Category Archives: Magazine

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

Raising God’s Girls In Hollywood

Do you recognize these adorable little faces? You may have seen them in films like Footloose and We Bought a Zoo. What you may not know is that these girls are more than just faces in Hollywood; they are “God Girls,” shining and using their gifts from Christ for Christ!  Rather than living a story of fame, these lovely ladies are reminding Hollywood that this life is not about them.

Look for For Girls Like You Magazine’s feature article with Mary Charles and Maggie Elizabeth Jones in the upcoming June 2012 issue.  Your girls will enjoy meeting them soon!  In the meantime, we are thrilled to introduce you to their dad and biggest champion, Jason Jones!

As a father of little “God Girls” in the spot light, what are the top three things you are doing to make sure that you are, and remain their primary influence?

First, we have an unwavering commitment to FAMILY being #1. No matter what other activities or acting opportunities present themselves, we always evaluate the impact on the family, to ensure that the entire FAMILY comes first before anything else.

Second, we make sure that we set aside time each week for church and other church related activities. Our Church provides a great support vehicle and foundation for our entire family. It helps us stay “on level ground” and reminds us of what our real priorities should be each and every day.

Third, we want to have FUN! We never want to have any of our activities (acting, sports, music) seem too much like “a job”. If my children are not having fun and a great experience, then we certainly have to re-evaluate our priorities. We always ask our children “is this what you really want to do” when looking at a new film or TV role. Their well-being is truly our FIRST PRIORITY. So far, each endeavor has been FUN and a very positive experience.

How do you balance the demands of “acting” with family life? Have you had to redefine your family’s “normal?” If yes, in what ways?

Well I think if you ask any family if their life is “normal” they would say “no!” That being said, there are some unique challenges in the world of entertainment. There are times when the family is not together and we carefully have to manage that. Luckily, we have a great airport near us so whenever we are apart we are truly only a plane ride away. We also leverage technology such as SKYPE to stay in touch. That has really been a neat blessing when the family is separated for any extended period of time. 

A recent article in the Huffington Post, Kids Want Fame More Than Anything, references a 2007 study which found fame to be the #1 value among preteens. Knowing the positives and negatives of fame, what advice do you give to our parents as they are confronted with this reality?

We NEVER talk about fame with our kids. It really almost seems silly to them based on the way they are raised. Instead, we talk a lot more about GIVING to others. Their focus is on getting to meet new people and do some amazing things, not what others think about them. While the red carpet premieres and interviews are fun, the focus is always on the overall project, not on how “famous” they can be.  As long as we keep our focus on what we can GIVE to others we feel that we can steer clear of trappings of “fame.” Our girls have seen firsthand how much fun it is to GIVE of their time, talents, and treasures… and that is where their real reward can be found.

For more information on Jason Jones and the Jones girls, follow  on twitter @jasonjoneslives

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FAME! It can be used for what it can get, or what it can GIVE and it all boils down to how we define sucess and greatness. Whether they are famous or not, God has called each of our girls to greatness!

Share one of your girl’s talents or gifts below and how she uses it for Christ for an opportunity to win a copy of Dr. Tim Kimmel’s “Raising Kids for True Greatness: redefine success for you and your child.”


A new friend answers our prayer!

Meet For Girls Like You’s newest friend, 3 year old Abigail!

Take a moment and look at Abigail. She’s just a little girl who enjoys playing with dolls, reading stories, doing flips and stomping in puddles of water. She dreams about spinning in circles while wearing a big bright yellow poufy dress with her favorite red and white polka dot rain boots! Imagine a princess, wearing her favorite crown, her mom’s old slip, one high heeled shoe, and a hot pink boa tossed around her neck; as she gallops to a table full of bears and a teapot filled to the brim with imaginary water….

That’s who Abigail is, a little girl who enjoys doing what little girls do. Unfortunately, this is not the life that Abigail lives.

Abigail is just one of the many children around the world whose unimaginable uncertainties are simply considered a normal way of life. On a daily basis, children like Abigail and just like your daughters and mine, live without a safe place to rest, without clean water, proper clothing and a nutritious meal is nowhere to be found.

As a parent of girls Abigail’s age, I place myself in the shoes of her mother. How would I look into those sweet eyes and explain that tonight we will sleep on the very ground we are standing on? What words would I use at an attempt to comfort and quiet the rumbling of my baby girl’s tummy?

