What It Really Means to Have a Magnetic Personality and a True-To-You Selfie
Well, hello there, kiddos. Won’t be long until I probably can’t call you “kiddo” that anymore. Sure, you’ll always be OUR kids, but you won’t be kids.
Because there are women living underneath your skin — these little women, waiting. I see parts of them emerging, and they surprise me and delight me and scare me.
One of you was determined to hide your American Girl dolls the other day. “I’m getting too old for that stuff, Mom.” But then an hour later, you were building this gigantic Polly Pocket city, as it urban-sprawled itself into the hallway.
You’ve got one foot in “girl,” and the other foot in “little woman.”
I love who you are right now — reciters of movie lines, makers of kitchen messes, rabid fans of Frozen, part-time snugglers, full-time talkers, devourers of books, lovers of science, and friends to the trees.
Every day, you’re finding out more about who you are, and what you’re made of, and how you’re braver than you knew.
Your Dad and I want you to know that we see you. We love that you try new things, risk failing, pray out loud, and that you make obnoxiously loud music with your voices and your hands. We love that you know this: that people can reflect more than what they see in the mirror.
We love that you have begun to learn that Photoshop doesn’t cover up our messes. It covers up our marvelous.
We hope and pray that you will grow up to be all YOU — rather than trying to recreate yourself in some other image.
Girls, you are growing up in a world that expects a lot of you. The world is constantly telling you that you’ve got to do something more to be magnetic and marvelous.
The world says get less freckly, less arm-hairy, less double-chinny, less weird, less all-the-things-that-make-us-US. You know what I say to that? Boring. Un-marvelous.
The world says super-size your order, your platform, your bank account, your clout, your voice. But Jesus says, “Humble yourself.” Let’s all be like Zacchaeus: The only reason he climbed higher was so that he could get a better look at Jesus. And I hope you’ve learned that from us.
We’ve tried to lay a solid foundation beneath you, so you’d know that the magnetic, marvelous, and magnificent parts of people are built on the inside, by God.
We get that it’s hard to believe the truth about who we are. This is a world of selfies with pouty lips and striking poses and a hypersexualized culture that can make a girl feel like the dull crayon in the box. Don’t fall for it, girls. Go color your world in your own shade of fabulous.
Yeah, you’re both beautiful. But you know what makes you over-the-top beautiful? The innermost parts: Your powerful minds, your deliriously funny imaginations, your courageous hearts, and the questions you ask us about God and faith and the pain in this world. We love how you care.
Take a tour of your hearts for a sec, would you, girls? See what God is building there.
Come back home to your heart, whenever you doubt what you see on the outside, whenever you’re tempted to strike some seductive pose to get someone’s attention on Facebook. Yeah, you’re both too young for Facebook, but I’ve got to tell you some of this stuff now, while you’re still listening to me.
And thank you, girls, for still listening to me. Just so you know, I was a seventh-grader once. And I was also a junior in high school, and I know what can happen to a girl-becoming-woman in that short span of years. In 1986, we had our own versions of selfies and Twerking, and most of us were vainly trying to be Madonna or Heather Locklear. You wouldn’t believe how many of us girls were making ourselves sick so we could be skinny. Or maybe you would believe it.
Girls, look inside, when the outside screeches like a Boogie Man.
Allow the women who is growing up inside of you, to learn her lessons from the heart of you.
It’s good to go inside yourself, and find out who you really are, how you’re really made. You can get acquainted with God in there, and He never tires of telling you how much you already matter.
The inside of you? That’s where you carry the lessons we’ve taught you, and we pray that the majority of those lessons have been for the good of you. We have set down a foundation. It’s a rock. Can you feel it beneath your feet? It should feel like Jesus.
You’re getting older now, and so much of your life happens where I can’t see you. You’re learning things on the yellow buses, and in the locker rooms and lunch tables. I am no longer the only influencer in your life.
My prayers for you are these:
* That you will have a greater influence on your world, than the world has on you.
* That God would give you a magnetism, not to draw people to you, but to draw them to God.
* That you would be gentle to others, and by all means, be gentle to yourselves.
* That you would — as the Great Preacher Elsa teaches us — “Let it go, let it go!” When we belong to Christ, honest to goodness, we are free to make mistakes.
* That you would live secure in Whose you are, rather than who you might try hard to be.
* That you would know that grace is for real. God really does love us no matter what, and He really can’t stop loving us. You can’t out-love God, and you can’t out-run Him. He loves us through every detour, wrong turn, ugly choice — even the dumb stuff we are yet to do.
Before you know it, you’ll be carrying credit cards, slipped into your billfold, next to your driver’s licenses and your own insurance cards. Your legs will be as long as they’re ever going to be. You will park your own car, and you will walk into a Target, with a purse slung over your shoulder, and you’ll see the other women.
Some of them will stun you with their confidence, chins up, hair blowing softly in the wind. And others will sadden you, because they wear the sagging look of someone who’s just plain tired. At some point, both of those women will be you — and you’ll see her in the reflection as you enter the glass doors.
But you’ll remember what you learned about reflections, and you’ll remember Who you’re called to reflect.
And that will make you see it again: how God made your heart when you were little–
Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants
This post was inspired by Lynn Cowell’s new book, Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants.Christian speaker and author Lysa TerKeurst says of Magnetic: “This book should be read by every single Christian teenage girl… Brilliant!”
For more information on Magnetic, click here: http://www.lynncowell.com/magnetic/.
Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books including her newest Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants. Her passion in speaking and writing is empowering wise women to raise wiser daughters. Her husband and their three children live in North Carolina where they love to hike, raft and enjoy anything combining chocolate and peanut butter.
Magnetic Book Giveaway
Lynn is giving away TWO COPIES of Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants. Enter below to win (or click here, if you can’t see the entry form in your email.)
