Dear Daughter,

Actually, you can.

Love, Dad

Seriously, Enough said, right? I love this thought! It gives me such an extra vote of confidence when approaching something new. There is just something so special and so releasing knowing that Jesus has got your back, as you step out into something He’s called you to. Whether it’s a new job, a new season in life, or even if it is something as simple as getting your cute butt to the gym and living a healthier life. ha! Together, you can do it through his strength.

Remember, no matter what God is calling you to (even as you are reading this now), God will set you up for a win, and together- you’ve totally got this!

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13

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Dear Daughter

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Love, Dad

Every way God knitted you together is beautiful and dripping with purpose. My question to you would be- do you know that full and well? Do you know that you know, that you are WONDERFUL? It’s up to us to remind ourselves of this truth and start declaring it over our lives daily. Instead of magnifying our self-proclaimed flaws, we are called to look at ourselves through our Creator’s eyes. In you, He has made a one of a kind-standout, woman of God, with a unique calling, purpose and plan for her life. This world would not be the same without you, and will forever be changed because of you! So stand up, Stand tall, And Step into what He has for you; because honey you were Made for this.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:14

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Dear Daughter,

You are without blame before me in love.

Love, Dad

I don’t know if you have ever made the drive out to Lake Tahoe, California, on HWY 50 during the dead of winter, but it is extraordinarily beautiful. You enter into this gorgeous landscape of white crisp snow that is completely undisturbed for miles and miles. Craig (my hubby) and I were driving out that way a couple of years ago, and the song nothing but the blood of Jesus came on the radio. As I listened to the lyrics “Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow,” while driving past dozens of whitewashed fields, it painted such a stunning picture of our stature in Christ. When you allow Jesus into your heart and choose to follow in your Father’s footsteps, you stand in front of your Redeemer perfectly holy and blameless in His sight!

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love”

Ephesians 1:4

pic via @tomcatcolee

Dear Daughter,

I empower you to lay hands on the sick and see them recover.

Love, Dad

Your prayers are powerful! Did you know that?? When you speak things out and lay hands on others, things shift in the unseen. Why? Well, it’s not because of anything you have done, but has everything to do with what Jesus has done for you. For He has declared you righteous, and the prayer of the righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). Once more, He has empowered us to ask of anything in His name; a name that everything in Heaven and Earth has to bow down to. So the next time someone asks you to pray for them, or you feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to lay hands on them, know you can step out in expectancy for what the Lord is going to do through you- In Jesus’ Name!

“And these signs will accompany those who believe… they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Mark 16: 17-18 

pic via @tomcatcolee

Dear Daughter,

I’m always with you: even in the midst of your hurting.

Love, Dad

Just a month ago I found this promise from God to be very real, and very true as Craig and I co-lead the memorial service for my late-mother Laura Ashley. I know this may not be the easiest thing to read or talk about. Yet, I think it is something that’s incredibly important to discuss. It’s easy to assume that since God is for us everything should always go our way. That we will never have to endure hard times. However, that is not always the case and is not what we see in the Bible. For example, we can look at Paul and Silas imprisoned in Acts 16, clearly not the ideal circumstance. Yet through their “suffering”, they discover something so powerful that would shape the way they lived indefinitely. They discovered the power of praise! Once more, we see the result of their praise as the means for their break through. You see the idea that we must be solely sorrowful in our sufferings is actually a myth. There are still so many things to be thankful for and so many things to sing out and praise God about. Now, please hear me, I’m not saying that we need to fake it ‘til we make it, or hide our true feelings. Ecclesiastes clearly points out that there is without a doubt a time for weeping, and it’s important to be honest with God and others about our emotions. Yet, I do believe that we have a hope and a joy that resides within us that even our circumstances can’t deprive us from. When we choose to press in and praise God, something groundbreaking and miraculous takes place just like the story with Paul and Silas. Doors of opportunity will fly open and chains of oppression will fall off supernaturally. So take heart, you are blessed in your suffering, and just like I experienced first hand with the loss of my mom; you will find so much comfort and (believe it or not) joy when you press into Him with praise!

“But even if you should suffer…you are blessed. “

1 Peter 3:14

pic via @tomcatcolee

Dear Daughter,

What’s on your mind? I’m listening.

Love, Dad

After the loss of my momma, my mind was almost simultaneously flooded with all kinds of thoughts. Some thoughts were helpful, like thoughts of scripture that would give me hope, and sweet memories of my mom and I spending time together-getting our nails done. However, there were countless times where unhelpful thoughts would creep in, thoughts that sounded like ‘If only I had done (such and such) than she would still be here’. Day after day, moment after moment, I had to arrest the thoughts that were lies and start to talk to God about what I was thinking about.  I had to be ready to measure up my thoughts with the Word of God and see if what I was thinking was really true, in order to ensure that I kept a healthy mindset amongst a very difficult season.

We all grow up with a worldview and belief system that inadvertently shapes our mindsets and lenses in which we view life through. However, these mindsets can be limiting and unhelpful if they do not measure up with the Word and nature of God. I found this to be true when I entered into my first year of Bible College as I began to test things that I grew up with against the Word of God. I quickly realized I had adopted views and mindsets that needed to be re-formed in order that I may be transformed. Once I started on this journey I found freedom and fluidity in my thought-life and public life. Ladies, I would challenge you to start thinking about what you are thinking about. Is your thought-life allowing you to flourish? Is it full of what God says about you? Or are there mindsets that may need to be renewed, in order that you can be transformed? Philippians 4:18 tells us to meditate on things that are true, so lets begin to hold captive what is not and give life to thoughts that are. The beautiful thing is He wants to partner with you in this process and instill in you a heavenly way of thinking.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2

pic via @tomcatcolee

Dear Daughter,

You are my best work.

Love, Dad

For as long as I can remember, I’ve received a custom made card from my grandma Ashley in the mail. No matter what the occasion; Birthday, Christmas, Easter, there is always one delivered without fail. On the back of every card read, “Made with love. By: Grandma.” You know the same is true for you and me when it comes to our origin. I reckon, if we looked upon our hearts, impressed would be a giant “Made with love. By: God.” For He has handcrafted us all for great and mighty works, and has even ordered our steps to walk out this great destiny He’s set before us. I don’t know about you, but I find such strength and courage when I am reminded that I am a workmanship of the Almighty Creator God.

What can you do today, that will remind yourself that you are His handiwork?

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

 Ephesians 2:10 

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Dear Daughter,

Don’t forget your armor.

Love, Dad

There is this chapter in the Bible, called Ephesians. It paints a beautiful picture of the armor that God has given us for battle. ‘What kind of battles’ you may ask? Well anything from our day-to-day struggles, to the ones we fight behind the scenes. He’s given us everything we need to not only fight those battles, but also stand victorious on the other side of them. Practically He has given us 6 key elements( are pieces of armor) from the shield of faith, to the sword of the Spirit, to the shoes that bring forth the peace of the Gospel, to the buckle of truth, to the breastplate of righteousness, to the helmet of salvation. When we use all of those together- we have everything we need to be battle ready. Once more, when we choose to dress ourselves with those elements daily, we are ready for anything.

So what is your battle stance today, girls? Are you suited up and ready for action? Have you put on every bit of your armor -knowing that with His armor you stand undefeated!

If you get a chance, try reading Ephesians 6 aloud and Picture yourself putting on this armor before your leave the house today, and watch and see what God does through you.

“Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Ephesians 6:16

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