Tag Archives: mentoring

It's a surprising story,...my deciding to model. 

You see, I've only had one opportunity to model apparel and I skipped out. Around five years ago there was a fashion show planned at our church. The girls (Hallie and Rylie) and I were invited to participate. I begrudgingly agreed. 

We went to Dillards where somebody else (who declined to ask about my taste) picked out my clothes. The girls were thrilled, especially Hallie who was given a black and white polka-dotted top with a cute hot pink blazer and some skinny jeans. Rylie could have cared less what she'd be wearing, she was just excited she'd be on stage. Outfits were planned. 

The closer the fashion show got, the more nervous I grew. I don't care for being a visual focus. Put some clothes on me that don't suit me and I really don't enjoy being a spectacle. 

The day before the show, Hallie came down with a bad case of the flu. And you want to know what? Besides being sad that my baby was terribly uncomfortable, I was secretly relieved that I had an excuse to ditch my modeling gig. 

That's it. That's the only time I've had a chance to model (unless pageants count). I was a contestant in The Old Settler’s Reunion Pageant when I was around ten. It was held outdoors in a pavilion the last week of July. In the middle of our parading ourselves in front of judges and the audience, a strike of lightning blew out the electricity. All contestants were summoned backstage where we near melted. I was with my cousin who was also a contestant when we found out that our Granny had just been taken to the hospital. 

I cried backstage for a host of reasons. I cried harder when I didn't win. 

So here you have a few reasons I despise putting myself out there. 

  • Fear- What if I'm ineffective? What if I'm ill-received? A laughing stock? What if I fall? 
  • My avoidance of discomfort- Modeling usually requires I wear something that isn't me. Typically, the apparel is itchy/strange/not me/confining. Modeling is in opposition to one of my favorite pastimes, relaxation. 
  • It's a contest (of sorts). Will I get picked? (Win the contest/Be adored because my clothes and myself are cute…) If I'm not going to get picked, I'd rather not play. 

That's why I guess I was surprised when I opened scripture yesterday and felt a special calling, not only for me to model, but to invite you to do some modeling too. 

 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. 

You became imitators of us and of the Lord...with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 

And so you became a model

1 Thessalonians 1:4-7

Maybe it's more than an invitation. Do we really get to choose if we model or not? People are watching. Rather than choosing whether or not we want to model life in Christ, we choose to be a good model or a bad one. There's no such thing as a closet Christian. You're on stage whether or not you know it. 

Sure we’ll face rejection when we speak truth and live it. We may fear others watching us fall when we don't live truth because we’re human. 

Modeling Christ can be uncomfortable. It calls us to put on clothes of humility and forgiveness which are often confining. 

Often we won't be adored. We’ll lose in an earthly sense when we put ourselves out there with the idea that a life like Jesus’ should be mimicked. 

If you're a Christ follower then you've likely been blessed to have observed a good model or two yourself. Either a grandmother, parent, Sunday school teacher or neighbor showed you what it was like to live for Christ. Their comfort, their fear and their need to make life all about themselves lost priority when they experienced the power of serving the Savior. And you saw that. 

How can we not follow suit? 

The world, our neighborhood, our homes need models, imperfect ones, who point them to the fullness found in Christ. They need to be shown, to be told.

The deepest of joy is often found in the midst of fear and discomfort. 

Can we go out on a limb? 

To check out my book, click here.


I sat cross-legged on my living room floor last night bubbling with joy. Everywhere in front of me sat a beautiful girl or woman with a story. What's so special about that, you might think. Everybody has a tale. (Of course they do.) 

I sat encircled by ladies who have graciously shared tender parts of theirs.   They took their own personal experience, whether it was embarrassing or still even a little painful in some cases, and they laid that experience bare for the world to see. I'm just plain lucky to call them friends, but more than that, I've been personally touched by their willingness to be agents of God's grace in the telling of what He has done in their life to whomever will listen.  

These are the local faces of The Village Girl Handbook. Along with fifteen other fabulous ladies (who live elsewhere), this group has put more than words on pages. Between the lines they're cheering on growing girls by becoming vulnerable and committed to an audience they've never met. 

But I guess that's how life works. There are people who watch our life stories play out and then those who will never know of the things we've overcome, or learned from, unless we tell them. We can do life simply working by the clock, influencing and encouraging those in our peer and familial circle or we can recognize that there's a larger audience who could benefit from a display of God's faithfulness. 

We're mindful of what God has brought us through, what he has taught us, and our intent is to share that very thing in the hopes that it encourages. 

  1. Please pray with us that those who pick up The Village Girl Handbook will feel encouraged and empowered. Pray that they will be reminded that God loves them and is writing a good story even in the midst of struggle or a season that seems directionless or fruitless. 
  2. Please consider your own story and how you might share it with someone who would be encouraged by it. Share this post with someone you know who has a powerful testimony. 
  3. Think about getting a book in the hands of a girl who needs to know more about God's grace. 

A second volume of "The Village Girl Handbook" is now being complied. The deadline for stories is August 11. Each story needs to be around 400-600 words and presents a personal story of struggle during middle or high school that ends in overcoming or perspective. (I've got an outline I can send to anyone interested).  Let me know if you have a story you'd like to share. 

Jesus prayed:

 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them... John 17:26 

Let's follow suit. 

More faces of VGH contributors:


Get The Village Girl Handbook book here

Learn more about it here