The thought alone brings tears to my eyes and an ache in the pit of my own stomach. I cannot imagine having to watch my daughters struggle day to day knowing that tomorrow will not be any better.

Abigail is not just a picture, she is someone’s daughter.

She is also an answer to our prayer. God sent us Abigail and we are thrilled to support and to share God’s love with this precious girl and her family.

For Girls Like You Magazine is humbled by the opportunity to support, pray for and befriend Abigail through the Cien Fuegos HOPE Center in the Dominican Republic.

We just want you to know that funds from each subscription purchased go towards supporting Abigail and the many children being served through Cien Fuegos HOPE Center.

If you and your family are interested in sponsoring a child or getting involved please visit: Cien Fuegos HOPE Center for more information.


Moms Like Us

At “For Girls Like You,” we love to introduce and surround our girls with girls just like them. Girls that love having fun, love learning new things, and meeting new people, while living a life that shines for Christ! Each issue features girls just like yours, along with articles and topics that keep their attention while making a positive impact in their young hearts and minds! The idea is basic. No one likes to feel alone and our goal is to create safe environments filled with all the things they love, including new friends!

Since moms are just grown up little girls, we want you to know that you are not alone either! Isn’t it fun when you meet someone in line at a grocery store or over hear a conversation at a playground with other ladies who speak your “mommy language?”

Well picture yourself at a park, your girls are playing and you happen to hear two moms chatting about raising kids, encouraging Godly characteristics and discussing how to handle tough topics like loneliness and bullying…now just as our conversation is getting good, I turn and say:

“Hi ladies, this is Thomasina Johnson, a children’s author and a homeschooling mom of 7! Her book, “Mama, When Will I Be Popular” was written to encourage kids who want to “fit in”–A mom and daughter talk, providing wisdom and hopefully a different outlook to the troubles of this little one’s life.

“I was just telling Thomasina:

Our kids face many challenges that we do not always know how to handle. Can you speak to the following challenges and how parents may best understand and support their young children during these times?

Yes, I’m so glad you asked!

Bullying

Bullying is such a multi-faceted topic and I am actually able to relate to both sides. I understand what it is like to be frustrated and embarrassed because your child is the bully and I know how hurtful it is as a result of your child being bullied. Parents are not always aware of the reason as to why their child is acting out. We have to look at the bullies from a personal side, knowing that their behavior may be one of a person who has been through trauma in their own life. They may need guidance and someone to look past the bully exterior to find the broken person behind the mask. In regards to the child being bullied, I believe that our children need to have a strong sense of self-worth. So strong, that no amount of teasing and bullying could cause them to lose hope. We should encourage our children to pray for the bully!

Loneliness

People are made to be around people, yet many are lonely with a swarm of people around them. It is important for our children to know that only God can FILL them up. We need to teach them the presence of God at a young age! In doing so we are insuring that they know they are “never alone and can never be forsaken” (Hebrews 13:5).

Not Fitting In

In my book I try to convey that we are never really going to fit in. This is a major issue with children who seek comfort in friendship above comfort in Christ. Convey to your children that they are a “unique and peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9-10). This understanding took a load off of me when I gave my life to Christ! I had to come to the realization that my life was created to please Christ, and fitting in doesn’t always line up with that.

Your book, “Mama, When Will I Be Popular” focuses primarily on building strong character traits in young children. What are the three main character traits you look to build in your own children?

Integrity, wisdom and compassion, are BIG in my house. I have key scriptures that I share with my children:

Integrity – Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 12:22)

Wisdom – Fools hate correction (Proverbs 15:5)

Compassion – Be kind to one another in brotherly love, honoring one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10)

What motivates you to help with building confidence and character in other children?

My childhood and the children around me who are craving guidance are what motivate me on a daily basis. It scares me to think of the reality that children face when left to their own way. Our children are our future, so I want to do my part to be a Godly influence in hopes that I can lessen the effects of a fragile and unstable generation.

Wow, that was great! Thank you Thomasina for sharing your insight and chatting with us! To chat more with Thomasina or to purchase her book for your girls, visit http://www.booksbythomasina.com

Now, will you introduce us to your friends? Who are some moms “like us” that you enjoy chatting with?

