Day 1- Prayer- New Site

Hi there! I am so glad you came back and are committed to praying for your girls!

We have moved and are waiting for you on our new site!


Journey Through 30 Days of Prayer For Our Girls

I am not sure why, but it seems that I have some of my most profound thoughts as I lie in bed desperately trying to fall asleep. You would think that chasing four girls around the house, finding matches to 65 pairs of pink socks and figuring out another way to bake a chicken would simply wear my brain out!

Not So.

So instead of being frustrated at my failed attempts, I usually use that time to talk to God about things that have been weighing heavily on my heart.  Often that conversation involves the four tutu wearing, tantrum throwing, uncontrollable laughter having gifts that reside in my home-also known as my lovely daughters! I talk to God about their futures, my fears, their friendships, their innocence, our relationship and the list goes on and on.

I talk to God and I cry out to Him.

 I seek His face not because I don’t trust that He has a plan, but because I am in daily need of His wisdom and strength to do my part.  On our parental journey there are battles that we have to fight on a regular basis in order to stay focused on what God has called us to do: be His love to His children.  

Long days, rough patches and statistics can often lead to complacency and eventually a sense of hopelessness for the future of our girls.

Don’t lose hope. Don’t let the statics tell you what to expect from and for your girls. Do not leave voids in your girl’s lives for the enemy to fill. Don’t lower God’s standards in order to avoid failure.

Let’s pray.

Whether you are like me and talk to God in the evenings or over your cup of morning coffee, be intentional about praying for your girls…let’s do it together.

Over the next 30 days we will post a daily prayer for girls.

Topics will include:            You…as her mother

                                                Her relationship with God

                                                Her attitude

                                                Her school

                                                Her future                          

Join us on the blog daily beginning Wednesday Aug. 15th!

Will you pray with us?

Comment below and let us know we are not alone in this commitment!

Invite others too!

I am excited and expectant as we intentionally dedicate these next 30 days to seeking God for our Girls!

For easy access to the daily prayers be sure to subscribe to the blog…or just visit us daily!

Day 1 Prayer


3 Goals to Help Your Family Focus This Fall

By Jonathan PittsImage

Whether your children are starting back to school in mid August or post Labor Day, you have crossed the mid summer hump, and now is the time to start planning your fall!  Right about now you are remembering the days of proper bedtimes, school supplies, uniforms, backpacks, and an endless list of other much needed items!

Well, as you begin to plan your shcedule, remember to set aside time to refocus your family’s collective relationship with Christ.  Take time to make sure that you are setting  aside time to spur each family member on towards these 3 important goals:  1. Grace-Based, Gospel Centered Living, 2. Spiritual Growth and 3. Service…

1. Grace Based, Gospel Centered Living

Take time each day to admit your failures and offenses to the Lord as a family when you are able.  There is nothing more freeing for your children than to realize that their parents aren’t perfect and just as dependent on the grace of God.  Your transparency and child-like faith will teach them to have that same transparency and continual dependence on the Lord.

2. Spiritual Growth

Your discipline is critical to your children developing discipline.  They will learn what you do, not what you say.  Take 15 minutes as a family after each meal or before bedtime to:

1. Talk about your day 

2. Pray as a family

3. Start your family on our bible reading plan or utilize a devotional like http://www.cbhministries.org/ForKids/KeysforKids/ReadListen.aspx

Salvation is free, but growth will cost you something.  Just like exercise you won’t see the results until the work is done.   

3. Service

Our children are born self-centered and will not naturally begin serving others, including the family, without training.  It is more work for us, often times, to teach our children how to sweep the floor, empty the dishwasher, and clean up after themselves, but it is worth the effort.  Once you start creating these habits, you will soon be surprised to see you children, albeit slowly, serving of their own free will! 

Find different ways to not only serve each other as a family, but to find needs that your neighbors might have as well your church and other local ministries and service organizations.

These are just 3 goals to get you started, do you have others? Share the spiritual goals your family sets as you switch from 3 months of busy yet routine-less days to schedules and school work!


Be Transparent

By Jonathan Pitts

I woke up early Sunday morning, as I often do, prior to any of my other family members. I wasn’t feeling especially “holy” that morning, but I just knew I needed to spend some time in my Bible and in prayer. I found the quietest place in my house, my closet. It smelled of old shoes and was especially damp.

In that closet I admitted my failure before God and pressed forward.

For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again… Proverbs 24:16

It continued. At church I heard a message centered on loving my neighbor as myself, taken from Mark 12:31. I was challenged to measure my love for God in how I loved others around me. Convicted of my own failure in how I treated my wife and children at times, I took my family to the front of the church to pray.

