Saturday, September 3, 2011

Some thoughts on being a mom of a teenager. . . .

I am a mother of a teenaged girl, and all that entails.  We have a wonderful relationship, complete with the common daily ups and downs, but I desire for us to be closer and have those heart to heart moments you see advertised as what constitutes a close, intimate relationship. 

Reality being what it is in the modern-day American life, I know that without God and His touch upon my life and in our relationship, we will grow apart rather than closer.  Friends, media, and outside influences are bombarding my daughter with messages that are anti-family, anti-God, and anti-modesty.  How can I possibly compete with so much that seeks to bring her heart away from me?

One way that I intend to be intentional in seeking out her heart is to start a weekly study with my daughter and spend time together with her, alone, over a cup of tea (mint preferably :-).  I have been praying and seeking God to know what He wants me to do to prepare for best caring for our relationship and seeking a deeper intimacy with each other as she walks over the bumpy path of growing into a woman, with my help. 

This is what He shared with me.

  1. Become a student of my daughter

I must know what makes her heart beat and what things are her passions.  I must seek to know her likes, dislikes, and seek to experience her life, as she does!  Intimacy comes from shared experiences; perhaps I even need to listen to her radio station in the car (! :-)  and get to know her friends.  In becoming a student of my daughter, I learn who she is and what makes her unique.

  1. Become available and flexible with my time

We run around in circles it seems in our society with the many obligations and schedules we try to keep up with each day.  The first thing that suffers when we get too “busy” is our relationships; family time and the ability to be there for our children cannot be scheduled into when it’s convenient for us.  My daughter needs me, more than any committee, ministry, or organization.  May I be there, ready, when my daughter looks to me, even for something trivial.  Being there for something small means I can be trusted and available for the bigger things in her life.

  1. Become her safe place and tenderhearted

My daughter is longing to feel accepted and safe with someone; I hope to be intentional and available in being that person in her life who is able to hear her out, pray with her, and then support her as she faces what life is throwing at her.  If a mom isn’t available, then most daughters seek out another sympathetic ear or shoulder to support her and give her advice. Although I am not perfect and do not have all the answers, I pray that I can remember that when I turn her away by my attitude or actions, I am opening the door for her to seek out what she needs from me from someone else.    

I know that many ups and downs lie ahead; I know also that God will lead me as I lead her.  Although I am not a perfect mom, I know the Perfect One with all of the answers and I will remember the three things He placed on my heart today.  Praise you Father for your Wisdom!

Be blessed – reaching for the Hem!


Book Review: Father-Daughter Study: The Three Weavers

     The final book that I was sent to review was a surprise to me:  it was a book for fathers and daughters!  Not only was I excited to see that, but my husband was also!  The book, The Three Weavers, Plus Companion Guide  is geared for fathers and daughters (ages 12-18 years old) to read and discuss together, just like the mom-daughter books from Pumpkin Seed Press.  This book, however, has one theme and focus:  A Father's Guide to Protecting His Daughter's Purity (summary from book cover).

     Most fathers feel like they have been called to a task that is both scary and unknown:  how to raise a lovely, pure, and healthy Christian young lady.  Some fathers probably feel like they have no idea where to start to know how to talk to and encourage their daughters in this area; many if not most are comfortable leaving this area to the moms to handle.  The fact remains, however,  that our daughters crave and need a father's attention, input, and guidance in this area more than that we can imagine.  Mothers can teach, mold, and model the way to be a woman after God's own heart, but it is the fathers who can truly protect and shield that young woman as she grows and matures into God's lady.

     Being able to read and talk about the concepts and truths in this book can help a father know where to begin in influencing and molding his daughter's heart in this area, and, as a result, give her what she needs from him: sensitive instruction and his attention.  This study is set to be a total of 7 weeks and the book is structured  to be very easy to start and follow from start to finish.  I was excited to see a weekly checklist for fathers to use to prepare for the weekly study, along with each Chapter reading, discussion questions, activities, and a section for the father to study each week all included right there in the book.  Everything is ready to go; no preparation is needed!

     In doing this study, fathers are encouraged to invest the time each week to build relationship with his daughter and be intentional in his actions and words that he speaks towards her.  I was most encouraged to see that this study builds towards a commitment on the part of the parents and daughter towards protecting and saving her purity in mind and body for the man God will choose for her someday in marriage, culminating in a purity ceremony and token of beauty given to the young lady.  Can you only imagine how many more young women would understand and value their purity if their parents took the time and energy to share how much it means to them?  

