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Do you ever feel intimidated as a parent? If so you’re not alone.

I’m now a featured blogger at First Corinthians 13 Parenting and this morning  I’m offering some comfort and encouragement for those days you feel intimidated and not quite up to the task. For me, it started when my daughter was a teenager.

So, hop on over to the First Corinthians 13 Parenting blog this morning and find some comfort and encouragement meant just for you.

And please let me know what you think of my new friends over there. I KNOW you’ll find something on their site to minister to your heart today.

Read more about “When Parenting Looks Intimidating” HERE.

My daughter, Dana, turned 22 recently. DanaDisneyCollegeShe’s at the beginning of a life journey that I am more than half-way through. She has so much of life ahead of her. So many great adventures to still experience.

I started thinking today about what I wish I knew when I was a  young 22-year-old.  And I realized it isn’t too late for you and me to apply Moses’ instruction in Psalm 90:12 to “number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” 

These are the 10 things I wish I knew at age 22 (and the 10 things I want my daughter to know now so she can live wisely and well):

1. People will come and go in our lives, but the One who loves us most will never leave. Therefore, His opinion matters more than anyone else’s.

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Are  you tired of living on a battlefield? Does it seem like every time you turn around there’s an argument brewing?

As I was writing my book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, I included some practical ways we can choose our battles wisely and also diffuse some battles so we’re not constantly in a warzone with our children. But I realized recently, that these peace-making principles can apply to ANY relationship. That’s probably because our battles can be intensified or diffused altogether based on how we — as wives, moms, and girlfriends — choose to react.

Whether you’re going head-to-head with your teenager, your husband, a friend, or a difficult family member, these steps can help you bring calm to an otherwise chaotic situation:

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I remember the days when I felt completely worthless as a mom.Momfacebookad

It was during my daughter’s teenage years when I was still trying to figure out how to instill healthy values in her, how to not escalate an argument with her by how I responded, and how to not be a legalist when it came to her preferences that were different than mine.

So many times I found myself apologizing to her with the words “I’m still trying to figure this out. I’ve never been a mom to a teenager before.”

I’m such a loser, I would tell myself. Oh, how I wish I knew back then what I know now:

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Last week we looked at the first two (of five)  things a mom never needs to worry about:  her child’s friendships, and her child’s future spouse.

worry1Today, I want to look at the other three things a mom never needs to worry about:

3. Your Child’s Choices – God was the perfect parent, but Adam and Eve still sinned. So even when you are doing all you can to guide your children spiritually, they will still make choices of their own. At times those choices won’t be the best ones. But that’s how they learn and grow through their mistakes. And that’s when we trust that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

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It happened. My daughter, a recent college graduate,  moved in to her apartment an hour away from home and started her first career job.

DanaDisneyCollegeMy, how time flies. My, how God provided. And, oh my, how many of my worries throughout her life were unnecessary — and still are.

Dana, now 21, hates when I worry. Not only because she’s now an adult and has to keep reminding me that she’s perfectly capable of doing things on her own. But also because she doesn’t want to have to worry about me worrying.

And I’m pretty sure God hates my worrying, too.

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Do you ever feel desperate when it comes to parenting? mominspiresbooksigning2

Rhonda and I know how you feel.

We each have had our moments when we’ve had to cry out to God for His wisdom, grace, and the ability to see it through.

I recently shared the stage with my friend, Author Rhonda Stoppe,  for a  book-signing talk and dessert for our newest releases — her book, Moms Raising Sons to be Men — and mine, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter.

In our time together, Rhonda shared that, as a young mother,  she was desperate to find someone — anyone — to teach her to be the mom she wanted to be.

“I cried out, ‘I NEED HELP, LORD!!'” Rhonda said. Maybe you can identify with her struggle.

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MomInspiresBooksigningEver wonder why moms and daughters tend to clash? If they’re alike they can butt heads. If they’re different,  they can misunderstand each other. But that’s just my opinion.

My daughter, Dana, had some insights to share in our book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter. And she shared them from the stage, at my Book-Signing Talk & Dessert last week at Valley Bible Church where my husband (and her Dad) pastors.

If you weren’t able to join us, this is what Dana had to say:

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At the conclusion of nearly every radio interview I’ve done thus far on the topic of my newest book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, I am asked this question: What about the Mom who feels like she’s done a lousy job?

feeling-like-a-failureWe all feel like we’ve blown it at times — as moms, as wives, as daughters, as employees, as friends. In fact, I believe nearly all of us carry guilt on our  shoulders in some area of life, feeling that we have failed to measure up to others’ standards…or our own.

I will be the first to tell you that I’ve failed more times than I’d like to count. In fact, my latest book lists more of my failures as a mom than my victories.  That’s because we can learn through our mistakes. We can be shaped by our mistakes. And we can become more humble and extend more grace toward others when we are able to recognize the areas in which we have needed God’s grace, wisdom and correction.

If you are feeling that you are not measuring up, wherever you are in life, let me assure you with this:

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Some children come out of the womb, it seems, with big plans of what they want to accomplish with their lives. For most, however, it can be a mystery — a secret worth pulling out of them.

momgirlThat’s where you and I, as parents come in. You may have one child who’s a dreamer — — she knows exactly what she wants to do with her life. Yet, the other may take a while to develop creative abilities or academic interests. But by watching, and praying for wisdom to help cultivate that dream God has placed on their hearts, we can be there to be the wind beneath their wings when it’s time for them to fly.

