August 31, 2010

Back from Hiatus

I'll never forget this summer. It's been full of lots of physical, emotional and spiritual changes in our household. I'm not fully prepared (office details) for this year's Sonflower Sisters kick-off, to be totally honest. But I'm looking forward to the joy it will bring more than ever!

Stay tuned...

May 19, 2010


I'm sorry, this month's lesson is going to be late. My husband's sister passed, his elderly aunt came to live with us, and I've been battling bronchitis for two weeks. Use this month to focus on a fun date with your daughter and journaling--or whatever the Lord leads you to do. Blessings.

April 27, 2010

Lesson Four: When We Lie Down and When We Rise Up

Hearts Drawn Close

Month Four: When We Lie Down and When We Rise Up

“You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them…when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deut. 11:19

Imagine our hearts are snow-globes—little clear glass jars filled with glittery snow that falls all around a beautiful scene. From sunup to sundown, life shakes us up. All we can make out all day are quick, short glimpses of our hearts. But God gives us two very special moments each day, when all the glitter has settled and we can see clearly inside ourselves and others: when we wake in the morning, before we start our work for the day; and as we settle into our beds in the evening, when our day’s work is done. Twice a day we are still enough that our glitter settles and our hearts shine bright and clear.

Your Morning Snow-Globe

Think about that moment you awaken, when your hair is tangled, your pajamas are wrinkled and bits of leftover mascara dot your cheeks. Your mind has not yet begun working; you are simply awake. How you choose to spend those few quiet moments when you have no one to impress and nothing pressing reveals who you are at your very core. How do you respond to the stillness God designed? Do you take the opportunity to offer a simple prayer from your heart to His? Are you at peace with your soul while it is still, content to surrender your day to Him? What is your morning “scene,” Mom? Is it beauty and peace? Do you allow God to gently shake your snow-globe at the start of your day?

Or do you begin shaking yourself silly right away? Do you grab your globe from God’s hands and immediately begin ordering your day in your own way? Are you compelled to start shaking your world into place, controlling every detail from the moment your eyes open? Is your morning scene chaos and jumble? Full of Him or full of only yourself?

Your Daughter’s Morning Snow-Globe

God has given our daughters their very own proverbial snow-globes. The question is, who holds our daughter’s snow-globes? Do we believe we hold them in our own hands? Do we awaken them in ways that are convenient for us, with our own agendas, pushing them onto a path we have chosen for their day? Or do we awaken them gently and help them to seek God in the stillness of their mornings? Are we pointing our daughters immediately toward shaking themselves silly, or are we teaching them to yield to God’s gentle rocking?

My favorite way to wake my girls is to slowly open their blinds and sing a little chorus about how God’s mercies are new every morning. Then I love to lean over to kiss them and whisper, “Good morning, Glory.” I love to see their sleepy smiles and hear them whisper back their love for me. I encourage them to take a few minutes to slowly move into the day God has planned for them, and to seek His will for their day. It is a beautiful way to begin the day.

Your Daughter’s Evening Snow-Globe

The end of the day—the settling of our snow-globes—is just as important as the beginning of the day. When our work is done and we’ve walked through our days, how do we settle our daughters for sleep?

Often my mind and heart are still in fast forward when it’s time to settle my daughters into bed, thinking about all the work I still need to do after they are in bed. Or longing for the quiet and rest I have after they are asleep. I have to remind myself it is important to guide my daughters through this special time at night. It is a mother’s place to teach our daughters to gently quiet themselves and move smoothly into the stillness.

When my babies were young, I spent time nursing them down to sleep. I fed them at my breast and rubbed their soft heads; I sang over them and whispered prayers in their small, pink ears. As they have grown, I have changed techniques, but my aim has always been to love them during those special moments. Over the years I’ve taught them hymns, told them stories from my childhood, listened to their dreams and hopes, and worked through difficult issues they’ve encountered during their days. I am blessed to be a part of their settling times.

Your Evening Snow-Globe

Finally, moms, how do we settle ourselves? It’s true we have a lot to accomplish in our days and are shaken up quite a bit. But what we do with the last few minutes of our day can usher us gracefully into peaceful sleep if we are intentional. My favorite nights are the ones when we go to bed before we are ready to go to sleep. My husband and I play cards together or read side by side in bed. Sometimes we read and pray through Stormie O’Martian’s book The Power of a Praying Parent. When we take the time to settle, we are able to move past day-to-day “shop talk” into heart-conversation, which includes sharing how God was present in our days.

How do you settle yourself at night? Do you find you fall into bed exhausted, never giving yourself a chance to see how your snow-globe scene has settled? Or do you give God the opportunity to show you your own heart and set it aright? Don’t miss that opportunity; God is waiting for you each night.


[a few questions to mull over in your own heart]

  • God designed a daily rising up and lying down, and He longs to meet us in those places. How have you been, or can you from now on, give time and place to Him during these?

  • What specific ways can you yield to Him in the morning? Awake five minutes early? Say a prayer before you get out of bed? Use your shower time to ask Him His plans for your day? How can you embrace Him from the first?

  • What specific ways can you teach your daughter to yield to Him in the morning? How can you express His tenderness and new mercies and guide her into loving Him first thing?

  • Honestly, how do you fall into bed each night? Filled up with television? Dragging your tired bones into bed and collapsing? (I do that sometimes, I admit.) Or do you take the time to chat with God about your day, thanking Him for His presence?

  • What specifically can you do to settle your snow-globe each evening? What ushers you into His presence, His stillness, His peace?

  • What specifically can you do to settle your daughter’s snow-globe? How can you communicate to her that God wants to spend time with her before she drifts off to sleep? How can you show her He is waiting at her bedside to hear all about her day?


[storing God’s Word in your heart and soul]

Ask God to help you choose your memory verse for the month. Craft it, post it and memorize it. You will be asked to recite it with your daughter at the next group gathering.


