Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—October 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—October 2021

October 2021—You Are More Than Enough in God’s Economy- Diffusing Voices of Shame and Leaning into God’s Grace

October’s Recommended Resources are curated to support you in having the critical conversations with your children, spouse, CG group, and community in deepening your understanding of knowing you are more than enough in God’s economy and helping to diffuse the voices of shame and leaning into God’s Grace.

Resources to READ this month:

Shame No More: A Framework for Healing Through Grace (Dr. Richard Shaw) invites us all to fully lean into the inherent worth and infinite value we were each created with. Dr. Shaw shares how as humans, we are image bearers of God and we reflect the beauty and brilliance of Him. By leaning into God’s grace, we can start to shed our shame.

“More Than Enough in God’s Economy-Diffusing Voices of Shame and Leaning into God’s Grace” (Ally Hotchkiss) In October’s blog, you might recognize Ally from the Living Wholehearted Podcast (Episodes 57 and 58). Ally and her husband, Ted, live outside Portland, OR with their two little girls. Married 7 years, Ally lives with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and several other conditions and Ted is her full-time caregiver. Ally also works as Director of Operations for a nonprofit called TrueFace, an organization committed to helping us shed our masks of shame and live authentically and freely in the way God designed us to be. In this blog, Ally shares how she has learned to lean into God’s grace over and over again in order to combat the shaming voices and lies that she regularly faces.

The Cure and The Cure & Parents (Trueface) There are many ways to parent…how do YOU want to parent? We can wrestle with trying to manage our children’s behavior or reflect on how God sees them…LOVED. Grace-based parenting means we parent from an identity that we are LOVED and our children are LOVED. How do we do this? Check out The Cure and The Cure & Parents!

The battle against shame starts in childhood – Christian Parenting (J. Kevin Butcher) He is also the author of a new book entitled Free: Rescued from Shame-Based Religion, Released into the Life-Giving Love of Jesus.

Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)  is a powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, and shares the life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love and grace. CG uses this book in the Year 7 CG curriculum.

Why Emotions Matter (Tristan & Jonathan Collins) The Collins help us unpack our God-given design as an emotional being.

Resources to WATCH this month: 

Season 3 of The Chosen

Christian Parenting’s Every parent wants to knowvirtual event is coming up on October 15! Join CG Co-Founders Jeff and Terra Mattson and other insightful and fun speakers as they give voice into what we all want to know as parents.  For more information and to register, visit Christian Parenting.

Resources to LISTEN to this month:

“Enough” (Jess Littleton, Joi Hailey, and Courageous Gathering Band) is a song that reminds us we are enough because of Christ!

Courageous Gathering keynote session: Shedding Shame (Terra Mattson)

Living Wholehearted Podcast, Episode 91: Shame No More (Dr. Richard Shaw) Dr. Shaw’s training as an ordained minister, licensed marriage and family therapist, and licensed counselor has equipped him to dedicate his life to helping people find healing through grace. 

Living Wholehearted Podcast, Episode 57: Hope in the Darkness: Trusting God through the Hard, Part 1 (Ted & Ally Hotchkiss)

Living Wholehearted Podcast, Episode 58: Hope in the Darkness: Trusting God through the Hard, Part 2 (Ted & Ally Hotchkiss)

Living Wholehearted Podcast, Episode 99: God Made You to Be You: Fighting the Lies of Comparison (Jamie Ivey)

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—September 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—September 2021

September 2021—Get Used to Different: The Beauty of Discovering the Uniqueness of Yourself and Others

September Recommended Resources (link here) are curated to support you in having the critical conversations with your children, spouse, CG group, and community about the God given design of being “different”. These resources aim to deepen your understanding of this topic and ability to offer greater dignity, love, and compassion to those who are different from us…which is everyone. 

Resources to READ this month:

The Dignity Revolution (by Daniel Darling) illuminates the worth of humans and shares what it means to bear God’s image. A valued and insightful read.

When Charley Met Emma (by Amy Webb) shares Charley’s encounter at the playground meeting Emma, a girl with limb differences who uses a wheelchair. Charley is uncertain of how to interact with Emma. After talking to Emma, he learns that different isn’t bad, sad, or strange–different is just different, and different is great!

Different-A Great Thing to Be (by Heather Avis) is an open conversation and dialogue about God’s different and beautiful design for each of us. For preschool to late elementary school aged students, this book aids in deepening the emotional connection for valuing different.

 

Best of All (by Max Lucado) shares a powerful lesson for each of us—reminding us how we are designed with great intention and purpose by our Maker. Being different is a beautiful thing, and this tale from Wemmicksville will help remind us all of how special we each are in our Heavenly Father’s eyes.

The Power of Sisterly Love | Courageous Girls (mycourageousgirls.com)

Our children can be powerful and beautiful teachers. Two Courageous Girls and sisters, Tessa (9 yo) and Merin (10 yo), exemplify honoring their differences and understanding each other’s giftings. In doing so, they love and serve one another in some pretty incredible ways. This blog is for the whole family!

