Tag Archives: preteens

Most of you know that I've been working (with about twenty fabulous ladies) on a book for middle school girls. (For more about the book,  Click Here). A lot of heart, and over 40,000 words, have been poured onto pages that are now coming to life. 

Progress has felt slow for the most part. This week, however, has been a blur. Final touches like the acknowledgements and the blurb for the back are getting us one step closer to the book being ready for print. I was so ridiculously excited, writing the acknowledgements, that I could only try not to sound like I was receiving a Golden Globe as I thanked everybody involved in the book. 

I'll share one quick story that illustrates how God is working in big ways, but also in the details. 

I found an amazing app called Fiverr that provides people who make bids on your editing and artwork needs. There are some highly capable, reasonably priced people on this site. 

I was able to work with a lady named Ruxandra from Romania. I detailed five sketches that I wanted for the book interior. Four or five days after I requested the sketches, Rylie mentioned that she'd really like for the girl who will appear in each sketch (the girl who, hopefully, all readers will identify with) to have a high ponytail. 

I told Rylie that it was probably too late to ask for that and I kissed her goodnight. I woke up around three that morning unable to sleep. I prayed for all the hands that are touching, and will be touching the book, asking for God's guidance. 

After a long prayer time I went back to bed and checked my email. Up popped the sketch that will be used for "the girl" in the book. She's got a high ponytail. As minor as that may seem, it was a reminder in the dark that God knows our requests before we ask him. 

Please pray for the book. Pray that I'll be able to get the book properly formatted (the next step which appears to be complicated). Pray that the book will be available in good timing. Pray that girls who could benefit from godly counsel and encouragement will be able to receive a book. 

I don't tell you often enough how much I appreciate your reading my posts. It's an encouragement. Thank you for your relatable  thoughts and kind compliments. 

It would be an honor if you would help me choose the cover for the book.  I'm in the middle of a fun contest right now where artists are designing book cover ideas. I've picked some of my favorites. By clicking on the link below, you can rate the submissions, pick your favorite and leave helpful comments. I'd love to see what you think.  

Vote and pray please! 

Vote for your Favorite Book Cover

And while you're at it (if you haven't), subscribe to get my posts by email. 

Yesterday I posted about modesty and how it begins in the inner room (and I don't mean the closet).  Modesty as well as immodesty has its roots in the heart.  The way we dress, speak and even act are outward expressions of our deeper self.

I also shared my belief that many times our style of dressing, misconduct and reckless speech reflect a need to feel accepted.  People in general, but especially young girls want to feel "good enough". Today I want to focus on dress, the area in which young girls often need direction and where I as an adult need reminding.

And as I mentioned yesterday, I am no expert.  And sadly I am not always the perfect example.  A work in progress, I pray that I might become a woman who brings all glory and attention to God.  My hope is that my being (heart and clothes) would point my daughters and other young girls to a modest and vibranlife with the Savior.

Here are a couple of links I found.  I've only skimmed through them so far.  So check them out.

–Rachel Lee Carter is the author of Fashioned by Faith~An International Model Uncovers the Truth about Modesty and Style (Thomas Nelson, 2011).


- A PDF checklist detailing how to ensure you're properly dressed before you leave the house


True Woman's Blog: What and What Not to Wear


Modesty in a Hypersexual World


I guess this is weird, but I'm giving you a link to my links.  If you haven't gotten a chance to check them out, I have a few to look at under Raising Girls.


Please share your thoughts, other links and your story.











Yesterday you may have read "Food for Thought-A Grace Story". I introduced the God's Girlies mascot, Grace the plastic flamingo. I posted about the "pinkness" of flamingos.  Surely you know you're looking at a flamingo when you see a bright pink bird with the cane-shaped neck. Another telltale sign of a flamingo is a bird that stands on one leg though it has two long lanky legs.

Flamingos have an amazing balancing act.

As curious creatures, we want to know why.  Why does a flamingo usually stand only on one leg.  There are several theories.

1. The flamingo stands in shallow water much of the time.  It is suspected that just as we get wrinkly from being in the bath too long, the flamingo lifts alternating legs so that its webbed foot doesn't get wrinkly or water-logged.

2. Some scientists think that flamingos only think with one side of their brain at a time.  They also believe that as a flamingo rests, that one side of the brain is resting. And as one side of the brain is resting, the leg that is controlled by that side of the brain is resting too.

3. It is believed by others that raising one leg conserves body heat.  It takes energy to pump blood which in turn uses up body heat.  Tucking the leg is said to be similar to when we're cold and scrunch up in a ball. It conserves body heat. This is actually the most popular theory.

4. One other theory I read about is interesting.  It says that the raising of one leg is a camouflaging technique.  Supposedly the flamingo is trying to look like a tree?. And a tree has one trunk.  Two legs somehow doesn't look like a singular trunk of a tree. I'm not thinking a hot pink bird looks like a tree either.  If you're shaking your head at me, don't, I didn't come up with the theory.

I don't know why flamingos stand only on one leg.  And though curious, I'm not concerned.  My concern lies with how we as humans stand.

