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Joining other moms pouring into our girls…

Do you have a teen or tween daughter? Would you like to join us this year Sept-Sept reading a book called A Voice Becoming? It is a YEARLONG mother-daughter journey into passionate, purposed living!

I will be posting encouragement and extra goodness here on my blog each month! Just click on Mother/Daughter Year and print/use whatever you need to make your year even better! I’m printing off many of the charts I will post here in a folder so I have it right at my fingertips when other moms ask about this later OR when I’m ready to do this again one day with my youngest daughter!

We would love to have you join us!

Also–if you want to follow along we created a Facebook private group called “The Barn Gathering – A Voice Becoming” that you can join! I will also be sending out an email at the beginning of each month. If you would like to be added to that just email me or pm me through Facebook or Insta (andreapyoung)

Here is the first email:

Dearest Moms of Tween and Teen Girls,

You blinked! Doesn’t it just seem like yesterday we were squealing we were buying PINK and a little girl was coming?! Here we are years later walking with our moms on a journey to raise strong, brave, godly teenage girls. I’m so excited you are joining me on this “yearlong mother-daughter journey into passionate, purposed living”.

The way this book works is there are 2 parts–the first part preparing MOM (you!) for the journey. We will go through those chapters faster.–and then the 2nd half will be 2 month themes. I’m putting the months below–but remember you can have a different launch schedule and create a folder for these monthly emails so you have them at your fingertips when you launch!

  • INTRO & PART ONE. (This is how we are breaking down the chapters for our year together…)
  • Chapter 1 (Sept) The first chapter is talks about something our culture considers what moms talk to their tween/teen girls about “periods and purity” but as you start to read it you will quickly see that this book is going to challenge a PERSPECTIVE SHIFT to so much more.
  • Chapter 2 (Sept) is setting the stage for your BECOMING journey with your daughter.
  • Chapter 3 (Sept) is THE INVITATION–the letters you can write to challenge her to join you on this journey.
  • Chapter 4 (Oct) “WHERE HAVE YOU COME FROM?” is LAUNCHING the journey with a special weekend–a trip or getaway remembering where you have come from–as we dream together about where God is going to take our girl!
  • WOMEN LEAD – Nov-December (Includes dad)
  • WOMEN LOVE – Jan-Feb (includes grandmas and aunts)
  • WOMEN FIGHT – March-April (includes family friends)
  • WOMEN SACRIFICE – May-June (includes siblings)
  • WOMEN CREATE – July-August (creative/art friend & dad)
  • LEGACY Event “Where are you going?” – SEPTEMBER – Any moms/daughters who completed this timeline the same as ours is invited to our barn for The Amazing Race…there will be a ceremony, worship and fireworks! (If you did this with us in another city–you are invited! If you know me–I go big or go home!)

Some of you may be asking when is the best time to really do this? The author chose to do this journey when her daughter was 12. My daughter is 14–and we are going to do it now. If your daughter is under 10, I would recommend waiting until she is at least in middle school. If your daughter is in high school, I also think it’s the perfect time to dream together and build their confidence who they are in Christ before they go to college. BUT if you have a younger daughter–SAVE THESE EMAILS…archive them or print them and put them away to use when she is older or you have another daughter ready to do this too.

You might want to wait officially launching this with your daughter at her birthday or a special age–but it can really be at any time so we are going for it now (also #2020 could use a pick-me-up of dreaming big…AMEN?!). I want to have a perspective shift on 2020 so we are going to LAUNCH our journey together in October (doing this my daughter’s 9th grade year so it sets the stage for the rest of her years in high school and college!). If you have a 6th, 7th or 8th grader–I think the books’ challenge and content is PERFECT for both middle and high school ages as well.

While we wait for everyone to get their books in–we will just read the INTRO and Chapter 1 for September. The chapters are short–for October we will read Chapters 2 and 3–and give ideas for letters and launching. Ideally you would plan a little weekend to challenge your daughter where she receives letters from you before you begin the year. If you aren’t ready to start you can save each of my monthly letters in a folder to use later when you think your daughter is ready. (Be thinking of a weekend or night away in October to launch!)