Leave a comment with a link to your favorite blogs!


Juicy Fruit

Instilled in my mind and in my actions are the desire and the will to teach my family the things of God. There is no doubt that if you were to come into my home after a routine family dinner or during a sporadic Saturday morning breakfast, you would hear me reiterate facts about God and see my determination to make sure that my children are ingesting every morsel.  My will to do this is like an engine that drives me.  It is as important to me as anything else in life.  My father and mother taught me from a young age the importance of impressing the Word of God on my family (Deuteronomy 6: 4-8).  It isn’t so much what they said as it was what they did. As often as they could my parents would sit down with my twin brother, three sisters and I, and worship God through song, pray over and with us, and dig into the Bible.  They helped us to apply scripture to our young lives.  This was mostly done at the dinner table directly following my first and second portion of whatever great meal my mother would whip up.  The only slight disappointment was the fact that my father was pretty strict around dinner, and though I often asked for a third portion, that request for gluttony was rarely honored.   I have zero doubt now, as a father of 4 girls and 10 or so years removed from my youth, that the Word of God is “alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). It is simply seen in the fruit that was produced through my parent’s actions and attitudes.

I didn’t write the last paragraph to brag about my parents or myself.  I was simply pointing our hearts and minds toward fruit.  I often speak to my children about fruit. I say to my girls, “tell me about fruit.”  “What do you know about it?” Here are some of their answers:

“Fruit is juicy, Daddy!”

“Fruit smells good!”

“Fruit tastes good, Daddy”

“Fruit sure is sweet!”

In talking about fruit the only place you have to visit in the Bible is Galatians 5:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

I feel an overwhelming sense of conviction as I write.  I only have to look back as far as my last dinnertime devotional to see that my own fruit is often spoiled.  How ironic is that?  My lack of patience with my children was not very “juicy.”  My internal response to not having the perfect dinner in front of me did not “smell very good.”  And my gentleness, or lack there of, in how I responded to my wife’s question was not very “sweet.”  Even as Christians our fruit often leaves a lot to be desired. 

My prayer for you and I is simple this morning. I pray that we would “Walk by the Spirit,”(Galatians 5:16, NIV) and in so bear fruit that is refreshing, tasty, and addictive!   The only way our children, neighbors, co-workers and the world will be attracted to the Jesus we serve is through the fruit in our lives. 

I encourage you to be that fruit for your children; to encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Remember, it’s not just what we say, but what we do.  Our fruit, sweet or sour, will leave a lasting impression.

To get your girls thinking about and digging for fruit, download our new “Sprinkles Challenge” at www.forgirlslikeyou.com!


Give-A-Way

If you are anything like me, there is no trace of “The Holiday Season” left to be found in your home. By now, even your children’s new toys are blending right in with last year’s supply. The only thing that seems to remain is a few stubborn pieces of that stringy icicle décor that your kids insist on keeping up. All other decorations have made their way back into a box, into the attic or out the door! Are you with me!?

Now can I ask you an honest question? Did the spirit of giving seem to sneak out of the door with the trash bags of crumbled wrapping paper and plastic encasings?

I will be the first to admit that I am guilty.

Leading up to the holidays, my brain was constantly churning up new ideas and activities to teach my girls the importance of giving. From baking cookies for our new neighbors, making a thankful calendar or sending a special gift to our favorite ministries, I was on a constant mission to be sure my kids understood that Christmas is not about “getting.” I wanted them to understand that anything they opened on Christmas morning was an expression of how much Jesus loves them and not an entitlement. Now that the season is over and the true meaning of Christmas has been engrained, I have to ask myself, “What lesson am I teaching my girls about appreciating their everyday lives?” And ultimately, “Am I teaching them to have the heart of Christ all year long?”

The Bible teaches us, amongst MANY other WONDERFUL THINGS, that Christ was compassionate, selfless, and generous- Caring for the weak, the sick and the poor. If I truly want to teach my girls to be “Christ-like” then I need to engrain these aspects of His character all year long.

One of my prayers for myself and for my girls comes from the Hillsong United Song “Hosanna”:

Show me how to love like You have loved me

Break my heart for what breaks Yours”

Will you join me in this prayer for our girls? Pray with your girls and discuss ways they can get involved with helping others. Whether its counting pennies, helping a sibling, or greeting visitors at your church- let’s show our girls that they are not too young to make a difference daily for The Kingdom.

