Finding Brave Beauty in A Season Full of Change + A Giveaway

Here's a story of how one mom found brave beauty in a season full of change. | Motherhood | Christian Mom | Homeschool | Book Review | Brave Beauty | Bible Study

Exactly two days before the eagerly anticipated first day of school, my husband and I decided to homeschool our oldest daughter.

She’s struggled with dyslexia the past five years and we just didn’t have a peace about sending her back to traditional school.

Everything was fine and dandy until the weekend before school when her anxiety went off the charts (and mine quickly followed).

I was discussing my fears and frustrations with my best friend when she posed the simple question:

Have you ever considered homeschooling her?

Um….no. Not me…never. And with all the stuff on my plate right now….eek! No.

I am the girl who thinks homeschooling parents are the most beautiful kind of crazy people.

And I never expected to join that club.

Yet, I simply could not get her question out of my mind.

And when I began to discuss the possibility with my husband, we quickly realized it was the absolute best decision for our daughter in this season.

Really, God? Couldn’t you at least have given me a warning?

Here's a story of how one mom found brave beauty in a season full of change. | Motherhood | Christian Mom | Homeschool | Book Review | Brave Beauty | Bible Study

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Of course, my Heavenly Father knew this detour was coming.

But me…well…I was caught completely off-guard.

When I first spotted the detour sign, I totally freaked out. But then, I reminded myself Who put that sign in my path.

God.

And I found great comfort in the words of Romans 8:37-39, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I’m still not a fan of change.

And these first few weeks of juggling homeschooling, work, mothering, and “all the other things” have been packed with change.

Why don’t I like change? Because I think…

Change is a bully.

It takes a swing at me when I’m not looking, swiftly knocking me off my feet and hovering over me until I question my ability to stand again.

Maybe if I play possum a while, change will leave me alone and find someone else to pick on?

Unfortunately, change is inevitable–an unavoidable obstacle on the road of life.

And if we can’t learn how to cope with change, we’ll likely spend most our life playing possum.

But how do you fight back against a bully?

The stark contrast of life and death, night and day, summer and winter serves as a constant reminder that change is just part of life here on earth.

In the words of King Solomon, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).”

Winter warms into spring, spring sprouts into summer, summer ebbs into fall, and fall brings winter back around.

In the same way, childhood blossoms into adolescence, marital bliss bears fruit for the family tree, and full nests empty as the next generation learns how to fly.

Change is woven into the fabric of creation.

Maybe God also wove a thread of hope into his design for those of us who struggle with change?

Maybe he provided some tool, resource, or truth to help us stand up to this oversized oaf?

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I just finished writing my Ephesians Bible study, and on the final day of writing, I unearthed a beautiful truth.

A truth that is helping me to cope with all the change happening in my life right now.

Maybe it will help you too.

Thirteen of Paul’s letters to the first-century Church are included in our New Testament.

Each and every one of those letters starts with a blessing and ends with a benediction.

If you take the time to read the blessing and benediction in all Paul’s letters, the only common thread you will find is grace.

Some have mercy, others have peace or love, but all begin and end with grace.

Grace is defined as God’s steadfast love toward man.

It flows from the Father, through the Son, to us.

God’s grace is undeserved, unrelinquishing, and untouchable.

It is the one thing that will NEVER change.

When the season’s of life change, God’s grace remains. When the winds of change blow, God’s grace remains. When we are on the ground, fearful of the future and weary from the past, God’s grace whispers, “Get up and fight.”

The only way to thrive in seasons of change is to carry God’s grace with us.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? -Romans 8:31

In the midst of all the “beautiful kind of crazy” these past few weeks, I’ve felt an undeniable peace and blessed assurance that God is in this decision to homeschool our daughter.

Even though I still feel a bit under-prepared for this season of change, God is faithfully filled the gaps in my abilities and covering my fears with His grace.

One of the most special parts of homeschooling so far has been the opportunity to take a more active role in my daughter’s spiritual education.

We’ve been starting our days with Bible study and journaling;  I’ve been so blessed by the many conversations that have flowed out of this time.

