Inward Beauty Giveaway *Closed*

Congrats to the Easter giveaway winner. Jenny. Timestamp: March 26 at 11:25 am 


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 behavior 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,

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  1. I’m In! I really liked what I read I plan on sharing this with my sister who has a 10yr. daughter of course like you say we can and should do this with all members of our family. God Bless and Have A Great Day!

  2. This devotion is helping me with your talk from “Marriage Made in Oz”. I sat here reading your post thinking how I praise my husband for the “above and beyond” things and not for the everyday things that he does. Just a simple thank you can go a long way even for the everyday things.

    Looking back, i can remeber growing up that my parents were in the same setting that my husband and I are in now. I can safely say that i learned from example. I dont want this setting or situation to repeat itself again for my children.

    This devotion reenforced that choice. If I start now with my husband and continue with my son (when he gets a lil older) I can break the cycle! Thank you again Ms. Karen!

  3. I too struggle with measuring my children’s “success” which by worldly terms is defined by grades, sports, musical abilty etc. Thank you for reminding me that the true measure of success for my children is their heart for God and the way their lives mirror his unending love to others.

  4. I have two children completely opposite in temperment. One excels in measureable activities and the other in not-so-measurable activities. This is a wonderful idea for a way to recognize the achievements of each! I’m in!!!

  5. I enjoyed this devotion, as I do all of your devotions. However, today’s really spoke to my heart! I have a 15 yr. old that is awesome in school. Things just come easy to him and then I have a 10 yr. old that is totally the opposite. And she is forever, comparing herself to her brother. I think this devotion has given me a new way to look at things for her. And the giveaway would be the icing on the cake for it! thanks so much!

  6. Loved your devotion ~ great reminder on a number of levels.

    Giveaway would be a perfect complement to our family having memorized and studied Galatians 5:22,23 this term :) Thanks for your generosity!

    Blessings to you and your family as you celebrate Easter. :)

  7. Thank you so much for your encouraging words everyday…I always make sure to pass those along that speak to me!

    I am IN!

  8. Thank you so much for the reminder of our self worth to God. I just had this conversation with my youngest daughter this morning. Thank you again.

    Count me IN!

  9. Would absolutely love to be blessed with this kit! I am mom to two wonderful kids, Ellie 11 and Brennan 8. I would love to have a way to celebrate the things that REALLY matter – their character!!

  10. Thank you for your devotional today. I loved the “Proud parent of a kid who nearly flunked math, but whose heart is tender toward the Lord” bumper sticker suggestion!

    I just finished reading your book “A Life That Says Welcome” last night and it really spoke to my heart about hospitality toward others. I have recently come to the conclusion that God places ALL people in my life for His reasons. Your book is another lesson learned going forward in my life.

    I would love to be entered into the Family Enrichment Toolkit Giveaway. Although my children are 22 (college grad) and 20 (home for the summers) they still live at home and I’m thinking that it’s never too late to bring more family enrichment into our lives.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and your sense of humor!

  11. Thanks for the words of wisdom today…… My kids are very different and the older often “out shines” the younger.

    I would love to win the give away kit.

  12. What a timely reminder to constantly be catching our loved ones doing good. Our words are so powerful and reflect what is truly on the inside of our hearts. I want our son’s heart to be God-confident and God-seeking and honoring. The “temperature” in our home is so reflected by our inner beauty which is magnified by God the more time we spend with Him. Thank you for your wonderful reminder that our true beauty comes from within moved by drawing closer to Him.

  13. So timely… Truth for parenting our children and for being women who want to model that our inner hearts are so much more important than the society’s lies of outward beauty… which none of us can achieve. Now, off to work on that inward beauty by spending time with the One who loves me. :)

  14. I love how God uses Proverbs 31 devotionals to speak to me, and at the exact time I need it. I am sooo thankful for this ministry : )

  15. Thanks for this post today. I so needed to be reminded where our priorities need to be. As a home school mom of 4, I get caught up in the academics to be done (esp w/one looking into colleges) that I neglect the heart issues, which is the main reason we wanted them home to begin with. We always felt character was more important than academics, yet lately I’ve fallen right back into the rat race. I don’t want my children to be yessing me on the outside while hiding sin in their hearts. Catching them doing the right thing is something I used to do and need to go back to. I read the devotion to my husband before he left for work this morning and he also agreed. Thanks again for this timely reminder.
    Please enter me in the giveaway

  16. This is such an important part of parenting… encouragement. I am definitely going to pay more attention to and make a bigger deal out of the “fruit” when I see it. Thanks for the devotion… I am encouraged! : )

  17. Thanks for the timely blog post — this is something we often have discussions about. While some seem to worry about making sure their kids have the latest & greatest in clothing, toys, etc. — we like to think we’re working on our kids’ character. BUT … it is very easy to get sucked right back into the “stuff” vortex and “how we all look” scene … prayers are definitely needed! God Bless!

  18. Thank you for this post — I really needed it — What a great idea this plate set is PTL!!!

    Thanks again

  19. Hi Karen!
    I hope you don’t mind…but I’m forwarding your devotion today to my entire Sunday School class. We are doing a study on Rob Bell’s book “SexGod” and just finished a lengthy discourse on the topic of real beauty and being “sexy on the inside”…God’s kind of beauty…and how to instill God’s truth that “we are fearfully and wonderfully made” into our own hearts and our daughter’s hearts. Pray for a renewal of Truth into the hearts of this precious group of women who are on the path to placing spiritual discipline above bodily discipline! :o)Thanks for your faithfulness to bring us a fresh word of encouragement straight from a woman’s Godly heart!
    love & blessings!

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