For Girls

Beginning With Him

By: Destinee Payne

This Christmas time of the year is always exciting. There are wonderful festivities and school parties. There are cozy decorations and Christmas music. The gift exchanges make us wonder what gift we will receive. And don’t forget about the Christmas break from school that does not seem long enough!

With all these things going on, it is easy to go beyond the gift wrapping. We get wrapped up in ourselves! When we are constantly thinking about the things we want as gifts and the plans we make for Christmas fun, we can forget what we are grateful for. If we are not careful, we can forget the special gift that has already been given to us through Jesus Christ.

While on breaks like Christmas, we need to be careful not to take a break from our walk with our Savior. When our schedules change and we get more chances to sleep in and relax, it becomes easier to neglect our quiet time with God. We can fall out of a daily routine of reading the Bible, which will stunt our spiritual growth if we let it happen for too long.

Psalm 19:7-10: “The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad…The ordinances of the Lord are….more desirable than gold.”

When we are strong in our daily reading and prayer with the Lord how strong we can become in Him! How joyful we will become! This is the time of the year to be especially grateful to God for all that He has done, especially in sending His Son.

Psalm 63:7: “You have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.”

I pray that you carry the joy of the Lord with you this year. I challenge you to not let the distractions of special seasons in life stunt your walk and daily time with Him. If you do not have a routine of spending time in the Word daily, I pray that you begin today! If you don’t know how, talk to a mature Christian woman who can help you!

For Girls

Where God Leads

By: Ruby Crowe

When I was seven years old my parents, two younger sisters and I moved to southern Japan. We had lived on the Northern island of Hokkaido since I was a baby, but we were moving to the outskirts of Tokyo. I attended a Japanese preschool since I was 3 years old and my parents planned on putting me in an English speaking Christian school for my elementary years. But I saw my neighborhood kids walking to school everyday and told my parents I wanted to know my neighbors and have Japanese friends. The next month I went to the school where nobody spoke English and I didn’t look like anybody there with my blond hair and brown eyes. Slowly I learned the language and tried to fit in.

But only two years later it was time to move back home to North Carolina. My whole family missed Japan so much, but once I looked around I realized that God had put us in the right place. The school I went to was so different from the school in Tokyo. . In Japan the teachers and rules were very strict and nobody talked about Christianity. But in America my third grade teacher shared her testimony in class! She had been a missionary kid in Africa! I lived there from second to fourth grade. I also made some close friends that I still keep in touch with today.

But when I was ten we moved to Columbus, Ohio to follow my dad’s job as a Chick-fil-A owner. It was hard moving again and it took me a while to make friends and of course I missed my old home and friends very much. But God did something amazing by moving us to Ohio. We quickly learned that Columbus, Ohio has a very large Japanese population in America. My parents started teaching ESL at our church and we became very connected to the Japanese community. At the end of the first  year we moved about 15 minutes away from where we lived. Moving 15 minutes was easier than moving from another country, but then Covid came.

            It was hard making friends during COVID in a sixth grade only school, where everybody already had friends. I got very lonely, then my parents considered an option we never had considered before: homeschooling. We thought and prayed about it and everyone felt very clearly that this was what God wanted us to do. So my two sisters and I looked for a co-op we could join so we could meet some new people. A co-op is where a bunch of homeschoolers get together and do fun things or learn. We found one that had exactly three spots open, it was a theater group. Everyone was so welcoming and nice it didn’t take long for all the new people to make friends. We love it so much we decided to do it again this year.

I love how we can trace back through the events of our lives and God is always putting us exactly where we are supposed to be. So I know it’s hard to think it in the middle of a difficult moment, but I challenge you to look back on your life. You will find that God has been there the whole time and He’s helping you with each step, move and change in your life!

For Girls

Fruit of the Spirit

By: Hannah Gorrell

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit. These attributes pertain to one fruit. He does not say the “fruits are” but the” fruit is.” The work of the Spirit in us is alive, active, and ever growing. As the fruit bearer, a Spirit bearer, we should be careful in all opportunities. We present the Spirit of God to others by being loving, joyful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and full of self-control.

Love is a big, heavy word. This word is overused and abused. We have learned love to be a strong feeling of like. Its opposite, hate, as a strong feeling of dislike. Paul shows us what love really is. His definition reveals that love is not just like. It is a decision or action to be completely selfless. To be patient, kind, longsuffering, and never failing requires an intentional heart. One must be drained of self and focus only on the benefit of the other, the one they love. Hate is not the opposite of love; selfishness is.

Father, help us show Your love to others as we seek to develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. May we represent You well in all opportunities.

For Girls

What Do You Want For Christmas?

