I am a people watcher. I sit back in the shadows, quietly observing people and how they interact with the world around them. How do they speak to people? Does it matter if they know them or not? Do they stop to pick up a piece of trash off of the floor as they are walking by, or do they ignore it? If they make a mistake, such as breaking something in a store, do they notify a staff member or do they set it down and leave it for someone else to deal with? If they are carrying milk or eggs through the grocery store and decide they don’t want them, do they put it back in the right section or do they set it down wherever they please? (These people are the WORST! What a waste of perfectly good food!)
Anyway, working in a library has allowed me a first class seat to interact with people from all walks of life–I see the good, the bad, and the just plain crazy (aren’t we all a mixture of these three anyway, though?). As entertaining as these observation sessions can be, they also provide guidance as to how I want to live and what I want to avoid myself. A particular area of interest for me is watching how parents interact with their children. Are they patient (I could use some guidance with this!)? Are they short-tempered? Some parents are extremely kind yet firm, while others are downright hateful to their children. On the flip-side, there are children who are awful to their parents. I don’t see the whole story–I just get a small snippet of their daily life during their time at the library. But sometimes, that segment is all I need to see to make a resolution to NOT be THAT. Anything but that will do.
Raising kids to be rational, capable adults who are compassionate yet driven to personal success while helping society as a whole rise as well is a tremendous task. Shaping their thoughts must be carefully considered–after all, what we think dictates how we live our lives. Did you know researchers suggest we have between 12,000 and 50,000+ thoughts per day? That is a large amount of potentially motivating–or damaging–material. As a Christian, I hope God is included in a large portion of those thoughts. Scripture says repeatedly to foster a strong relationship with the Lord. To trust in him and keep our minds trained on his ways. There are a multitude of ways to encourage this, but one of my favorite ways is to personally explore the Word through devotionals and journaling.
I stumbled upon a 90 day devotional journal intended for girls (I would say 9-14 would be a good range, give or take maturity levels) called Whatever is Lovely. This devotional is based on Philipians 4:8 and promises to give that dreaded retort “whatever….(shrug + eyeroll)” a makeover, along with your young girl’s attitude.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Side note: Props to the marketing team for deciding to change the title. Originally, it was published as Faithgirlz! Whatever. Coming from a whole line of products from the Faithgirlz! line, this book should have been extremely successful. Personally, I feel the original title is too sassy–it projects the exact attitude the book is trying to get young girls to alter.
The devotional features 90 devotionals that mix scripture with everyday struggles. Each devotion begins with a specific scripture, expands on how girls’ lives today are impacted, and ends with a prayer. There is space to reflect on the teaching after each devotional. The book is intended to be written in–girls are encouraged to highlight in it, write in it, draw in it–anything to own the book and its teachings.
Check out Day 1:
As you can see, the devotional is trendy and visually appealing (I mean, it is written in purple ink and has an amazing hardcover design!). It also features a handy ribbon bookmark to help easily find where you last left off. As for the writing itself, it was obviously intended to hold the interest of pre-teens and teens (I would say 9-14 would be the sweet spot). The writings are simple yet direct, and appeal to young ladies across a spectrum of ages with topics such as self-image, gossip, forgiveness, and more. While some topics may seem inappropriate for younger ages at a glance (Day 49: Alcohol: It’s Not a Problem Solver), the author touches on the topic with sensitivity and grace that informs without being pushy or going too far.
My girls are still too young for this, but it is a nice refresher for me while inspiring me to find ways to help relate scripture to the lives and concerns of young girls. I plan to hang on to this for future use. Can you imagine the possibilities for a Mother/Daughter devotional partnership? Opening the doors to talk about life, God, love, and all topics in between? I always wonder how I will make sure my children are fed physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I think this could be an excellent tool to hit at least 2 of the 4, if not 3. (Hopefully never all 4, though I suppose if you include a snack or talk over a meal, it could be a homerun!)
**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.