter out loud. I would have things underlined or marked in my book ahead of time, so I’d remember parts where I wanted to stop and ask her questions.
Image result for lies girls believe and the truth that sets them free
  • I tried to be very transparent. In the chapter where we discussed the lie It’s okay to be boy-crazy! I honestly shared with her that I had believed that as a teen. I told her my regrets in doing so. I also shared with her how I sought God’s will after high school and how God directed my life. I shared my salvation testimony, and many other examples from my own life.
  • Sometimes we would do an activity together to illustrate the lesson. One week when talking about watching shows with just a little bit of cursing or sinful lifestyles, we made No-Bake Cookies together. I had a container of bleach on the counter and suggested that we pour in just a tablespoon of the bleach into the ingredients “just to see what would happen.” Of course I had no intention of doing so, but when we discussed our lesson while enjoying our cookies, I reminded her that “just a little bit of cursing” in a movie was as dangerous for us as the bleach would have been. I think she got the point!
    On the week we discussed friends, we crafted a card for her to give to her friend.
  • I ended the book by doing something special together. On the night of the final chapter, I took her to dinner and gave her several restaurant options. Each restaurant was a place where there was an extensive menu. After she’d chosen the place and then ordered her dinner, I told her that just like she had to make a choice for our restaurant and for her dinner, she would have to choose Truth for the rest of her life. We reiterated again how she would do that.

As of this week, we’re finished with the study, but she will continue to be in my regular prayers. I will text her occasionally to ask her how she’s doing with digging into God’s Word for Truth. And oh, will I miss seeing her so frequently! (We’ve discussed doing another study perhaps this summer.) But I’m also seeking another girl with whom I could do this study.

Who might you invest in by using this simple, but powerful tool? This is a wonderful use of your time and your testimony. Unlike my food processor or knives, this is a tool that will give eternal results!

What questions or fears do you have about discipling a young girl?

Refresh the life of a pre-teen and pour your life into hers!

Discipleship · Grandparents · Mentoring

The Influence of a Grandmother

Being a grandparent has so many blessings!

  • I have an older, gentler way of seeing these little ones! (My children probably wonder who I’ve turned into!
  • I have more time to just sit and play or read stories.
  • I’m not as uptight as when I was parenting – maybe because the ultimate responsibilities of my grandsons’ well-being is not on my shoulders.
  • Big things are little things. They don’t want to eat? “Okay., you can eat later.” Not sleepy? “Let’s take a drive!” That broke? “It’s just stuff!”

But I do realize that while I can play the day away with my grandsons, I do have a HUGE responsibility as their Gigi –

I must point my grandchildren to God!

It’s not my right to “spoil them then send them home,” but to have fun with them all the while I am showing a life that points them to Christ. We see this in Timothy’s grandmother, Lois in II Timothy 1:5. The faith that Lois had in God was passed to her daughter, Eunice and also to her grandson, Timothy!

Today I want to encourage you about one simple way you can do that with your young grandchildren. This is doable if they are local and you see them weekly, but also if you only spend vacation times together. As a matter of fact, part of this could be done using Zoom or an app like Maro Polo. What if you planned out a one hour teaching time, full of Bible truths in story form, activities and crafts to support the lesson, and maybe even a snack that continued the idea of what you’re teaching that day.

I’ve done this very thing with my neighbor children for years and now it’s time to pour into my twin grandsons! As a jumping off point for you, here’s what I do each week:

  1. Decide the lesson to be taught and then realize what the theme for day will be. Search the Internet for lesson ideas (make sure it’s doctrinally sound and not just “fluff.”). Some of my go-to’s are Ministry to Children, Happy Home Fairy and Hands on Bible Teacher. I also search Pinterest. Last week I taught about Day 5 of Creation. The main idea was God made the fish and birds on Day 5.
  2. I look in those places for songs, fun games and activities to go along with the lesson to reinforce the main idea. Last week we sang God is so good (“God made the birds” was one verse!). I got flannel fish and birds and let the boys put them on the flannel board either up in the sky or down in the water. They added pages to their notebooks, and they painted a wooden whale and owl. I added a magnetic strip on the back so they could put it on the fridge.
  3. I come up with a little snack that would help to continue the theme. This week I made “fish” crackers and cheese for their snack. They may not look like fish to you, but that’s the blessing of teaching an imaginative child!!!
Teaching time – God made the fish on Day 5. Where does he live?
Activity pages I found online. I added the pictures, but the little song was part of a lesson.