Praying over each of you as you love your daughters radically as Jesus loves! There is STRENGTH in numbers and collectively with in-person and email/Facebook we have OVER 125 moms doing this with their girls! How exciting is that?! When you feel tired, remember you are not alone. Jump on over to our Facebook group for ideas and encouragement throughout your journey. What a privilege it is to encourage you as you love your girls big!

Love,
Andrea

For SEPTEMBER:

  • Read INTRO and CHAPTER 1 – The “periods and purity” talk will happen at different stages and ages for all moms and daughters–THIS is NOT that book;). Instead Ch.1 offers a different perspective to bring to the table when you are ready for those talks. (There are countless amazing resources for these talks. I’ll post a few on our Facebook Book Group too!)
  • JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP TO SHARE AND SEE MORE IDEAS EACH MONTH. Each month you can hop over to the FB group to be encouraged by others ideas or share an idea that you have! Iron sharpens iron! The group is called “The Barn Gathering – A Voice Becoming”, so please request to join (it’s a private group) and I’ll add you. ONCE you are in the group please feel free to invite your mom friends with teen girls. ALL are welcome:)  Here you will see additional ideas that go with each chapter.
  • PLAN A NIGHT AWAY TO LAUNCH. Go ahead and start thinking about a weekend away with your girl! Time wise, I’m going to plan a weekend away in mid OCTOBER. If you want to “launch together”–go ahead and think about a night away some where, a dinner out or a time you can have your daughter all to yourself to challenge her to join you in the year ahead preparing to launch together October-ish. Also–isn’t there just something dreamy about October?!
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Listening

So many of my black friends are quieter right now—and I asked why. There’s so much pain…mixed with fear of a lie that has been a truth on repeat “nothings ever gonna change”.

So many of my white friends are quieter because they just don’t know what to say and know they will never understand…so what do you even say but you know you have to say something.

10 years ago I was at a red light when I looked to my left and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit…as I made eye contact with that strong, proud, black man. “That’s gonna be your son one day.”

I called the godmother of my kids, a strong proud black woman, to tell her—as she had held my hand through our adoption and she said, “Well—what did you think he was gonna be Andrea?!”

It hit me that a white woman raising a black son in America was going to be a daunting almost impossible task. Through the years I’ve had fancy pearled clerks follow him in gift shops to watch his hands and people also shake their head at me at restaurants as we walk in holding hands…yes this still happens. I’ve had to hold back tears on the playground the first time another kid said he couldn’t play with him to later lose it at the grocery when I saw there weren’t bandaids to match his skin. I’ve been angry, hurt and frustrated and my son is only 10…I’m a white woman and I won’t live it the way he will or my friends have.

I’ve also received glares from black strangers for having a black son when his lotion wasn’t on or his hair wasn’t on pointe. And while your first inclination might be to say SEE…it also took me awhile to understand why it was hard for many black people seeing me with my boy. It took me longer than it should have to understand. Would I love him the way the black community would? Would I know how to raise him? Would I know how to immerse him in culture in a way that taught him the unspoken life saving essentials among blacks that you don’t jaywalk, wear a hoodie, reach for your wallet, walk too fast, run in white neighborhoods, put your hands in your pockets in stores…all the things that can save your life.

That day I called my friend…all these thoughts were running through my head could I do this?! No. Not without her I couldn’t. Not with you either. God has been teaching me for 10 years what it looks like to live in the middle, and I have so far to go. I realized I had both prejudice and white privilege—one that needed to be recognized and changed and another that needed to be recognized and used to be louder and bring change for him…for my black brothers and sisters.

For 10 years I’ve posted on Facebook about these things and for 10 years I’ve been disheartened when there are zero comments about my race posts and 354 comments about something silly on our farm. But I choose to believe people care—they just don’t know what to do or say…and they are scared of saying the wrong thing. I’m also a little fearful to believe that lie that’s been a truth for too long that nothing will ever change…but I’m not gonna believe that. Instead I’m gonna believe this chaos in our hearts is another chapter of big change that black ancestors started forever ago. And for my son I’ll listen harder. I’ll listen to the shouts and tears in the past…I’ll listen to the comments where it’s clear people are not getting it yet and pray for them…I’ll keep going to my black brothers and sisters asking for help, telling them I know they’re tired and ask how they are holding up.