Here are a few ideas to help jumpstart your process of year round giving!

Find opportunities to serve in your community:

http://www.serve.gov

Help bring an end to slavery-The A21 Campaign and 21 ways to help:

www.theA21campaign.com

Sponsor a Child in need with Word Vision:

www.worldvision.org

Get involved and support a “kid-friendly” ministry like CBH Ministries “…because Kids Need Christ”:

www.cbhministries.org

I am also excited to tell you that our For Girls Like You Magazine Spring issue will focus on Godly characteristics and ways our girls can “show Jesus” with their actions and decisions. We want to highlight the ways your girls SHOW JESUS all year long!

Leave your comments below of how your girls (name and age) are involved or plan to get involved in helping those in need and we will celebrate them in this issue!

Also, share this post and we will randomly select 1 of your comments to win a FREE copy of our Winter Issue for your girl! Winner will be announced one Monday January 30th, 2012!

Looking forward to reading what awesome things your girls are doing to make a difference!


3 Tips to Strengthen Your Daughter’s Ability to Standout

The other day my four-year old, Kaity, randomly came to me and asked that I take her earrings out. When I asked her why, she responded with, “I don’t want them anymore. I just want the holes.” With a house full of girls, our fashion requests range from wearing skinny jeans with a tucked in shirt to wearing lime green tutus with red tights and purple boots! So a simple request to remove her earrings was easily granted!

About two days later when I picked Kaity up from school, she was dying for me to meet her new friend, Sophie. She went on and on about the various conversations and activities that she and Sophie shared that day. She was thrilled with her new friendship and I was excited for her! Later on that evening, while sitting at the dinner table Kaity said, “Sophie and I are twins. She has a pink coat and I have a pink coat. She has purple boots and I have purple boots. She doesn’t have any earrings just the holes, and I don’t have earrings just the holes.”

What I had just heard my four-year old express, very innocently, was that she desired to change something about herself in order “fit in” with her new friend, and it felt good.

Does this scene sound familiar?

She’s only four! Scary right?

The reality is at one point or another we all have or will experience this same pressure. Not just with our kids but in our own lives. We all like to fit it and feel accepted. It’s how we are wired as people. It hurts to be left out and can be lonely in life when we perceive ourselves as being different. However Romans 12:2, tells us that being different is exactly what Christ has called us to.

Empty ear lobes seem to be the very beginning for my Kaity, but surely not the end. Who our children choose as friends will inevitably impact, reinforce, change or challenge their value systems. As parents our job is to empower them to stand out by giving them something and Someone to stand for.

In lieu of this, and my recent earring-less situation; here are a few steps you can take towards helping your girls resist the urge to be like everyone else:

1.  Don’t judge her friends or make her feel bad for wanting to be friends with certain people. Telling her who she can and can’t be friends with, will likely cause resentment. Instead be intentional about getting to know them and their parents. Set up play dates, ask questions and show your daughter that you are interested in helping her cultivate true friendships.

2.  Help her to develop her identity in Christ. Show her in the scriptures what God has to say about who she is and why He created her. Having and knowing purpose helps to develop confidence and sustains character. Here are a few scriptures to start with (Also there is a special “Sprinkles Challenge” in our current issue using these scriptures)!

Psalm 17:8, Exodus 4:1, Matthew 10:30-31, Ephesians 2:10

3.   Broaden your daughter’s perspective and encourage her to have a wide variety of friends. Go as far as challenging her to befriend the new kid or the kid that plays alone at recess. Often we have an idea of who we want our kids to be friends with; the smart kids, the athletic kids, etc. Challenge her to broaden her circle of friends by setting the example. When you attend a school function, don’t venture off into your private mommy click, but find the new mom, the quiet mom, or the mom you you’ve never met!

One of my favorite quotes is from the book “Raising Kids For True Greatness” by Dr. Tim Kimmell. It says:

“God has not called us to raise safe kids; He’s called us to raise strong ones. He hasn’t called us to raise popular kids; He’s called us to raise spiritually potent ones.”

Also be sure to check out For Girls Like You Magazine. Our current issue is focused on self-image. Each article, activity and photo in this issue is dedicated to helping our girls discover who they are, embrace their differences and see themselves through God’s eyes!