By: Caitlin York

It is without question that every December, I am asked what I want for Christmas. As the year comes to a close, we all look forward to the excitement of family time, sharing gifts with one another, and making memories. It is so easy to get wrapped up in preparing for a picture perfect holiday season, and miss the greatest gift of all. God in the flesh came to us. The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Savior to all, was born in such a low, vulnerable, humble place. He had nothing, yet, He had everything because He had an intimate relationship with the Father.

We have access to this intimate relationship through our faith in Christ. That relationship is the reason we celebrate. When we think about what we want for Christmas, is it the new Apple device, or a new game, or new clothes, or some other product? Do you ever consider what spiritual products you are looking to receive throughout this season? I know that I get distracted with lists, events, and holiday fun. I often forget to think about what I want in my relationship with God, and what an impact it has had in my life.

Here are some practical goals to shift your focus through the Christmas season, and throughout the New Year:

  • Share your faith. As you gather with others, and participate in gift giving, think about ways that you can share the gospel message with those you care about. Seek and pray for opportunities around you where God is already at work. You could share the greatest gift of the season – salvation.
  • Serve others. The holidays can manifest selfish intentions. When you focus on looking the best, buying the best gifts, having the best decorations, posting the best pictures, and just being The Best – you put up barriers between yourself and others. In the same way that Christ gave his life to serving the Father, you should give your life to serving others in love.
  • Show love and compassion. Not everyone has a merry and happy holiday season. For some people, the holidays are sad, lonely, depressing, or hurtful. Spread the love and joy of Christ to others – but do it in a sensitive way which meets the emotional and spiritual needs of those you come across. This could open the door for God to work in their life.
  • Stay devoted. As the busy nature of the holiday comes, be intentional in your own relationship with God, and your church. This can make the difference in strengthening faith or withering faith. Don’t skip the opportunities to meet with other believers. Share the rich truths of this season with each other and sharpen one another. Wait and see the growth that comes.

Taking steps to meet these goals will shift the focus from physical to spiritual. When we have a spiritual focus, we find opportunities to bring God glory and expand the Kingdom of Heaven. That is the greatest gift of the season, and it should be exactly what we want for Christmas. 

For Girls

Seeing Our Godly Mentor

By: Jenna Altom

I remember the days! The day that pimple popped up on my face to ruin all of the special pictures. The day the boy I thought might be the one broke my heart. The day I was betrayed by one of my best friends. The stress of trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after graduation. The day I chose the college to attend and then the major. The list of memories and big life changes could go on and on!

Becoming an adult happened so fast! We change and experience so much in a few short years. If I could go back to those years with the knowledge I have now, there are things I would have done differently. Now I would know not to cry so long over that boy. I would know that one day when I look back at those pictures, I won’t even notice the pimple because I was having a KILLER good hair day! I would know that, at 38 years old, I still don’t know what career I want…and that is okay!

Here are some other things I have learned.

1. Find godly mentors.

As I look back on those years of fast growth, I can see women that God placed in my life as mentors who invested in me and helped guide me through those seasons. I realize now how valuable those women were in my growing up years. As you are growing, learning, and navigating these seasons of fast changes and growth, I encourage you to seek godly women to encourage and pray with you. Even now, God puts women in my life to teach me and help carry my burdens. My Mom has consistently been the number one gal that God has used to teach me. Never underestimate your mom’s knowledge. If you look closely, you will also discover godly women in the church who can speak wisdom into your experiences.

The Bible speaks many times about one generation teaching the next. Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.”

2. Be a godly mentor.

You don’t have to be “old” to be a mentor. As we walk together in life, we are to lift each other up and encourage each other. It is a part of worship and being the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). At 38 I’m blessed to have both parents alive. I have a friend in her 20s who has lost both parents. My younger friend can understand the loss of a parent and can minister to someone experiencing the loss of a parent better than I can. Or you might have an experience that some might consider “trivial”. But to the young woman needing someone to understand her, your wisdom is priceless!

3. Jesus is our ultimate mentor.

In every season and every change, God has given me wise women, but do you know who was my Solid Rock, my Constant, my Everything through each season? Jesus, of course! Other women and moms are invaluable, but the One available 24/7, the One who listened and saw my heart when I couldn’t bring myself to say my thoughts out loud, the One Who was there before I ever took a breath…Jesus! Always there, always listening, always loving! Always Jesus! Turn to Him and trust Him in every season. Our ultimate goal is to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)

For now, we travel the journey of life together, pointing those around us toward Him.