I’ll keep learning and changing and listening…not because I have to as a mom to a black son—but because I get to as a white woman in America. I heard a strong, proud black man say yesterday that change will really begin to happen when white people use their white powerful privilege to speak up so they are heard. We have to lean in and listen—so we know what to say. That’s all.

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Black Lives Matter

We have to stop to make it stop.

We have to come back and address our racism and say we are sorry to move forward.

We have to stop preaching the wrong things from the pulpit—our views, what makes the pew warmers happy or comfortable—and preach truth…the reality in America, reality in our heart and harder things addressing the real problem to change.

Y’all.

In 2017 after the world was up in arms over #takeaknee I went to church hoping to hear a sound word of truth and encouragement in the storm.

The youth pastor, who we hoped was breathing truth into hearts of youth in our community, preached that Sunday and addressing #blacklivesmatter actually made his sermon title point “All Lives Matter”.

Over and over again he said it in his whiteness to a mostly white congregation.

Over and over my heart cringed.

I wanted to stand up and make him stop.

I wanted to tell him he didn’t get it.

I wanted in the very least to walk up to him after his sermon and tell him he had it all wrong and wasn’t listening.

But instead that day we left.

And that was where I got it wrong too.

We have to say when we are missing the mark.

We have to come back to pulpit when we say it wrong and say it.

We have to listen, stand up and speak up.

We have to address it.

Don’t worry—we left that day.

We left and while we love that church it wasn’t our place or our people.

We went back to our diverse church with our solid pastor who happens to be black and addresses race in America with boldness and truth.

It’s where we need to be.

That is a start for all us finding our people who help us SEE and encouraging us to understand and love in ways we don’t understand because it took some of us (me) to really see.

But when we see things…

When we hear things…

When we do things and say things that we know are wrong—

We have to be brave and speak up…

and even say we are sorry.

I’m sorry I just left that day. I’m sorry I didn’t walk down that aisle and tell that youth pastor he had it backwards and wasn’t listening and was misleading the flock that day. He had the opportunity to help so many see “Black Lives Matter” and I stead he watered it down that day to make the pew warmers happy, to try to bring quick peace and tie it all up with an eloquent well spoken bow. He was wrong. But I was more wrong for not telling him. I was wrong for not speaking up. And for that…

I am sorry.

 

Ally Henny wrote…

“Our ancestor Maya Angelou told us that when people show us who they are, believe them the first time. There are a whole lot of people who are doing a whole lot of telling on themselves when it comes to racism.

Don’t let people guilt you into taking their abuse in the name of friendship, solidarity, peace, Christian unity, or any other of the bull crap justifications that people create to excuse their nonsense. You don’t have to take any of it.

Whiteness will rationalize, justify, and cry crocodile tears in order to maintain dominance. Whiteness will try to make on like you’re the problem and will have you making apologies if you’re not careful.

I believe that people have the power to change, but I recognize that its not my job to try to convince people to change who are perfectly happy with who they are. As Mother Angelou said, people know themselves better then we do. I believe that people know that they’re racist and that they think racist things; they just don’t want to change. The people who do change, do so because they want to.

All we can do is to continue to speak the truth. Our words fall on who they fall on. It’s okay to shake the dust off of your feet and to move on from people and relationships that continue to do harm.”

Speak up.

Do what you have to do…need to do to make a difference.

Leave the places, the people, the things that do more harm than good because they are preaching the wrong sermons from the pulpit—dust your feet off and run to change.

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Movies that Build Character for Teens

We started this thing last week in our family quarantine. We made movie 🍿 night almost every night for the big kids (teens) after the littles go to bed. We made a list—many of our friends suggestions added…a few they have seen but wanted to add for your list if you want to follow suit! You could even print this off and give to your teens to check off as they watch!

Praying this time is intentional—even if it’s just handing your bigs a list of intentional movies to enjoy over video games. Building into their minds and hearts during this time—and giving you a little time to get laundry done while they grow from what they watch too.

Xoxo,

Andrea

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