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Girl World




How I would describe being a mom of girls…dressing up real-life dolls, still playing with dolls, Mary Jane shoes, trying out dresses to see if they twirl enough, curling hair, making bows, decorating in pinks and purples, and including ruffles everywhere I can. Girls love hanging out like moneys on our dilapidated trampoline!







It also means eye rolls, door slams, sass, friend drama, crying, backtalk, and an overwhelming feeling I might not be doing “momming” right. Praise the Lord He is actually in charge and not me. I am so glad He takes my imperfections and makes something good out of it.




Isabella “Izzy” Grace made her appearance April 4 and we are all excited and enjoying her company she adds to the family. I saw a blanket recently with “God knew my heart needed you” on it. She has mostly hand-me-downs but I purchased this for her because it is so true. Now there are five girls in the house! We are very much the VonTrapps!






As Brett and I were talking the other night, I told him that as the girls get older, it will become increasingly difficult for a few years. I speak from experience. What I mean is, the older they get, the greater the choices with greater consequences (good or bad) and will polarize our girls from others. As cultural choices are introduced, the choices they have to make will begin to cause them to choose to pick how they will live their lives.


In middle school, it might look like choosing to sit with an outcasted student, in high school, it might look like choosing to cover the belly instead wearing the crop top like everyone else, and in college it might look like choosing not to go to a certain party situation when it seems everyone else is. It requires a backbone and confidence that Jesus gives. It is tough to realize where the line between culture and Jesus is.


I have a favorite local coffee truck and I love talking to the people who run it. I have also made an effort to take each child to coffee there by themselves even if just for a little while, so they can have some one-on-one time. I began with the older three girls. Each of them had one day I took them to grab coffee from the truck and took our standardized testing to the park to work. I took Krew and since he is only one year old, he picked a cookie and we took it to a grassy area to run around. He devoured the cookie so I think he had fun!






While at the truck one day, talking to one of the ladies, we discussed this very topic of how to know how to act in the world. As a follower of Jesus, we have to look differently and act differently than the world, yet we still live in the world. Questions like how to dress, what movies to watch, which words to use, what jokes to laugh at are very real that can make a difference. I believe it requires a lot of prayer and guidance from the Lord.






I cheered in college, which obviously lends itself to certain social situations. There were many parties I had to choose not to go to. It can get lonely sometimes, but God always provided friends to hang out with. At the same time, I had a great relationship with the other girls and guys on the team so I could talk openly with them about God. I remember conversations about God on the mats at cheerleading practice and transparently talking about what it means to live for Christ.


I want my girls to be the kind of girls to love fiercely because Jesus loved them first. To reach out to the hurting or abandoned. To be participate in life while being a light in this world that so desperately needs hope. I want them to remember that every person they meet has a story and we have no idea what they go home to - it could be a tough existence and they are just trying to survive. I want them to extend grace to those around them. We must practice at home, so this is an everyday reminder. “She hit me on purpose” or “she is leaving me out” are common phrases where we have an opportunity to practice giving grace at home so they can practice it in the world. As we put loving others like Jesus into practice, we are baking sweet treats for others. We enjoy putting on the aprons and making chocolate goodies in the kitchen - even the boys! If you are reading from Bilixi, Mississippi, you will recognize the reference to Meerkat Manor! While serving a church there, we had a regular event at our house we called Meerkat Manor and had so much fun hosting students on Sunday evenings! We still miss you and love you all!





In college, a freshman girl joined the cheerleading team. She had a reputation and a nickname to go with it. My girls from the team and I loved hanging out with her and she even participated in weekly worship and a Baptist Campus Ministries trip! We had great conversations about God with her at practices but eventually she quit going to those events. She felt awkward because some of the girls who knew Jesus called her the same names everyone else did. It hurt her deeply and I can’t say I blame her for not wanting to go back.


I know this is just the beginning of “girl world” and it is a tough existence. It is not for the faint of heart. To balance Godly confidence with kindness and compassion for others requires effort for a lifetime. If you have girls or simply are a girl, be okay to be left out or feel weird when you choose to do what is right, even when it is hard! It will be worth it in the end (Deuteronomy 6:18). I challenge you like I challenge myself, to love fiercely, give grace, and look different from the world!



Do what is right and good in the Lord's sight...Deuteronomy 6:18


Love,

Charis


Pic(k) of the week:

When Krew has had waaaaay too much of baking and is ready for lunch, it looks like this...


What I’m Lovin’:

I love the message of this blanket! You can find it here:




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