Loving Our Differences 

CG Leadership Coach, Steph West, shares in the blog Loving “Different” how growing up with her sister Christina who was born with distinction-an extra chromosome on her 21st chromosomal pair (aka Down Syndrome), was instrumental in cultivating a lens of compassion, love, and justice for God’s creations that many in our society feel uncomfortable connecting to or deem “less than.” 

May Christina’s story inspire you to celebrate the “different” in each of our stories and keep your eyes and heart open to Jesus’s great love for each of us.

Suffer Strong (by Katherine & Jay Wolf) is an autobiography. After surviving a devastating stroke at age 26, Katherine and her family had to adjust to a new normal—but that isn’t the end of the story. Embracing suffering as a privilege instead of a punishment, the Wolfs offer practical strategies for trusting God with an unknown future. Discover how to redefine loss, beauty, limitations, commitment, and more.

Emmanuel’s Dream:The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah (by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls)  

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah was born in Ghana, West Africa, with one leg that was deformed. He was invisible to most people, but his mom saw his potential. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Be sure to check out this inspiring true story!

Resources to WATCH this month: 

Emmanuel’s Gift is a documentary film that shares the incredible calling on Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah’s to transform perceptions of his fellow countrymen in Ghana to see someone’s “ability” instead of their “inability.” A powerful film to share with your family! 

Season 3 of The Chosen is coming out soon, so now is a great time to watch (or rewatch) Season 1 & 2. Follow along with Jesus and the disciplines in this docu-drama. 

I’ll Push You shares the journey of two lifelong friends as they embark on a 35 day, 500-mile-long journey to hike Spain’s famed El Camino de Santiago. Together they encounter mountains, deserts, hills, and valleys with Justin enduring the journey in a wheelchair. A beautiful partnership of friends leaning into each other’s strengths.

Resources to LISTEN to this month:

The Living Wholehearted Podcast Episode 86 with Heather Avis

The Lucky Few Podcast with Heather Avis

The Living Wholehearted Podcast Episodes 2-5 “Living From Who You Are-The Core Values Index”

CG mini-podcast: Steph interviews Meagan, Merin (10) & Tess (9): CG sisters Tessa and Merin Brown have the unique opportunity to be in the same CG group and share about the boundless love they share with each other. CG Mama Meagan shares vulnerably about how she has seen God’s abundant love poured out in the beautiful way God has brought her family together. Find a cozy spot to sit with your Courageous Girl, grab a cup of tea, tissues, and listen in to this powerful podcast.

Loving “Different”

Loving “Different”

In my family, I grew up as the oldest of four girls. People loved to notice the similarities of three of us: cornsilk blonde hair, ocean blue eyes and tall stature. People then quickly highlighted how different my other sister looked from us. Christina was gifted with beautiful deep brown eyes and hair and a shorter stature. As a girl, she always wore her trademark glasses and jewels to ensemble every outfit. Christina was born with extra distinction – an added chromosome on her 21st chromosomal pair.

“Different” can be a painful word in the world’s economy. God says otherwise: You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) He intentionally designed each of His image bearers to carry unique and distinct gifts – “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” (Rom 12:6) He delights in the “different” that we each are. So, why do we shy away from allowing our uniqueness or others’ differences to shine through? Why is it so scary or embarrassing to be different?

Not only did God design us to be one-of-a-kind, but we each also have a unique story. Being “different” can look like having a health challenge, physical or developmental disability, family with divorce, adoption, fostering, unique cultural background in our community, an interest in a sport or activity that is uncommon to our peers, trauma, a heart of justice in an unjust workplace, etc. If you feel “different”, you’re in good company!  Jesus Himself was different…He intentionally sought to not conform to this world but rather to be transformed by the renewing of [His] mind. (Rom 12:2) God created us to be one-of-kind and is glorified beautifully in our differences.

Within our family, growing up with Christina in our home didn’t feel unique. She was just one of the girls and loved everything we loved: swimming, playing dolls, going to school, and renting princess VHS tapes for Friday night movies. She continues to be loved beyond measure and valued just for being Christina.

However, outside our home, the world often sees Christina differently: on the fringe and even “less than”. On the playground, other kids would tease Christina for wearing glasses, talking “differently”, or taking extra time to climb or walk. This has always been (and continues to be) a painful part of living in a world that differs from God’s economy. However, God has used the gift of Christina and being her older sister to provide much growth and great purpose in my own life.

From age 2 when I first held my infant sister to the present day, as I walk beside Christina, who is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, there has been an unspoken understanding between us. We both lean into the incredible and different giftings of each other, equally precious to God and to each other.

Christina has taught me to slow down and truly see people and hear their story. Amidst a lifetime of nosy stares and unkind remarks, my sister sees the heart of a person, not their status or physical character. Having a sister with Down Syndrome has given me a lens of compassion, love and justice for all of God’s image bearers, including those who many may find uncomfortable to connect to or even judge as “not enough”. She has taught me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and to treat others with dignity, love and respect – regardless of differences. This lens has grown a gift of building bridges between people in my own life as I have helped others see Christina the way Jesus and our family see her – a woman overflowing with unwavering faith, bold confidence, wisdom, fierce determination, courage and a jokester!

