Devo Day 12: Words Matter

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
keep themselves from calamity.
Proverbs 21:23

Words matter.
What you say affects eternity for some people.
You hold the power to build up people to be great.
You also hold the power to destroy the hearts of those you know.

Words hurt.
Words can destroy a friendship in an instant.
Words can hurt more than physical blows.
Words can make a person feel small and alone.
Words can divide people from the God who loves them.

Words heal.
Words of love remind us we’re not alone.
Words of patience remind us we don’t have to have it all figured out.
Words of understanding mend broken relationships.
Words of truth give value to feelings and struggles.

Choose your words wisely. They will be what you are truly remembered for in years to come. Choose to be a girl who lifts others up with her words and gives others good words to remember about themselves. Choose words that give life. Choose words that matter.

Devo Day 11: Do Not Be Afraid

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

Fear can stop you in your tracks, can’t it? Fear can make us believe every untrue word that has ever been spoken about yourself. Fear can make you question the promises of God and the faithfullness of people.

Fear prevents you from being all God made you to be, and it is one of the Enemy’s best tools against us. No one likes to be afraid. No one likes fear. No one likes to think they’ll be made a fool or or do something wrong. Fear makes us inactive. Fear makes us stand still when God is yelling at us to move forward in faith.

How do you combat fear? Hold the words of God in your heart. Write them on the bathroom mirror. Make them the screen on your phone. Do whatever you have to do so that you remember these words, no matter what: I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and DO NOT BE AFRAID.

God doesn’t work like the world. He is bigger than your fears. Name those things that keep you from moving forward and then find freedom.

Devo Day 10: A Brand New Day

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

“Good morning, sweet girl. It’s a brand new day.”

Each morning, I greet my sleepy daughter with these words as she awakes. I say these words with excitement, as we have a whole new day of adventures ahead of us. I say these words with love, meaning that any troubles from yesterday are behind us and we are beginning with a clean slate. It is a comforting way to begin the day.

One Girl has come and gone. By now you have likely settled back in the routine of the school year, and you may have felt some of that emotional and spiritual energy fizzling a bit. After an event like One Girl, we often leave the weekend with goals and ideas of how we will change, and sadly, we often slip back into old habits. I bet there have been some days where you haven’t thought once about bravery. Have there been days that you’ve not even muttered a prayer?

Just like I greet my daughter each morning, scriptures tell us that God greets us, his daughters, with new mercies every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

This morning, start fresh. Don’t worry about goals you have missed. Don’t worry about if you can make it for the next few days meeting your goals.  Just focus on today.  Be present. Think about your day today. This day. How will you be brave today? How will you be a light for Jesus with your family? Your friends? Your teachers? Yourself?

Today, confess what you’ve messed up to our Father in Heaven. Tell Him your hopes for this day. Then imagine Him smiling at you and saying, “Oh, my sweet girl. It’s a brand new day.”

Devo Day 9: A Child of the King

Rejoice always, pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees. ~Victor Hugo

Everyone has those moments when they feel far from God – they feel isolated and lonely in their own struggles and their own world. At those times, it’s so easy to stop praying, to stop thinking about God and to focus on the worldly battle being fought around you. But, even during those darkest moments, God is still there – He is just as close as He was on the days you feel Him as He is on the days you cannot seem to find Him.

What’s more, your soul is still in communion with God, even when your body seems far away. Once you have found Him, it is impossible to leave Him. Once you have accepted Him, you are unable to completely separate yourself from Him. It is on the dark days when you heart speaks the words your mind cannot create – and your heart speaks directly to the Creator on your behalf, urging patience, kindness, love and openness with Him.

So, when you are having a day when you feel like God is impossible to find, remember that your heart is speaking a language that you don’t understand – a language, in fact, that the world does not understand. But, the One who loves you best understands. And He hears your prayers.

Devo Day 8: Here I am! Send Me!

Then I heard a voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
Isaiah 6:8

We talked a lot about redefining bravery during the One Girl Conference.  So, what is it going to take for you to be the girl God wants you to be?  Sometimes, it is scary to do what God wants us to do.

My friend Kylie went on a mission trip during Spring Break during her junior year of college to Northern Ireland. She came back with a love and heart for those people and decided that she was going to change all of her plans for the summer, give up an internship that she had worked hard for, and raise the money to do an internship in Northern Ireland for the summer.  In just a couple of weeks, she raised a couple thousand dollars to do just that!  She came back knowing that when she finished her degree that her focus would be youth ministry (especially to young girls just like you) in Northern Ireland.

After she graduated, she left for Northern Ireland not sure what God had is store—planning on staying there for at least five years—three years in, she had accomplished all her goals and felt God saying “Thank you for all you have done—you have prepared my people here—go home.”  Kylie could have ignored that call God gave her to spend time in Northern Ireland.  She was prepared to spend her life there—she didn’t take the easy road and God blessed the decision she made.