[ideas for your mother-daughter journal]

Idea: Tell your daughter the different bedtime routines you’ve had for her through the years. Ask her if she remembers the earliest ones. Ask her which are her favorites.

Idea: Share your own childhood bedtime routines (good ones) with your daughter. Tell her about special mornings and evenings you experienced in your own childhood.

Idea: Ask your daughter how she would like to be awakened and put to sleep. Tell her how you would like to be awakened and put to sleep. (Maybe you can plan to care for each other in those ways.)


[ideas for special time with your daughter]

Idea: Put together a “Bedtime Box” full of special photographs, things she’s made, mementos from your childhood, music cd with special songs, etc. to pull out at bedtime. Use it regularly or just on special occasions. Add to it as you go along, and think about sending it with her when she moves out.

Idea: Record the two of you singing your favorite bedtime songs. Allow her to fall asleep to the recording.

Idea: Wake your daughter with a special song, music cd, or phrase. We like Steve Green’s Morning Light: Songs to Awaken the Dawn. We also like to play the special music we played during their deliveries.

Idea: Pray for God to give you and your daughter a special song to sing at bedtime. Repeat the song every night as part of your routine. We sing a benediction from the New Testament; I believe the tune and the words are now engraved on their souls.

Idea: Have tea in bed with your daughter. In the morning, or just before bed (make sure it’s decaf), bring in a beautiful tray of tea and cozy up to your daughter in bed. Ask her what’s going on in her mind and heart. Then simply sip and listen.


[what comes next]

After you read the teaching and choose your memory verse, use the questions, ideas for journaling, and ideas for carving out special time with your daughter as God leads. Remember, discipling is not checking off a list, it’s developing a relationship. If you are hosting the next group gathering, make sure to schedule your planning session for about two weeks from now. Your leader will email the next Participant Guide and Hostess Guide to you.


Oh, Lord, you hold our every moment in Your hands. You planned for special new beginnings with each sunrise and tender mercies each with each dusk. Thank You for creating these precious times when we can see hearts clearly, as You always do. Use these times to align us with Your heart and Your plans for us. We love you so dearly, and we want to live in close communion with You each and every day. We praise You in the name of Your Son, who experienced the blessing of drawing close to You each morning and evening when He lived on earth. Amen

April 07, 2010

How We Walk

Our Sonflower Sisters group had a fantastic time hiking the Ma and Pa Trail last Sunday to kick off our newest lesson. The girls imitated the women's walks. Evidently I have a very feminine walk. Which is good news, I suppose.

The girls chose walking sticks and brought them back to Mel's house to decorate them. What a fun reminder of learning to walk the road of life together.

I have to admit that this month's lesson has been tough for me. Knowing my girls are really listening to my every word and imitating me has been weighty. I try to weigh every word carefully now, making sure my talk is matching my walk. I'd never have thought the words "talk" and "walk" would come in that order. God is so good to continue to reveal His ways to me, and I thank Him for the opportunity to lead my girls on His path.

March 30, 2010

Guest Post: Kicking Off Lesson Three: As We Walk Along the Way

Today we had the pleasure of hosting our monthly "Sonflower Sisters" meeting at our house. This is our fourth year participating with Sonflower Sisters - a group of elementary aged girls and moms mentoring group, created by Deb @ As We Walk .

The theme verse this month is "You shall teach them to your children, speaking of you walk by the way". Deut. 11:19 We talked about how the women in the bible days walked to the well to retrieve the water for their families, and wondered what kinds of things they encountered, what mothers and daughters talked about and what they might have talked about with the other women. We compared that to what it looks like for a modern women today to "walk by the way". For most of us it looks like driving in our cars - grocery shopping, after school activities, appointments... we tend to be very much "on the run".

What are our girls hearing "as we walk"? What are we teaching them? Are we complaining? Are we commiserating with other mothers about our challenges? Are we gossiping? What are we showing our girls that a woman does when in company with other women? Our girls are watching our every moves - they are forming in their minds what it means to be a wife and a mother one day. I pray that we show them to listen to each other's hearts, to encourage one another, to speak wisdom into others lives, to give hope. I know I am guilty myself of not always doing that.

We also talked about how in our rushed lives we often overlook those who might be in need of our help or our companionship. We should strive to teach our daughters to look outside of themselves, and to put aside their own activities of pleasure and to see what they can do to help others. Including them in serving others teaches them the joy of giving over receiving, and how to "love our neighbors as ourselves".

A few of the girls made some cards to send some encouragement to others who were in need.

Some of the busy mommies helping with our flip-flop craft - we made cute flip-flops as a reminder of what they should think and talk about as they "walk along the way". (Hey - your feet can be cute as you walk!!)

And the girls traced their feet, and their moms feet and wrote out the verses on them that they plan to memorize over the next month until we meet again.

I so much enjoy the fellowship of these other moms as we together walk through this journey of what it means to mother our daughters in the way the Lord calls us to.

Originally posted by Heather at Timeless and Treasured. Check out her amazing work on her photography blog.

March 28, 2010

Lesson Three: As We Walk

Hearts Drawn Close

Lesson Three: As We Walk

“You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them…as you walk by the way.” Deut. 11:19

Imagine a catastrophe takes out your town’s water supply and roads and you must walk thirty minutes each day to collect water for bathing and cooking. You set out early to avoid the crowds and take your daughter with you—the more hands the more water you can carry. As you walk along the way, you run into your neighbor and her daughter; you gladly greet one another, grateful for some good company, and the girls fall into step behind you. They giggle as they imitate your movements, pretending to be grown up. Then they listen to your conversation—after all, they wonder what women talk about, since they’ll be women someday soon.

Dear mothers, what do they hear? Is your conversation full of grumbling about the storm and the inconveniences it has created? Do you pine for things to be back to “normal?” Do you fall into gossip about neighbors? Do you complain about what you are lacking? Or is your conversation seasoned with love and wisdom? Are you taking time to encourage one another? Do you think to check on your elderly neighbor and take her water jugs along with you?