At the altar I admitted my failure before God and pressed forward

For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again… Proverbs 24:16

As hard as it can be, the first step in a growing relationship with Jesus is transparency with Him on where we have missed the mark.

If you are honest with yourself, then you can probably admit that on your worst days you are a failure; that is easy. However, admitting that you are a failure on your best days can be a challenge. Your human nature challenges you to do better, try harder, and press forward and in some way maybe you will earn God’s approval. If you aren’t careful, you will look at the italicized scripture above and think that you can somehow “rise again” and be righteous on your own. But the Bible reminds us over and over again that there is one clear bridge between man and any right living that you can accomplish, namely Jesus.

In the gospel (good news of Jesus) a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

I simply want to remind you today that our right living begins and ends in a relationship with Jesus. If you aren’t a Christian I challenge you to find out who Jesus is! If you are a Christian, I still challenge you to find out who Jesus is! The process never changes, and you will find that you are always finding out more about Him, and getting to know Jesus more and more as you look for Him with all your heart.

Challenge Questions:

• Are you on a consistent basis being transparent with yourself and with God, and admitting your failure and sin to Him?

• Have you asked God to forgive you of your sin, and do you continually take your failure before Him?

• Are you looking for Jesus to find who He is for yourself, and not just trusting what others tell you about Him?


Lessons from My Daughter’s Camping Trunk

For the second time my oldest daughter (8) is spending a full week at a nearby Christian camp. The weeks leading up to now have been full of excitement for her and include wearisome tasks for me! There are theme nights to prepare for, trunks to decorate and flash lights to dig out! After gathering each item from the provided list of “what to bring,” the real work begins. With my sharpie in hand, I plant myself in front of the piles of folded cloths, shopping bags of random new items and a large box of gallon sized Ziploc bags! Each bag is labeled with terms like “day 1,” “dirty cloths” “extra”  and “martial arts night!”

As an extra treat I create care packages with treats like stickers, note cards, scented erasers and other items she loves  in order to remind her that she is missed throughout the week! I am also sure to place a few bucks in her camp store account so she can get things I may have forgotten.  Best of all, my husband and I write notes and small gifts each day that are reminders to her of who she is and why she is at camp.

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When the time finally arrives and she is  packed up and ready to go, I am confident that she has everything  she needs to survive for 1 week in the woods…without me! And I must admit I feel accomplished and pleased with my ability to fit everything into her trunk.

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Preparing to send your daughter off for a week is a gentle and sweet reminder of what you are to be doing each day you have with her.

As a parent, God has given you the task of preparing a trunk of items that your child can live out of…without you. You are to seek out the tools they need and delicately present them in a way that your child can sort through and pull out practical and special treats of love and wisdom to uplift and encourage them on their journey!

Now I wish I could tell you different, but when I picked my daughter up from camp last year, there were about three Ziploc bags that had not been touched. All of her camp store money had been spent on Sodas and Popsicles and we were missing a few towels, shirts and socks! However, I knew this was not a result of her lacking necessary  items but rather a result of the path she chose. 

Your child might not always pull the right item out of the trunk, but I can promise you she has a better chance if the trunk is full of emotional and spiritual blessings that you have purposefully placed for that time when you know they’ll need it.

What things are you placing in your kids trunks? How much effort and preparation are you devoting to imparting tools, preparing their hearts and decorating their worlds with the things of Christ?


Memories-3 steps to creating great ones with your kids!

 


My brother and I with our kids!

If you are friends with us on Facebook you may have seen some of my recent posts about our visitors this week! My brother, his wife and their 3 children have been with my family since last Friday! Yes, your math is correct, that means a total of SEVEN children (ages 3-8, 6 girls and 1 lonely boy) have taken over my home! It’s been the best week of their young lives- mostly because they are too busy making memories to realize that they are actually sleep deprived and functioning in a constant state of sugar overdosed excitement!

Making memories. Isn’t that what childhood is all about? Giggles, funny faces, and talent shows-while wearing pajamas, eating Popsicles and smiling whenever you see a flash! I cannot count the number of times I have uttered these words in the past week: SAY CHEESE!


I also have to admit that my brother and I have also loved taking our late night trips down memory lane to relive some of our own favorite childhood moments!

Here’ s a few:

I can remember sitting on the front porch of my row home in Baltimore city, begging my friends to join me because I was not allowed to leave!

I can remember my mother making spontaneous drives from Baltimore to New York City with my brother, grandmother and I in tow!

I can remember blankets lined up across the dining and living room floors of my grandparent’s home because our cousins from Texas were in town!

