Inward Beauty Giveaway

Congrats to the Easter giveaway winner. Jenny. Timestamp: March 26 at 11:25 am Send me your mailing address at [email protected] asap so I can get you gift out to you


I know many of you are joining us after clicking over from the devotion I have running at Proverbs 31 and on If you haven’t read the devotion, click here so the rest of the post makes sense! :-) Be sure to come back to finish reading this and enter the giveaway!


Have you ever encountered the backwards ways we measure success in our society?

  • School teachers who pour their lives into students or nurses who care for the sick earn modest wages.
  • However, those who can shoot an orange ball through a hoop or smack a tiny white one down a fairway make millions.
  • People who pour their lives into working with the poor or homeless go virtually unnoticed.
  • Others who write vulgar lyrics set to rap music are adored by scores of fans worldwide.

Or how about the time and money we spend? Anything backwards there?

  • Couples drop thousands of dollars in order to put on an elaborate wedding, but think a hundred bucks is too much to spend on a biblically-based marriage conference.
  • Those same love birds will spend countless hours planning the ceremony, reception and every last detail of the day right down to registering for the type of  dish towels they simply must have.
  • Yep– lots of time planning the wedding. Little time preparing for the actual marriage relationship.

Why is it that we expend great amounts of energy on the outward and often ignore the things of our inner selves? Have we never heard God weigh in on all of this? Read these verses from the devotion again:

“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.'” I Samuel 16:7 (ESV)

Peter 3:3-4, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (ESV)

The Lord sees more than the external. He sees straight to our hearts. While he is not against us working on our outward appearance, it certainly is not priority number one for Him.

To boil it all down, He isn’t against pearls, He’s just more concerned with personality.

He doesn’t forbid getting your hair spruced up. He just rather you spend as much effort on your heart as your hair.

Maybe even more.

For those of you who are parents, this topic can be a challenging one. While we certainly want to encourage our kids to excel academically, musically or in athletics, we must be even more concerned with their character.

I’ll say it again as in the devotion. Who we are inside is really who we are.

So applaud those efforts as much as the A on the math test or the starting position on the ball team.

In fact, make a big deal about it. I mean why not take a kid our for a treat when he is diligent to study every night for a week for his big exam? Reward his diligence. Yes, don’t just wait until you find out what grade he or she gets on their Friday exam. Take them out on Thursday night to say “way to go!” for studying faithfully Monday-Thursday. Reward faithfulness, not just an A.

Or catch them modeling Christ.

Did they hold the door open for an elderly woman at the grocery store without prompting from you?

Swing by a favorite soda shop and treat them to a “mom-never-lets-us-buy-this” goodie.

Did they do something wrong (which angered you greatly) but then later admitted their fault (which made you pleased)?

Time for a date with you to do something they love (even if it is something you can’t stand)

{Ahem…..later today I am trekking off to the Detroit Zoo for an impromptu trip with my youngest and a friend from his homeschool academy to reward him for a huge behaviour change. Hello? I am no animal lover. I’d rather have a root canal than go to the zoo but he and his friend ADORE animals, so off we go. Don’t think of me as martyr mom. They’ll be a Starbucks in this trip somewhere for me. I have a gift card from my birthday to use up :-)}

But I digress.

Today I want to offer a giveaway that will enable you to reward your kiddos for their inner qualities.

It is called the Family Enrichment Tool kit and it was developed by my friend Michelle Weber a Proverbs 31 She Speaks graduate. Here is what is said about this on our P31 website store:

We are thrilled to have discovered a unique gift idea for any family. The Family Enrichment Toolkit was developed, practically in our own backyard, by a She Speaks graduate. Michelle Weber’s toolkit provides parents with a fun way to instill positive virtues and character in their children, while building stronger family relationships. The kit includes a 12″ lead-free ceramic plate, plate stand, a set of 250 Table Thyme Activity cards with discussion topics and questions, and a 28 minutes CD that will walk you through the incredibly simple steps to making the toolkit an invaluable part of your family.