What your daughter hears from your mouth tells her what is important in life.

More, Faster Walking

It might be far-fetched to pretend you have to carry water, but that is the way the women travelled “by the way” when God gave the command in Deuteronomy 11. In 2010, we “walk” differently. We drive, in our cars, traveling faster and longer than those women of old. We grocery shop, attend school, visit the doctor and the dentist, take our cars to the mechanic, and purchase household essentials—all miles (and minutes) from our homes. It seems these days we are more “on the run” than ever. So, the big question what do our girls hear from our mouths as we take care of the business of life?

Are we complaining about poor customer service? Joining right in with griping about the cost of the dance costumes? Do we focus our conversations on what life will be like when we’re not running our children to all their activities? Or do we remember our girls are listening, and speak of what is really important?

I tell you I’ve been guilty of spending far too much time and energy commiserating with other mothers about our challenges and difficulties. I am ashamed to say I’ve taught my daughter that sharing our struggles (more like complaining, if I’m honest) is what a woman does when in the company of friends. Oh, that I could take back years of idle talk. Oh, that God will grant me the grace to change my ways. I want to teach my daughters that it is important to hear others’ hearts and encourage them; it is vital to speak life-giving words to them; it is necessary to give hope to friends, not burden them with mindless chatter.

Walking With Others in a New Way

It’s important to be aware of where we’re walking. Often we are isolated in our own cars, not thinking much about who we pass along the way. Sometimes we forget that leaving the house isn’t easy for some. Or in our haste to get where we’re going, we don’t think about who along the way might need our help or companionship. I want to challenge you this month to think about ways you can serve others “as you walk by the way.” Is there someone stuck in the house you can run an errand for? Can you stop by to see a lonely neighbor on your way home? Could you offer to take your neighbor who doesn’t drive with you on your next trip to the grocery store?

While we may not be able to provide the “walking to the well” scenario for our daughters—which seems rich in opportunities for service and fellowship—we can, with a little forethought, incorporate serving and fellowship with others in our plans. In doing this we teach our daughters to look outside themselves, to look past the activities that bring them pleasure and make their lives easier. We invite them to look to the needs of others, as God calls us to do when he says to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” When we include them in serving and allow them to see the joy on others’ faces, we help their hearts to grow bigger.

Martha’s Oven

One way you can serve others as you “walk by the way” is to participate together in a ministry like Martha’s Oven. This ministry of Mountain Christian Church provides meals for parents of newborns and newly adopted children during their first week at home. You and your daughter can spend time together making the meal and maybe even decorating cards for the families. Then you can arrange a time within your travels to drop off the meal. What a privilege and joyful way for you both to meet the needs of a “neighbor.”

If you would like to participate in Martha’s Oven, email me at sonflower sisters at comcast dot net and I will put you in touch with the Sister who heads our team.

[a few questions to mull over in your own heart]

What is the biggest chunk of regular “walking” time you share with your daughter? (A time that occurs on a regular basis?) How can you prepare for this time together? How can you incorporate spiritual lessons into this time?

Do you recognize when your daughter is following in your footsteps? How do you react? How can you include her when appropriate? Brooke likes to sit with me and my friends like one of the “big girls.” I try to be generous, allowing her to stay with us as our conversation permits, even inviting her to join in as she can. I have noticed that she will assume my posture and ask the same types of questions I do when she is with her girlfriends now. This time with me is allowing her to become a young lady. But it wasn’t so long ago that I would shoo her away immediately, protective of my “adult” time.

What is your attitude toward “walking?” Are you grateful for the opportunities you have, or do you grumble and complain about your responsibilities? If you do grumble, to whom and how? Can you come up with ways to stop yourself? For instance, if you generally take calls while on the road and end up frustrated, can you turn your cell phone off while you drive?

Are there ways you and your daughter can serve others as you walk along the way? Think about the folks you see and pass on a regular basis. How can you help to meet their needs and show them they are important to you and to God?

[storing God’s Word in your heart and soul]

Ask God to help you choose your memory verse for the month. Craft it, post it and memorize it. You will be asked to recite it with your daughter at the next group gathering.

[ideas for your mother-daughter journal]

Idea: Share with your daughter how you traveled as a child. Tell her about your car, the places you went, and who was there. Girls love hearing stories about their moms as children.

Idea: Ask your daughter what kind of transportation device she would invent and why. Share your own idea.

Idea: Ask your daughter is there is anyone on her heart to serve. Come up with ways to incorporate other people into your daily “walk” and write them in your journal.

Idea: Ask your daughter to tell you honestly what she hears you say when you “walk” together. Give her multiple choice questions with words such as “honest,” “loving,” “complaining,” and the like. Share some words that describe her interactions with others as she “walks.”

[ideas for special time with your daughter]

Idea: Read a book about olden-times (like Little House on the Prairie) and talk about the difference in how people traveled. How are our journeys different and similar?

Idea: Write your Scripture memory verse on cutouts of your footprints. Laminate them and tape them to the floor. Walk on them as you memorize your verse.

Idea: Together look at your daughter’s baby footprints. Talk about how we “walk” differently as we grown. Ask her what she thinks her “walk” will look like when she’s a grown woman. (This would also be a fun journal entry.)

Idea: Choose a way to serve someone else as you go about your daily business and do it. Talk with your daughter afterward about how it made her feel. Share Scriptures that show God’s heart for caring for the widows, orphans and poor.

Idea: Purchase some audio cd’s of Christian songs and/or Bible stories to listen to in the car.

[what comes next]

After you read the teaching and choose your memory verse, use the questions, ideas for journaling, and ideas for carving out special time with your daughter as God leads. Remember, discipling is not checking off a list, it’s developing a relationship. If you are hosting the next group gathering, make sure to schedule your planning session for about two weeks from now. Your leader will email the next Participant Guide and Hostess Guide to you.