In my newest book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, I outline six steps to encourage your daughter to discover and pursue her dream (and I believe these steps can apply to our sons, as well):

1. Let Her Explore

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As I surveyed daughters, ages 15-45 for my book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter,  I found that, overall, a daughter needs these 7 things from her mom:

1. She Needs to Know She is Your Priority mom-girl clipart

As a 19-year-old college student who has never doubted her mother’s love for her, Annie says: “My mom made me her center. I don’t think that spoiled me. Rather, it made me secure in the fact that she loved me and would do what it took to provide for all I needed.”

Another daughter said: “Not to sound selfish, but I needed my mom to choose me first over a lot of things, to let me know that I was a priority in her life over work and finances.”

2. She Needs to Know She Is Accepted    

A young woman needs to know she is accepted by her mom, no matter how old she is. She needs to feel accepted as she is recognizing her uniqueness, in the ways she feels “odd” or out of place in a crowd, and on the days she feels she doesn’t measure up to others around her.

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    While going through my daughter’s backpack when she was in the second grade, I found a paper on which she had written her spelling words for the week. I was pleased to see an “A” for correct spelling and grammar. But as I read her sentences, I realized whom I had become in her eyes:

“Busy – My mom is always so busy. “time_flies_2

“Time” – My mom never has enough time.”

“Speed – My mom does things with such speed.”

“Garden – My mom used to spend time in the garden.”

My heart sank as I realized two things: The first was that, to my seven-year-old daughter, I was her whole world.  Every sentence was about her mom. She observed me, studied me, wanted to be like me. And the second realization was this:  She saw me as busy...as a mom who was rushing through life, not as one who took the time to be with her.

I took a good hard look at my life that evening and realized that isn’t who I wanted to be.read more

Mom_Daughter1A mom starts out as the single most influential voice in her daughter’s life. Until the day her daughter might decide to look elsewhere for a role model.

After surveying daughters aged 15-45 as I was writing my book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, I learned a lot about what girls need most from their moms. And three things stood out that, if practiced, can do wonders to build your relationship with your daughter, rather than break it.  Here are three ways that you can be the one person your daughter  looks to, over anyone else, for advice, approval, encouragement and inspiration throughout her growing up years and beyond (and I believe these work with sons, too):    read more

momsilhouetteAfter sharing with you last week what I’ve learned from my daughter in 21 years of parenting her, I asked many of you to tell me what your children have taught you.

Bonnie Jean of Middletown, NJ said her sons, ages 21 and 19, teach her something almost every day if she keeps her heart and eyes open:

They teach me to look beyond the obvious to what lies beneath… beneath the rebellion, the pink hair, the attitude…to what is hurting or broken in their lives, whether it be my sons’ lives or the lives of their friends.

 They teach me to listen — even when I do not want to.read more

My daughter, Dana, turned 21 on Sunday. Could it really have been that long since I heard her piercing scream and was told “You have a baby girl!”Cindi&Dana

In honor of her birthday and all she has taught me (most of which is in my newest book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, which arrives in bookstores this week!), I found myself reflecting on 21 things I’ve learned in the time God has allowed me to be her mom:

1. Children really DO grow fast.

2. There are times when our children would rather have us spend time WITH them, than do a bunch of things FOR them. In other words, take time to play with them while they still want you around

3. No manilla file folder is large enough for the pictures a little girl loves to color for her mother.

4. Dress them in pink throughout their childhood, and they’ll never wear it again once they grow up! (I learned this sad truth the hard way.)

5. It’s not so difficult to have “that talk” when you start early.

6. Nothing takes the place of a mom’s shoulder when her daughter’s heart is broken.

7. A mom starts out as the single most influential person in her daughter’s life. Whether or not we retain that influence (or can reclaim it) is entirely up to us.

8. God cares even more about my daughter’s heart and spiritual condition than I do. So He’s working on it, even when I think I’m the only one that is.

9. There are times when it is wiser to talk to God about my daughter, than to talk to my daughter about God.

10. She will see the kind of wife and mother she wants (or doesn’t want) to be by what she sees  in ME.

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“It’s never too early — or too late — to draw your daughter’s heart closer to yours!” 

When A Mom Inspires Her DaughterMy newest book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, is now available (a few weeks early!) and I wanted YOU, my faithful blog readers, to know about it first.

Order a signed copy now at $2 off the cover price and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my purse-sized devotional,  When Women Walk Alone: A 31-Day Devotional Companion  — perfect as a gift or daily encouragement for any woman, single  or married.

(Just enter “Blog offer” in the “instructions to seller” field in the shopping cart and I will add the mini devotional book to your order free of charge.)

When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter:

$10.99 plus shipping.  

To order 5 or more copies at just $9.99 each, email Cindi@StrengthForTheSoul.com and mention “blog offer” and I will email you a customized invoice with the discounted price.  (Bulk orders also include free copies of the devotional book – 1 per book  — while supplies last.)

This book will help you:

  • Explore ways to give your daughter the gift of your time
  • Learn how to support her interests and encourage her dreams
  • Become her cheerleader and closest confidante
  • Draw her heart closer to yours

“This book is timely and an answer to every mother’s prayers for help with preparing her daughter for life.”    — Elizabeth George, Author of A Woman After God’s Own Heart & A Mom After God’s Own Heart

Have a question about raising a daughter, preparing her for life or drawing her heart closer to yours? Ask me and I”ll answer in an upcoming blog.

mother-daughterWould you say your relationship with your Mom is as good as the relationship you have — or hope to have — with your own children? Or is it something you’d rather not talk about?

As I was writing my book, When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts, I discovered that some of the deepest wounds in a woman’s life can be traced back to her relationship with her mother. Whether it was having a critical mother, an emotionally distant mother, or a mother who never affirmed or spent time with her children, many women today still feel affected by the dynamics of their  relationship — or lack of one — with Mom.

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