Michelle developed this because she had one child who was a star gymnast with lots of pats on the back and public praise while her other child has special needs. She wanted to be able to provide an “atta girl” to her as well for efforts she made. Thus, this wonderful idea was born!

We have one of these plates that we use in our own family. And we even use it with extended family.

The gist is this: You decorate the plate with your own family name. Then it becomes the “Smith Family Honor Plate” (The finished product is durable and washable and it is easy to do) Then, catch your kids (or spouse) exhibiting any fruit of the spirit– love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control. When they do, serve them their dinner on the family honor plate and reward them for this inner quality. There is also a cd that explains this concept more fully and great discussion starter cards for family dinner time. Click here for more info.

Okay…leave a comment today to be entered in the drawing for on of two Family Enrichment Toolkits. It can be a comment about any aspect of this topic, or if time is tight, simply say “I’m in!” Winners will be announced on Wednesday.

Backwards Blessings,


  1. The backword bumper sticker is something that came to my mind a long time ago. I have three average students. All over town I would see the bumper sticker “Proud parent of an honor student” I actually thought about having a bumper sticker made that said “Proud Parent of an average, hardworking student” but I wouldn’t want to expose my child in this way. It seemed somehow wrong to me that only the most gifted get recognized, when our IQ and our physical abilities is something we have little control over. Many children, and adults, work extremely hard and only make it to a B or a C, but never receive any award or recognition for it. I know that my kids were doing their very best and working their hardest but would never get the honor student recognition, or earn a college scholarship. I can only pray that it will develop deeper character in them for what God has planned for their future. I have also worked hard to find ways to acknowledge their efforts and reward them for doing their best.

  2. Please count me in.
    There are days when I wish the Lord would give me answers in 12 inch letters. Instead, he gives me Proverbs 31 devotionals. I don’t know how many times the message has been exactly what is weighing heavy in my heart. Thank you to all who write and to those who comment……..guidance come in all kinds of packages.

  3. Thank you for this… in reading this, I found your Weight Loss Wednesdays, which goes hand in hand with this topic for me. I appreciate your heart. It’s so hard to obey God when he tells me I don’t need to eat something. Yet 1 John 2:3-5 says his commands are not burdensome, and to show him love is to obey his commands. Sigh.

  4. As we prepare to pull our 8 year old daughter out of public school in order to homeschool, I keep getting caught up in the “curriculum.” That is important, but I have to keep reminding myself that a big part of the reason for this decision is so that we can work with her on character development, and teach her what God has to say through Scripture.

    Thanks for the reminder that a child’s (or adult’s) heart attitude of obedience is more important than “behavior.”

  5. Thank you for the devotion today! My husband and I have been talking about the same thing! Making sure were are focused on Godly Character. This is my first time on your blog! I’ll be back to check it out again! Hope we win the drawing!

  6. I am always in for creative ways to encourage my kids! I honestly feel there is just entirely too much pressure on them these days. We expect so much out of them!!!

  7. Thank you for allowing God to use you in such a might way. This is exactly what I’ve been trying to figure out, I just didn’t know it. :) I first read the devotion on my Proverbs 31 email, then read the “continuation” here on your blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. What a great topic! Often it is forgotten to give praise for inner Godly characteristics growing in children while praise for the outward and wordly important things get the cheers. Thanks for the reminder! My goal for the week is to applaud each of my 4 children as they show their inner beauty.

  9. Great Post!!!

    Where were you when I needed this great idea for my children when they were growing up? I am now a grandmother and want to provide to my 2 children with children of their own the tools it takes to raise their children to learn appropriate behavior.

    I was entering church just last night and this sweet young mother and her children were entering at the same time. Her youngest an almost 4 year old boy was instructed by his mom to make sure he opened the doors for us. She also had an older daughter with her, who was being like most young children in a rush and doing it herself. She had to be reminded to allow her younger brother to open the doors for the ladies. I was so impressed with the mom. If I were to receive one of the two sets I would send it to my daughter who is a mother of a 5 and 15 year old and she is “bringing them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Eph 6:4, as a single mom I might add!

