For Girls

I Can Do It Myself!

Part 1 of Series “Free Soloing”

By: Anna (Forlines) Kozyutynskyi

A year ago, the Lord opened up an opportunity for me to live in Hidalgo, Mexico partnering with a coffee shop ministry. El Buho Cafe was built right next to a world famous rock climbing destination; the infamous El Potrero Chico. We got to meet rock climbers from all over the world, share our testimony, share the love of Jesus, all while financially supporting a local school in a nearby village.

Rock climbing is inherently dangerous. Climbing smart is a must. A partner, the proper safety gear, and following the universal sport rules are what ensures a mostly secure climb.

In Potrero Chico, they have some massive climbing routes. While suspended hundreds of feet in the air, gear and a partner are relied on to hold you secure on the wall. The tallest route in the park is 2,300 feet. Just to put it into perspective, even the Empire State Building is shorter at only 1,454 feet from bottom to tippity top.

Now, imagine a wall EVEN TALLER at 7,569 feet in Yosemite National Park! A famous climber named Alex Honnold climbed it with no gear, no safety precautions, and no partner. Literally him, the rock, a chalk bag, and thousands of feet below. One wrong move and he was doneso. That is just crazy sauce! This is called free soloing. Sounds terrifying? It is. And the death rate for such climbers is 80-90%.

“I can do it myself.”

Why in the world would anyone ever do that? Well, even though I have never tried free solo climbing, I often walk through my life with a free solo attitude. I try to free solo through so many different situations like to-do lists, present sin struggles, past hurts, future decisions, sadnesses, and pains. Just like those free solo climbers, I think to myself, “I got this. I can do this on my own.”

Catch this. The success rate of trying to free solo through life is little or none. God knows this. From the very beginning, He created us to walk in community, sharing with one another the struggles and temptations we are facing so we can encourage one another along the way. He has also given us a safety manual, the bible, to walk in His paths of righteousness. He even promises to equip us with safety gear, His armor, to protect us from our own evil desires and the attacks of the enemy. The best news is that we are never alone. He has given us the Great Comforter, His Spirit, to lead and guide us every step of the way.

Questions to reflect on:

  1. In what areas do you try to free solo through life?
  2. Like me, do you struggle with an ‘I can do it myself’ attitude?
  3. Why do you think you try to do it alone?


Ephesians 6:13-17

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12


Father, thank you for opening our eyes and hearts to see that we were never meant to walk through this life alone. Help us to reach out to others, to put on your full armor, to lean on Christ, and to follow your paths of righteousness that keep us safe from the dangers of this world. Amen

About the Author: Anna (Forlines) Kozyutynskyi lives in Nashville with her husband, Vlady, and they recently welcomed a baby boy. She enjoys nature and outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing. Her passion is to share the importance of openness and freedom that can only be found in Jesus. 

For Adults

An Introvert in an Extrovert’s World

By Cristina Price

Is it possible to be an introvert but still be an effective witness? In today’s in-your-face culture, it can be hard for an introvert to find her place. 

At the beginning of my career as a missionary in France, I battled the stereotype of the extroverted missionary. I felt a lot of pressure, mostly from myself, to try to be something I was not, to fit a preconceived idea of the “ideal” missionary. This was, of course, someone who never met a stranger, who could talk to anyone about anything, who easily shared the gospel within five minutes of making an acquaintance. This was definitely not me. I struggled to make conversation with new people, felt more comfortable in my own home than out on the town, happy to take care of my own little family, read books, sip tea, and nest. Unfortunately, this isn’t very conducive to making new acquaintances and sharing the gospel! What was an introvert to do?

Enter Judy Bryan, longtime missionary to Côte d’Ivoire and later to the field of France. Like me, Judy felt more comfortable in small groups of people, in her own home, cup of coffee in hand. Watching her, I realized that, though she was married to an extrovert who never met a stranger, Judy also had a vital ministry. Judy was a great cook and had a knack for making people feel at ease. She exuded hospitality. The multitudes of people that Robert met were invited to her home, where her gifts shone the brightest.

This is an important ability in France, where the tradition of inviting others over for a meal to get to know one another better is still firmly anchored in the culture. In the USA, the tendency is to invite someone out to a restaurant, but in France, it is common to invite people into your home. As I learned from Judy’s example, I could put my introvert skills to work by making my own home a place of welcome and warmth for our guests. My husband, Matt, is much more extroverted than I am, and so it works out well for him to meet the strangers, invite them to our home, and together, we try to make them feel welcome. Around our dining table, we have been able to share the gospel, train baby Christians, counsel struggling marriages, encourage the discouraged, and share the battles of our fellow believers. 