…I can also remember being the first to have to go to bed because I was the baby of the bunch…

I can remember my mother gathering neighborhood kids and piling us in her car to go to Monday Night Youth Group! (Seat-belt laws were not nearly as strict as they are now!)

I could go on and on, and believe me, over this week we have!

The funny thing about memories is that whether or not we are intentionally creating them really does not matter. Everyday our children are experiencing moments that will find a corner to reside in their young minds.

When your kids gather around a table with a sibling, spouse or friend, what will they remember?

Here are 3 steps to ensure you are doing your part to create moments that your children will recall for years to come!

  1. Be Spontaneous!- Children love to be surprised and often by the littlest things. Think of creative ways to surprise your kids!
  2. Be Present!- Often as parents we are so busy setting up great opportunities for our kids to enjoy that we forget to enjoy it with them! I challenge you to join them!
  3. Be Happy!-Are you remembering to ‘Say Cheese?”

From Missionaries in Guatemala to movie stars in Hollywood-Little girls do big things!

Wanting to “grow up” seems to be one of the most profound memories of my childhood!

Don’t you remember the anticipation of turning “double digits,” or the process of dying a slow death until you could wear make-up or drive a car, or eagerly awaiting your junior year prom?  All of these thoughts had one end goal in mind; one day being able to run our own lives as adults!

Ironically, now that I am an adult, I find myself on a never-ending search for ways to keep my children from growing up…too fast!

This is one of the reasons why being the editor and founder of For Girls Like You Magazine brings me such joy! Not because I am dedicated to torturing my girls (or yours), but because it gives me the opportunity to highlight and bring attention to all of the excitement and joy that can be found while being young!

When planning each issue, we pray for God’s direction in who we are to feature and highlight. And He continues to cross our paths with amazing little girls, who are doing BIG things to impact His world!

This issue is no different! The topics range from being a missionary in Guatemala, to designing a pair of flip-flops, to being God’s girls in Hollywood!

Take a peek inside:

Young movie stars are always fun but often seem so out of reach to the girls watching them on the other side of the screen. This is why we love Mary-Charles and Maggie Jones so much! They have starred in movies Footloose* and We Bought a Zoo* but they are no different from any other little girl! Most importantly they love GOD! Your girls will love meeting them!

Preview here!

Meet 13 year old Morgan Von Gunten. Morgan has published her very own recipe book and shared a little advice for our girls!

Preview here!

Meet 14 year old Camryn Kelly, daughter of Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly. Camryn is the co-author of Hot Chocolate with God. She and her friends (under the guidance of mom) also host a website with games, videos and advice posts that your girls will love! We are thrilled to feature her!

Preview here!

If you’d like to see additional previews or to place an order please visit us @http://www.forgirlslikeyou.com!

Or if you know a little girl that we need to meet, tell us about her! We love meeting and featuring girls who have found the joy in being a little girl!

*Movies mentioned require parental guidance

Daddy, don’t doubt yourself! We can do it!

“And a little child will lead them…..” Isaiah 11:6

The day started with much excitement, and nothing could curtail my enthusiasm or optimism.  You see, it was the day, just a month ago, that I was able to meet my twin brother’s daughter, my new niece, Faith.  I was taking my eight and five year old on the trip from Dallas to New Jersey and in their eyes it was like we were going on an African Safari.  Needless to say they were excited!

Surprisingly, the morning started well at 3:30 am.  My daughters were excited and even at that ridiculous hour they could not stop talking. They talked from the moment I pulled them out of their beds until the plane was in the air.  They slowly settled in and sleepy, grumpy, attitudes began to prevail.  It never totally got out of hand – yes there were a few arguments over spit fingers, sharing crayons, and lack of things to do on the plane, but overall I was pleased.  That is until we heard the captain come on the intercom and tell us that we were landing 35 minutes late.

It was at that point that I started to doubt God’s plan for our lives for this particular day!  We only had 33 minutes from when our wheels touched down until our next flight took off.  Having flown more than a million miles, I knew that in Detroit, a turnaround and terminal transfer like that was near impossible!

I settled in my mind before we landed that I would not get frustrated, hotheaded or anxious. I also decided that I would not run like a lunatic through the airport dragging my children behind me.

Upon landing, everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  First of all, we were situated near the back of the plane, so de-boarding took no less than ten minutes.  Once we got off, we waited for an additional four minutes for my bag that I was forced to check at the gate because of overhead space issues.  When we finally walked off the bridge and looked at the departure/arrival board, we had 13 minutes before our connection was scheduled to leave the runway from a different terminal.  I figured they would close the door at least five minutes before that, so DEFEAT HAD SET IN.

