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 http://www.sonflowersisters.com/.) 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 http://www.sonflowersisters.com/ 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.