To be honest, I don’t love cooking. I do it because we have to eat to survive! There are many other things I would rather spend my time and money on. What I do love, however, is seeing the satisfaction on the faces of my family and friends when they enjoy what I’ve prepared for them. Judy Bryan was a pro at this, and I am so grateful for her inspiring example. I am thankful, too, that God knew what He was doing when He called me to be an introverted missionary in a culture where my personality and gifting can be used for His Kingdom.

What lessons have I learned in 17 years of introverted ministry in France?

  1. French people love American food. A long time ago, I stopped trying to imitate French-style cooking and just cooked what I knew. And it works! Prepare the meals you know well and are comfortable making. Your guests will love it!
  2. Accept the fact that God made you a certain way and that He can use you for His glory BECAUSE of those gifts, not in spite of them. God did not make a mistake when He made me an introvert and brought me to France. He knew that I could serve Him well within my own gifting. This doesn’t mean that He won’t sometimes call us outside of our comfort zones! But this is usually an exception and not the norm. 
  3. Look at the culture around you and ask yourself in what ways you can use your talents to minister to those in your circle of influence. If you’re an introvert like me, maybe this means inviting people to your home for a meal, starting a small book club where you can read good books together, joining or creating a knitting circle, starting a playgroup for moms with young children, becoming a mentor for a younger woman, or asking a more mature woman to be your mentor. 
  4. Ask the Lord to bless your efforts and to show you ways in which you can build His kingdom through your talents. He is the one who blessed you with your unique gifts, and He knows best how you should use them!

Being an introvert in an extrovert’s world can sometimes be daunting. Don’t forget that God made you exactly how He wanted you, and He makes no mistakes. Look up, look around, walk through those open doors, and let God’s light shine through you in your own unique way. You will never feel more fulfilled than when you are serving God using the gifts He gave you. 

About the Author: Cristina Price has worked for FWB International Missions in France since 2005. She and her husband of 25 years, Matt Price, have twin 13-year-old daughters, Madeleine and Emilie. Cristina loves reading, traveling, chatting with friends over tea, and homeschooling her daughters.  
For Girls

Setting an Example

By Madeleine Price

Hello, my name is Madeleine Price. I’m thirteen years old and my parents are missionaries to Saint-Nazaire France. A few years ago, my Dad became youth pastor to a church here in Saint-Nazaire. In the beginning, the only kids were me, my sister Emilie, and maybe two or three others. When Covid happened, we did services online. Apparently, lots of people had been watching them, and when the church opened its doors again, we were amazed by how many people showed up. Also, lots of people that lived in the big cities like Paris and Lyon moved to Saint-Nazaire to be closer to the beach. These people needed a new church to go to so they found us, and started coming regularly.

I’ve always been a missionary kid and I don’t know any differently. It can be hard at times, to not see my family for years while I’m in France, but when I’m stateside, I have to leave all my friends for a whole year. I feel like my role in the church is to make other kids feel welcome and to show what being a true Christian looks like. That means living by God’s principles and being a light in the dark.

Our kids’ program is called “Kidz Church” (wonder where my Dad came up with such a creative name)! We usually sing Christian songs for kids. Most of them have motions, and something that I’ve learned is that none of the kids will start until someone else does. No one likes to be the first. Someone always has to step up in order for the others to follow. Since I’m one of the oldest kids there, when I start doing the motions, usually the younger kids follow. So, basically what I’m saying here is:

 “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Titus 2:7 (ESV)

About the Author: Madeleine Price is 13 years old and was born in France, where her parents work for FWB International Missions. She has a twin sister, Emilie, and a dog, Charlotte. She loves eating ice cream, playing the piano, visiting the beach, eating crêpes, and hanging out with her friends. 

For Girls


By: Adra Chandler

Managing mental health can be a real struggle, but the little things can make all the difference. It can also be hard to reach out for help when struggling, but I promise, it gets easier every time you reach out to a trusted friend or mentor. I have struggled with mental health since elementary school; I am now 26 and still struggle at times, but I am thankful for a great support system and Godly women in my life to help me through the rough days.

A well-rounded life is important in taking care of yourself mentally. So, taking care of yourself physically, spiritually, and socially is very important to help keep your mental health at its best.