Lord, in our culture we move so much, but sometimes we forget we are teaching our daughters to move during it. Please keep Your hand over our mouths when we are tempted to speak in ways that do not honor You. Please fill our mouths with words that praise You and bring Your life to those You have placed in our lives. And remind us of those You have put in our “way” to serve. Your Word says you have created us for good works which you prepared ahead of time for us to do (Ephesians 2:10); show us Your plans. We want to be a part of what You deem important. Thank You for allowing us to see ourselves clearly through the study of Your Word, and for the hope You offer in Your Son Jesus. It’s in His name we pray, Amen.

March 16, 2010

Guest Post: Making Our Scripture Cuffs

After Deb gave us the challenge of wearing scripture bracelets, I spent quite a bit of time looking online for ones that would fit my style and six-year old Emma’s little wrist. When my attempts were unsuccessful, I decided to sew our own scripture cuffs.

I have three children (and another on the way), and once I sewed the first cuff, they all wanted one of their own. My youngest, and future Sonflower Sister, loved her cuff so much that for weeks she had to have her cuff in order to go to bed!

Since the cuffs are easy to make, we plan on sewing new ones each month with our memory verse on them. Recently, we went to the fabric store and purchased some seasonal fabric that we love. Emma is learning to sew, and she is able to help cut the fabric and sew her own cuff.

The scripture cuffs are a wonderful way for us to memorize scripture and to spend time together. We look forward to having several different ones in our jewelry collection!

Thanks to Tiffany for sharing her Sonflower Sister story with us. If you have a Sonflower Sister story or photos you'd like to share, please email me at sonflower sisters at comcast dot net.

February 28, 2010

Lesson Two: As We Sit

Hearts Drawn Close

Lesson Two: As We Sit

You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house… Deuteronomy 11:19

We moms have been duped. We have believed the lie that the more activities we sign our girls up for, the better women they’ll become. What we’re really doing, though, is wearing ourselves so thin we’re not available to our daughters in the ways they need us to be. When we’re rushing around to get everyone ready, fighting traffic, and sitting in waiting rooms without them, we’re not using our best time and energy in direct relationship with them.

In her book The Mission of Motherhood, Sally Clarkson tells of a time in her family’s life when she thought she was offering her children many wonderful opportunities outside the home. Her nine year old son asked to have some quiet time with her because he was having a hard time with some friends in his activities. Sally made time amidst the chaos of the household to listen, share Scripture and pray with her son. The real blessing came later that night when she was tucking her son into bed. He said, “You know, Mom, when you spend time with me and talk to me and encourage me, I want to do the right things and be what Jesus wants me to be. But when I’m lonely or having a hard time, and you don’t spend time with me, I’m really tempted to want to do wrong!”

Think about that. Mom, spending time with your daughter encourages her to be the person God made her to be.

Inventing Snowstorms

God tells us to teach our children His Word as we sit in our homes. In order to do that, we must create sitting time. We need to carve out time for just sitting together in our homes—like we do during winter snowstorms.

When you’re unable to leave your home during a snowstorm, how do you make the best of it? When you set aside your to-do list and ignore the dirty dishes, what brings you joy? Cocoa? Board games? Needlework? Painting? Reading? Crafting? Do you invite your daughter to join in the fun?

Over the next month, let’s create some “snowstorms.” Let’s set aside time to ignore the telephone, cancel outside activities, and enjoy special time together at home. While you’re making yourself available to her, look for opportunities to share God’s Word with her. You will create memories to last her whole life through.

Extending Snowstorms

Consider making some of your “snowstorms” permanent. Last fall our family was running in a dozen different directions and we weren’t making any time for sitting together in our home. As a result, my husband and I were preoccupied with driving all over and too tired to share God’s Word much with our children. We called an Activity Fast for December. It turned out to be a wonderful month! We crafted, played games, read books, and got ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth. We renewed our relationships with one another.

When it came time to resume our extracurricular activities in January, the children asked not to continue in them. They asked if instead they could extend our special sitting time together! Now, instead of running to dance and piano and karate—as fun as they are—we spend our time writing stories and putting on plays, building boxcars and huge lego cities, learning teamwork and building new skills. And all throughout that time, my husband and I are able to share the Word of God our children.


[a few questions to mull over in your own heart]

How can you create “snowstorms” this month? What activities can you put on hold temporarily (or cancel permanently) which will provide more “sitting” time for your family? How do you like to sit? Do you enjoy board games? Reading? Needlework? Watching movies? Cooking? Writing? Assembling puzzles? Crafting? How can you invite your daughter to join you in these activities? What would it mean to hear heart if you invited her to share this special time with you? Look for opportunities to share God’s Word with your daughter as you sit. I find ample opportunity during board games (do everything in love), video games (if your brother takes your coat, give him your shirt), and snuggling time (prefer others above yourselves). Think about a time you recently had the opportunity to share God’s Word with your daughter while you sat at home. What kind of an impact do you think that time made on her soul? Do you think that time together and God’s Word helped her to be who Jesus wants her to be?


[storing God’s Word in your heart and soul]

Ask God to help you choose your memory verse for the month. Craft it, post it, and memorize it. You will recite it with your daughter at your next Sonflower Sisters group gathering.


[ideas for your mother-daughter journal]

Idea: Share a good memory of sitting at home with your mother (or other special person) when you were her age. Why does this memory stand out to you? How did you feel about the sitting time you had as a child?

Idea: Share your favorite sitting time with your own daughter. What memories are you making right now that you hope she remembers the rest of her life?

Idea: Encourage your daughter to share her favorite sitting activities. Share your favorites with her. Try to come up with a list of new sitting things you’d like to try together.


[ideas for special time with your daughter]

Idea: Roam your house looking for new sitting spots. Try to find a quiet little corner you never considered before. Take a book to read aloud or your favorite board game and get lost together.

Idea: Make pillows to pull out for special sitting times.