Here's a story of how one mom found brave beauty in a season full of change. | Motherhood | Christian Mom | Homeschool | Book Review | Brave Beauty | Bible Study

One resource that has been enormously helpful to me is Lynn Cowell’s new book for young girls titled “Brave Beauty.

The hardback book is divided into 100 mini-chapters, the perfect length for a quick morning devotional with my daughter.

Lynn’s writing is easy to digest, personable, and engaging.

My daughter especially enjoys the quizzes peppered throughout the book, and I have been using the “Becoming Brave” questions at the end of each chapter as journaling prompts for her.

This book covers many important topics including salvation, identity, body image, friendship, self-confidence, and embracing our God-given purpose.

The best part is it takes just minutes per day to complete a chapter, and the book is a starting point for many important conversations between mother and daughter.

Although I think it’s best to go through this book together, it is definitely written in such a way that a young girl could easily navigate it herself.

Here's a story of how one mom found brave beauty in a season full of change. | Motherhood | Christian Mom | Homeschool | Book Review | Brave Beauty | Bible Study

Part of the reason I pulled my daughter out of the traditional school setting was I noticed patterns of self-doubt, insecurity, and anxiety.

She was struggling with friendships and overwhelmed by the high expectations of her educators.

Check out this awesome new #bravebeautybook for Christian Tweens from @lynncowell and @zondervan  {Click to Tweet}

It’s so important for us, as parents, to teach our children who God says they are and help them establish a sense of beauty and worth that is not dependent on the acceptance they receive from others.

Helping them establish a routine of daily Bible study at a young age is a great way to prepare them for the uncertainty and confusion the teen years bring.

Brave Beauty is helping me do just that!

I have so enjoyed incorporating this beautiful book into my new homeschool routine, and am excited Lynn’s publisher offered me an additional copy + one of their beautiful backpack Bibles to give away right here on my blog!

Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a free copy of Lynn Cowell’s new book, Brave Beauty +a FaithGirlz Backpack Bible (a $45 value).

How have you worked to establish brave beauty in your life or your child’s life? I’d love to chat about it in the comments.

This article has been shared at my favorite Faith & Family Linkups.

Sarah Koontz

About Sarah Koontz

 
Sarah Koontz invites Christians of all ages to explore the beauty of God’s design. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah lives on 13-acres in South Dakota with her husband, two daughters and a rowdy flock of 30 chickens. She revels in their simple, uncluttered life.

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Read Sarah’s full Bio Here.

48 thoughts on “Finding Brave Beauty in A Season Full of Change + A Giveaway

  1. I admire your strength and faith so much. I’ve heard of Lynn Cowell’s new book, Brave Beauty, and can’t wait to read it! Good for you for being courageous enough to say YES to the Lord when everything in you wanted to say no. I’ve been there, and it’s not easy but it’s very rewarding. Wishing you and your daughter blessings beyond the text books — I know there will be many!

    1. Your words of encouragement are such a blessing to me, RebeccaLynn. And I can’t wait to share your words with my readers in next week’s blog post. Thank you for saying YES to the Lord too…..

  2. Sarah,

    Your blog spoke to me today. I have started a new season as well, starting a new business. I was having self doubts recently, even though there were evident things that God had worked out. Thank you for sharing this.

    Also, I remember 7 years ago when we needed to make a change with our two kids with schooling. I am right there with you, thinking this mom would never homeschool. It turned out that is exactly what I did for two years, and some of the greatest blessings came from that experience. For instance, my son met his future college roommate of four years through homeschooling. My daughter met her best friend to this day through those two years of homeschooling. God definitely knew what He was doing, even when I didn’t.

    Kim

    1. Doubts and Fears always accompany Change. But God is bigger than all that, He is sufficient even when the winds of change threaten to blow us off our feet. Saying a prayer over your new season this morning, believing God has something Brave and Beautiful in store for you.