            “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20)

For Girls

Contentment is a Choice

By: Autumn Elliott Shuck

These days, social media is at the center of most of our lives. It is easy to get sucked into being fascinated and even obsessed with what influencers and our peers post online. The danger of this is that it can lead us to wish we had what they had or looked the way they looked. We will never be content with our lives if we constantly compare ourselves to others and strive to look better or be better. It is important to remember that, as believers, our greatest desire should be to be like Christ. Contentment can only be found in the Lord and being thankful for what he has given us and how he created all of us to be unique individuals. 1 Timothy 6:6 tells us that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” 

On the flip side of this is what we portray to the world.  We have a responsibility to reflect contentment in Christ to a world that is hurting and searching for something to fill a void in their life. Everything we post is an opportunity to show that life in Christ is what we really need.  He alone can provide real contentment and happiness.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

Matthew 6:25

For Girls

What’s A Girl To Do?

By: Rachel Bryant, RN

What is one of your most prized possessions? Maybe your phone? Your gaming system? Your favorite sweater that looks so cute on you? If you have something that is important to you, you take care of it, don’t you? Well, in that same thought, YOU are important! Because of that, you should take care of yourself. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what that actually means though. You get all kinds of advice from the internet, your friends, etc. So, what’s girl to do? Let’s go back to the basics.

Here are 5 basic health tips (that although we know, we sometimes struggle to actually do):

#1: Get the proper amount of sleep! This may seem boring, but it’s number one because it is sooo important. Your body, especially as a teenager, needs lots of sleep. Sleep is important to help your body and brain grow and develop. Sleep helps your body recover from all the busyness of your school day, afterschool programs, homework, part-time job, and all your other activities. Even though you enjoy staying up talking to your friends or binging social media videos, your body needs time to relax and de-stress. Sleep is great for this! Finally, sleep helps your body fight off all those germs you are exposed to daily so you can avoid being sick.

#2: Eat right! Now I love pizza, chips, French fries, and ice cream as much as the next girl, but those need to be special snacks on occasion and not your everyday menu. Make sure you are getting the right amount of calories (not too many, not too little) but work on spreading those out between carbs, proteins, vegetables, fruits, and then the occasional sweet treat. In addition to eating the right things, it is important to hydrate! Now I know you love your iced coffee or your sweet tea, but you need to drink water for hydration. Water is not only good for hydration; it is good for your kidney function, aids in digestion, is good for your skin, and the list goes on and on. You can have that iced coffee in the morning to get you going or in the afternoon as a pick-me-up, but then water is your best friend!

#3: Exercise! This may seem obvious that exercise is important to your health. We all know that exercising is good for healthy weight management and building muscle, but it has several other benefits as well. Exercise is great for the mind – it gives you time to think through things, get some clarity away from the busyness of life, and basically increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Exercise also helps you relax and makes you feel good. I know sometimes it does not seem like it feels good, but exercise causes your body to release endorphins and endorphins make you feel good.

#4: Limit screen time and social media! This one is more geared toward your mental health, but still so important. Pull yourself away from the screen (game, tv, movies, laptop, etc.) and get outside, play a board game, talk to people, go for a walk (see #3), learn a new skill, or clean your room (it probably needs it). Limiting social media allows you to be present in the world around you. This can help you get some perspective on things. Remember what you see online may not be accurate or even true but getting out and seeing things and talking to people for yourself can really help ground you. It also helps you grow and develop skills you need for life.

#5: Wait! We know the Bible tells us that sex is supposed to be between a man and woman in the covenant of marriage. However, sometimes we forget God has good reasons for telling us to wait. He knows it is the healthy thing for us. Sex outside of marriage can create mental health struggles like feelings of inadequacy, hurt feelings, loneliness, shame, or regret. Physically, it is not healthy to have multiple sexual partners. This puts you at risk for infections, cancer, and unplanned pregnancy (no matter what you think you are doing to avoid those things). This includes all kinds of sexual behaviors! Practice self-control and demand it from others.

Bonus: Spend time with God!! This tip for spiritual health is the most important tip I can give you. No matter what else you do, your spiritual health is paramount! Make a priority of reading your Bible everyday – the more you read it, the more it sinks in. Hiding God’s Word in your heart can help you in lots of situations you encounter. When something happens or you’re struggling with something, He can bring a verse or story to your mind to help you deal with it. You should also make every effort to attend church on Sunday mornings so you can hear the Word of God preached.  Sometimes it is hard on your own to read and then understand the Bible but listening to a preacher who has studied the Word can help with that. Finally, spend time with Christian friends. In has been proven, you become like those that you hang out with. Make sure your friends are helping you grow closer to God and not pulling you away.

For Girls

Identity in Christ

By: Rachel Munsey Jackson

When I was born, my parents knew within hours that I was very ill. My kidneys were covered with cysts and I was in kidney failure at birth! Fast forward seven years and I could barely walk through the grocery store. Thankfully, I wasn’t really aware of how sick I was because I had always lived with the symptoms. My dad donated me a kidney when I was seven years old. That was the time I realized just how sick I had been my whole life because I felt better for the first time. I was placed on a laundry list of medicines that I still take and will take forever. Naturally, my health became a large part of my identity. 