     Rather than hoping and praying that our daughters will learn of God, develop His character, and walk in His ways, we can gain resources like these and take time to spend with them, working through these concepts together, and praying for God's wisdom as parent and child, to seek to live in way that pleases Him. I believe that these books and resources from Pumpkin Seed Press will prove to be a blessing to you as a mom (or dad) seeking to impart and teach the ways of God in the lives of your daughters.  Start today - and may you see your relationships grow and deepen with each other and with our God!

May He Be praised!

(This book was sent to me by Pumpkin Seed Press
in exchange for my honest review.)


Book Review: Mother-Daughter Bible Study: Beyond Beautiful Girlhood

     The second book sent to me for review was Beyond Beautiful Girlhood (plus Companion Guide).  Again, the artwork and design were eye-catching and so beautiful to me as I am very attracted (and distracted) by the visual parts of a book.  This study is for mothers to help guide and train their daughters in managing their homes, lives and spirits (summary found on book cover) and is a perfect study for those young ladies ages 13-21.  

     Just like Beautiful Girlhood, this book is meant for a mom and daughter to go through together, spending time each week in discussion and prayer.  This book has the original text coupled with the companion study, and the questions, activities, and resources inside are so rich and thorough.  I can see that this book would document such a special and intentional mother-daughter time; even now when reading it for this review, I could sense God's direction and tugging on my heart to get started on the sections for moms, to prepare myself to lead my daughter into His ways and calling as a Christian woman.

     This book is not only beautiful (like all of the books available from Pumpkin Seed Press), but it is also very visually organized and easy to follow (which is very important to me too).  This study, depending on how long you plan to take with each section, can take anywhere from 7-21 weeks.  

Each Chapter of the book has the following format:  
  • Chapter to read together
  • Reflection for Mom (Mother to Mother)
  • Mother's Journal and Bible Study
  • Daughter's Journal and Bible Study

     The thing that impressed me the most was the fact that the book (study) encourages the discipline and enjoyment of the Daily Quiet Time.  More than anything else we can teach and model for our daughters, the pursuit and development of time spent each day with God is the most important, especially at this age, and, I believe, will become the foundation of their entire lives.  I was so blessed to see this encouraged for both mom and daughter.  What intimacy can be gained from time spent in the Father's presence and then with each other, not only as mom and daughter but fellow women of God!

     If you are looking for a mother-daughter study that will bring you closer together, open up communication about topics that can foster a life grounded in God's Word, and prepare your daughter to confidently face growing into a woman, this is a wonderful resource for you!  How thankful I am to be able to have this book to share with my daughter in study soon.

     This book can be purchased on their website: here

(This book was sent to me by Pumpkin Seed Press 
in exchange for my honest review.)


Book Review: Mother-Daughter Bible Study - Beautiful Girlhood

I  am so excited to share with you some great resources available from Pumpkin Seed Press for parents who want to mentor and prepare their daughters for life in both character and actions.

(These books were sent to me in exchange for my honest reviews.)

     Pumpkin Seed Press sent me three of their devotional books for review this past month. Before I even started reading, I was so impressed and blessed by their quality in artwork and design and the extensive resources for parents listed in each book.  I can't wait to start these studies with my 13 year old daughter soon, the first being "The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood" for young ladies 8-15 years old.

     I have heard of the original book by Mabel Hale/Karen Andreola entitled Beautiful Girlhood, and I had been hoping to start this study with my daughter.  How exciting to learn that there is a companion guide to this book!  In the companion book, moms are encouraged to spend an hour a week with their daughters reading the original text, going through the study in the companion book, and spending time in prayer for a total of 32 character training lessons/weeks.

     That may seem overwhelming and too much to take on at once, but this book is organized into each weekly session, pre-printed with questions to discuss, ideas for application, and space for journal responses.  All I need to do to prepare is spend time in prayer, then open the books, read the Chapter for the week, and  follow the rest of what has been prepared in easy steps in the book to train and mentor my daughter.  All of the steps are laid out for me; I just have to prepare my heart, listen to God's voice and leading, and set aside the time to spend with my daughter over a cup of tea.

     If your heart's desire as a mom is to spend intentional time each week with your daughter covering the topics of womanly character, Biblical truths, and moral values, I highly recommend this book and study as one you should pursue with your daughter.

     The Companion Book can be purchased at their website: here  Shelley and the Pumpkin Seed Press company also has a companion website for moms who desire community and ideas in starting this study with their daughters called B'twixt and B'tween.  Please go there to join a community of moms and daughters going through this study all over the world.  There is much to be gained from community and fellowship; I can't wait to get started!

Thanks Shelley for your efforts in this for us!