She recently helped me learn these lessons on a deeper level when I was with her in the hospital and her oncologist visited. When the doctor solely spoke to me to update Christina’s medical state, I asked him to first address my sister and ask her permission to share her personal medical information with me. Others feel seen and valued when we lead with dignity and respect.

Christina showed me these lessons in the real world as I started dating. She was my litmus test for all potential suitors: Did they look Christina in the eyes? Carry on a conversation even if difficult? Show genuine interest or kindness? My husband, Nick (aka “Mick” to Christina), passed every test to the point that I ended up as the third wheel on most dates so that Christina could sit up front!

Heather Avis, author of Different-A Great Thing To Be, chatted with CG co-founders Jeff and Terra Mattson on the Living Wholehearted Podcast, posing the question: “Whose feet are under your table?” How are we currently loving others who are different from us? What does it look like in our own lives to love others with great love like Jesus did? Here is a place to start:

  1. Pause & Pray: slow down and open your mind, body & soul to the Spirit’s prompting. Take an inventory of your family’s giftings, staying open to how God will use them. Also, consider, who do you see in your life that you haven’t been seeing? ie. someone in your building, neighborhood, community, workplace, school or church.
  2. Get to know their story: ask questions with love, lead with dignity and appreciate differences in your stories.
  3. How are you called to give compassion and care to this person or family? With time, talent, treasure or a combination?

When “different” is valued and incorporated into our lives, great beauty can be revealed at our dinner tables, park playdates, CG groups and Sunday school classes.

May Christina’s story inspire you to celebrate the “different” in each of our stories and keep your eyes and heart open to Jesus’s great love for each of us.

“Not all of us can do great things.
But we can do small things with great love.”
~Mother Teresa 

Stephanie West
Courageous Girls Leadership Coach

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—August 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—August 2021

August 2021: Re-Committing to Critical Conversations

We are sharing resources that will support you in recommitting to critical conversations with your kids and spouse on pornography and sexual health and wholeness, how to keep the “main thing the main thing,” discussions in your CG group and recommitting for another year, and considering yearly rhythms with God.

Resources to READ this month:

 

Parenting Prayer Journal (A Resource for a Daily Rhythm of Committing to Praying for Children) This journal aids you in praying for your child on a daily basis. Praying consistently and with focused intention for our kids is a real challenge in the midst of family and work pressure, social media, and busy schedules. This prayer journal will provide a framework for praying a specific word over our children each week of the school year.  Supplies are limited so be sure to grab your copy of the Parenting Prayer Journal: Joyful, Patient, Faithful

Treading Boldly through a Pornographic World  (Daniel Weiss and Joshua Glaser)

Authors Daniel Weiss and Joshua Glaser connect with parents in Treading Boldly through a Pornographic World as the first generation to raise kids in a digitally connected, porn-saturated world. Porn can be accessed in locker rooms, buses, cafeterias, classrooms, bedrooms—anywhere kids have access to digital devices. Worse yet, fringe pornography is increasingly mainstream. This is misshaping our children’s understanding of sexuality, stunting their capacity to process emotions, and crippling their ability to form healthy long-term relationships.

Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn Proofing Today’s Young Kids and Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr.: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds (Kristen A Jenson

This newly revised edition of the original bestseller from Defend Young Minds makes the daunting discussion of pornography with your kids easy! Good Pictures Bad Pictures is a read-aloud story about a mom and dad who explain what pornography is, why it’s dangerous, and how to reject it. Featuring easy-to-understand science and simple analogies, this internationally acclaimed book engages young kids to porn-proof their own brains.

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World (John Mark Comer)

John Mark Comer writes on the subject of slowing down in a world that propels us to do the exact opposite…we would highly recommend carving out space and time to lean into the biblical wisdom, principles, and truths shared in these pages. To live like Jesus requires us to rethink the speed our lives are operating under.

Necessary Endings (Dr. Henry Cloud)

Henry Cloud, the bestselling author of Integrity, The One-Life Solution, and co-author of Boundaries, offers this mindset-altering method for proactively correcting the bad and the broken in our businesses and our lives. Cloud challenges readers to achieve the personal and professional growth they both desire and deserve—and gives crucial insight on how to make those tough decisions that are standing in the way of a more successful business and, ultimately, a better life.

Unwanted: How Sexual Brokenness Reveals Our Way to Healing (Jay Stringer)

Jay uses the foundations of his ground-breaking research of over 3,800 men and women to address the key drivers of unwanted sexual behavior, including use of pornography, infidelity, or buying sex. Jay helps us discover the core of the struggles and key practical steps toward healing.

Resources to WATCH this month:

Common Sense Media: online resource to check for content of movies or shows for your family

Covenant Eyes: filtering to help protect your family from pornography

Resources to LISTEN to this month:

Courageous Gathering Sale!

Don’t miss your chance to get 50% off the Courageous Gathering Breakout Bundle and Conference-To-Go. With dynamic keynote speakers, inspiring worship, and over 40 expert breakouts, you can enjoy each breakout a la carte or purchase the entire gathering to enjoy on your own timetable! Shop here.