It’s an interesting study in humanity to observe in what earthly things people find their identity – hobbies, politics, fandoms, and even chronic illnesses to name a few. My own identity is shaped by earthly things too. I am a cat lady, kidney transplant recipient, and most recently, hopeful adoptive mama. While reflecting on my childhood experience for this blog post, I asked myself how I handled chronic illness as a child. The main thing that came to mind was that my identity was found in Christ. There were other things too. I was a little sister and a singer. I cherished my baby dolls. But had I lost my family, stopped singing, or ditched dolls for monster trucks, I would have still found my identity in Jesus Christ because I knew He loves me.

Matthew 6:33 says, “…seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” In life, nothing is guaranteed except for Christ. Life will throw you curveballs, even when you are young. Earthly things can be a part of your identity, but don’t let those things be your identity. Our likes are fleeting, hobbies come and go, and even relationships and health aren’t forever. The only thing that is eternal is Christ. Seek first His Kingdom. Plant your identity firmly in Him and face those curveballs life throws. 

For Girls

He is Able

By: Catherine Blades

How often do I limit God? As I wrote this question down, the words seemed to scream at me. Our God is almighty. He is awesome and powerful. I know this; yet, I choose to make Him powerless. I wrote that question down after I read this quote by Oswald Chambers:

“God can do nothing until I recognize the limits of what is humanly possible, allowing Him to do what is impossible.” 

When I was in school, the most frequent question I got was, “What are your plans?” If you’re a student or recent graduate, you know this question. What do you want to be when you grow up? Our dreams start out big. We want to build amazing architecture around the world, be an olympic gymnast, famous baseball player, big time farmer, skilled nurse, talented doctor, etc. But as we grow up our plans begin to shrink, becoming more practical. 

The same thing can happen to our faith. I read verses that declare God’s greatness and I think, “How great is our God. I have nothing to be worried about.” Later, when faced with hard choices, those truths seem to slip my mind. God promises to never leave or forsake us, but when we have “real” obstacles our response is often what can ”I” do to overcome this. 

God doesn’t ask for perfection. He loves to take our weakness and make it His strength. Sometimes we ask God to work things out and are disappointed when He doesn’t answer like we thought He would. Did we ask God for something that only He could do, or something we thought He could manage?

Isaiah 55:8-9

 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  

 Ephesians 3:20 

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us to Him be the glory.”  

Someone once said that we should do something big enough that if God does not step in, we will fail. This is a nice quotation to have as a background on our phone or in a cute picture frame on the wall, but it is harder to live out than I’d like to admit. However, God calls us to be doers. 

I don’t know if you are in the same boat with me–afraid to step outside what’s comfortable. Maybe you are battling with a choice. The question I put to myself and to you is this, “What choice will show -beyond any doubt- that God was at work?” Are you tempted to choose the achievable? 

We have to remember that God is much wiser than we are. If He doesn’t establish your big plans, don’t be discouraged. God has not abandoned you. He simply asks that we trust Him to lead.  

What would happen if I stopped limiting God? The impossible becomes everyday possibilities.    

For Girls


By: Emily Faison

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever wanted? A new iPhone or tickets to a concert? For me, I couldn’t wait to have my own car.

In Sunday School, we spent a lot of time talking about everyday topics like money. We talked about budgeting, saving, and giving. These were easy to talk about, but harder to do! What helped me was figuring out a way to PRIORITIZE.

When I wanted to buy a car in high school, I started asking myself: Would I rather have this frappucino or car? A friend thought I was joking. Why was I comparing a frozen coffee drink to a car? It’s true that I would have to buy a LOT more frappucinos than I could ever slurp down to equal the cost of a car! But I started asking myself this question at every opportunity. Would I rather buy a new pair of jeans or a car? Would I rather add a milkshake to my Chick-Fil-A order or have a car?

Even though it feels silly to compare these tiny wants to a huge future goal, asking this question helps to visualize priorities and think about what is most important to you.

When I list out the things that I want to be able to do with my money—buy a car, pay for gas to fuel that car, give to missions, do fun activities with my friends—a new pair of jeans feels not so important.

Prioritizing how you spend your money does not mean giving up all fun things! Maybe you are saving for a fun goal, like those tickets to a concert with your friends. By making the choice to spend your money on a concert in a few months, you might choose not to go to the movies for a few weekends or choose not to buy new clothes for a while. 

Budgeting and saving your money can feel impossible when you want to say yes to everything. Prioritizing helped me realize that I wasn’t just saying, “No, I don’t want a frappucino,”…I was actually saying, “Something else is more important to me.”

Although it might seem like an odd Sunday School topic, like everything else in our lives, the way we earn and spend money should mirror our relationship with Jesus—sometimes it’s a matter of remembering what’s most important. PRIORITIZE.