Idea: Decorate matching t-shirts or night shirts to wear during your sitting times.


[what comes next]

After you read the teaching and choose your memory verse, use the questions, ideas for journaling, and ideas for carving out special time with your daughter as God leads. Remember, discipling is not checking off a list, it’s developing a relationship. If you are hosting the next group gathering, make sure to schedule your planning session for about two weeks from now. Your leader will email the next Participant Guide and Hostess Guide to you.


Lord, give us Your vision for our lives. Show us how and when to sit. Reset our internal rhythms and guide us in planning our schedules. You alone know the plans You have for us. We want to live according to them. Reveal to us what we need to know now and help us to make changes according to Your direction. Thank You for loving us enough to answer our prayers. Please speak clearly and guide us continually.

In Jesus’ Name.

February 27, 2010

"Sitting" with My Girls: Our Home Hair Boutique

I found The Story of a Princess and Her Hair a few weeks ago and fell in love. I've always felt a little sad that I couldn't create girly girl hair for my girls. Now I'm singing for joy!

Kori shows photos of the phenomenal hairstyles she whips up on her own daughter, and includes directions and videos. I liked her site so much, I ordered her full-color tutorial book of her favorite 16 hairstyles. It's very fun!

My girls are begging for me to learn how to french braid so we can move on to their favorite styles. It's a miracle that they are asking me to pick through their tangles.

It's been a great "sitting at home" time for us--we chat and giggle and share what's on our hearts. The Lord is very present in this time.

February 19, 2010

Sisters in Action

It doesn't take much for Sonflower Sisters to have fun!

Isabella and Rachel enjoyed the recent FOUR FEET of snow!

Who says back-to-back snowstorms are inconvenient?

February 13, 2010

What on Earth?!

I keep posting all sorts of helps and links, and you're wondering what to print out and what to keep, and what order it all goes in. It seems like mayhem!

Relax. Look to your right (on the sidebar) and you'll see a list of links under the title Hearts Drawn Close. These are the posts you'll print out and file; by June, you'll have an ordered, complete Hearts Drawn Close booklet.

I love walking this journey with you...

Planning Helps: How to Use this Curriculum

How to Use this Curriculum

Each month your Hostesses will introduce the new theme at your group gathering. Your Participant Guide will lead you through the next several weeks. Each participant guide includes:

Teach… A short teaching on the month’s theme.

Consider… A few questions to help you consider how the theme applies to your life.

Commit… A guide for choosing a new memory verse for the month.

Write… Ideas for writing to your daughter in your mother-daughter journal.

Respond… Ideas for special time with your daughter.

Pray… I’ll pray with you.

Progress… Specifics for preparing for the next group gathering.

Read the teaching and choose your memory verse in the first week following the gathering. Use the questions, journal prompts, and date ideas as God prompts you throughout the month.


Hostesses plan and run group gatherings; we rotate hosting duties monthly. This is a great time for you to get to know your co-hostesses and to invite your daughters into the planning and hosting details. Encourage your daughter to choose a role and mentor her in it. Hostesses need to incorporate the following components into the gathering:

Leader Time… Time for your leader to address the group.

Prayer… Opportunity to ask for and receive prayer.

Memory Verse… Platform for mothers and daughters to recite their memory verses.

Teaching… Present creative, interactive teaching to introduce month’s theme.

Mother-Daughter Time… Private time for mothers and daughters to connect.

Crafting… Project that reinforces theme.

Fellowship… Fun time for girls to play and mothers to chat; snack time.

Sample Gathering Schedule:

2:00 Arrive
2:15 Leader Time
2:30 Prayer
2:40 Scripture Memory
2:45 Teaching
3:15 Mother-Daughter Time
3:30 Crafting
4:15 Fellowship
4:45 Clean-Up
5:00 Depart

Remember to send invitations!

Planning Helps: Table of Contents

Cut and paste the table of contents to add to your folder. Add dates and hostesses for group gatherings.

Hearts Drawn Close

Table of Contents

History of Sonflower Sisters


_____ Month One: Heart, Soul, Hands and Eyes


_____ Month Two: As You Sit in Your House


_____ Month Three: As You Walk By the Way


_____ Month Four: When You Lie Down and When You Get Up


_____ Month Five: On Your Doorposts and Your Gates


_____ Month Six: Celebration!


February 11, 2010

Learning to Sit in My House

Our yard is covered in nearly FOUR FEET of snow, and I have what a friend donned, "Claustro-snow-bia!"

I don't normally have any problem staying in for long periods of time. Once when hubby was out of town for a week and we all had the stomach flu, I didn't think twice about being stuck at home. We had everything we needed and were quite content. But all this white cold fluffy stuff is driving me nutso!

The funniest part is that I'm working on the next Hearts Drawn Close lesson, which is "teach your children God's Word as you sit in your home." I've had a lot of sitting time and a lot of time to think and pray over this teaching.

Local February Hostesses: I will email your leaders the next lesson and Hostess Guide by this weekend so you'll have time to plan.

Local Sisters: If you have snow photos of you with your daughter that you'd like to share, email them to me at sonflowersisters at comcast dot net. I'll get them up for everyone to enjoy!

February 02, 2010

Another Scripture Bracelet Link

Thank you Sister Michelle for sharing the DS Keepsakes link. They carry lead-compliant stackable bracelets for as low as $2. And embellished ones for just a few dollars more. You can stock up on the Scriptures you want to memorize.

February 01, 2010

Scripture Bracelets

In Lesson One: Heart, Soul, Hands and Eyes, I asked you to make or purchase a bracelet with Scripture written on it. Here are a few options I found while searching for one to purchase for myself. Remember, we're going to try to wear these as often as we can, so choose a style that fits your personality and matches your lifestyle best.