Keep an eye out for the Living Wholehearted’s Podcast Episode #92 on August 17th with Joshua Glaser, author of Treading Boldly through a Pornographic World

Episode #33 of the Living Wholehearted Podcast with Jay Stringer author of Unwanted: How Sexual Brokenness Reveals Our Way to Healing

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—July 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—July 2021

July 2021: Cultivating Rhythms of Play

 

Resources to READ this month:

 

It’s Your Kid, Not a Gerbil: Creating a Happier and Less-Stressed Home (Dr. Kevin Leman) Do you sometimes feel like a gerbil running on a wheel inside a cage as you scurry from place to place, chauffeuring your children from one endless activity to another? What if, for one moment, you could just step off of the wheel . . . and relax? How would you feel then? And what if that single moment could stretch into an hour, or even a whole day? It’s Your Kid, Not a Gerbil will provide practical solutions and helpful insight to get off the activity wheel so that you can put your time and energies where they really count: in establishing strong character and a love for home and family that will serve your kids well for a lifetime.

 

The Cure and The Cure & Parents (Trueface) There are many ways to parent…how do YOU want to parent? We can wrestle with trying to manage our children’s behavior or reflect on how God sees them…LOVED. Grace-based parenting means we parent from an identity that we are LOVED and that our children are LOVED. How do we do this? Check out Trueface’s The Cure and The Cure & Parents

Why Play Therapy?

Play Therapy, Unpacked – Living Wholehearted blog (Sarah Dangaran, MA, LMFT Intern)

Resources to WATCH this month:

Grab your tweens and teens and enjoy this family friendly musical on Netflix called “A Week Away” which shares the story of a troubled teen that takes a leap of faith by attending summer camp — and unexpectedly finds love, friends and a place to belong. Your whole family will be dancing and singing to classic songs by Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, and For King and Country.

Resources to LISTEN to this month:

Episode #14 of the Living Wholehearted Podcast:  Helping Our Kids (and Teens) with Their Big Emotions, Part 1 – Guests: Play Therapists Sarah Dangaran and Roshana Grile unpack avenues to help our kids share and manage their emotions  with healthy coping strategies.

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—June 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—June 2021

June’s resource list includes topics that will aid in supporting living wholehearted, with our mind, body, and soul. One way is having a daily or weekly rhythm of rest.

Resources to READ this month:

 

Sabbath Keeping (Lynne M. Baab) A great read to support your Sabbath-keeping journey.

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World (John Mark Comer)

Truth For Today Cards (designed by Emily Lex) Fill your mind and home with beauty and truth with this set of 31 illustrated scripture cards. Use them daily or weekly as memory verse reminders. Share them to encourage a friend.

“Surrendering our children to God means surrendering their entitled lives” (blog on Christian Parenting). As parents, we can live more wholeheartedly in our minds and hearts by removing the weight of creating a perfect childhood for our children.

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives (Richard A. Swenson, M.D.) This book is a resource to help reevaluate your priorities, determine the value of rest and simplicity in your life, and see where your identity really comes from.

Resources to WATCH this month:

For Girls Like You – She Is Yours for Fathers – Introduction – YouTube – Jonathan Pitts shares in a 3 part video series on one specific relationship that God has given every dad the ability to impact—Her Relationship With You, Her Relationship With God, and Her Relationship With the World Around Her.

Season 2 of The Chosen is now available to watch! If you haven’t had a chance to watch Season 1, we would highly recommend it as well! Follow along with Jesus and the disciplines in this docu-drama.

Resources to LISTEN to this month:

Episode 47: John Mark Comer (Living Wholehearted Podcast) The author of Ruthless:The Elimination of Hurry, shares about burnout and the need for rest.

Episode 75: Trauma-Informed Theology (Living Wholehearted Podcast) The integration of mind, body, heart and soul.

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—May 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—May 2021

May’s resource list includes topics that will aid in seeing God’s mercies, even in the hardest spaces, equipping parents to love from a place of mercy and grace, and encouragement to remind you of God’s love and mercy.

Resources to READ this month:

 

Just Mercy (Brian Stevenson) is a powerful account of Bryan’s journey as a lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. This inspiring account will illuminate the need for God given mercy and compassion.

The Whole Brain Child (Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.) gives in-depth insight into your child’s developing brain and ways to parent with mercy and compassion when emotions run high for your toddler, tween, or teen.

In No-Drama Discipline, Dr. Siegel provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears—without causing a scene.

 

Signs of Hope is an intimate collection of stories from Amy Wolff’s personal life and those impacted by the movement, about the power of hope and love in the midst of suffering. Amy is a Courageous Girls mama and was the emcee for the Courageous Gathering.

Be sure to listen to Episode #72 on the Living Wholehearted Podcast as Amy shares you can be an agent of hope in a world.

The 5 Loves Languages book series (Gary Chapman) offers profound insight and tools to understand the unique ways your spouse and children experience love.