Here is my go-to list of things to do to help keep me at my best or help pull me out of a slump:

  • Have daily time with God.
  • Attend church regularly.
  • Only sleep in your bed, don’t hang out in bed.
  • Take care of yourself physically (shower, take a walk, eat a balanced meal, floss and brush your teeth, etc.).
  • Spend time speaking kindly and encouragingly to yourself.
  • Tidy your room for a few minutes every day; having a clean, relaxing living space does wonders for anxiety and depression.
  • Find hobbies you like and do them regularly (sports, music, reading, hiking, crafting, etc.).
  • Find an adult Christian woman whom you can trust. Talk to them, ask for advice, and ask for prayer.
  • Be honest when your doctor asks how you feel; they can help you find a counselor to speak to. A Christian Counselor is a great resource to help guide you in your mental health journey.
  • Find uplifting friends.
  • Taking medications as prescribed and not skipping doses.

Ultimately find what works best for you. Do things you enjoy and take care of yourself when you feel great and when you hit a slump.

About the Author: Adra Chandler is the Media Coordinator at Free Will Baptist Foundation and the Social Media Coordinator at WNAC. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, husband, and 5 cats. She is passionate about mental health and sharing the hope that is only found in Christ.
For Girls

Who Me? A Missionary?

By Abby Walker

I never had any desire to live in another country until God spoke to me about missions in my last year of nursing school. I enjoyed going on short-term trips while I was in high school, but I thought long-term just wasn’t for me. But God, in His perfect timing, had other plans for me and I am so thankful.

You may not feel like you’re called to missions either, and that’s okay! I didn’t!

God has you where you’re at right now for a reason. He has given you your talents and passions on purpose. Keep pursuing what you believe God wants you to do. However, keep your heart open to the possibility that He might change your plans and send you somewhere you’ve never imagined going one day.

Matt Price, a missionary to France, said one thing that has stuck with me for the last five years. He said, “If you tell God that you are willing to do anything for Him, but you won’t even consider going to another country, then are you actually willing to do anything? Or just what makes you comfortable?” That doesn’t necessarily mean He will call you to another country, He just wants you to be willing to go if He does ask you to.

If you ever start to question whether or not that’s a possibility, start praying! Look for opportunities to go and see! He will open and close doors to show you the correct path. Pray and ask God how He wants you to share the gospel with the world. Maybe it’s praying for or financially supporting missionaries. Maybe it’s going on mission trips or one day moving to another country. God will let you know if you seek and ask.

So…go on those short-term trips. Pray to God for understanding and clarity. See the need for the gospel in other cities and countries. After all, you’ll never know unless you ask and go!

About the Author: Abby Walker has been living in Tokyo for the past year and working with the Hope Alive Team. Before that, she worked as an orthopedic nurse for 2 years. She enjoys playing basketball, reading, and a good iced café latte!
For Adults

Busy, Busy, Busy

by Diana Bryant

If you talked to a dozen women today, no matter their age or occupation, I can guarantee one word would come up in every conversation – BUSY. Young mothers, career women, retired grandmothers, church volunteers, and even young teens who go to school, play sports, and take dance lessons give the same answer. “Busy!” is the common reply to the question, “How are you?”

As parents, we have the responsibility to teach our children many things. From the mundane – how to brush their teeth – to the eternally significant – how to recognize right and wrong. We discover early on that some things are taught by instruction and some things are caught by daily observing our lives in the privacy of our own homes and in public before others.

“Busy” is not in itself a bad thing. Persistent idleness is not good stewardship of our time, resources, or abilities. But neither is the “busyness” that saps our joy, skews our priorities, and causes us to place more emphasis on the superficial than the significant.
What are your children learning from your mastery – or slavery – to your schedule?

Consider these opposing messages:

  1. We teach our children the importance of learning God’s Word, of reading their Bibles. Do they see you modeling that? If our busy day keeps us from God’s Word, regardless of what parents and Sunday School teachers have said, we are teaching, “It’s not that important, there are other things that really need to be done.” Priorities are caught, and when they don’t match our spoken words, children will notice and draw their own conclusions.
  2. We work hard to make our daughters understand that their value comes from who they ARE, a child of God, not what they can DO. When we have a relentless schedule, involve ourselves with too many commitments, and use an inordinate amount of our energy to make every event we are involved in as perfect as we can get it, we are really teaching our daughters that our successes and accomplishments define our self worth. If we are constantly talking about how busy we are, wearing that phrase as a badge of honor, it speaks loudly to girls who desperately want to be valuable in this world.
  3. Are we using our busy schedules to avoid something else? Are there issues in our relationships that need to be dealt with? Perhaps making sure every minute is filled with some kind of activity gives us the excuse we need to sweep those concerns under the rug? Busyness can become addictive, but real connections with our families and friends cannot thrive without the time and attention they need. “You can always talk to me!” won’t ring true with our daughters if they can’t find a time that we are available and not distracted by activity.

