An Encouraging Word for Our Daughters Who Dare to Dream

An Encouraging Word for Our Daughters Who Dare to Dream

I feel rather blessed.

Being the mother of several teenage daughters—young, bright, and beautiful. All of them hoping to get married some day.

These girls dare to dream.

But to tell you the truth, they’ve grown a little doubtful lately.

The girls observe these marriages around them falling apart right before their eyes. They’ve seen the destruction of divorce and have stayed up late comforting dear friends whose parents are parting ways.

Or, they watch while some couples stay together, yet grow increasingly cold and distant. Tension filling the air.

It troubles them to think of their lives ending up in this unhappy way.

It messes with their minds and messes with their dreams.

They’re not little girls anymore and they understand that life is no fairytale.

But they can’t help wondering where did all the good stories go? You know, the ones with a happy ending? Whatever happened to happily-ever-after?

And this is what I say to them…

My dear girls,

I believe in a good God who desires to write a beautiful story for our lives.

Rather than looking at the messed-up world around you, fix your eyes on Him who is more than able to care for you. He is the One you can trust for your hope and for your future.

…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (I Pet. 5:7)

I believe in a God who is in the business of changing people. He can change me and He can move that man of mine. He has the power to transform our marriage into something wonderful and glorifying to Him.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)

I believe in a God who restores and redeems. He can heal the broken and save the lost. I’ve seen Him turn lives around and rescue marriages from the most impossible situations.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Ps. 34:18)

I believe in a God who sees the big picture. While we might only see the snapshot – what is happening today – He knows what our future holds.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)

Take your dad and me, for example. Here we are, two imperfect people who have learned to love each other—who are still learning to love each other. Look at the good work God is doing in and through our life together. Growing, learning, forgiving and loving some more. This is the stuff that makes for some of the best stories.

This is a real love story.

So that’s the kind of story I’m hoping for our daughters and the kind I’m hoping for you. Not because I believe in fairytales, but because I believe in a good and powerful God.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)

The Jacobson Girls

So go ahead and dare to dream, girls.

Because we know the God who is the Author of the greatest love story – and we are known by Him.

Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women

7 Small Ways a Faithful Mother Can Make a Big Difference

7 Small Ways a Faithful Mother Can Make a Big Difference

I want to make a difference.

You might not think a stay-at-home, work-at-home, mom like me would be aware of what is happening out there, but I am.

I can see far too clearly the world falling apart and feel much too deeply the relationships crumbling around me – and it nearly breaks my heart.

No, my head is definitely not buried in the sand. We can all read the headlines. Nor do we have far to travel to find heartache or hopelessness.

But this home-centered mom wants to do something about it . . and you?

I want to raise a family who loves the Lord and who will be a light to an ever-darkening world, a family who will offer hope to the aching and the anguished.

So how can one faithful mother make a big difference?

1. Fill our home with joy and laughter.
As the mom, we get to set the tone for the home, so begin the day with a loving smile and a cheerful greeting. And if you don’t “feel” like it? That’s okay, just fake it! Then keep right on smiling until the warmth becomes genuine and shines down over your entire family.

2. Offer grace freely.
Mistakes, mess-ups, mix-ups – it’s all part of being a family. Let them know that you can overlook their faults and you love ‘em like crazy anyway. Don’t be devastated, or even surprised, when your people let you down. Consider the abundant grace showered down over you and me and then offer the same to their tender hearts. They need it at least as much as we do!

3. Share meals together daily.
If our lives are so busy that we don’t have a moment to dine and discuss around the table together, then we are dangerously too busy. While it doesn’t always seem worth the trouble to gather everyone for this daily event, it does add up over time and one of the greatest investments you can make for your family.

4. Be willing to take a strong stand.
It’s a fact: we moms get less grief if we say “yes” than when we say “no”. But, if your spirit is troubling you then don’t compromise for the sake of peace – it’s simply not worth it. Stay true to what you believe is right and stick to your guns. We have to be more concerned about our children’s character than their temporary “happiness.”

5. Take the time to talk it through.
Talking things through takes a gargantuan amount of TIME. Sometimes this means discussing issues late into the night (especially if you have teens!).  No such thing as a shortcut to this critical process – unless it’s sweeping it under the rug which only results in distant, painful relationships. So what are a few bleary nights compared to close, loving relationships?

6.   Ask forgiveness – and grant it fully
If someone sins or hurts another family member in any way, he – or me!- should be swift to humbly seek forgiveness.  And the response should be as quick and wholehearted as the request made.  Don’t let any bit of relational garbage linger to rot and decay! Keep all your hearts clean and bright.

7.   Celebrate the uniqueness of each child
Enjoy each child’s special qualities and embrace every unique individual. Teach your children to appreciate one another’s differences too. Don’t allow anyone to despise or belittle a brother or sister because they happen to have their own giftings, their own particular style, and their own way of doing things. (For more ways:  32 Tips I’d Like toPass on to Moms with Younger Children.)

Although I don’t always feel much like a world-changer, like it matters all that much, this mom would like to think I’m making a world of difference.

And you’re making a big difference too.

Because we mothers can impact more lives than we ever thought possible through our sometimes simple, often hidden, but meaningful ministry at home.

Cheering for you!

Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women

3 Ways to Prepare Your Daughter to Live a Rich and Beautiful Life

3 Ways to Prepare Your Daughter to Live a Rich and Beautiful Life

Oh, you must be soooo busy! 

That’s what people often say – with a slight groan – when they learn that I’m the mother of four amazingly active boys.

And it’s true. I am busy. Terribly busy at times.

But you know something?