    Thank you,


  10. I loved the devotion. We all need to be reminded of that. One of my kids is so tender toward God but the other one needs help is this area. They seem to care more about what their friends think. I’m trying to get across to her that being Godly is so much more important. We need all the help we can get with that in the world we live in. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I so wish I’d done more affirming of my daughter’s inward beauty. Some of my family background influenced me more than I’d like to admit. My daughter is married now and I wonder if I did enough to affirm her. She’s a beautiful girl inside and out. Thank you for reminding me. My prayer is that I begin from this moment on…affirming her in the beautiful person God has made her to be now as a wife and someday as a mother.

  12. This was so relevent for my prayers of late. I have been focusing on how to parent my children in their specific “way”. Each day God has revealed an aspect of doing so. I praise Him for that!. My son is not always obedient, but I do see him developing a heart for the Lord. He does have a heart for people. I just really appreciate the focus on the heart and not so much the behavior. Thank you so much.

  13. Thank you for putting things in perspective for me. I needed that today! I have been feeling sorry for my son (and me) because he didn’t get to play very much in his last basketball game of the season! He handled it much better than I did. My other son, who is 8, lacks interest in school, which is very frustrating to me. I want him to do well but he could care less! So I need to start focusing on their inner selves and rejoicing in the fact that they are two wonderful kids with very unique personalities! And I pray that one day they will trust in the Lord with all their heart!

  14. With the birth of our last child, the Lord has taught me these lessons well. If I had testing when I was pregnant, many would have encouraged me to have an abortion. I am so thankful that was not an option. Today, he is 18 and the nicest person you will ever meet ( I know, I’m his Mom ). Because of his disability, he will never accomplish many things that the world would say make him a success or even a worthy person. But, he always wins awards for his character i.e. most polite, most kind, most apologetic, most helpful etc. He has taught me so much about true success!! I am so thankful that the Lord looks at his sweet heart and not on his accomplishments that would receive the praise of men. I hope to see him get his rewards from His Heavenly Father some day!!!!

  15. Thank you for the reminder of what is really important in our lives, the eternal not the earthly successes. God bless you, your families and your Godly ministry. In His name,

  16. WOW! and I’ll say again WOW, God is just so amazing!

    Yesterday morning after our service I went to pray with an elder. One of my favorite elders came over to pray with me and I spoke about how my attitude with my husband and children hasn’t been where it should be and was not pleasing to God. I spoke about how I wanted to submit to my husband but because of our personalities this has been a struggle in our relationship (him taking leadership, and me submitting). I spoke about being a good example to my children and guiding them in God’s word and ways.

    Last night my oldest son, 11, told me that he felt he learned more when we skipped the workbooks and just spent time reading the bible and growing his relationship with God.

    After my husband got home he had an encounter with a family member that left him very sad and feeling worthless, God gave me the words that calmed him, encouraged him, and showed God’s love and my love to my husband.

    I woke up this morning feeling more peaceful that I have in weeks and like I can accomplish anything.

    Reading your blog and your post on Proverbs 31 has encouraged me and more importantly confirmed to me through God’s word that I am on the right track and that He has wonderful plans for my entire family and that it begins with my heart condition.

  17. I just love how God’s timing is so spot-on! I just took my two kids in for their annual check-up and the dr. pointed out how my oldest is so confident and good at just about everything. My youngest…not so much, lol. She recommended I work with my youngest to find something he can excel at. But reading this post reminded me that character development is just as important as skill development. So, I’ll still find something for him to do, but I’ll also spend lots of time working on heart issues with both of them. Thanks!!!

  18. I’ve been recently frustrated with my daughter’s lack of enthusiasm for anything. Sharing with friends, I just want her to find something she is passionate about. God revealed to me, that what I was looking for was a passion for somehting measurable…piano, sports, drama etc. I finally started wondering…what does a passion for orphans look like in a 12 year old? What does a passion for helping other look like in a young person? What if relationships are something she is passionate about and gifted at?

    Your devo is timely. A perfect reminder (a sacred echo) that the heart is what He is after, not the measurable earthly skills or talents.

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