These words are easy, but dealing with this issue in real life is not. Being needed, appreciated, and admired feels good. The lure of being sought after feeds our self-esteem. But seeking God’s direction for our schedules is more reliable than doing things just because we want to – or feel like we have to. Our relationship with God cannot be nurtured by busyness – even if we are busy with good things.

Think about these things as you consider your priorities in scheduling and modeling time management for your daughters and other young women in your life:

  • Remember that there are seasons in life. There may be a particular activity or cause you really want to be involved in, but waiting until a different season in your life may be better for everyone. Important causes will still be there long after your window of everyday influence in your daughter’s life closes.
  • Understand the difference between a good work ethic and being a workaholic. One glorifies God, the other glorifies ourselves.
  • If you are feeling burdened, harried, frustrated, and exhausted by your schedule, honestly ask God if you are following His leading or your own. This requires honesty on our part, but God has promised wisdom when we ask. Take Him up on that promise!

Check out our companion blog post for girls: So Much to Do, So Little Time

For Girls

So Much to Do, So Little Time

by Rachel Bryant

Homework. Dance class. Soccer practice. Part-time job. Youth group activities. Piano lessons. After-school clubs. Hanging out with friends. Dinner with family. It’s enough to make any girl feel totally overwhelmed.

There are so many great opportunities out there to learn, to create, to grow… but how do you decide which ones are best? Sometimes we find ourselves trying to pursue every opportunity in front of us, but we just don’t have enough time—or energy. We end up exhausted, burned out, and not really enjoying any of it.

Honestly, finding a balance and prioritizing your life is an ongoing struggle, even as you grow up. The good news is, I’ve been dealing with it for longer, so I’ve got plenty of tips to help you figure out your priorities!

Tip 1: Whatever you do, put God first.

I know this sounds like the church answer and kind of a vague tip, but this is honestly the most important (that’s why it’s #1). The Bible tells us to “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Putting God first puts the rest of our life in perspective and allows Him to help guide our life and choices. What does that actually look like in real life? Well, “have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3) means not putting all of our activities in front of God. I know it’s hard when maybe your team has games Sunday morning or you’d rather peruse Instagram instead of doing your personal devotions or Bible reading. It can be hard to stick with it, but when you read the Bible and spend consistent time with God in prayer, all other decisions you make will naturally be filtered through what God has to say. God promises us that if we “in all ways acknowledge Him, He will direct our paths” (Proverbs 3:6).

Tip 2: Try to be well-rounded.

Sometimes we find a hobby, sport, or other activity that we really like or are really good at and we commit to it 110%. While it’s great to find what you like, try to remember there are a whole lot of opportunities out there. Try new and different things—you never know what you might discover, and even if you end up not liking it and you don’t do it again, at least you tried something new. That helps make you a more flexible and well-rounded person, which can only help you as you grow into adulthood and make decisions about college, career, and life.

Tip 3: Don’t overcommit.

BONUS TIP: It’s okay to say “no” sometimes! Or simply, “not right now.” Like we talked about in Tip #2, it’s great to try a variety of new things, but that doesn’t mean you have to do them all at once. There are so many opportunities, but learning what you can handle and when it becomes too much is an important learning process. Pay attention to when you start to feel like everything is “too much”—feeling like you are overwhelmed and stressed can be signs. Remember, just because something is a good thing or a fun thing doesn’t mean you have to do it. There are so many good things out there, but it’s just not possible to do all of them, especially at the same time.

Tip 4: Listen to advice.

Sometimes it’s hard to realize when we’re maxed out. It seems like everything is important and fun, and we don’t want to miss out on anything. Once you add up all the things you have to do, like homework and school, and all the things you want to do, like hang out with friends, sometimes it seems like there’s nothing you can cut from your schedule. Talk to your parents, a trusted adult friend or relative, or youth group leader about your schedule. Listen to them if they tell you it’s too much. Listen to them if they suggest giving up something or postponing something. Ask for help prioritizing your activities and ask for advice. Hearing from a different perspective can prove helpful.

Tip 5: Somethings are non-negotiable.

Take care of yourself! Make sure you’re not sacrificing your health for all these activities. We’re talking the basics here: get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, drink lots of water, get some exercise. Make sure your school work is not being neglected; that is your job right now, so don’t let your education suffer. Make sure to spend time with family or friends just relaxing and not worrying about the next thing on your schedule. And finally, once again, make sure you make time for God. Go to church, go to youth group or Bible Study, and have your own personal Bible study time.