  3. I love this Sarah! I have been looking at Lynn’s new book, Brave Beauty and considering it for my daughter and granddaughter. It looks like a tool they both could use. They are at a stage where communication is a little strained right now, and this book could possibly be exactly what they need. Praying God’s blessings over you and your daughter as you journey through this home school adventure. I am sure it will be very rewarding!

    1. Rachelle, I gave it a 5 star rating. I don’t do that very often with non-fiction. I think she hit the nail on the head with this one. We are still working through the beginning of the book (which focuses on Salvation), but looking forward to latter chapters where she delves into identity, body image, and friendships. Higly recommend! Thank you for your prayers, I’ll take all the prayers I can get in this crazy beautiful season full of change.

  4. Walking bravely through any kind of change is hard. I feel like it is hanging on to God’s hand as we walk in faith, not seeing how the change can be good for us.

    I will be praying for you in this new season of your family’s life. If He has called you to it, He will help you get through it. 💗💗

  5. Sarah, thank you for sharing this. I home schooled for 4 years and love change, but it was a mix of emotions juggling 3 kids in different grades. My 9 year old has the same issue so after feeling led to put her in school to get more help than I could give, God led us that way and is proving this was right for us. God is faithful! If He led you to this He will be there with you every step of the way, even on the days when you feel like maybe He made a mistake lol. I am praying for you that your days be blessed and filled with peace!

  6. Sarah, loved this. And your point that grace is the common thread from all of Paul’s blessings and benedictions – I love that. I’ve homeschooled for 19 years now, but still remember the beginning when God first let me know that was what he wanted for our family. I had been teaching in public and private school settings so it was a big change for me, too, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love that God sends us so many unique ways to get an education and we have choices based on the needs of our children. Blessings, Sarah!

    1. I can’t take credit for discovering the common thread of Grace in Paul’s writing, but I am so grateful to the writer who first pointed it out to me! Such a beautiful truth for us today. Recognizing I had the power to make a choice to change the situation with my daughter was so freeing! I’m just glad God gave me the strength to take the dive, as her quick transformation has been nothing short of a miracle!

  7. Hey Sarah! I’m so glad that you’re a part of the homeschooling club! It’s such a wonderful way of life. Yes, it will cut greatly into your work time and may even minimize the amount of blogging that get’s done; but the trade off is well worth it!

    I love this resource you’ve shared with us. Even after homeschooling for years, I’m still searching for the right devotional method for my 10 year old. This sounds like it may hit the spot! Thanks so much for sharing it.

    You will be in my prayers, my dear sister, during your season of change.
    Be Brave!

  8. Go, Sarah!! I admire your courage to walk down the road less traveled! If God has led you there, He will sustain you there. My 9-year-old and I have also been reading through the Brave Beauty. I just love the profound truth wrapped in simplicity.

    1. Hi Esther, Thanks for the support! I am so grateful God made the decision simple when it really came down to it, otherwise I don’t think I’d have had the strength to make it. Simple truth is one of my favorite things about the Brave Beauty book too!

  9. Your post was such a blessing for me! I have a tendency to ‘play possum’ when change rears its ugly head especially as we just signed up our daughter Morgan for dyslexia testing… I have an idea of how overwhelming the idea of homeschool must have been with all you have going on but I admire your willingness to put God and your family first, knowing all the other places will fall into place like they should. He has given you them and He has given you this ministry and He will tie up any loose ends.

    1. Oh my! Don’t we all? It’s so tempting to just roll over and let change bully us, but God has something better for us (so glad He’s the one thing that doesn’t change!). Yes the decision felt very big and overwhelming, but we’ve been on this journey with our daughter for a few years now and God prepared us. I so encourage you to get the testing and if you discover she has Dyslexia, please drop me an e-mail. I’ve found some fantastic resources along the way and would be glad to share. Truly, my daughter is thriving in a way I never thought possible and it’s all because we understand how she works and what she needs to do to be successful.

  10. Transitions and change are challenging! Thankful we have our Lord and Savior to see us through. Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey. I look forward to checking out Brave Beauty and sharing your book recommendation with my friends!