Question:

Think about your daughter’s life, her friendships and her daily environment. Ask God to show you areas where she may be experiencing pressure to “fit in.” What practical things can you and will you do to help stand?


This or That?

Take a look at these photos and share your thoughts. You should know the target audience for both magazines is the same. They are designed to attract your daughter’s attention for the purpose of entertainment. As a result, your daughter’s values and world view are being defined.

Just want you to know you have options! www.forgirlslikeyou.com


I Said Yes

How did “For Girls Like You” Start?  Well, I’m glad you asked! In short, “I said Yes!”

In March 2011 I ordered a subscription of National Geographic’s Kid’s Magazine for my four-year-old daughter Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn’s magazine arrived a week or so later and she was thrilled. I watched as she devoured all the colors, pictures, and games that were designed specifically for kids like her; Preschoolers. I also watched as my soon to be seven-year-old desperately tried to make this preschool magazine work for her. She had fun with it but the fact was it just wasn’t made for her. The games were a little easy, the topics were a little immature (for a 1st grader!), and the pictures were just too baby-like. This was the very same scenario for our Highlights Magazines and Clubhouse Jr. Don’t get me wrong those magazines had served their purpose VERY well, but now it was time to figure out what was next for our seven year old.

To be honest, my heart began to hurt. After the initial pity I decided to call on the experts; I “Googled” it! From there the wheels began to spin. I didn’t know it yet, but this was the beginning of For Girls Like You.

I didn’t find much during my search, and what I did find wasn’t gold. Let’s just say that I am not ok with my seven-year-old reading about “how to handle a crush”, or “what to do when your wardrobe needs fixing!” We just aren’t there yet.

One day, out of the blue, I said to my husband, “I am going to create a magazine for Alena and some of her friends.” It was plain and simple and there wasn’t much more thought beyond that. Soon after, I downloaded a trial version of a design program and got to work. I called on a few of my smart momma friends to contribute and moved forward with a loose plan. It took me a few months and a few “free trial” downloads on multiple computers since I had no funding in the beginning, but before I knew it I had my first draft of a magazine for girls like Alena. I designed and laid the magazine out with these young girls in mind; Girls who enjoy learning random facts about different places around the world and animals and history….Girls that have their own style but are not ready to be bogged down with the latest fashion do’s and don’ts…Girls who are learning to put into practice all the things they have been taught about friendships and right relationships…But most importantly girls who are learning and wanting to follow the heart of Jesus and those who desperately need to hear about Him.

In a nutshell, For Girls Like You, is for girls like that!

So there you have it. I am not a businesswoman who had a dream to start a magazine. That is not where my journey began. I didn’t over analyze. I saw a need and got to work, staying within the limited resources and time available. I am simply a woman, a wife, and a mom of 4 girls that has no other choice but to chase after the will of God. What I’m realizing is that as I chase Him, around every corner is a surprise. I am forever grateful to the Lord for teaching me this lesson and using me in the life of my daughters and girls like them.

I encourage you to chase after God. Instead of trying to figure it out, just give Him the freedom to use your circumstances and your gifts (even if you don’t see them yet). Let this be a small testimony that God doesn’t need us to come up with anything else; a simple “yes” will suffice.


Letter to Parents

Dear Moms and Dads,

As Christian parents, we have a difficult job. On one hand we need to be invested in our daughter’s interests and passions. On the other hand, we need to be instilling values and boundaries that will last a lifetime.

Our daughters are growing up and wanting “to know” and be in “the know.” They are dying to watch the shows that their friends are talking about. They are doing their best to imitate their BFFs and want to have on trendy clothes just like “so and so”. Even if they aren’t hearing it in your home, they are beginning to memorize the latest pop songs on radio. While there may be nothing wrong with any of these things in and of themselves, they should not be the driving force behind our daughter’s identity. Think about it. What and who is defining the wants of our little girls?

There are few healthy entertainment options for our daughters in today’s culture. In fact, most of it contradicts the very values we are striving to implant.

As a part of the solution, For Girls Like You has removed the contradicting perspectives, questionable advertisements and negative images, in order to provide a safe environment for our girls to freely explore their God-given passions. It is my desire that this be an added source to assist you in your efforts to raise beautiful and healthy daughters whose identity is wrapped up in the love of Jesus.