So much to do, so little time, right? Finding balance is not always easy, but figuring out your priorities allows you to “make the best use of your time” (Ephesians 5:16a).

For Girls

Battling the Image Beast

By Beth Bryant

Today’s “artificial” culture, preoccupied with outer beauty, aesthetic, and trying to make things look better than they generally are, can be pretty tough to navigate.

And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with paying attention to the outside, scripture warns against focusing too much on outward appearances. We have to know what we’re dealing with. Two of the main areas of image obsession currently plaguing adolescent girls are physical appearance and social media.

Beauty and the Image Beast

It’s hard to battle the image beast when there are so many voices telling us to feed it.

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Here, two truths are revealed: Humans tend to see the outside, and God sees our hearts. Often, when we look in the mirror, we have more negative thoughts than positive. We spend a lot of time comparing the reflective glass version of ourselves to other individuals, from models on magazines to the girls at school. These physical comparisons make it nearly impossible for us to have a healthy view of ourselves.
Outside pressures from advertisements, celebrities, shows, movies, social media, or even from trying to win affirmation from people at school or guys can all tempt us to make outer beauty our focus. Again, there’s nothing wrong with a new outfit, a manicure, or haircut. But it is of utmost importance to make our heart the focus—what God sees, and where true beauty lies!

…the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4

All the best that physical appearance has to offer can’t compete with the beauty of holiness. Real beauty is not dependent on image—real beauty comes from a gentle and quiet spirit that honors, obeys, and worships God.

Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! 1 Chronicles 16:29

Social Media and the Façade

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

While Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and other social media platforms have done good things, like increase our connection to friends and family far away and give us new outlets for self expression, one of the downsides is revealed in our natural human tendency for competition. Selfish pride motivates girls and women of all ages to try to present something that appears better than reality.

Filters can be fun, but it’s important to remember that edited images do not represent reality. When we see women who appear to be perfect on social media, remember that images rarely—if ever—tell the whole truth. When we feel a compulsion to edit and layer every single photo we post with filters just to create an “acceptable” image, maybe it’s time to take a step back.

Social Media Use Is Best When….

  1. We honor God with it. Post wisely, follow others wisely, and apply the principles found in scripture to your social media activity.
  2. We avoid the pride and comparison pitfalls. Don’t post to brag or self-promote. Don’t allow envy or comparisons to creep in when you see posts.
  3. We realize that it’s not usually the most honest picture. Remember that images are photoshopped and the person posting the photo took tons of pictures to get just the right shot. People mostly only post the good and leave out the bad, so social media doesn’t show the whole picture.
  4. We use it with moderation. Like many good thing, excessive use of social media can lead to image obsession and causes us to lose our focus on what’s most important—who we are inside.

Remember, it’s okay to care about how you look on the outside. Scripture warns against focusing too much on outward appearances. Jesus doesn’t mince words. What’s inside is most important.

Bonus! Check out this handy list of tips for battling the image beast.

For Adults, For Girls

The eXit Strategy

By Rachel Bryant

The eXit strategy is a pre-planned strategy that gives teens a way out of uncomfortable or unsafe situations without the fear of being made fun of for wanting to leave.

So what’s the plan?

If a teen is at a friend’s house, a party, or anywhere else, and wisely decides, for whatever reason, that she needs to not be there anymore, this prearranged agreement can help her exit the uncomfortable situation. When the teen realizes she needs to leave, she sends a text with a pre-planned code to a parent or trusted adult. This can be one word, number, or even just one letter (example: X).

When the parent or adult receives the “code word” text, they immediately call the teen and tell them there is an emergency at home and that the teen either needs to come home now or the adult will come get her right now.

Once the teen is safe at home, the parent or adult allows the teen some time to think over the situation. After a period of time, such as the next morning, the adult and teen sit down together to discuss the situation calmly. They discuss what happened, the teen’s good decision to leave the uncomfortable situation, and how to make good choices in the future.

And how does the plan work?

In order for this strategy to be effective, both you and the teen must commit to stick to the plan. When you and the teen discuss this strategy beforehand, you both must make agreements:

Parent/Adult Agrees To:

  • Quickly call teen back with “emergency”
  • Don’t ask questions on the phone
  • Be calm when you pick them up or when they arrive home
  • Validate the teen’s decision to use the exit strategy and text an adult
  • Give teen time to think about situation and be ready to listen calmly during discussion

Teen Agrees To:

  • Text adult as soon as you feel uncomfortable
  • Answer your phone when they call back
  • Listen and be honest during discussion
  • Think about ways to better handle or avoid similar situations in the future

For a printable version of this, check out the Resources page.