In Grace Based Parenting, Dr. Kimmel recommends a parenting style that mirrors God’s love, reflects His forgiveness, and displaces fear as a motivator for behavior.

Resources to WATCH this month:

Season 2 of The Chosen is now available to watch! If you haven’t had a chance to watch Season 1, we would highly recommend it as well! Follow along with Jesus and the disciplines in this docu-drama.

Resources to LISTEN to this month:

You will not want to miss Episode #74 of the Living Wholehearted Podcast with Pastor Bill Towne. This one is SO rich with mercy, compassion, and grace as Bill unpacks two big topics: the heart of the future of the church and the intersection of the LGBTQ+ community and the church.

In Episode # 73 of the Living Wholehearted Podcast, parents in all stages will find value in learning from author, podcast host, and business owner Crystal Paine as she shares about shifting her parenting style to hearing more of the heart of God for all His children, big and small.

Starting and Sustaining a Healthy Courageous Girls Group

Starting and Sustaining a Healthy Courageous Girls Group

Join Courageous Girls Co-Founder, Terra Mattson, for a virtual training on “Starting and Sustaining a Healthy CG Group”.

Whether you’re a new or seasoned CG leader or are thinking about starting a CG group, you will NOT want to miss this unique time of teaching and equipping!

Join Terra and the CG Leadership Coaches, Beth & Steph, on May 19th & 26th (10-11:30am PST) for direction, interaction, and personalized training.

Can’t attend live? No problem! Recorded sessions will be available for a short time during the training so you can watch when it fits into your schedule.

Registration opens May 3rd, but space is limited!

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—April 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—April 2021

Resources to READ this month:

There are many ways to parent…how do YOU want to parent? We can wrestle with trying to manage our children’s behavior or reflect on how God sees them…LOVED. Grace-based parenting means we parent from an identity that we are LOVED and our children are LOVED. How do we do this? Check out Trueface’s The Cure and The Cure & Parents this month!

Signs of Hope is an intimate collection of stories from Amy Wolff’s personal life, as well as people impacted by the movement, about the power of hope and love in the midst of suffering. This book discusses:

  • The drain of compassion fatigue
  • Why we should show up imperfectly to help others
  • How to claim hope for ourselves
  • Practical ideas of how to respond to suffering
  • Strategies of how to love people who are “different”
  • Resilience when love-spreading efforts backfire
  • How to raise a compassionate generation
  • The science of hope

Be sure to listen to Episode #72 on the Living Wholehearted Podcast as Amy shares you can be an agent of hope in a world.

Resources to WATCH this month:

We wanted to share about two incredible virtual events; one for parents and one for dads!

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

Don’t miss Jeff and Terra Mattson, CG co-founders, at the Perfectly Imperfect Virtual Conference. They’ll be sharing about how to raise Wholehearted Leaders who know they are loved and love others well. Using the Core Value Index (CVI) and how God uniquely wires each of us, Jeff and Terra will help us lay a foundation every child needs: to be seen, known, and valued. Join them and other incredible speakers like New York Time’s Best Seller Bob Goff, baseball favorite Darryl Strawberry, and Jerrad Lopes of Dad Tired at this year’s Perfectly Imperfect Virtual Conference on April 23 & 24. Register today!

Born To Be Brave Workshop

CG Dads—You will not want to miss this incredible virtual workshop that is designed by Dads for Dads on April 22!

Register for the Born to Be Brave Workshop today!

Resources to LISTEN to this month:

 

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—March 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—March 2021

March’s resource list includes topics of the beauty and craziness of emotions, building healthier relationships, grieving and one of our favorite children’s books to help your kids pivot when disappointment hits.

Books

Why Emotions Matter (Tristan & Jonathan Collins)
A read to help us unpack our God-given design as an emotional being

The Tale of Three Trees (Angela Elwell Hunt)
This children’s book helps us pivot when disappointment hits and repurpose what we think our life should be.

Codependent No More (Melody Beattie)
A book defining dysfunctional systems and moving through the lie that “my needs don’t matter”.

Boundaries (Cloud & Townsend)
When to say Yes and how to say No to take control of your life.

My Wynter Season (Jonathan Pitts)
Jonathan writes about seeing God’s faithfulness in the shadow of grief as he shares about losing his wife, Wynter.

Hope Heals & Suffer Strong (Katherine & Jay Wolf)
The Wolfs share their story of suffering and the tremendous hope and impact of their faith as they follow a new course.

Audio

Courageous Gathering Keynote speaker, Terra Mattson: Shedding Shame
Courageous Gathering Keynote speaker, Katherine Wolf: The Healing Found
Courageous Gathering speaker, Tristan Collins: Why Emotions Matter
Courageous Gathering speakers, Roshana Grile & Sarah Dangaran: Big Emotions and Children

 

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—February 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—February 2021

Many of you are asking us, “What can I read or have my daughter read regarding…?” So, each month we are bringing you relevant resources to help you lead your daughter well. These are simply supplemental resources to your monthly Courageous Girls Lessons to help us all navigate the various issues we are facing today.  

