A few years ago, I began gathering Christmas gifts all year long. As I discovered something perfect for someone I knew I’d be gifting to, I’d pick it up right then and tuck it away. It has been such an overwhelming joy and relief when the chaos of the holidays rolls around and I have a stash ready to be wrapped. It is almost like enjoying Christmas myself, pulling out each long-forgotten stowed treasure. This practice has helped me spread the financial burden, yes. But mostly, it’s allowed me to forgo the last minute, buying-to-be-buying pressure, and instead relish in giving more meaningful gifts I know will be cherished.
Well, thanks to the incredible trio of The Ruth Experience, I now have the perfect gift for my tween and teen daughters! That’s right, these master authors are back AGAIN with another jewel. Not long ago, I shared with you my love for their book “The One Year Daily Acts Of Friendship: 365 Days To Finding, Keeping, And Loving Your Friends.” They took that same concept and crafted a precious resource specifically for our daughters, “100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls.”
With three girls, ages 13, 11, and 7, friend troubles intrude most school days. Navigating the ins and outs, directing and advising them through Scripture, and allowing them to field and learn from this life stage themselves is a balancing act I’m incapable of mastering. I need the strength and wisdom of God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit’s guide each and every day. This chapter of parenting can often feel overwhelming and lonely. To have three experienced mama’s alongside me to gently mentor my girls through this season is an incomparable blessing. That is what this gorgeous new book by Julie Fisk, Kendra Roehl, and Kristin Demery bestows. As is often the case with this age group, hearing truth through differing sources can transform receptivity. I can’t wait for them to dig into these honest relatable stories, and the wisdom and encouragement woven within. The hardest part will be waiting to give it to them! (Maybe I’ll crumble and wrap it up for birthday gifts instead.)
My favorite elements are the “Things to Think About,” “Daily Act of Friendship,” and “Friendship in Action” sections. Poignant questions really force girls to consider the deeper issues of the heart and then apply those immediately to their circumstances, rather than tiptoeing lightly around the consequential. Practical ideas bring each lesson to life and provide a variety of ways to put their faith and love into action.
My middle daughter, who loves to be in her own world will find solace in Day 34 when encouraged to determine a special Jesus-conversing spot.
“A Secret Space: Did you know many people have a special spot where they meet with Jesus? Use your imagination to find a small place where you can hide away from distractions with your Bible and a journal to simply talk with God. It might be a favorite chair, a branch of your favorite tree in the backyard, or a small space in your closet. Use your imagination to make it perfect for you, maybe by including your favorite verses taped to the wall or your favorite blanket to snuggle into as you read and pray.”
Yet, a few weeks later, she’ll also be heart-challenged to get out of her timid comfort zone and
“Pray that God would open up conversations with your friends about his love. Be brave and confident to tell them the truth when the subject comes up.”
My anxious unsure 7th grader will face hard realities, like “When was a time when you felt alone or insecure? How did you handle it? What would happen if you chose to focus on what you know to be true, rather than on what you imagine your friends are thinking and feeling about you?” Then, she’ll be gently nudged to discover lasting truth: “What are three characteristics about yourself that are true and lovely?”
And to my great delight, they’ve even included fun goodies like recipes, DIYs, journaling prompts, acts of kindness ideas, creative projects, and other sweet surprises sprinkled throughout that will surely keep my girls excited and engaged!
Julie, Kendra, and Kristin know as I do that “When handled well, friendship among girls can be one of the most valuable and rewarding parts of their lives, laying the foundation for healthy friendships as adults. These early interactions shape the way girls view themselves and others and will continue to influence them throughout their lives, positively or negatively.” Anything I can do as a mama of girls to help them navigate the beauty and difficulty of friendship and discover what it’s like to be a friend like Jesus, is a valuable investment. Purchasing “100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls,” for them (and perhaps their friends too!) is a small investment yielding invaluable returns. Mamas, Aunts, Grandmas, mentors, and friends of young girls, I’d earnestly encourage you to join me!
Tuck it away for Christmas, birthdays, or a treasured ‘just because’ surprise. It’s sure to be one of their favorites and make a lasting soul-impact for Jesus!
Meet the Authors
Kristin Demery, Kendra Roehl, and Julie Fisk—creators of the website The Ruth Experience—are three friends whose lives are intertwined as writers, speakers, wives, moms, and world-changers. Together, they have written about kindness, generosity, failure, struggle, loss, a longing for true friendship and an unwavering desire to live intentionally through it all. They are the authors of several books, including the newly released 100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls: A Devotional, and have been featured online at (in)courage, USA Today, The Better Mom and the Huffington Post.
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