We may not know why God is asking us to do something or how much of a commitment it would be.  Kylie moved an ocean away trusting that when it was time, God would reveal the next step to her.  What is God asking you to do?  How is God asking you to be brave?

Devo Day 7: He Hears Your Prayers

Rejoice always, pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees. ~Victor Hugo

Everyone has those moments when they feel far from God – they feel isolated and lonely in their own struggles and their own world. At those times, it’s so easy to stop praying, to stop thinking about God and to focus on the worldly battle being fought around you. But, even during those darkest moments, God is still there – He is just as close as He was on the days you feel Him as He is on the days you cannot seem to find Him.

What’s more, your soul is still in communion with God, even when your body seems far away. Once you have found Him, it is impossible to leave Him. Once you have accepted Him, you are unable to completely separate yourself from Him. It is on the dark days when you heart speaks the words your mind cannot create – and your heart speaks directly to the Creator on your behalf, urging patience, kindness, love and openness with Him.

So, when you are having a day when you feel like God is impossible to find, remember that your heart is speaking a language that you don’t understand – a language, in fact, that the world does not understand. But, the One who loves you best understands. And He hears your prayers.

Devo Day 6: Shower God’s Grace

And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
2 Corinthians 12:0

I have a friend who is OCD and has struggled with anxiety. It was something that she struggled with to the point of it making her sick. As she got counseling and help from family to begin getting it under control, she decided that she wanted to be somebody that could help others that struggle with anxiety like she did.

Maybe what God is calling you to do is to be brave enough to tell your story.

Maybe you have come through some tough times and what you went through can help somebody else.

Maybe your parents have gone through a divorce and you see somebody else going through the same things.

How can you use God’s grace to shower grace on somebody else?

Devo Day 5: Listen in Silence

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.
Deuteronomy 3:19-20

iPads. iPhones. Laptops. Tablets. Twenty-four hour news cycles. Streaming radio. TV on demand.

If your life is anything like mine, my guess is that it is pretty full of noise. I have a hard time just sitting in silence. I used to enjoy the quiet, but now I find I can barely sit at a desk without a podcast playing or music on. Why do I fill my life with so much noise? What am I drowning out? I avoid silence, but then wonder why I don’t seem to hear God’s voice.

You’re hearing a lot. I know you are. I am, too. You’re hearing, but are you listening to the voice on the breeze, the voice in the silence, the voice in the static?

His voice spoke the world into existence. His voice spoke your life into His world. His voice spoke redemption on a hill in Jerusalem. And, more than that, His voice still speaks today. He calls out through creation, through your family, through your enemies…He calls out in any way he can to get your attention.

So, listen carefully to the sounds around you – you will hear Him in children laughing, in people embracing, in the everyday small things you do that make a difference for eternity. In the space between the noises of your life, listen for the something more that God is saying to you. Turn off the music a little more each day. Check out of the noise and into the silence, and find the voice of the One who will continue speaking to you forever.

Devo Day 4: Be Used by God

As each of you has received a special gift,
employ it in serving one another as good
stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1 Peter 4:10

Ralph was in his 70’s and has the biggest heart of anybody I knew.  He was encouraging and loving.  He was a prayer warrior and always did anything he could.  A few years after meeting Ralph my mom was the director of VBS at our church. He told her he wanted to help and would do anything that physically he was able to do—but didn’t think he had a lot to offer.  So, after brainstorming we decided we needed a “VBS Grandpa”.  Ralph loved that job. We got him a comfortable chair to sit in so that he could talk to the kids went hey came to eat snacks. He placed it on himself to make sure the kids washed their hands and just talked to them about what they had learned. He simply loved on them.

You may not know where you can best be used by God.

Often times, we think that we need to be able to sing or play an instrument during a worship service, be a small group leader, or maybe go on a mission trip in order to serve God. But if you have something to offer, God will use it. He wants you to be willing.

What gifts and abilities can you use to be the girl God wants you to be?

Devo Day 3: Remarkable Faith

Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God.
They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Luke 5:26

A paralyzed man.
Friends who loved him.
Faith in the One who could heal.
Bravery to do the hard thing.

The story in Luke 5 about a paralyzed man and his friends is one of my favorites. These friends have such a deep love for their friend that they are willling to do anything to see him healed. They know Jesus is in town. They take their friend to be healed. They can’t get through the crowd. Most of us would have given up. But, not these guys. They go to the roof and lower their friend down, right in front of Jesus.

Then, what happens. Jesus sees the faith of the friends – not the faith of the person they were helping. They see these people who were willing to risk it all for one they loved, and he said it was their faith that healed him. Because they risked big, their friend was rewarded big.

Do you have friends in your life that you would do anything to help? Have you told them about Jesus? Have you shared with them the big thing He can do in their lives? Sharing about Jesus can be scary, but your faith could help bring someone healing – emotionally, physically or spiritually!