Here is where we are unlike flamingos.  We can't stand on our own two feet, much less stand firm singularly. Our balance must come from another source.

 Life is precarious.

 We live wobbly lives swaying this way and that. We need to be braced.  Sometimes we need to be held.  But understand, no thing or person brings about balance and right living in our lives like Christ.

To stand, really stand, when we're constantly up to our ankles in muddy water, it must be Christ that we are relying on.

Be on guard.  Stand firm in the faith.  Be courageous.  Be strong. 

 1 Corinthians 16:13

To Stand.

It doesn't simply say stand firm.

It says-  In the faith.

Not on your own.

Not living according to the prompting of your heart.

Not by the help of  your friends.

Not by some self-help magazine.

Stand firm in the faith even when it feels you're falling.


 You're being held up.

And this post my friends...............is not for the birds.

I'd love to hear from you in comments or email- www.kristiburden@gmail.com


Close the Door!

 All three of our children have heard Jason and I raise our voices in agitation as we approach the front door or refrigerator door  left wide open.  They come by it honestly.

I remember well, a time when I was somewhere between Hayden and Hallie’s age that I left one too many cabinet doors open. My mother carried out swift justice.  She opened every cabinet and drawer- maybe in the whole house.  She made me close every one.  Dramatic I’m sure, but it seemed like torture.  She watched (seemingly enjoying every minute).  Out of all the punishments I ever received, it's one I remember.

Presently I wouldn’t be able to count the number of times the refrigerator door, the car door and the front door have been left open by the kids. But as irony would have it, we now have a new problem.  I noticed it a few months ago.  The upstairs is entirely too quiet, even when I’m upstairs.  The two oldest, who  finally shut doors- are doing just that.  They routinely shut their bedroom doors now. They keep them shut. I suppose some privacy is in order.  But I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m being shut out in some sense.

I’m not on their top ten list of "the world’s greatest people" anymore.  

 I rarely hear “Hey Mom, What do you think about….” 

 They think I’m strict.  They think I ask too much of them.  They think that I don’t understand them. 

 And so they shut the door.  They watch families on TV whose parents perfectly understand their kids.  They text kids their age and ask “Hey… What do you think about..”. They listen to songs sung by artists on their top ten list of "the world’s greatest people".

How do I contend with that?

First I moped.

.... Now I do what my mom did…..Well in reverse that is.

I have them open their door.  And open it again. I even invite myself in. I’ m sure it seems like pure torture.  I suspect they won’t like the continuing invasion. But I’m praying that maybe, just maybe, when they're older, it will be the punishment they remember.  And if I’m lucky, they’ll thank me for it.

I’m going to go call my mom now.


This week the kids and I are on a whirlwind Texas tour visiting grandparents, other family and old friends.  I am putting up an old post in hopes that with my incessant begging, someone will decide that they have something they should share on "A Thursday for Your Thoughts".  I personally have been blessed by Jaime and Cindy in the last two weeks.  There are a couple of ladies that will be highlighted the next few Thursdays that will encourage you as well.  My time in Kenya is a persistent and beautiful reminder of the joy that comes from sharing and giving of ourselves.  I don't mind sharing those memories more than once.

Sharing shoes to many,  may sound like fighting words.  I had two sisters to share clothes with.  Our exchange usually had an ugly ending. Someone wouldn't  return, or even worse wouldn't ask to wear the other's shirt.  I remember borrowing my younger sister's suede vest and accidentally burning a hole in it. Hallie recently borrowed a gray sweater of mine.  I couldn't find it.  Being without my gray sweater imperfected my look on the outside and made some ugly stuff escape my lips too.  No, in my experience sharing hasn't always turned out pretty.

  I had the unbelievable opportunity a couple of years ago to spend some time at a girls' orphanage in Kenya. There were about a hundred girls there ranging from the ages of five to fifteen. Several men including Jason went, with plans to build a playground. I spent hours preparing for the trip, writing letters of the alphabet on lima beans placing them in order into a compartmentalized plastic box.  Being a teacher I would have plenty of games to aid them in an educational quest. I placed pictures of my family in an envelope to give the girls insight into my life... Armed with gifts and games I went on a mission to share knowledge and to share life.  

 As I spent time with the girls I was delighted to observe a colorful pile of flip-flops while the girls played barefoot in the sand. I, myself am a girl who loves her flip-flops.  I remember watching as they approached the shoe pile,

            finding a pair

                       - inching their their toes between the strap.

 Usually they scooted away with mismatched shoes. 

 Just like sisters, they went about; outfitted in someone elses belongings.  I never heard them complain though. 

They fixed each other's hair and fixed mine too.  They grabbed mine and my friends' sunglasses quickly passing them from one face to another.  They didn't ask; they just shared.  My friends and I showed pictures of our families to the girls which were also quickly snatched and distributed. 

Maybe most impressive were the earrings, Obama bubblegum and rubber-band bracelets given to me.  Each girl at the orphanage had a small trunk in which her every possession fit, with much room to spare, and yet they gave freely. And they smiled as they received.  Sharing life, that's what they were doing.

