Mama, you did it!
For those of you that signed on to be part of our summer reading challenge, you spent the last few weeks pouring into your daughter with intention and PURPOSE.
You committed to five weeks of faith, fun, and connection to five women who played an important part in God's story. Great job!
In case you missed it, here's a recap of what we we did over the last few weeks to spend some quality time with our girls.
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Throughout our lives, there will ups and downs. But no matter what we may be experiencing, God is there with us through it all. He's always ready and willing to listen and guide us along our journey when we open our hearts to Him.
Draw near to God and He will Draw near to you
In the first week of our Summer Reading Challenge we share with our girls the first of their five superpowers: Prayer.
Pray Like Hannah
God wants to be close to your girl, and He’s waiting for her to come and talk to Him. It's easy to turn away from God during those moments when all God is asking is for her to call upon Him.
When Hannah was treated harshly by Peninnah it would have been very easy for her to shut down, get angry, or try to handle the problem herself. Instead, she brought her feelings to God in prayer and told Him the truth from inside her own heart. And just as God heard Hannah’s prayer, He hears your girl's prayers, too.
Every single one.
Maybe she never thought that much about it before. Think about it right now. She has the ability to talk to God, and He can hear everything she says. God, the Creator of the entire universe, listens when she talks to Him.
Open the Window: T-A-P
Remember, she can think of prayer like she's opening a window. When it’s open, God is there on the other side, waiting to hear from her. Talk to your girl. Encourage her to remember to tap the window (T-A-P) and tell Him what’s on her mind.
The “T” in TAP stands for thank. God has given us many gifts, wonderful people, and special blessings. He has given us a beautiful world to live in and He takes care of our every need. Be sure to tell Him how happy and grateful you are for His love, protection, and grace. Thank Him for everything you can think of!
The “A” in TAP stands for ask. God has the answer to every single question you have. No matter if you are feeling sad, lonely, confused, or angry, you can ask Him anything. He is always listening, and He wants you to ask Him your questions.
The “P” in TAP stands for praise. God made this entire world and everything in it (Psalm 89:11): everything we can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste. He is awesome and mighty and powerful, so celebrate and tell Him so! You can be happy and excited that God is who He is. He is loving, faithful, and worthy of our praise.
Here's an Activity to Try with Your Daughter
Make your very own prayer window! Create one from scratch by decorating a cardboard cutout, or use one made of real wood that’s been repurposed. Paint it, decoupage it, bedazzle it... be creative!
Add pictures and words to remind you of reasons you want to say “thank you” to God.
Patient Like Esther
Have you ever done something before really thinking it through?
Sometimes we make quick decisions based on fear. A lot of the time, people don’t pause or prepare their hearts before making a choice. They jump in before taking enough time to pray, think, or ask God for help.
In week 2 of our Summer Reading Challenge we share with our girls the super power of patience.
Having patience means taking time alone with God to allow Him to share something with us, instead of rushing in to make a decision too quickly. God says to be still. When we’re still, sitting quietly and without anything there to distract us, it gives us a chance to hear what God wants to tell us.
Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.
The Bible says that when we choose to wait on the Lord, taking time to properly prepare before making choices, He gives us the power and strength we need so that we can make the best choice at the right time.
Sometimes our timing is not same as God's timing, but God's timing is always perfect. God knows and has planned every detail of our lives. We can trust His plan!
Activity: Make your very own patience clock! Create one from scratch by decorating a cardboard cutout, or build one out of materials you have at home (Moms, there are some awesome examples on Pinterest). Paint it, decorate it, dress it up...be creative! Add pictures and words that will help you to remember to “wait on the Lord,”and that His timing is perfect.
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Have you ever been so scared or nervous that it was hard to do something?
Did it feel like you were frozen, or like time was standing still? Have you ever felt like you knew the right thing to do, but you couldn’t do it because something was holding you back?
In the third week of our Summer Reading Challenge we learn about the superpower of Bravery from our Belle, Abigail. (Read 1 Samuel 25)
Abigail was faced with a difficult and dangerous choice. It would have been very easy for her to ignore the problem or be too scared to do anything about it. Instead, Abigail remembered that God was with her. She thought about how to protect her family and show David respect and kindness at the same time.
