Alena and I are having so much fun sharing our new book with you! Here’s a little more about the heart and message of this new series for tweens written by a tween!
I am so excited to co-author my newest book, Hello Stars with my 12 year old daughter Alena Pitts! Alena is my oldest daughter and also starred in the box-office hit War Room in 2015.
Hello Stars is the 1st in the new series Lena In The Spotlight with Faithgirlz! On April 25, 2017 Hello Stars will be available where books are sold…but you don’t have to wait until then to receive a few goodies!
PRE-ORDER NOW TO RECEIVE ACCESS TO AN EXCLUSIVE ONLINE Q&A WITH ALENA PITTS, WYNTER PITTS, AND PRISCILLA SHIRER!
Just follow these simple steps:
1. Pre-order the Hello Stars from your favorite retailer (or one listed below) between now and April 24, 2017.
2. Save your receipt/proof of purchase or email confirmation.
3. Send a copy of your receipt/proof of purchase to: LenaInTheSpotlight@harpercollins.com.
4. Wait for your confirmation email with a free digital download from Alena and access instructions!
I am grateful to parent God’s Girl and praying this series blesses every girl that picks it up!
We are springing into spring with our most recent For Girls Like You Magazine!
- an interview with actress and author Alena Pitts
- fun recipes
- activities and articles that assist in growing beautiful and healthy daughters whose identity is wrapped up in the love of Jesus
- interviews with girls from around the world, including a special American Heritage Girl spotlight!
Living Life as a Child of God.
Do you remember being a child and having no care in the world? When you didn’t understand something and questioned an adult about it, they’d tell you that you didn’t need to worry about it or to just wait until you grow up! You just went on your way, didn’t you?
Well now that you are “grownup,” when you are faced with questions and concerns that push you into fear, anxiety and worry, you have a choice to make. When they arise will you still view your life through the eyes of a child? Or will you own it and hang on to all the attachments along for the ride.
Someone once said to “see the world as if for the first time; see it through the eyes of a child, and you will suddenly find that you are free.”
I’m sure this isn’t new news to you but you are a child of God and since that is the case you have been given the opportunity to be a kid all over again. You get to live free. And you get the chance to teach your daughter to do the same! As His child, you have the phenomenal honor and privilege to view life through the eyes of a child –you get to walk with a whole new perspective of the world around you.
If you were to take a moment and view your life as His child, would that problem or decision that you are facing right now not appear to be as wieghty anymore?
Would the overwhelming nature of your daily schedule not consume your mind anymore?
Would you find yourself stressing out as much?
Would your questions and concerns carry the same life crippling fears and burdens?
As you ponder these questions, I’d like to offer you three “R’s” that’ll help you and your daughter collectively choose to no longer view your concerns the same, but to put on the same nature of a child – trusting Him with the answers.
- Remind – remind each other of who God is. God is all-powerful, all-knowing. He is our protector, our friend. He is a way-maker, our comforter. The list goes on and on! We must strive to remind ourselves daily of who God is in our life, building up our confidence and trust in Him.
- Read – Read the Bible together. Joshua 1:8 tells us that when we meditate on this “Book of Instruction” we will prosper in everything that we do. Set aside some time this week – even today – to open up the Bible and simply look at how God takes care of his children.
- Reflect – Reflect on your day together. How was school? Did anything happen that could have gone better? If so, let’s talk about it. How did you feel about it? What could you learn from it? Share answers with each other while thinking of the old but true question, what would Jesus do?
Living life is one thing. Living life as a child of God is another! My prayer for you and I, as well as your girls is that we never grow up.
“Jesus Loves Me,” how often do you sing that song? My mom used to sing that to me when I was a little girl.
The words still get me today!
“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.”
Jesus loved us so much that He died on the cross just… for… you…me…and your girls.
That’s a lot of love, right? I pray we live our lives knowing that we are loved so much by the King who sits on the throne in Heaven. Jesus truly has the best love ever!
Sign up to download and print this Valentine’s Day card from the You’re God’s Coloring Book to remind our girls and their friends that He loves them! The card is designed for your girls to color, fold and share!
I believe there is a little girl that lives inside each of us…
…and there’s probably one sitting next to you, as well.
Well, this is for her!
The new You’re God’s Girl Coloring Book is everything girls love-
Pages and pages of doodles
Bubble letters begging to be colored
Bright, smiling faces
Easy to tear pages! (That’s right the page are perforated to make it easy to take them out and hang!)
However, what I love most about this adorable coloring book is that every single page is covered with God’s love and His Words for His girls!