You would think that having so few possessions would cause them to cling to what little they had.  They did, in fact, cling to what little they had, but it wasn't the things.  I watched as motherless, fatherless children clinged to each other.  And I clinged to them.  I played like I'd never played before.  We played jump rope with a broken water hose and some pieces of nylon rope the men had left over.  We sang and we danced fitting our hands together like a beautiful tapestry.

There wasn't a care that someone was wearing someone else's flip-flop.

I would guess that the lima beans that I painstakingly lettered and ordered are probably gone now.  Possessions, after all didn't seem to mean too much.  I have a trunk now full of letters, bead and rubber-band bracelets and other trinkets from the two trips to the orphanage. I'd give them all up just to spend another day with those girls.

Funny how I had my plan; a plan to give gifts and share knowledge and life. 

-But it was me who learned about sharing shoes and sharing life.

 A Thursday for Your Thoughts. 

Each Thursday I would love to highlight someone different.

I have mentioned before that I have a prayer for this website.  I pray that we as women would have a place to share; and that as we share, we are certain there are faces on the other side of the screen that are laughing, crying and just plain nodding their head in understanding.  I pray that we would grow together.

But more than anything, I pray that this space would bring much-deserved glory to our God who is with us.





You're the ONLY ONE  who can be you.

Don't miss out!

 Hallie, pictured above, is like no other.  It's one of the things I love about her the most.  Through the years much time has been spent in a distant land known as "Hallie World".  She made the rules, and not everybody was allowed to visit.

 There was also a time she started noticing a bit of hair on her legs.  She thought her neck was growing longer too. She was convinced she was turning into a horse.

For two years of her life she referred to herself as "White Kitty".  Many mornings she literally crawled out of bed,......and then kept on crawling.

 An individual creature for sure!

This is a picture of Hallie, Rylie and our fabulous friends Laurie and Ronique.

there's only one hallie

 rylie, there's no parallel

laurie you're matchless

ronique, you're it girl

 -4 sweet girls with much to share

Thank you God for our sames and differences.

1 Comment

My last post was a reminder that our children do notice.  They notice what we say. They notice what we do.  They even notice what we don't do.  (Hayden commented yesterday they we don't pray enough together -ouch.).  Today it sounds as if I'm telling you the opposite.  Today I'm saying that even though our children know our habits, we don't always see them practice what we practice or what we preach.  Sadly they seem to mimic the very things we wish they wouldn't.


As soon as I finished the Mini Me post, I remembered a sweet picture that Hallie drew for me several years ago.  Thankfully I found it with a few minutes of searching.  The picture is a treasure-To Mom From your Mini Me.  Those of you who know Hallie, know that she has always been a distinct individual;seemingly unimpressionable.  She has always had a strong sense of who she is up until recently.  Now in Middle School there are so many voices calling out to her.  Voices suggesting what activities she should participate in, what music she should listen to, the best shows to watch on TV.  She sees that she is supposed to bunch up the corner of her shirt with a rubber band making a tail.   Those shoes she found detestable last August are suddenly cute.  I am right beside her, but outside influences design her current world..

This picture is simple; Hallie and I standing, all smiles at the end of the rainbow.  A rainbow has forever served as a reminder of God's promise.  I did a parenting Bible Study called Value-Packed Parenting by Kevin Lehman.  The most important thing I remember from the study was the analogy made using a suitcase.  He compared all of the values that we instill in our children as items being placed in a suitcase.  Our children don't necessarily always hold dear those values while at home.  It is when they leave home that they often unpack those values. A rainbow signifies a journey.   While I would like to see Hallie and the other two applying values here and now, I need not lose heart when it seems the things we've taught them are now little more than a buzz in the ear.   We have them in our care for eighteen years.  We need to remember that it takes longer than we'd like- to teach them some things.

Start children off on the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6  Did you catch the "when they are old" part?  Hang in there mom and dad.  God's word also says, " For I know the plans I have for you"' declares the Lord, " plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."'  -Jeremiah 29:11   Though our children sometimes seem to listen to everybody but us, God has plans.  Her peers may color who she is now, but Jason and I are with her for the journey.  We get to be there when those long ago spoken truths begin to inform and transform. But we must also be faithful to pray for our children.

.Those of you familiar with the late seventies or Kermit the Frog may remember the song The Rainbow Connection.  The lyrics are hard to follow, but I like the last stanza. It sounds to me as if the voice comes straight from the soul of a child.

... Have you been half asleep? And have you heard voices? I've heard them calling my name. ... Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors? The voice might be one and the same I've heard it too many times to ignore it It's something that I'm s'posed to be... Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Hold tight.  Pray.  Teach them. Be that still quiet voice that has been heard too many times to ignore; the voice that helps show them who they are supposed to be.  In the picture, at the end of the rainbow, it's my hand that Hallie is holding.  The colors that now capture our children's attention will be like a rainbow that suddenly evaporates.  When the rainbow fades, our voice and values will remain.  We will see those plans the Lord had for our children coming to fruition.  I am secure in their future and thankful for the promise. Trust and see beauty in the journey!