Brave Like Abigail
Bravery is a feeling of confidence and strength, even when you are faced with trouble or danger. During those times, it’s easy to forget that God is bigger than our problems.
Psalm 27:1-3 The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
The Lord Is My Strength And My SHIELD
When we find ourselves in scary or uncomfortable situations, or when we feel like we’re alone in the dark, we need to remember that God is with us. He is our light. Bravery isn’t about overcoming our fears alone. It’s about remembering how strong and powerful God is. When we remember that, we realize that there is absolutely nothing to fear.
S- Shoulders back
H- Head high
I- Imagine God right next to you
E- Eyes forward
L- Listen with an open heart
D- Decide how best to show love and kindness.
Here's an Activity to Try with Your Daughter
Draw and color a shield as a reminder that God is always right beside you, protecting you from harm. (There's a printable coloring sheet on Day 4 in the Devotional).
Loyal Like Ruth
In the fourth week of our Summer Reading Challenge we share with our girls the superpower of loyalty.
Loyalty is showing love and genuine kindness towards others, despite how you may be feeling. It means loving others faithfully, without waiting or wanting something in return. This isn't always easy to do, especially when we are feeling hurt or betrayed, but the story of Ruth (Read Ruth 1) teaches us how to be a loyal friend and show up fully for the people in our lives.
Dear children, let's not say that we love each other. Let us show our love with our actions.
1 John 3:18
Think back to the last time someone hurt your feelings. Maybe it was during an argument or misunderstanding. How did you feel?
In these moments it's easier to lash out and react to our emotions rather than remaining calm, collected, and rooted in kindness, love, and loyalty.
When you find yourself in a situation where it feels hard to love someone, remember that God is love. He is the best place to go when you need help loving the people around you.
Here's an Activity to Try with Your Daughter
On a piece of paper, make two columns. Have her think about the people she knows (family, friends, classmates, teammates etc.). In the first column, make a list of people she thinks are easy to love. In other words, it wouldn’t be difficult to be kind to these people. It would take a little bit of effort and a little heart. In the second column, make a list of people in her life who are a little harder to love. Once she has some names written down, encourage her to spend some time thinking and praying out loud with you. Ask God together to change her heart for these people. Ask Him to make her heart bigger for the people in the second column.
We are in our final week of the Summer Reading Challenge. Over the last four weeks we have been encouraging our girls to ignite their superpowers: Prayer, Patience, Bravery, and Loyalty.
This week we explore our fifth and final superpower: Leadership.
Lead Like Deborah
The story of Deborah (Read Judges 4) is an example of how God wants us to use our superpowers to serve Him and others as a leader. As a judge, Deborah solved disagreements, gave people good advice, and encouraged them to love God and discover their authentic voice and unique purpose in the world. Because of her faith, strength, and character, God placed Deborah in a position to lead His people into battle and win a great victory!
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.
Just like Deborah, God has chosen each and every one of us to be a leader as well.
What is a Leader?
Leadership is more than being in charge or telling people what to do. It doesn’t only mean doing the work God wants you to do. Being a good leader also means encouraging the people around you to do the same. The word leader literally means, "to put courage in" others.
Recall a time you were struggling and someone encouraged you.
Discuss the following with your girl:
- What were you facing?
- What did the person say?
- What did the person do?
- How did it make you feel?
Pray together and ask God to grow your desire and skill to encourage others in both words and actions.
Let Her Noise Be H.E.A.R.D
This marks the finale of our Summer Reading Challenge! Your little Belle has earned all five bells: The bell of prayer, patience, bravery, loyalty, and leadership.
As a reminder of her superpowers help your girl make her very own HEARD bracelet with yarn, string, cord, craft foam, or whatever other fun material you prefer. Be creative! Use beads, jewels, charms, letters, and more!Be sure to add the initials of each Bible Belle (“H” for Hannah, “E” for Esther, “A” for Abigail, “R” for Ruth, and “D” for Deborah). Wear your HEARD bracelet as a reminder that, like the Bible Belles, God gave her a powerful voice. He wants that voice to be heard out in the world!