February is Black History Month

A core value of Courageous Girls is loving others well and we value the incredible contributions made to our community, nation, and world by countless African Americans. Take time to research or read with your daughters about the inspiring, heroic, and courageous African American women and men. The list below is in no way exhaustive, but merely a starting point.

You might not know

Carter G. Woodson (author, historian, and second African American Harvard Ph.D. graduate) is known as the “Father of Black History”.  Woodson’s parents were enslaved. As an adult, he saw a void in the educational system regarding lack of information and achievements made by fellow African Americans. To act on this, Woodson proposed a national “Negro History Week” in February 1926, but  it wasn’t until 1976 (during the civil rights movement) that President Gerald R. Ford expanded the week into Black History Month.

Resources to READ this month

You will not want to miss these powerful reads by Dr. Ron Archer, inspirational speaker, business executive trainer, author, recipient of the MLK award and former NFL chaplain. He also happens to be the guest speaker on The Living Wholehearted Podcast (episode 64), see below. 

Coming Soon!

Creative God Colorful Us by Trillia Newbell Check out this  incredible book of truth and wisdom that invites you into a deeper understanding and knowing of God’s truth. God could have made us all exactly the same, but He didn’t. And our differences are good! Every person is made by God, in His image, and therefore is equal in value and worth.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee is ideal for readers 8-12 years of age. This incredible story follows  four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. 

The Story of Ruby Bridges  by Robert Coles tells the courageous story of six-year-old Ruby Bridges and her family who moved from Mississippi to New Orleans in 1960. As a 1st grader, Ruby was ordered by a judge to attend an all white school. In doing so, she faced angry mobs of parents who wouldn’t send their children to school. Ruby’s story of courage, faith, and hope continues to inspire hearts of all ages.

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson is a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it’s trying to break her. This is a poignant read for ages 12-17. On a side note,  Renee grew up in the Portland, Oregon area and there are many pieces of her personal story that come to life in this book. 

Black Heroes: A Black History Book for Kids: 51 Inspiring People from Ancient Africa to Modern-Day U.S.A by Arlisha Norwood introduces readers 8-12 (and beyond) to 51 black leaders and role models from both history and modern times.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a powerful memoir that shares about Jacqueline’s childhood through poetry. This memoir would be a poignant read for ages 10-14.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brings the reader back to August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history.

Black Women in Science by Kimberly Brown Pellum. Written for children, this book features 15 powerful stories of courageous female scientists that advanced their STEM fields. 

Resources to WATCH this month: 

Join CG Co-Founders Jeff and Terra Mattson for a FB Live on the “Core Value Index: Understanding our Wirings”on February 17th at 1:00-1:30pm PST.

Resources to LISTEN to this month:

The Living Wholehearted Podcast.  Ron Archer, a recipient of the MLK award has an incredible message to share with the CG community, but particularly our Courageous Girls dads. Be sure to listen in on Ron Archer’s powerful story, which posts Feb 2nd. Also in February, don’t miss Jeff and Terra sharing their love story and the return of Jonathan Pitts with an inspirational message! 

Powerful song of Lament by The Porter’s Gate He is Among Us”

 

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—January 2021

Recommendations Resources to Listen to, Read, and Watch—January 2021

We’ve curated these books, articles, movies, videos, tools, courses, and more—just for you!

Special Holiday Resources:

Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently shared that Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

As our nation honors Martin Luther King Jr. this month, we wanted to share a few resources with our community that can foster continued understanding, growth, and hearts pointed to Jesus as we navigate the social injustices across our nation together.

Little Lights Urban Ministries in Washington, D.C. is a ministry committed to providing sanctuaries of encouragement, hope, and practical assistance to at-risk children, youth, and families in southeast Washington, DC. Little Lights Founder, Steve Park, has a heart for bridging racial divides in the D.C. community and started leading group cohorts on race and reconciliation several years ago. With the social unrest in 2019 Steve expanded the class virtually to allow individuals across the nation to participate.

The Race Literacy 101 class is an 11-week study and discussion group that meets weekly to learn and discuss authentically and thoughtfully on the issue of race and racism in an honest yet grace-filled environment. The next cohort begins the week of January 13th!

Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison

Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr.

Resources to READ:

The Daniels Sisters series follows the lives of the Pitts girls who grieve the loss of their mom and move to a new state with their dad, a pastor. In faith and with a new family structure, they begin a new life. Overnight their lives completely changed, but one thing stayed the same — God’s sovereign, guiding hand.

This series is an engaging read for girls ages 8-12, and is part of the Accelerated Reader (AR) program. It also teaches tweens about overcoming obstacles, developing patience and the importance of kindness!

We are so excited to share this tangible way to minister to your daughter’s heart by giving a note of love and encouragement to her.  This simple act of love can have a big impact on your daughter’s heart! NOTEworthy Kids—50 Encouraging Notes Every Child Needs to Receive – Christian Parenting.

If you haven’t subscribed to the For Girls Like You Magazine, now is a great time! CG Co-Founder, Terra Mattson’s, youngest daughter Neveah, will be featured in the January/February edition. The For Girls Like You magazine is offering 20% off to our CG Community, with the code COURAGEOUS20. Get a subscription for your daughter here www.forgirlslikeyou.com/subscriptions.