Help us celebrate this new resource! Order your copy online or purchase in stores and share with your friend!
Send a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org for an adorable download and butterfly necklace, hurry while supplies last!
As a parent, you have a clear assignment from God.
Sounds a little intense, doesn’t it? But, you do.
You are assigned to your children with the purpose of making sure they grow on a Godly foundation and God has given you the exact instructions and guidance you need— The Bible!
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6
How many times have you found yourself reading this verse and still asking, “But how?”
I know I’ve found myself asking for the how, and ironically I always end up receiving my answers by opening up my Bible.
Joshua 1:8 says to “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
There is just no way around it. In order for you to do the assignment given to you by God in the Bible, you have to study the Bible!
I want to encourage you to do it with your daughter!
We’d love to help you get started by GIVING YOU a Bible designed specifically for tween girls by Faithgirlz, as well as a copy of the brand new You’re God’s Girl Coloring Book and For Girls Like You Magazine Winter 2017 Issue!
But first, here are a few practical ways to get started on a journey of studying God’s Word together.
- Pray first. Teaching her to talk to God will strengthen her connection with and confidence in the Lord as she grows up.
- Ask her about problems she may be facing in school, with friends or even at home. You may be surprised by what she will share with you.
- Listen to her and point her to specific places in the Bible where God speaks into the particular thing she shares. Don’t be ashamed to use your Bible’s index or even the Internet. Find a word that resonates with how she is feeling, and go to the scriptures associated with it. This will start a nice conversation that will allow her to see that God is present and speaks to the details of her life.
- Don’t always wait for a problem. The Bible is full of good news, joyous occasions and reasons to celebrate! Remember to show her God even in the good times.
For a chance to win please leave a comment telling us why your tween needs these resources and share this post!
Giveaway ends Feb 1. Winner will be selected randomly.
Don’t wait to win, find the resources here–
You’re God’s Girl Coloring Book– extra goodies when you pre-order!
Post written by Shamiya Tolbert
I’m often asked what our family’s devotional time looks like. I’ve hesitated answering this question because the truth is not as poetic or glorious as I would like!
So before I get to the gory details, let me tell you the good part. Our family’s devotional time is one the most consistent pieces of our family puzzle. As my girls get older and life gets busier there are a lot of shifts, turns and adjustments that take place in order to make everything fit around what matters most to us—growing together in God’s Word.
Consistency is key. So, at least three evenings a week we are committed to sitting together around the kitchen table after dinner or sprawling across a bedroom floor before bed and studying God’s Word together. This takes on many different forms, but it always ends in prayer and a time of worship. (by worship I mean one song!)
This sounds good, right?
Just picture it, my husband and I, hand in hand, surrounded by our four daughters singing worship songs, playing the ukulele and quoting scripture. Just thinking about it makes me…
…did you think I was going to say smile?
Sorry to disappoint. Thinking about it makes me cringe a bit and it has made me cry on more than one occasion. Don’t get me wrong, we do have some tender moments with smiles, giggles, and intriguing conversation but truthfully that’s not the normal.
I cringe because our daughters are 12, 10, 7 and 7 (twins) and we have a 7-month-old puppy. So yes, we are surrounded by our girls but if we are holding a hand, it’s normally to prevent them from throwing a sock at their sister or from feeding the dog the week old bag of chips he found under their bed.
I cry because our daughters are 12, 10, 7 and 7 and we have a 7-month old puppy! You don’t have to let your imagination do the work there. Every form of mayhem that you can imagine happens or has happened during our family’s devotional time. Nothing makes you feel more like a spiritual failure then having to punish a child in between Bible verses!
But despite the chaos around us as we seek to put God first in our family, I am grateful.
I am grateful because God is good and He chooses to meet us right in the middle of the chaos.
It’s often when I least expect it that God shows us a moment of success. It might be our daughters harmonizing on a worship song with pure hearts. Or it might be us hearing one of them respond to a Bible question with accuracy and confidence in the truth. It could be us seeing them make the decision to spend time in God’s Word and prayer on their own. Or it could be them applying what they’ve learned and us seeing a moment of growth in them that we didn’t know existed. Regardless of how it happens, I can’t help but thank the Lord for His working in the mess.
Remember that God has not asked us to perfect our children and then lead them to His grace. As parents He has called us to create an environment where they see His grace lived out through us, in a way that lines up with His Word. Jesus entered the chaos for us, so we choose to enter the chaos with our girls.