  11. I was just describing the difference between grace and mercy to someone who is in a real time of struggle in their life. Always an interesting conversation and reminder of just how much grace is actually present in our day to day lives.

  12. I always appreciate your honesty and heartfelt sincerity in your writing Sarah. I know that God has been preparing you for the task of homeschooling your daughter. He will bless you both as you have obediently heeded His words to you. Thank you for your willingness to share your heart and reminding us that God is never surprised by anything and He asks us to trust Him in everything. Have a fantastic weekend dear friend and may God continue to bless you and yours in all your endeavors.

    1. Oh, Horrace! You’ve weathered many seasons of change, haven’t you? I love how through it all, you keep your eyes on Jesus. Trusting He’s got something beautiful in store for your life. Love it when you swing by and say hi!

  13. I love this!! I have experience the “bully” of change many many times… and I am rarely ever ready for it. haha I am a homeschooling mama! This is my fifth year with my five kiddos (16, 11, 9, 7, and 5)…. when God first called me to it I was pregnant with my 5th child and we were living in a one bedroom guest house. (eek!) May I please tell you just how darn unprepared I felt for that??? God was unrelenting in His pursuit of my heart in this and there were things that took place with my two oldest girls who were in public school at the time that left me shaken and wanting nothing more than to gather my brood under my wing. God is amazing like that isn’t He? 😉 My 9 year old son has SPD and my 11 year old daughter struggles with dyslexia. I am SO THANKFUL to be able to work with them at their own pace. It’s not been a smooth road…but it has definitely been worthwhile. The Lord has worked so deeply in our family and in my heart as a mama/woman of God that I would not trade any of the snags in the road until this point for anything less. Praying over you for this school year that God would move deeply in your family, drawing y’all ever closer to Him and to each other. <3

    1. Hi Michelle, so nice to meet other homeschooling moms. I told my daughter right away that even when we do the right things for the right reasons, that doesn’t mean we won’t have trials or difficulty. I’m already experiencing the many benefits of homeschooling my daughter, but I know the challenges are on the horizon for sure (especially once the newness wears off). Thank you for your prayers and encouragement! Wishing you and yours a blessed school year also.

  14. I just bought Brave Beauty for my 9-year-old. She loves the journaling sections. I’m planning to tell Lynn how much my daughter is enjoying it, when I meet her next week at a retreat. Thanks for hosting the giveaway, Sarah!

    1. That’s awesome, Sarah! I’ve got my daughter working on her journaling skills too. Give Lynn a big hug from me too. What retreat are you headed to? I pray it is a blessed time for you.

    1. Thanks for believing in me. Sometimes we forget to believe in ourselves, don’t we? When I made the decision to homeschool, I told my husband….I’ve always said I’ll put my family first, I guess now is my chance to live up to that statement.

  15. I admire your courage. Thats a big decision. We decided to homeschool this year too, and I’ve shared a lot of those same thoughts! Thanks for sharing your story! <3

  16. You are so right in that change IS a bully!! What encouragement for those of us who cannot stand change, yet it’s inevitable for all who live! I love the affirmation reminder that grace is there, from beginning to end, much like in Paul’s letters.

    And yes, definitely must check out that Brave Beauty book! It sounds wonderful!

  17. It’s hard to step out in a new season and change. I’m so glad you are seeing the blessings of following God’s lead. And I love the theme of grace, the blessing and benediction, throughout the book of Ephesians.

    1. I have so enjoyed studying this book over the past few months, grateful to be armed with so many powerful truths as I journey down this unfamiliar road. Hugs to you! Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Sarah, I never planned to homeschool either. But after the first week of kindergarten we realized this was not a fit for our daughter. I believe our homeschooling days helped me form a very close relationship with our children. Blessings to you in your new venture.

  19. I am so glad you decided to home school, My girls were in public schools (The last one graduated year before last) I have watched how bad things are getting in the schools and every year it just get worse. If I could go back I would home school mine.
    This sounds like a book I need to look into.
    Thanks for sharing at LMM Link up, hope to see you again next week.
    Have a great week.
    Connie

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