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

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I know many of you are joining us after clicking over from the devotion I have running at Proverbs 31 and on Crosswalk.com. 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!

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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,

146 Comments

  1. I’m in! This is one thing we have been working on addressing with our children! These ideas are so helpful and encouraging!

  2. It is always a good reminder that character is more important than outward success. Thanks for the encouragement!!!

  3. What a great devotional! We are the ones that celebrate “dinner” for the A’s on the report card. We will now celebrate for hard work from our son! We need to give more atta boys all around.
    He is our only child and is also adopted. He sometimes has esteem issues. Your ideas will help boost his confidence!!
    Thank you so much!

  4. Karen,

    I’ve read all the responses and am thrilled you’re offering such an appropriate gift to this daily devotional. We have a ‘special plate’ my oldest son made when he was in elementary school. All three of my children enjoy it on their special reward days. I don’t expect to win but pray that whoever does reaps great rewards through the joys in their childrens’ eyes and hearts.

  5. Thank-you for your great devotional! A great reminder as a mom and a teacher as I am in crunch time for our state testing. I would rather my students leave my room with more character skills than scoring high on the state test. (I sure hope my principal, doesn’t read this!)

  6. What an incredible way to share love and praise!! I have three wonderfully different little boys, with the fingerprint of God all over them! No two are alike, and sometimes it is just hard to find ways to praise each one differently to match their little personalities. This is amazing, and almost like an answer to prayer! I can already picture little smiling faces to see who gets to be graced with the Honor Plate! Thank you for all you do, and I know He is smiling :)

  7. What a beautiful devotion! And what a fabulous idea! I would love to win, but if not I am going to get one myself! :-) Thank you, thank you!

  8. I would appreciate the opportunity to win this amazing kit! Our Church had an event many years ago when they mentioned a “special plate”. I think it’s a fabulous idea!

  9. This is a great idea, love how you all come up with such wonderful things. Thank you for your devotional today. I am a mother to 4 children. Three teenage daughters, who I’m actually step-mother to, and a 3 year old boy. This is a great idea to start to bring us all closer. Thank you for all that you do :).

  10. Hi Karen……I am in! Wonderful devotion! Really makes you stop and think! I always wanted my two daughters to pursue whatever they wanted, especially if it made them happy. I had an amazing experience at my church where a woman was planning a wedding reception for her daughter and my daughter was her contact at this particular company. She had no idea that was my daughter (our last names were different) and she was singing praises on how polite and wonderul this young lady was and it was a pleasure to deal with her. She was telling this to one of my girlfriends who told her it was my daughter! Now, to be that was worth all the money in the world. I felt like as a parent (a single parent, at that) I had succeeded! Thank you for all you do. You are a blessing!
    Life is to short to be in a career where you are not happy!

  11. Thank you for this devotion and the give-away. I’ve been thinking of ways to reward my special needs child for his accomplishments that seem so little in the eyes of the world but are priceless in my eyes. Yesterday, I let him have Krispy Kreme donuts because he sat with me through 95% of the service at church without throwing a tantrum or making too much of a distraction. That kind of reward might not be good for his teeth and my wallet though, :).

  12. Thank you Karen, for a very timely devotion. I definitely needed the inspiration to look a little deeper. :)

  13. I was just talking with my friend about her daughter that is feeling alittle insecure right now. What a great gift to give to them to build her security in things of eternal blessings not worldly behaviors.
    I am soo in!!

  14. After reading today’s devotion as like many days, it is always so relevant to me and/or my family. I am a mother of 4 boys, 2 of which are twins with special needs. This is exactly my story. The younger boys are beginning to see they have strengths physically and educationally that the older boys (twins) do not. It can cause lots of issues like jealousy. I think this tool kit would be so perfect for our family. If I don’t win the contest I may consider buying it. The funds can be rather tight these days though, so I may make my own version. Thanks for your wonderful ministry. God bless.

  15. Thank you, Karen, for such a timely message! I’ve been blessed with three daughters who so far have shown little interest in monetary or other tangible rewards. However, the oldest one turns eight next week, so I realize we’re just beginning to enter the age when girls place so much emphasis on outward appearance and keeping up with their friends. The ‘Family Enrichment Toolkit’ is such a great idea for rewarding a family member and making them feel special.

  16. What a great idea! Thanks for the post–it’s a reminder to me to celebrate more than just the birthdays and anniversaries in the lives of my family.

  17. WOW! Love this topic! I’m a wife, and mom to five (12, 11, 8, 8, 6) and the state of the heart is SO crucial! Thanks for sharing!

  18. My daughter and I, as well as a group of moms and their daughters, just met on Saturday to discuss this very topic. We are meeting together once a month & go on dates with our daughters to teach them about Godly beauty and modesty. Thank you for the chance to win this great giveaway.

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