It’s no less demanding being a mother of four lively girls. In some ways even more challenging than a pack of wiggly, grubby boys.

Oh, they are lovable dears, to be sure. Darling, giggly, charming, determined,  and, well, more complex.

Boys might bounce off the walls, bring home bugs and snakes, but girls . . .

Girls can be complicated.

But now my little girls aren’t so little anymore. Even though we still play and  laugh together, they are well on their way to womanhood and it’s a joy to watch.

So I’ve been thinking about what we’ve learned together over these years.

I’ve been considering what’s equipping them for their future.

And what’s helping prepare our daughters for the rich and beautiful  life God has for them.

Strength

One of our daughters was a screamer.

Whenever she got hurt – she screamed. When she was afraid, she screamed. When she was upset, excited, mad – you guessed it, she screamed. We honestly wondered if we’d find her screaming on her wedding day.

She’s also our intuitive and insightful one and we love that about her. But the girl needed to get a grip in order for anyone to be able to hear all that loveliness down inside her. Not that we wanted to make her tough; we just wanted to make her strong.

Now she often laughs where she used to scream – a much better approach to life, don’t you think? She also boldly shares her love for Christ wherever she goes.

It takes a lot of strength to be a woman.

Serving

If you’re raising a daughter to assume a princess-like attitude (“Like . . . it all revolves around me”), how is this possibly preparing her to be a wife and mother?

Not very helpful, I’m afraid.

I might be queen of my home, but this particular Queen finds she has to scour bathtubs, wipe bottoms, sort massive mounds of laundry, and basically take care of a whole bunch of people.

If you’re grooming your daughter for royalty, she’s likely going to be in for a significant adjustment. With her future in mind, one of the mottos we’re working toward around here is “Service with a smile”.

Being a godly woman involves cheerfully serving others.

Sweetness

Maybe your daughters are naturally sweet, but the girls in our home – including me! –  have had to learn to be nice.

A sharp, biting response. A cat with claws out – who wants to come home to that?

So we’re working on sweetening up and finding it takes practice – and lots of it. When something harsh or snitty slips out, we get to go back and try it again. Often the content isn’t even the problem, it’s the tone we need to change.

A pretty woman turns ugly real fast when she snaps and snarls.

And sweetness makes a woman beautiful.

Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. ~ Prov. 31:25

So yes, we’re still laughing and having a lot of fun together. With these lively, complicated girls of mine.

And we’re looking forward to the rich life God has in store for them.

Starting right here and right now.

Just beautiful. 

Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women

Meeting Mr. Right and 3 Essentials Every Mom Needs to Know

3 Essentials Every Mom Needs to Know

The letter said, He’s tall, dark, and, believe me, handsome.

Yes, I was intrigued.

What single twenty-six year old (who had been a bridesmaid in no less than 12 weddings) wouldn’t be?

The beginning stages of despair that I would ever meet “the man of my dreams” had begun to set in long before this letter arrived.

As I had had well over a decade to develop this dream man, my list for him was really quite impressive.

Impossible, some said.

Yet, when he walked inside to join us for the dinner party, I knew immediately there he is. Just like I had always imagined it.  There is the man I am going to marry.

The picture is as fresh today as that momentous night. He stood in the doorway: dark wavy hair, blue eyes, tall and strong, wearing black Levi’s and cowboy boots. He strode purposefully across the room and introduced himself to me.

Here he comes. Just like in my dreams, my heart pounded.

I went home and called a close friend to say that I had finally met the man I was going to marry.

After a completely inexcusable eternity of three days, Mr. Right came to the same conclusion: We would marry.

A few short months later we were happily married.

Matthew and Lisa Jacobson Wedding Day

So dreams really do come true.

The one hitch in the dream?

Like many starry-eyed single women, I had spent a great deal of time dreaming of what kind of husband and father I wanted him to be – things he would have to do and be to “measure up” to my standards.

Somewhere in all that focus on what he needed to be, very little time had been devoted to the consideration of what kind of wife, what kind of woman, what kind of mother, Mr. Right would want me to be.

Looking back on it, it does seem strange but, at the time, all of that was taken for granted . . . it would all fall into place when the time came, right?

Yet when I woke up one day suddenly faced with the realization that I was a wife and, what’s more, a whirlwind year later a mother, the shock was overwhelming. It all didn’t “fall into place” – but falling apart was a distinct possibility.

Suddenly woken up, the raw reality presented itself: I was utterly unprepared to be either a wife or mother.

Going in, the world had constantly affirmed the competence acquired by living abroad, graduate degrees, the professional workplace, etc. What wasn’t apparent was that these things were not much help for the high calling of being wife and mother.

Because nothing, nothing, had prepared me for the journey which now lay before me.

So do you ever feel unprepared for the role you now find yourself in? That you’re in a bit over your head? And then that realization that this thing called motherhood . . . it really matters.

Yeah, me too.

But now that I’ve been a mom for twenty years? To 8 children? I see it comes down to these essentials.

3  Essentials Every Mom Needs to Know:

1.     If God has called you, He will equip you. Go to His Word for training and instruction. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

2.     If you ask for wisdom, He will give it. He who “gives generously to all without approach” will provide everything you need. (James 1:5)

3.     If you mess up or make a mistake today, you can always start new tomorrow. We serve the God who specializes in new beginnings – for which I am oh! so thankul. (Isa. 43:18-19)

You can do this. God has called you and He will equip you with all the wisdom and grace you need to be a loving mother.

Cheering for you,

Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women

This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,

“Who We Are: The Stories Behind TBM Writers”

Who We Are at The Better Mom

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