I was already preparing my daughters, and in my dignified, adult way I was sharing with them about how things don’t always go our way.  I was thinking of secondary options and had given up on making the flight.  In my mind I was handling things maturely.  I was proud of myself, almost self-righteous, that I wasn’t storming the terminal upset because our plans would be altered.

That is when God spoke to me.  Literally, he spoke to me through my eight year old!  I started to walk slowly in defeat towards the gate, expecting to meet an empty gate and a closed door.  I figured we would be making new plans with a gate agent and had resolved to give up.

As I was pouting, I looked up and saw my eight year old sprinting away from me towards the first of a long series of the “people mover” belts found in most large airports.  Annoyed, I yelled something like “Alena! Slow do…..!!”  Before I could finish my statement she yelled back at me in excitement:

“Daddy, don’t doubt yourself!  We can do it!”

It is funny now.  Thinking back to that moment, I can’t say that I even believed her cognitively, but her shear determination and the confidence that she exuded through her body language and her voice gave me a glimmer of hope and enough motivation to pick up my pace.

She led our pack, running the entire way dragging her roller bag.  At times she’d throw it on her back so she could put some extra hustle in.  My five year old kept pace and never faltered.  My daughter’s courage and drive carried me the entire way when I wanted to throw in the towel and just make other plans.

We boarded that plane seconds before they closed the door, and I was immediately very emotional.  I was proud of my daughter who showed me real courage and strength in the face of a large challenge.  I was embarrassed that it took an eight year old to lead me into my destiny for that day, when I was ready to accept something less than the best.  And ultimately I was grateful for the lesson that resolving to be patient and levelheaded should not translate to giving less than your all, no matter how insignificant the task.

How many of us have missed our purpose, our opportunity, or our joy, by simply making an excuse to not put in work?  How many times could the results have been different had we resolved to give our all?  How many of us are grateful that we have a leader, Jesus, who is always there to take the lead, to tell us we can do it, and not to doubt…?

What’s your story?


Heaven: Do’s, Don’ts or Marshmallows?

One morning I watched quietly as my 5 year old, Kaitlyn, delighted herself in a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal. Lucky Charms are a treat in our home and they are also Kaitlyn’s favorite. I observed as she intentionally chose each bite; placing one marshmallow in the center, surrounding it with just one or two of the other shapes and topping it with just a sprinkle of milk! The marshmallows are her favorite part, so I am sure the goal was to capture as much uninterrupted flavor as she possibly could!

Before long, the bowl was empty and Kaitlyn was satisfied. She then looked up and began to gaze at the front of the cereal box.  Before I could say anything, her face lit up and she gleamed as she said, “Mommy, I think this is what heaven looks like!”

After taking a moment to process this, I realized that Kaity was on to something. Of course I am not promising her bowls of glistening marshmallows in heaven. But I am pleased that she views heaven as a place full of things she loves! 

Ultimately, everything we delight in as humans, that is not sin, God created for our enjoyment!

As parents, it is our responsibility to paint a picture of Heaven for our kids.

How are you painting your picture? Are you painting the walls with a rigid list of do’s and don’ts or are you showing them the marshmallows!?

I pray that our girls think of heaven and smile about what they may find there! Our God is lovable, huggable, joyous and so much more! Heaven is full of Him!

Take time this summer to explore the true character of God with your girls by using the “Summer Bible Reading Plan” we have outlined for you!

 Get your free 12 week reading plan here! (Look for more helpful tools in our “Sprinkles Challenges!” section)


25 Mom-N-Me Activities

Do you plan dates or outings with the young girls in your life?

I remember when my oldest daughter was just a toddler my calender was full of “mommy and me” playdates and activities. From music class to gym class to picnics with friends, I was dedicated to spending copiuos amounts of time investing myself in my daughter’s life.

As we hit the pre-school years and onto grade school the pre-planned activities seemed to become scarce. Sure we had playdates with friends and some occasional mommy and me time shopping or running errands, but more often then not I was left wondering what happened to the calender full of organized events that only required my arrival!

Fun and easy quality time doesn’t have to stop when she’s four.  She needs you even more now!

If you are anything like me, then you too can always use a few new mommy friendly ideas of how to spend some quality time with your growing girls! These years are so important and the amount of time you spend investing yourself into her life will have it’s rewards! Print our activities and have fun! There should be enough ideas to keep yall busy for a while!

Take pictures of some of things you do together and share them with us! We love inlcuding your pictures and stories in the Magazine! Send emails to sprinkles@forgirlslikeyou.com.


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