So despite the commotion, laughter, fidgeting, and tears, here are a few things we do or have done as family during our devotional time together:
- Read the Bible. Either choose a new passage, use one that you have been studying during your personal time or even have your children choose one to share. Remember that God’s word is enough. Allow them to ask questions and relate what you read to everyday situations. Recently we chose to use the Bible Story Book by Nelda Banek. This Bible book summarizes each book of the Bible into concise groupings of chapters and ends with a few questions that help start a conversation. It has amazed us to see the recall and insight that our girls have had using this resource.
Bibles my girls love:
- Zondervan Faithgirlz (They offer a plethora of Bibles to choose from!)
- A Child’s First Bible (for younger kiddos)
- We’ve used online devotionals, audio and written. The audio is perfect for a night when you are just plain out of energy. It allows someone else to moderate while you try to keep yourself from a meltdown! The written is good for when you are out of words, but you still want to lead. This can be an app on your phone, a website or even a podcast. A few we love:
- Read Biblically-based books. Often Jonathan and I will choose a book to read chapter by chapter together with the girls—
And of course we love our own For Girls Like You resources! Each devotional was actually written from conversations and time spent with my girls. My girls now use the devotionals during their personal time and we use them around our table together. You can find You’re God’s Girl and For Girls Like You Devotionals here.
A few helpful tips:
- If you have multiple children with a variety of ages like we do then you can create a schedule, giving each child a turn to lead your time together. Not only does this build them up in God but it builds them up in patience, grace, and kindness for each other. Don’t get frustrated if this doesn’t happen right away. We have to admit that we are a work in progress ourselves.
- If you ever have guests over or extended family, use it as an opportunity to invite them into the conversation. We have found that our girls’ interest peaks if they get to hear someone else’s journey with God. It gives them a different perspective and reminds them that we aren’t alone on this journey.
- Get creative. God has given you everything you need to succeed. It comes down to allocating the time and attention and being willing to pull up to the table of hardship. Treat it like a workout. Everyone works out a little differently depending on their particulars. Spiritual exercise is no different.
- Have Fun. Worshiping and spending time with God can be fun. Yes, learning can always seem “boring,” and routine can start to feel “old,” so make sure you are doing things to inspire them, open their minds, and captivate them. The options are limitless!
Most of all I encourage you to be consistent. Be committed. Be patient.
It was an innocent post of five girls who had gone to dinner, taken a picture, and posted it on Instagram.
Within minutes, however, one girl received a text from her mom asking her to take the picture down. The mom had received a text from another mom whose daughter was crying at home because she wasn’t invited to dinner, and she thought it’d be best if the picture was deleted.
I understand the mother’s intention. I know what it’s like to have a daughter who is scrolling through Instagram and suddenly realizes she was left out. Nobody likes to see their friends having fun without them. And for a mother there is nothing worse than seeing your child upset.
But what I’ve come to realize about scenarios like this is how it doesn’t help the child when we hastily try to fix whatever makes them sad. If anything, we prevent them from developing the coping skills they need both now and in the future.
Because here’s the thing: If you’re on social media, you’re going to have moments where you feel left out, forgotten, or excluded. This fact remains true whether you’re 16 or 66.
And while we can’t control what appears in our child’s news feed, we can help them deal with the feelings that arise when a picture or a post triggers an unexpected pang in their heart.
For girls especially, who are relationship-driven, Instagram can be a mixed blessing. While it lets them connect with friends, it also offers proof of every gathering they aren’t invited to. Parents often tell me they hate Instagram for this reason. While our generation was blissfully unaware of being left out of social gatherings, today’s kids see it aired for everyone to see.
For this reason, among others, I believe in talking through the emotional side of Instagram upfront. When your daughter comes home from school one day asking for an account because all her friends have one, and your mind starts racing with parental questions like:
- Is she mature enough to use Instagram responsibly and safely?
- Does she understand online safety, keeping a private account, and only accepting the followers she knows?
- Does she know the truth about her identity and worth so she doesn’t define herself by her “likes”?
- Is she a good judge of appropriate and inappropriate posts?
…tack another question to the list. Think through the silent risk that can mess with a girl’s psyche by considering this:
Is my daughter emotionally ready for Instagram? Can she handle the emotions that get triggered as she scrolls through her news feed?
Having this conversation early can lessen the sting of hurt feelings and prepare your daughter for what’s to come. It can assure her that hard feelings are normal and equip her to decide for herself whether the upside of social media (connection) outweighs the downside (knowing when you’re left out and wrestling with jealousy, comparison, or insecurity).