Amazing journal idea! These can be used as part of the CG Curriculum or for any mama & child relationship.

A few great blog articles that we wanted to share with you:

The real digital dilemma: Our children need us to lead – Christian Parenting

The Scars We Have and the Scars We Give — Hope Heals

Resources to LISTEN TO:

Powerful song of lament by The Porter’s Gate Wake Up Jesus

The Bible Project: Justice

The Living Wholehearted Podcast by Jeff & Terra Mattson (co-founders of Courageous Girls). Subscribe so you don’t miss one!

Resources to WATCH:

Facebook Live
January 20
1:00 – 1:30pm (PST)

Join Terra and her daughter Adonia on the My Courageous Girls Facebook page for our first 2021 FB Live session: “Healthy Relationships

Just Mercy is a bestselling book by Bryan Stevenson that has been adapted into a feature film. It is a story of justice and redemption. A powerful true story about the Equal Justice Initiative, the people we represent, and the importance of confronting injustice.

Courageous Book Study
This 5-week online study begins February 3rd and is led by author and CG co-founder, Terra Mattson. Join Terra for this encouraging study and get registered by January 31st. You won’t want to miss it!

Courageous Girls Limited Edition Handmade Kintsugi Vases

Courageous Girls Limited Edition Handmade Kintsugi Vases

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Oregon artist, Stephanie Schmidt, started making Japanese Kintsugi because she believes the symbolism of this ancient art form tenderly realizes the juxtaposition of beauty and ashes we find in our lives. 

These limited edition Beloved-Beauty from Brokenness” vases are inspired from the words of Isaiah 61 (beauty from ashes) and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (His grace is sufficient), and are each handmade by Stephanie for our Courageous Girls Community. Even in the midst of brokenness, beauty can be found. In fact, the brokenness can be mended into something that is far stronger than its original form. Beauty from ashes. Truly, it is through God’s GRACE that the brokenness is made into something beautiful again.

In Courageous Girls, we want to help moms discover their own courage in raising a daughter who knows herself as LOVED. These Kintsugi vases serve as a reminder to Courageous mamas and daughters that we, as Courageous Girls, can be honest about our frailties and limits, knowing that God is not after our perfection. He is after our heart. God wants us to trust Him with all of who we are so that He can make all things new. 

Our mistakes, our wounds, our brokenness do not define us. Each mama and daughter was designed for a purpose, and is uniquely equipped for that purpose. God uses ALL of our story, not just the parts that are Instagram worthy, but the parts where we have experienced brokenness, pain, and hard. Stephanie leaves one piece missing in each of her vases to remind us that He will complete us when we see Him again in Heaven and in the brokenness of our humanity, there is beauty. 

These parallels to life are deeply meaningful to Stephanie. Like most people, she has suffered brokenness in life and knows the pain and hard work that goes into repairing the “cracks”. However, she believes there is a beauty in what has been healed…even when scars remain. 

To support the CG movement in walking alongside moms and daughters as they experience God’s grace, Stephanie will donate 15% of the proceeds to the Courageous Girls Movement when you purchase a Courageous Girls Limited Edition Handmade “Beloved-Beauty from Brokenness” Kintsugi Vase. You can buy these limited edition vases in CG Shop now!

 To hear more of Stephanie’s personal beauty into ashes story, check out Episodes 53 & 54 on the Living Wholehearted Podcast, aired by CG co-founders, Jeff & Terra Mattson.

Lessons Learned From 2020: A “Good Hard” Year

Lessons Learned From 2020: A “Good Hard” Year

Suffering has most certainly been a daily theme playing out over the course of this last year. We know, you probably just want to shove it aside and not talk about it anymore. But the truth is, we did find some treasures in the midst of all the hard. 

A global pandemic has brought new weights of worry as to how to keep our family and friends safe, as well as economic concerns, social unrest, and emotional discomfort. The disparities of injustices present in health care, education, and communities has heightened visibility. Essentially, the life we knew in 2019 had come to a screeching halt in 2020.

Grief, anger, fear, anxiousness, uncertainty, and doubt are emotions you may have experienced at one point or another during this past year. Maybe all at once? 

We all wrestled with how to bring a sense of “normalcy” to our families when nothing felt “normal.” Perhaps you thought turning the clock forward to 2021 would distance us all from toilet paper shortages, stay at home orders, and online learning. 

To use a term coined by Katherine Wolf, author of Hope Heals and Suffer Strong, what if 2020 was a “good hard” year and now that it’s in the rearview mirror, we can consider what good it brought in the midst of hard? 

What if we stepped back to see it from a different perspective? 

A clearer perspective. 

What if we could see it from God’s perspective?

God’s 2020 vision

The decreasing of kid activities were a gift of TIME for creating new family rhythms and deeper connection. Feelings of loneliness and isolation gave us the OPPORTUNITY to LEAN into Him more, trust Him more, and evaluate where we put our hope. A slower daily rhythm allowed us to not only see the injustices, pain, and suffering around us, but to maybe ACT in love toward our community. 