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My daughter can be and is magnetic with her gentle spirit that draws people around her to her. I pray as she grows into womanhood she doesn’t lose this spirit.
Wonderful, Shelly! You know, I can picture girls & women like that in my life — who carry themselves with such a gentle confidence, or God-fidence. Truly magnetic!
A lovely, magnetic, winsome post, written from the inside-out, from a mother’s heart so filled with love for two blossoming girls that it can’t help but overflow. I’m so glad your love and words spill across the screen, so that more than just Lydia and Anna can be blessed. I suspect that they wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t imagine how much they love you, Jennifer. No wonder! And how completely blessed you are to have two such fine little women. Give them my love!
Thank you so much, Lynn. What a sweet thing to say!
P.S. I think that my Sheridan must be their clone. Im so blessed, too, as a mother to have a daughter like her. Jennifer, she is TWENTY-TWO!! It’s unimaginable! Cuddle them close as long as possible. They grow up in proverbial blink of an eye. I suspect you know that, though.
Does Sheridan still let you cuddle her up? 🙂 I hope my girls do, as they get older. 🙂
Yes, even as I do with my eighty-four-year-old mother. We all love scrunching up together on the couch, especially with a blanket when the weather gets cooler. We were all on the couch w/ Fern (my mom) tonight as we watched the St. Louis Cards cream the LA Dodgers (sorry, LA fans). We don’t just scrunch up, but voices raise up several decibels on a game like tonight! =]
I think the Lees will continue to be a cuddling clan, too! =]
Awesome words! Will be sharing with my daughter when she returns from a fun retreat to an indoor waterpark. Loving the book myself and would love one for her as well. She won’t likely want to have to attempt to read thru all my underling and note writing.
Your girls are lovely….just like their mom 🙂 They are blessed to have you as their example and prayer warrior. … Lynn’s book sounds wonderful. Thanks for hosting the giveaway 🙂
I have a daughter who is nine, going on fifteen. 🙂 I’m going to tuck these words away and strive to be more intentional about instilling these truths in her heart *now* already, as you are, Jennifer. I think one way to be magnetic is through humility, and in letting the light of Christ shine from the inside out — but that is often easier said than done. 🙂 May He help each of us to *not* conform to the patterns of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
I am so moved in reading this, Jennifer, I don’t even know where to start. However, I will try – your daughters are darling and beautiful; they are blessed to have you as a mom; I wish I could have heard your words when my children were, especially my daughter,growing up. I’m afraid I, myself, was still learning how to trust in the Lord, and I know I didn’t guide them in that path in the best way I could. Doing my best to be there for them in Christian faith as they are adults, and being thankful that they still need me and call on me for advice. Takes much prayer . . .
Love and blessings!
I called the time you are living “the glory years”…or maybe said, I once did, when my house was full of teenage hormones and everyone was trying to “let it go.” Now that I see my daughter (26) coming into her own, raising her toddlers, ministering to others, loving and serving her husband, inviting others to her table, and above all loving her God, I think I was wrong. All the years are glorious…So grateful for this post, for the beauty of your girls in the now and all that God has for them…. destined to be lights in the world to the glory of God. Beautiful.
Beautiful post. No daughters in our house, but praying for my almost 11 yr old niece as she’s walking through some crucial years.
As a leader at my local MOPS, I find myself having to share and live a bit outside of my comfort zone, intentionally reaching out to the moms who appear to be on the fringe of the group, working to encourage them and hope God’s love is seen and draws them in.
I loved this post! Makes me want to run and write a letter to my beautiful 9 year old granddaughter! And also buy her the book Magnetic! Thank you Jennifer and Lynn!
This was a great post. My girls are grown, but one has girls of her own, and the other two are school teachers facing growing girls/young women every day. I plan to share this and pass this on to them, as well as remind them that they are Beautiful. Magnetic. His.
Amazing and beautifully spoken!
Praying that my future daughters in law have sweet spirits that draw others to want to know the Lord they love.
Jennifer, this is a wonderfully timed post….for me. You see, on Tuesday next week, I will be spending some time with a sweet 13-14 year old who is struggling so to find herself in this crazy world of seflies, immodest clothing, and I’ve-got-to-be-in-the-in-crowd. I want to print this off and use it as part of our conversation. Her name is Emma. I’m praying God gives me the heart and words I need to first, be her friend, and second, be her mentor. Thanks for this lovely post.
Oh, by the way, be sure and print a copy of this for each of your girls and stash it in their baby book or their hope chest. It will be incredibly precious to them one day when their Mama is no longer around.
Beautiful post. Praying my baby girl will know this to be true! Thank you for the giveaway.
I have a 9 y.o. daughter and I can’t wait to read this book! My daughter has not noticed the mean girls and I am teaching her to care for the girls that might need a friend.
I love this blog and this post! Thank you so much for writing it, Jennifer! I have one daughter, and she can be magnetic when she dances and you see pure joy over her face and then looks at me with a childishly exited but embarrassed look, like she would like to ask, ” is it okay to dance like this, mom?”, and when she prays that God will take care of all the children in the world, and make them be all right.
I think I can be magnetic by worrying less about others’ opinions, look more(hopefully all the time) up to Jesus, and just let all my Father has laid down in me pour out to make God happy, and let others be lifted up by what Jesus does through me. To trust Jesus will unfold his plan in my iife, and live thereafter.
God bless your girls, Jennifer!
I absolutely love this post. It doesn’t just relate to tweens and teens. It challenges every woman to not just “fit in” or “go with the flow.” Being ourselves and who God created us to be is when we really shine. Thanks for the encouraging words. And may we continue to encourage our friends, peers, and families in seeking their identities in Christ.