A parent ahead of me advised me to think about emotional readiness of my daughters before letting them on social media, and I can honestly say that having that conversation proved to be invaluable. Essentially I told them this:
Social media is supposed to be fun. And when it stops being fun, or when it causes more feelings of stress and anxiety than positive connection, then it’s time to get off.
You will see pictures of things that make you feel left out or jealous. Even at my age I feel that way sometimes, so I’m here to talk if you need to talk. At the same time, part of being on social media is learning how to handle hard or uncomfortable emotions so they don’t hurt you or your relationships.
It’s okay to feel hurt over a post, but if you dwell on every hurt, then that suggests a problem. If seeing a picture of some friends eating pizza without you makes you cry for an hour, you aren’t emotionally ready for Instagram. If seeing your friends on fancy vacations while we’re at the beach makes you so jealous you can’t see straight, you aren’t emotionally ready for Instagram. And if you get upset because you got 100 likes on a picture and your friend got 150 likes, you aren’t emotionally ready for Instagram.
Again, social media is supposed to be fun. And if ever starts to cause you more grief than happiness, that’s a sign that you should get off, delete your account, or take an intentional break.
I know a number of adults who aren’t on social media because they’ve realized it’s not good for them. They’re happy with their lives until they get online and feel the sudden discontent.
I think it shows wisdom, maturity, and self-love that they know to protect themselves. And as a parent in the digital age, I want that same self-awareness for my kids. Maybe social media will be good for them; maybe it won’t be. Maybe it will enrich their lives; maybe it will only make them dissatisfied. Whatever the case is, I hope they’re able to recognize when and if it’s worth their time and attention.
Is your daughter ready for Instagram?
Only you can answer that question. But if I have any advice to share, it is to empower your daughter in advance to handle the emotional ups and downs. Give her examples from your life. Tell her how you cope Make sure she knows it’s normal that feel all the uncomfortable feelings and sometimes see posts in your news feed that catch your heart off-guard.
And when your daughter does see a picture that feels like blatant exclusion, try not to get emotional yourself. Hug her, love her, and help her make a plan. Let her cry if she wants, but remind her that a picture doesn’t have to ruin her night. She can get the tears out, wipe them away, and choose to move on – putting her phone up and engaging in real-life fun with a family member or friend who can offer the perfect distraction.
Her newest book Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For? released November 15 and is available everywhere books are sold, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. Kari is also the author of 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, used widely across the country for teen girl studies.
Kari’s work has been featured on national platforms like The Huffington Post, TODAY Parents, and Ann Voskamp’s blog. Learn more by visiting www.karikampakis.com or connecting with Kari on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
My friends Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart came out with a book that hit me right where I’m at. It celebrates a woman’s God-given creativity, smack-dab in the middle of this mothering season. Kelli and Wendy challenge us to use our talents for Kingdom work today! And then they take it a step further and suggest we invite our children to join us in this modern day renaissance!
Without giving too much of the book away, let me just say that God had something really good in mind when He created us in His creative image… and then gave us children.
I know it feels like two conflicting dreams most days, (your creative dreams and the dream of being a good mom) but God has good things planned for us creative mamas! And for our kids.
Are you a creative mom who’s put your writing, your painting, your singing, your photography, your home decorating, your dreams on hold as you raise your kids? Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom challenges us to use our gifts right where we are as part of our Great Commission call!
In our home, our local community, and out into the world.
Go ahead and minister to your kids with your singing and writing and baking and party throwing; use you’re gifts in your local church and at your kids’ school; and even out into the world in this digital age. That’s the great commission!
If I can do it, you can do it. If Alena can do it… so can your kids. Of course it will look different. It will look like you. And that’s beautiful.
Here’s an excerpt from Life Creative:
“When we fill our home with music that moves us, and an easel in the sun-drenched kitchen nook, not only are we constantly inspired, but our children have the opportunity to grow into inspired people too. As they watch us use our gifts in the local church to edify and encourage, they receive the over flowing example of gospel-centered creativity and mission-minded art.
All this sounds lovely, of course, except more often than not we don’t bring them with us into our art, because it’s all quite messy. So we set our art aside for this season with little ones at home, or use it as a holy time to pull away alone. But what if, instead of hording it up for our own self-expression, we shared with them the leftover art supplies and bathed them in the over flow? What if we choose to actively turn our gaze from our own present Renaissance, and put our attention on the Renaissance rising just down the hall?”
Oh, and I forgot to mention, Wendy and Kelli share a bit of Alena and my story in the chapter entitled “Renaissance Rising!”
Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom is available here!