February 23, 2017

7 Sources of Encouragement For Your Teen Daughter's Heart

I would have made such a good pioneer woman. 

There are lots of reasons behind this conviction (working title for that post: "Reasons I Would Have Made a Good Pioneer Woman"), but chief among them is the fact that those 1800s mamas didn't have to raise kids in an era of internet and cell phones and
texting and Wi-Fi and insta-this and face-that. 

Still, in spite of my frustrations with technology and its frequent (ill) effects on the emotional state of our household ("MOM! Is the internet down AGAIN?!!), there are things I love about it--like these seven faith-feeding resources that have all been approved and recommended by my in-house testing panel (namely, my 18-year-old daughter).

However much I may envy our foremothers' simplified life choices--"let's see...is this a 'work' dress day or a 'good' dress day?"--I'm grateful these encouraging options are available now. Because I well understand there is a lot to be said for voices that speak truth into my teenager's mind and heart but are, let's face it, not me.


1. YouVersion Bible app. My daughter discovered this treasure when she was looking for a Bible for her phone. It is that--and a lot more, plus it's free. She especially likes YouVersion's subject-based Bible reading plans--12 days on prayer, for instance, or 21 days on worship--along with its Scripture images. I like that she's using her phone to access something significantly more life-altering than her friends' Facebook status updates.

2. Godly Dating 101. I know some families eschew dating entirely in favor of courting...or arranged marriage, maybe. And having been through the dating ordeal with my firstborn, I'm inclined to agree with them. But don't let the word "dating" throw you off: this resource promoting "chivalry, modesty, purity" offers sound advice on so much more than dating that I think it could almost be called Godly Living 101. I save their Facebook posts for myself all the time, even though I'm happily planning on dating only my husband for the rest of my life. Check out this Facebook post for an example of something I saved on the spot.

3. QWC Devos. When my daughter was just barely on the other side of a painful breakup (see "dating ordeal," above), she Googled "Christian dating quotes" and kept seeing powerful results all from the same source. She eventually found her way to the Facebook page and website of Quite Women Co.: "a place for women to be quite the women God has called them to be." Her phone camera roll is filled with screen shots of their posts, and she uses their devotionals as the basis for a Bible verse of the week that she journals about. Often, during our nightly chats, she says, "Oh, I've got to read you this from Quite Women Devos." And when she does, I'm usually struck in the heart by the profound truth of what I'm hearing, put in ways I only wish I could come up with on my own.

4. Adam Cappa. Categorized as a Christian pop musician/band on his Facebook page, Adam Cappa is also a husband and dad who offers cut-to-the-chase counsel on God-honoring dating and relationship goals, for "ladies and gents." (Recent example: "the greatest couples worship Jesus, not each other.") My daughter and I often message each other posts we want to make sure the other hasn't missed, usually with the tag line, "Adam Cappa does it again."

5. Elevation Worship. I'm a passionate believer in the power of music as a conveyor of truth. What my girls take into their ears gets absorbed by their brains, trickles down to their hearts, and comes out of their mouths and their emotions and their actions. Their newest musical obsession--which I share--is Elevation Worship. As chauffeur mom, I paid my dues in my daughters' younger years, listening to ABC songs and "The Wheels on the Bus" ad nauseam en route. Now, this gorgeous, powerful music is my reward for time served. But an even greater reward is that this is also what my daughters choose to listen to when I'm not the one driving them around.



6. Project Inspired. Billing itself as "the biggest community of Christian girls on the web," this site offers one-stop shopping for young women of faith. With articles, music, fashion advice, Bible studies, and more under the banner "God, friends, life, love," Project Inspired is the ministry of model, wife, and mom Nicole Weider. My daughter--my very own "PI girl"--told me the other day, "I feel like 99% of what they say is biblically accurate, not just what the author thinks. I feel like it's not just the author's opinion or what they did or what they think you should do, but what the Bible is actually saying." I love both that she's noticed this about the site and that she cares that it's true.

7. Hobby Lobby. No, I didn't confuse this blog post with my errand list for the week. It's just that Hobby Lobby happens to be the main supplier of the first source of encouragement my daughter lays her eyes on every morning: her "inspiration wall." She got the idea from a friend several months ago: a wall filled with Scripture prints and quotes that would inspire her every day. She asked for canvas prints for her 18th birthday, and Hobby Lobby was the place to find them...and find them...and find them. 