God’s 2020 vision provides a different perspective. A vertical one rather than a horizontal one. Through His lens, we are seen, regardless of the year or circumstances, allowing us to finally see others. We are not the only ones suffering. In 2020 we began to see others and their struggles. Maybe we developed some empathy muscles? 

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”  1 John 4:7

The daily burdens of working from home, monitoring online learning, managing kiddos that seem to disagree more than agree build RESILIENCY in us moms. In our kids. We were stretched to near breaking points, yet tangibly felt God meeting us and helping us carry our burdens. 

“He tends his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arm; He will carry them close to His heart and gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11

The hopelessness felt in our world with rising political tension, surges in COVID cases, mounting racial tension, and continued isolation have been an opportunity to surrender the baseline of our faith. Our HOPE is found only in Jesus. 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

The omission of gleaning happiness from travel, sporting events, concerts, or eating a meal out was an awakening to CHOOSE joy and happiness in God. Maybe not every time, but we sure had opportunity. For in praying for joy, we are asking for God to grow the Fruit of His Spirit to sustain our hearts, rather than holding tight to our calendars. 

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” James 1:2

Mamas, as we reflect on the year 2020, may we be encouraged in knowing that God has been with us every step of the way, even if we haven’t felt Him. As we prepare to venture further into 2021, consider taking time to remember and reflect on what God has done in you and through you this last year. He is at work. Even in the darkest of seasons. 

We are so thankful for each of you and the opportunity to walk together in raising daughters rooted in God’s amazing grace and abundant love.

Be loved and love well. 

Steph West & Beth Kershner
Courageous Girls Leadership Coaches

 

Courageous: 5-Week Book Study with Terra Mattson

Courageous: 5-Week Book Study with Terra Mattson

If you find yourself weary, isolated, confused, and burned out, you might look around and wonder what’s next. After a year of twists and turns, it’s time to shore up where we are… we need each other and we need our God.

Terra A. Mattson, co-founder of Courageous Girls and Living Wholehearted, author, podcaster, and licensed professional counselor and coach, is leading a personalized 5-week book study through her first book, Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace. Grab a warm drink and your Bible for a conversation about holy crap, feeling it to heal it, tuning into the voice of grace, being known in community, friendship, being fearless… almost, dreaming big, and finding rhythms of rest.

Terra CANNOT wait to personally encourage and equip you for such a time as this. This is for any woman who is ready and willing to be reminded of who she is, who her God is, and how to live a life rooted in grace. Start your year off with roots where you need them most.

The 5-week study starts Wednesday, February 3, 2021 and will meet each Wednesday from 10:00 – 11:00 AM (PST) through March 3.

Don’t worry if you miss one of the sessions—each meeting will be recorded and you’ll have access to recordings.

You can sign up at the Living Wholehearted Store where you can choose from two options:

  • Already have the book? The cost is $20 for 5-week study.
  • Need the book? The cost is $30 for the 5-week study and includes a mailed, signed copy of Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace. Your book will arrive 6-8 days after you order.

Registration ends January 31 so sign up today!

Great gift for a family member or friend!

Listen to the CG Panel Discussion from Courageous Gathering – FREE Audio

Listen to the CG Panel Discussion from Courageous Gathering – FREE Audio

Aimee Eckley, Rachel Meiser, and I had such a wonderful time recording the CG Panel discussion for you. If you missed hearing it at the Courageous Gathering in July, we have the panel discussion recording available for FREE for our CG Community now!

FREE download – “The Heart of Courageous Girls” panel discussion

Our time together really dives into the heartbeat of the Courageous Girls Movement. We examined how unique the CG community is compared to existing clubs or groups, specifically the component of committing to an intentional relationship with our daughters, while allowing God to transform both moms and daughters for His mighty impact on the world around us. The curriculum provides a vehicle for this intentionality, which includes learning about our identity, learning tools for conflict and tackling real world challenges through the lens of what God says.

We also share with great honesty what is entailed in leading a Courageous Girls group. You will hear practical and philosophical questions about creating, building, nurturing, and sustaining Courageous Girls groups.

Whether you are a veteran CG mama or a curious new mama just wanting to learn a little more about why CG is worth investing in with your daughter(s), we invite you to join the discussion!

Be sure to check out the Courageous Gathering keynotes and breakout session speakers. There are so many amazing resources available to you as a mom, leader, woman… all the hats you wear!

Rooted in Grace,
Stephanie West
Courageous Leadership Coach

Interview: Jeff & Nevie Mattson on The Dad Whisperer Podcast, Episode 180

Interview: Jeff & Nevie Mattson on The Dad Whisperer Podcast, Episode 180

Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield at The Dad Whisperer podcast recently talked with Jeff Mattson, co-founder of Living Wholehearted & Courageous Girls, and his youngest daughter, Nevie Mattson.

In this interview, Jeff shares about activating adventures with his two daughters.

As an added bonus, Nevie joins the conversation and shares about the adventures she has had with her dad in the great outdoors!

To listen, please visit The Dad Whisperer.

Be Loved, Love Well