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.