Stephanie at ETCCards makes the cutest wristlets with Scripture. You can choose your own verse in your size; you can even order one for your daughter! She's really pleasant to do business with. Visit her etsy shop for more photos and inspiration. Mention you heard about Scriptlets through Deb with Sonflower Sisters and you get free shipping.


If you're not quite a girly-girl and want something a bit more earthy, check out C28 for some coolness.

Disclaimer: I have not ordered from any of the web sites I cite below. I do not vouch for their work nor their business practices. As always, take caution when ordering online from a company you have not dealt with.

Wear the Bible

This site is awesome! You order a snapping leather cuff in your favorite color, in your size, and then you order customized vinyl snap-on verses. The total package is about $30. I LOVE this option--since we'll be memorizing several Scriptures over the next few months.

Lots of Options

The Word in Music offers the widest variety of Scripture bracelets I've seen. It's the only place I've seen affordable gold-toned Scripture bracelets. I love their selection of chunky-funky bracelets. While you're there, check out their John 3:16 heart earrings. They go right along with our theme.

Blessed Bling
(price $20-ish)

Don't skip this link just because I don't have photos for it (they protect all their images). It's definitley worth a visit! This site features marcasite, stretchable and cuff bracelets with pre-determined verses. I think my favorite is the Esther. While you're there, check out all the other beautiful Scripture-inspired jewelry they have.

Paco Designs

Check out this beautiful wrap bracelet for longer verses.

Timeless Options
($50 +)

If you're able to spend a little more money on your bracelet and want it to last a long time, consider these sites:

Dayspring offers gorgeous sterling options.

Bangles from Heaven offers beautiful sterling silver and silver-plated bangles for adults and children.

Celebrate Your Faith offers unique styles I've not seen anywhere else.

(the Scripture's on the back of this ornate front)

Beaded Royalty offers a bracelet with a Scripture reference, which is fine if you have already memorized the verse.

Lesson One: Hearts, Souls, Hands and Eyes

I loved being with my local Sonflower Sisters yesterday! Truly, it was the highlight of my month. What sweet fellowship.

For Online Sisters and locals who couldn't  make yesterday's gathering: Print out the "History of Sonflower Sisters," the "Hearts Drawn Close Introduction," and "Lesson 1: Heart, Soul, Hands and Eyes" from this web site and tuck them into a folder you can add to as we move along.

Read the History and Introduction before you move on to Lesson 1, which will be your guide for the next month. Online Sisters, Deb and Phyliss' groups: You will use this from 2/1-2/28. Cindy and Mel's groups: You will use this up until your next group gathering.

Local Hostesses for February, I will forward your leader the next lesson and Hostess Guide in a week so you will have it to plan.

If you have any questions, please email me at sonflowersisters at comcast dot net. I want you to know I look forward to making things clear for you.


Hearts Drawn Close

Lesson One: Heart, Soul, Hands and Eyes

You shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Deuteronomy 11:18

God’s Word reveals His heart to us. In it He tells us He created (Genesis 1:27), loves (John 3:16), has plans for (Jeremiah 29:11), redeems (Isaiah 43:1), renews (Psalm 51:10), and shapes us (Isaiah 64:8). He explains how He calls us out of darkness (1 Peter 2:9) and provides an inheritance for us (Acts 26:18). Oh, but I haven’t even gotten started! God’s Word is living and active; God’s Word came to earth to save us (John 1:1).

Your heart is for filling. God wants to fill it with Himself, with things straight from His own heart. The devil wants to fill it with worry, anxiety, selfishness and greed. Who do you allow to fill your heart, Sister? Choose God and take in His living and active Word—His very love poured out from Genesis to Revelation.

Each month during Hearts Drawn Close you’ll choose a new scripture verse to memorize. Ask God to reveal to you which verse He wants to plant firmly in your (and your daughter’s) heart and soul. Write or print the verse out and post it where you’ll both see it often.

Bind Our Hands

Our hands are for work. Ephesians 2:10 tells us “We are *God’s+ workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works which He has before ordained that we should walk in them.” God has specific jobs for our hands; he has already determined the good works we should do. So how can we find out what they are?

We ask. We listen. And we still our hands. We stop our own work in order to begin His work. Let me explain. Putting my children to bed is work. When they were younger, I bathed them, dressed them in their pajamas, laid them in their beds and pulled up the covers—a nightly ritual that left me exhausted. Yet I knew it was the work God had ordained for that season in our lives. Now that they’re older and can do most of these things by themselves, my work has changed. Now my job is so tell them stories, talk with them about their days, and sing and pray with them. When God showed me it was time to give up certain works of my hands, I stopped what I was doing and went His way. What sweet times I share with my children at bedtime.

If we are caught up in the work we think is ours but are unwilling to yield to God’s direction, we will miss the works He has waiting for us. He has plans for our hands in our daughter’s lives. Won’t you give control of your hands over to Him?

This month we will physically bind His Word on our hands as a reminder to yield our hands to Him in work. Make or buy a bracelet or wristlet that has Scripture on it. (See links at Each time you move your hands to disciple your daughter and feel his Word against them, ask yourself, “Lord, is this the work you have planned for me?”

Focus Our Eyes

When we journey, we set our eyes on our destination and follow with our feet. The destination determines our path. What is the destination for discipling our daughters? Is it to raise well-behaved, modest, lovely young women? Or is it to draw our daughters’ hearts close to God?

When we set our eyes on a set of behaviors and appearances, we pursue the destination of personality. When we set our eyes on introducing them to the Lord, we pursue the living God who reaches past personalities and works in deep and lasting ways in their very spirits. A young woman who loves God and is fashioned by Him is lovely, modest and well-behaved. But more than that, she is transformed into the image of God (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Sisters, let’s allow God to transform our thinking about discipling our daughters. Let’s ask Him to help us store up His Word in our hearts and souls; let’s give Him control of our hands; and let’s set our eyes upon Him as our destination.


[a few questions to mull over in your own heart]

Is there a certain Bible story or passage God has used in your life recently? How did you know He was using that particular passage? Ask God to show you what passage or story He is using in your life right now. Ask Him to reveal to you a Scripture verse to memorize this upcoming month.

What good works have your hands been busy doing? Are you certain they’re the works God has prepared for you ahead of time? If you’re not, are you willing to stop what you’re doing in order to seek Him? Ask Him to help you stop the work of your hands until you are certain they are the works He has determined for you.

Have you located your discipling destination? Is it anywhere other than the Father’s heart? If it is, ask God to refocus your eyes. Jewish men wear a box containing Scripture on their forehead in response to the command to wear frontlets. How can you set God’s Word in front of your eyes so it keeps you focused on Him as your destination?


[storing God’s Word in your heart and soul]

Ask God to help you choose your memory verse for the month. Craft it, post it and memorize it. You will be asked to recite it with your daughter at the next group gathering.


[ideas for your mother-daughter journal]

Idea: Share a story of when God used a particular verse in your life. Share the lesson He taught you and write out the verse.

Idea: Tell your daughter what work you enjoy doing in her life. Let her know you are thrilled to be honored with caring for her on this earth. Ask her which part of your care makes her feel most loved.


[ideas for special time with your daughter]

Idea: Sit down over a cup of cocoa and share your latest journal entries.

Idea: Make or order bracelets with Scripture on them for both of you. Check out for links to online stores.

Idea: Craft a frame or background for your memory verse and post it around the house, in the car, inside your daughter’s school locker, at your office, etc.


[what comes next]

Continue using this as a guide for the rest of your month. Make or buy a bracelet that has Scripture on it. As the Lord leads, use the questions, journal and special time with your daughter to disciple her. Memorize your verse (with your daughter) and be ready to recite it together at your next group gathering. If you are hosting the next group gathering, make sure to schedule your planning session for about two weeks from now.


Lord, this is Your journey because our lives are Your lives. Show us how to give our hearts, vision and plans over to You. Show us specifically how you want to use us in our daughters’ lives. You alone know our hearts fully. Help us to yield ourselves to You despite what we think or feel about Your ways. This not having a checklist is a little scary for us, so give us Your peace that passes all understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

It’s in His name we pray.

January 27, 2010

Please Be Patient

Please be patient with me while I figure out the details of the curriculum. I have revised the Hearts Drawn Close Introduction post because I realized you'll have less than a week with it before I roll out the next teaching (on Sunday, January 31). I've narrowed down the journal entry and date ideas to one each so as to not overwhelm you.

Remember, this is a journey to seek God and His will for discipling our daughters, not a checklist.


Hearts Drawn Close: Introduction (Revised)

Online Sisters: Copy and paste this text into your word processing program and print for easier reading and so you can refer to it throughout the month.

Photo by Pescado

Hearts Drawn Close


[Each month I’ll present a devotion to follow your group gathering.]

January 24-31

Relationships can be tricky, yet women are compelled to figure them out. We want to know we’re doing relationships right. Sometimes it’s for the good of the other person, but often it’s so we can feel successful. In our minds we devise checklists to validate our good standing.

Good Christian Woman

 Carve out a daily quiet time

 Attend church on Sundays

 Join a Bible study

 Pray before meals and before bed

Good Christian Wife

 Serve my husband

 Hold my tongue

 Offer physical affection

 Say “I love you” often

Good Christian Mother

 Participate in their education

 Keep them healthy

 Show physical affection

 Teach them about God

When we live by static lists, we move according to our own agendas without leaving room for God to direct us. What if I told you your sweetest time with Jesus would be in the middle of the night while you’re nursing your baby? Or that your husband feels most loved when you reach for his hand unexpectedly? What if you knew your daughter lives to hear your belly-laughs? How would you reconcile those truths with your lists?

Discipling by Lists

Some of us have created a checklist for discipling our daughters. Join Sonflower Sisters: check. Read the curriculum: check. Attend the group gathering, make a craft, schedule time together: check, check, check. When we live from our list, we don’t allow God to show us what He wants to teach our daughters through us.

Don’t misunderstand—doing the things on our list isn’t necessarily wrong. In fact, when we rely on God for direction, He often uses the very things we had on our checklist. But when we rely on the list to move us forward and give us direction, we elevate it to the place meant for God alone, and it becomes an idol.

Discipling by Example

Jesus invited twelve men to be witness to His intimate walk with the Father. He gave them access to every part of His life—his sitting, his walking along, his lying down and his rising up. Jesus discipled these men by simply living in deep fellowship with the Father right in front of their eyes.

If Jesus didn’t have a list tucked into his sandal, then how did He know He was doing what He should? How did He know He was teaching them the right things? Because He was in constant fellowship with His Father. He was obedient to his Father in everything. When He was living the way the Father intended, and listening to the Father’s direction, then He was confident He was teaching them what the Father wanted them to learn.

In the same way, we are to disciple our daughters by calling them to our sides as we live in dynamic relationship with the Lord. We teach them by living out godly principles. We show them what is right by embracing and living according to God’s Word. When we are in fellowship with the Lord and are moving according to His will, and responding to His voice, we can be sure that we are teaching our daughters exactly what He wants them to learn.

Discipling by Scripture

In Deuteronomy 11:18-20, God shows us how, practically, to go about discipling our daughters. He says, “…Lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And…write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…”

Over these next six months, we are going to scrap our checklists and take up this passage of the Word as our guide for discipling our daughters. We are going to ask the Lord to draw our hearts close to Him and to work in us through His Word and His Holy Spirit. We’re going to believe that as He transforms our hearts in the presence of our daughters, He will be lead us to disciple as Jesus Himself discipled.


[Each month I’ll pose a few questions for you to mull over and answer in your own heart.]

Have you created, knowingly or unwittingly, a checklist for discipling your daughter? Ask God to reveal any hidden checklists you harbor. Repent of any checklists you have created and ask Him for guidance in discipling your daughter.


[Each month I’ll offer some prompts you can use for writing in your mother-daughter journal.]

The Lord has given an intimate look at Himself—the Bible. He has revealed personal things He wants us to know about Himself, His heart, His character and His plans. When we read His Word, we learn what is important to Him, what He adores, what breaks His heart.

Let’s give our daughters an intimate glimpse into our own hearts. Just as God reveals Himself to us in His book, let’s reveal some part of ourselves to our daughters in our journals.

Idea: Inscribe the journal with a special dedication to your daughter. Let her know how special she is to you and tell her some of the hopes and dreams you have for her.

Encourage your daughter to respond to your entries and to initiate her own. Come up with some sort of sign that there’s something new in the journal for her to read—hang it on her bedroom door, lay it on her desk, place it on her pillow—and encourage her to come up with a fun way to alert you.


[Each month I’ll offer ideas for dates with your daughter.]

Ask the Lord how to practically go about discipling your daughter. He might lead you to schedule regular time on the calendar, or He might instruct you to wait to Hear his prompting. God created you and your daughter, and he knows the way to both your hearts. Believe that He will be faithful in showing you how to disciple your daughter.

In the meantime, enjoy your daughter in a way you know will speak to her heart.

Idea: Sit down together over a mug of cocoa and share stories from your childhood.


[Each month I’ll show you how to move forward in the curriculum.]

  • At our moms-only group gathering on January 31st, we’ll craft mother-daughter journals. Bring a blank journal and all the supplies you’ll need to embellish it (including adhesive). See this post for inspiration. Bring a silk flower with a ½” stem if you’d like to create a fancy pen for your journal.
  • Read the History of Sonflower Sisters.
  • On January 31 you'll receive the curriculum to use from 2/1-2/28.

[Each month I’ll pray with you.]


Thank You for showing Yourself faithful in so many areas on our lives. We come to You for guidance and direction in raising our girls. We believe You will show Yourself faithful in this, too, as we seek You. Strain out Your voice from all the others that crowd our minds and hearts. Let us hear and respond to your Sheperd’s voice alone. We will come running to You, Lord.

We pray this in Jesus’ Precious Name.

January 24, 2010

History of Sonflower Sisters

Welcome local Sonflower Sisters, local soon-to-be Sisters, and online Sisters! Today we launch our newest curriculum, Hearts Drawn Close.

I'll start with a brief history of this mother-daughter discipleship ministry.

Getting Started

In early 2006, when my daughter Brooke was five years old, I felt a call to disciple her in the ways of Christ. Only I wasn't sure exactly how to do it. So I asked a dozen Christian girlfriends (Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Charismatic, Evangelical, Presbyterian and Lutheran) with daughters Brooke's age to join me, and together we birthed Sonflower Sisters.

Our first year we didn't have a formal curriculum; we couldn't find anything in the bookstores for young girls. So we paired up and planned according to God's leading. We had such wonderful times getting to know one another and drawing closer to the Lord and our daughters that we wanted to share Sonflower Sisters with other friends.

Growing Bigger

We started two additional Sonflower Sisters groups in 2007. I felt led by God to write our curriculum, Decorating Your Daughter's Interior. We spent the year exploring the basics of the Christian faith by using items in our daughters' bedrooms as metaphors. The bed (the main item in a bedroom) stood for our main purpose in life: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We crafted pillowcases to remind us of this lesson. The girls loved this!

In 2008, we added another local group and I wrote Recipes for Life. We used cooking as a metaphor for living the Christian life. The girls loved crafting special aprons to wear to our gatherings, and learning how to measure and cook. The moms loved that we created heirloom cookbooks to carry our daughters into adulthood. The word began to spread.

Sharing Bigger

As I shared our Sonflower Sisters moments on my family blog, As We Walk, moms from all over the country began asking for copies to use with their own elementary-aged girls. At the same time, two current Sonflower Sisters took the groups to their local churches, and one took Sonflower Sisters to her private elementary school. God was moving in the hearts of mothers, drawing them closer to Himself and to their daughters. In 2009 I sent out over 50 copies of curriculum, and oversaw five local groups with more than fifty moms and daughters.

2010 is proving to stretch Sonflower Sisters in new ways. We continue to grow locally despite the lack of formal advertising. We've begun a waiting list for our local groups. In the meantime, I've asked them to join us online, where I'll post our teachings and activities. I've also invited my blog and facebook readers to join us on our journey this year.

God has special plans for mothers and daughters. My girls and I are priveleged to be included in them. I'm excited to see how He draws our hearts close to Himself and close to our daughters. I'm excited to be on this journey with all of you!

January 23, 2010

2010 Kick-Off

Tomorrow we begin our fifth year of Sonflower Sisters! We'll be returning to our roots--loving and living for God and teaching our daughters to love and live for Him--with our new curriculum, Hearts Drawn Close.

I'm excited that we'll be offering our first online version for those of you not in local groups. Each week I'll post a devotional and suggestions for discipling your daughter.

Invite your friends to join in. We'll be offering some goodies for participants!

Look for the first teaching tomorrow...

January 13, 2010

Mother Daughter Journal Inspiration

At our first gathering we'll be crafting personalized Mother-Daughter journals. You'll need to bring your own journal, scissors, adhesive and embellishments. Here are a few ideas to help get you going:

Check out the details behind these Altered Notebooks at Pretty Pressings--ribbon, buttons, pictures, layering.

Use coordinating ribbon and cardstock to transform a clearance journal to a fun writing spot like Judith Bettencourt did.

Use a little paint to add interesting texture, like Aileen.

Go a little crazy with a bit of everything--fancy yarn, ribbon, vellum, scrapbooking paper--like this artist at All Paper Arts.

Brighten it up to match your daughter's personality.

Dress it up with some fabric or silk flowers like Karrilee.

And why stop with the outside? Add beauty and inspiration to the inside--these magazine clips are like little gifts just waiting to be discovered.