As we went about our morning together, I just kept repeating our songs about Day 5 of creation. When we went outside, we looked for birds in the sky and I asked them Who made that bird and on what day of creation.

They painted Wooden fish magnets with a “5” written on them to reinforce what God made on Day 5.
Fish-y snacks!

There is every level of lesson and activity out there and God’s Word is relevant to each child and each age. Just teach your grandchildren.
Make it fun.
Be creative.
Teach them God’s Word.

You will be exhausted and maybe even unsure if you got anything into their little heads, but we just obey and leave the results to God.

Some other little suggestions/helps:

  • If you live away from your grandchildren, you could do the story on an app on your phone or computer.
  • If you have teens you could do a Bible study with them. Here is a list of great resources for teens!
  • If you don’t have any children or grandchildren, look around for your neighbor children that could use a woman to teach them! Here’s a post about my weekly time with my neighbors. You can also see how I planned and scheduled our time together.

    The influence of a grandmother is so vital. We will often be able to speak things into our grandchildren’s lives that they would not accept from their parents.

Let’s be a “Lois” and pray for a “Timothy” to be nurtured at our knees.

I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have about how you’ve nurtured your grandchildren in the Lord!

Refresh the life of your grandchildren,

children · Discipleship · Parenting

Family Friday – Training in Discipline

“Go to your room.  I’ll be there in a minute.”  Those words spoken to our daughters when they were growing up were serious words.  They knew that it meant one thing – a S-P-A-N-K-I-N-G was coming!  Sometimes they would hear our footsteps soon after they’d gotten to their bedroom.  Other times, we would have to go off and pray and collect ourselves first!

In our home, discipline always took place in a private place.  If we were at home, it Continue reading “Family Friday – Training in Discipline”

Books · Discipleship · Encouragement · Family life · Marriage · mentoring ministry · Parenting · Refreshment in marriage · Wife's Role · womanhood

Books On My Tables

A wonderful book is a treasure.  I love to read, and I’m always on the search for a new author or title to check out. While there have been years when I was busy with homeschool that I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted, I pretty much always have a “book going.”

It only seems fair to share my treasures with you! So today I’m sharing three books that are sitting on my coffee tables that I’m currently reading and LOVING! They’re different enough that I can read all three at the same time.

Book 1a

Adorned – This is one of those books that every woman needs to read – and then reread at least every other year.  Titus 2 is the backdrop for all the teaching and instruction found here.  It’s practical, convicting, helpful and challenging.  She addresses both the older and younger women and ends each chapter with a list of questions for each.  My copy is covered in yellow highlights to help me remember these essential truths for my life as a woman who loves and desires to live for God.

For my girls’ birthdays this year, I gave them each two copies – one for themselves, and one to give to an older woman they could ask to go through it with them.  This book is best when shared with at least one friend.  Do your spiritual life and your female side a favor and read this!

book 3a

The Most Important Place on Earth – This book about the home was written by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s husband years before they were ever married.  His first wife died of cancer, and he and Nancy married nearly two years ago.  Robert is an excellent, compelling writer.  I have laughed out loud as he shared many tales from his own home life.  He wisely shares the ingredients needed to make our homes the most important place on the earth.

I got my copy from Amazon for less than a dollar.  There are updated versions that have a cover that’s current to today, but the message is one that will be relevant for all time.  I highly recommend this book, and am thankful that my sis recommended it to me! Thanks, Dianne!

Book 2a

The Cave, The Cabin and The Tattoo Man – This book also came from my sister, who has met the author, Tim Callahan, from Kentucky.  To read the title you might be surprised that I’m reading it, but the story is precious.  It’s a fiction book based on the author’s growing up years, which happen to be the same era in which I grew up.  Hence, the illustrations and pictures he paints take me back to my own childhood days.

This is the story of a little boy who stays with his grandparents during the summer months.  He helps them with the little grocery store they owned.  He fishes in their pond so well that he is the envy of all the grown men, and he gets himself into precarious situations during his free hours.

When I need a book to just take me away on a little vacation, this is the one I’m reading…for the second time.  This is a series, too, which is fun.  I love knowing there is one to follow!

I hope you’ll check into reading at least one of these suggestions.  They’re all worthy of your time, and in my opinion, much better value than anything television has to offer!  Autumn is nearly upon us, and aren’t fall and winter the best times to snuggle in somewhere comfy with a cup of coffee and read a compelling book?!

Do you have a treasured book you’re reading?  Please share in the comments!  I’ll need some new titles soon!

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