Seven Things We Must Tell Our Daughters:
- You are Valuable:: She needs to know she is important and so valued that you will protect her with rules and boundaries because you love her. There is safety and comfort within those restrictions, even when she pushes against them.
- Your Worth Isn’t Based on Your Appearance:: She needs to be told she is beautiful–not because she’s wearing a sassy outfit or new lipgloss–her worth is not found in her appearance, the opinions of others or herself. She is beautiful because she was created in the image of God. Her appearance has little to do with true beauty and her worth isn’t wrapped up in looking good or being perfect.
- You Don’t Need a Guy:: She needs to hear starting at a young age (but it’s never too late to start telling her). She needs to be told a boy doesn’t complete her, God does. Chasing or enticing or wanting a guy doesn’t make her attractive and it doesn’t make her a woman. The only guy she needs in her life for a long time is her Dad or a father figure until God brings her a husband if that’s His plan.
- You Are Amazing:: Our daughters need to hear we are proud of them. She is enough. Tell her out of all the girls in the world, you’d always choose her. Sadly, she will be tempted to spend a lot of time in life trying to prove her value to others. Create an atmosphere where she is loved, just like she is.
- You Don’t Have to Believe What You Hear:: She needs to hear your affirming voice in her head. Because there will be mean girls in her life, peers with pressure and adults in her world who will let her down and have low expectations of her. She needs to hear the opposite at home, your voice will lead her to Him and she’ll know who to listen to.
- You Have Me:: No matter what happens in life, the ups and downs that will come her way, the losses and gains, our daughters must know we are there for them. She needs to know she can talk to you about anything. Anytime.
- You Can Change the World:: She needs to know she can dream big and can accomplish whatever she wishes. She can do so with God by her side and she doesn’t need a boy or society to make it happen. She can be anything she want to be with your help. Stand by her, with her and watch her fly.
Here are ten ways to keep Easter About Jesus and have fun:
- Read The Parable of the Lily and plant (or force) a lily bulb
- Create this easy, beautiful watercolor Cross Art
- Plant an Easter Garden
- Dye/hunt eggs. Share the reasons behind the traditions
- Make Resurrection Eggs. Read Benjamin’s Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs along with it.
- Bake Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday
- Fill Easter baskets with something meaningful (a new Bible, a cross necklace, eggs with Scripture)
- Make Resurrection Rolls for Easter morning breakfast
- Share your Easter meal with someone who might spend it alone or take a basket to a child in a hospital
- Have a family devotion together and talk about the meaning of Easter (this is a good one)
Have you heard about the latest We Give Books cause? This winter, We Give Books is supporting world literacy and encouraging readers to get into the spirit of giving. Every time you read a children’s book online at wegivebooks.org, you can donate a book on behalf of your friends and family, for free!
At We Give Books, each time a reader enjoys free children’s books online, they donate a hardcover or paperback book to a child in need through their great campaign partners. From now through the end of January 2013, you can help support world literacy initiatives around the globe with partners Room to Read, Books for Asia, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and more! These amazing nonprofit organizations work to build libraries, fund schools, provide education to low-income children, and share books with those in need.
We Give Books is a fantastic resource for parents, teachers, and anyone who loves to read children’s books. They have a free online library of over 150 outstanding children’s books available at www.wegivebooks.org, including some of our favorites, like the Llama Llama and Skippyjon Jones books, and DK science books. The best part is, your reading will directly impact the great work of non-profit organizations around the world!
Step-by-Step Instructions for a New-and-Improved Husband
As Christian women are are often told to respect our husbands, but the questions is, “What does that mean?” How do we respect our husbands, beyond just saying the words, “I respect you.” The book, “The Respect Dare”, gives us 40 practical ways to show our husband respect and demonstrate for him practically that we respect him. I had read about this book before I got it and I was intrigued. I have often wondered just how to show my husband respect, when I know that this is one of the main things men need. They need to be respected, and now I know some specific ways to show that respect to him.
Each chapter begins with a brief description of a way to show respect and then a short story that shows how this can be shown in a real life situation. For example, one way to show our husband respect is to not put him down in public or make him the center of a joke. Sounds simple enough, but through the author’s example, I saw that it is much deeper than what I really thought.
Get out your journal and begin this book over the next 40 days. Through reading, prayer and reflection, you will begin to show your husband the respect he deserves!
It’s not about you.
The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.
The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point - ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, my dreams for my future? But focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose. The Bible says, “It is God who directs the lives of his creatures; everyone’s life is in his power.”
Contrary to what many popular books, movies, and seminars tell you, you won’t discover your life’s meaning by looking within yourself. You have probably tried that already. You didn’t create yourself, so there is no way you can tell yourself what you were created for! If I handed you an invention you had never seen before, you wouldn’t know its purpose, and the invention itself wouldn’t be able to tell you either. Only the creator or the owner’s manual could reveal its purpose.
I once got lost in the mountains. When I stopped to ask for directions to the campsite, I was told, “You can’t get there from here. You must start from the other side of the mountain!” In the same way, you cannot arrive at your life’s purpose by starting with a focus on yourself. You must begin with God, your Creator. You exist only because God wills that you exist. You were made by God and for God - and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end.
Many people try to use God for their own self-actualization, but that is a reversal of nature and is doomed to failure. You were made for God, not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for his purposes, not your using him for your own purpose. The Bible says, “Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.”2
I have read many books that suggest ways to discover the purpose of my life. All of them could be classified as “self-help” books because they approach the subject from a self-centered viewpoint. Self-help books, even Christian ones, usually offer the same predictable steps to finding your life’s purpose: Consider your dreams. Clarify your values. Set some goals. Figure out what you are good at. Aim high. Go for it! Be disciplined. Believe you can achieve your goals. Involve others. Never give up.
Of course, these recommendations often lead to great success. You can usually succeed in reaching a goal if you put your mind to it. But being successful and fulfilling your life’s purpose are not at all the same issue! You could reach all your personal goals, becoming a raving success by the world’s standard, and still miss the purposes for which God created you. You need more than self-help advice. The Bible says, “Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.”3
“Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he’s had his leg off is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently he’ll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has ‘got over it.’ But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed