Sunday, August 21, 2011

Give it away liberally

My children got on me Sunday because they said "I laughed too loud in church." I have to admit that when something is funny, I laugh from the gut. I can't help it. I believe that we should be as free in our laughter as we are when we mourn. So I laugh freely.

Likewise I give my smiles away liberally and try to do the same with words of encouragement. I'm learning more and more to affirm my children and my husband, to be intentional about looking for ways to say thank you, or to compliment a job well done, not matter how small. And whenever I do that, I see their faces light up with satisfaction.

I had the chance to be on the receiving end last week when I went to Louisville to tape a training video. John Bennett, the preschool and children's ministry director for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, invited me to be a part of a new website KBC is launching.

I met John less than a year ago, but he has become one of my greatest advocates. He believes passionately in my work with children and the book I have written to help parents disciple their children at home. He never misses an opportunity to encourage me, to "speak life" as it were into me personally and over my ministry. I appreciate the folks like John in my life who believe in me enough to trust God for what is not seen as if God has already brought it to completion.

But what I also like about John is he doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. He doesn't just verbally encourage me. He provides opportunities to promote my ministry and for that I am grateful.

Yes....I like to laugh loudly, smile liberally, and look for ways to encourage. It feels good to be the giver and likewise to be the receiver. So let's do a little of both. Encourage someone today and I hope that what you send out will come back to you multiplied.

PHOTO CAPTION: John stopped by my booth at the Children's Ministry Expo 2011 in Lexington, KY to give me a word of encouragement.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Planting Seeds

My daughter and I had a great experience together last week. We went to Princess Camp. Can you believe it? It was a camp to teach little girls that they are daughters of the king.

I am tremendously blessed that I get to share these opportunities with my daughter as well as invest in the lives of other little girls. I taught led the 4 and 5 year old class. That was an adventure within itself. Let me tell you.....girls, girls, girls.

I loved the fact that we learned etiquette things like how to set the table, and yes even my class mastered setting a proper princess party.

Throughout the week we also learned Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit, and how a true princess puts this Scripture into practice. We learned to "Sparkle for Jesus" and tell everyone how much God loves them.

My favorite part was that throught the whole week, it was small things that planted seeds in the hearts of these little girls that will prayerfully shape their lives in the future. There is power in being affirmed at a young age, and being told that you have worth, and value, that you are loved, and treasured.

I hope we all do that in the lives of the girls we come into contact with. Speaking affirmation into the life of a child has immeasurable consequences. Proverbs 18:21 says, "The tongue can bring life or death." Oh, if we would believe God's word, and put it into practice.

If we could help our children to see that they are made in the image of God, that true beauty comes from within, what an impact it would have on the choices they make and the paths that their lives will follow.

I AM a true princess, and I have a royal purpose. That is likewise true for my daughter and we were blessed to be able to attend Princess Prep School.

For more information on this awesome experience, visit