But the most treasured piece on her wall actually came from a different source: Kcreatives. I found Kimberly (the "K" behind Kcreatives) via a sharing thread in an online writer's group. The beautiful handcrafted creations on her Facebook page beguiled me  (she's on Instagram, too) and led me to an idea for a one-of-a kind 18th birthday gift: a personalized watercolor setting of Jeremiah 29:11.



Of all the things my teenage daughter could have hanging on her wall (good grief...didn't I have a Rick Springfield poster?), I can't think of anything much better than this.




If you're the mom or aunt or grandma or friend of a teenage girl, what resources do you know of that feed her mind and heart and soul? Please share them in a comment or on Facebook. Those of us who love these young women need all the wisdom we can get.


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16 comments:

  1. Great ideas. My dd will be a teen next year. I will have to keep these ideas in mind!

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    1. Thank you for taking time to stop by, Aileen. Blessings on you and on your teen-in-the-making!

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  2. Elizabeth! What a great list! I too have an 18 yo daughter. I'm going to be sharing this with her! Also sharing across social media today. Thank you!! (Your neighbor at Faith 'n Friends.)

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    1. Aw, thank you so much Dianne...fellow mom-of-an-18-year-old-daughter! Isn't this an incredible season to be in with her? Bless you for your kind words and your sharing...I hope perhaps a few of these resources that have encouraged my daughter and me will encourage yours and you, too!

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing these resources with us, Elizabeth!! I'll be passing them on to my teenage daughters, and pinning them for others to find. I really appreciate the wall art suggestions, as my 14-year-old has been asking for some Bible verses and quotations to put on her walls.

    Have a great weekend!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Tracey! I know my Lydia LOVES have her "inspiration wall" to greet her when she wakes up in the morning. And as you well understand, anything that makes 6 a.m. look better than it does on its own is a good thing.;) Blessings on your weekend, too!

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  4. #8: Having an amazing friend who can be found online, blazing the trail with her wonderful daughters before Gv and I arrive at that point and who does not hold back on sharing what she's learned from the journey (see #2: arranged marriage!) <3

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    1. Dear Lisa, even your blog post comments are creative and inspired. I think this is a wonderful addition to my list! ;) Your trail-blazer(s)' feet may be sore and calloused from the journey, but at least those who go--unsteadily--before you have the delight of insider information on Gv's intended! ;) Hugs to you, my wise and witty friend.

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  5. Rick Springfield... sigh! He's still got it. But that's not the point is it?

    These are some great sources of inspiration for everyone. I had a quote from Hamlet on my wall. Yeah, senior year was a bit rough.

    Thanks for sharing with us every week on #FridayFrivolity

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    1. Well, point or no, your comment on Rick MADE MY DAY, Audrey. Rather a contrast to Hamlet, but still...;) And thank you for hosting #FridayFrivolity every week! You funny ladies are the best.

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  6. Navigating the digital oceans with our children is tricky...a balance between protection and trust. My teen daughter also enjoys creating Godly art for her bedroom walls. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.

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    1. Hi, Aimee...it's always so nice to hear from a fellow teen-girl mom. Blessings on you and your daughter...thanks so much for hosting Grace & Truth!

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  7. Your daughter sounds like a beautiful young lady. You must be very thankful!

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    1. Yes, Michele, she is...and yes, I am. :)

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  8. Yay, yay, yay - another "hit it out of the park" post, friend! I'm gonna share this with my just-turned-13 year old daughter! She has an inspiration wall, too, except it's lots and LOTS of sticky notes and calendar quotes and cartoons taped to the wall by her bed. Oh well, it's all good...
    Ugh...the dating issue...not even going there!
    But thank you for sharing these resources with us at Coffee and Conversation last week - they do look wonderful. And us moms-of-teens could use all the help we can get, no?!

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    1. Aw, thank you, dear Pat! Your daughter's wall sounds inspirational, whimsical, and charming! :) As for the dating, you are SO right: don't. Even. Go. There. (Sigh. Sob.) Bless you, oh lovely C&C hostess! xoxo

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!