The Interview Series continues, but we are adding a twist to our typical format. Since today’s author has written a book for tween girls, we thought it’d be fun to have my daughter Brooke interview our guest about her book, Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You.
Brooke’s Interview with Lynn Cowell
1. I know that popularity issues are pretty common today. All the “Cool Kids” seem to all be doing the same thing, like in the story of Alexandra that you share in your book. Do you have any advice for girls who are struggling with not fitting in?
Brooke – honestly, this is beyond hard! I really wanted to fit in too, but found myself somewhere in the middle. I loved Jesus and just about everyone knew that. So while it seemed I was likable enough, there were a few things I wouldn’t do which meant I got excluded.
Today, I still want to be included! But here is the thing that doesn’t seem to change: often following Jesus’ way and following the crowds’ way just aren’t the same way. That’s why I wrote Brave Beauty. It takes a girl, finding all her courage and confidence in Christ, to not go the easier way.
I actually did this; followed Jesus as a young person and my life has had so many benefits because of it. I don’t have a lot of regrets from my growing up years. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying if you follow Jesus your life will be a dream. I am saying that choosing His way leads to His best for us and for that I am grateful.
Your best move is to find one or two girls who are going the same direction as you are – after Jesus – Stick together! Call each other out when you step in the wrong direction and cheer each other on when you go in His. Go after God together!
2. What is your all-time favorite Bible verse about being brave?
Ugh…like Reese cups I don’t want to do just one, but Jeremiah 17:7 ranks up at the top:
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” -Jeremiah 17:7
I love this verse because all around us we see everyone building their confidence – their self-worth – on something they can lose one day; a person, place or thing. God tells us we have His best coming our way – when we don’t look to all that other stuff, but when we trust Him. That is completely abnormal … and it’s the way God tells us to go.
This verse is also really cool in The Message translation:
But blessed is … the woman who sticks with God.”
That’s who I’m going to be … the woman who sticks with God and I want to encourage other girls to do the same!
3. What would you say to girls who may have friends who are not Christians?
Having friends who have yet to know Jesus is good…and you have to be wise. There are all kinds of friends. I like to think of friendships like a target – you know that red and white circle?
The outside ring is for those friends you have met and know that they are not a good fit for you. Maybe they act or talk in ways that don’t follow the advice in the Bible or maybe your interests are very different. Do not completely exclude these people from your life. Pray and ask the Lord to open a door for you to share Him with them.
The second ring is for those people who you have just met, maybe a new neighbor or student in school. While getting to know them, keep learning more and more about them until you can see if they are a good match for a good friend for you.
The inner ring is for those friends that you have known for a while; you know you can trust them and they can trust you. They may or may not know Jesus, but they do have similar values as you.
Then there are the bull’s eye friendships. This will be one or two of your closest friends. These friends are the ones that you trust with your deepest secrets and you can be trusted with theirs. The most important thing is that these friends love and know Jesus like you do. This is important because you may ask for their advice or turn to them for support during a hard time. If they also believe that God’s Word is where to go for the answers, then you expect that they will encourage you in the right direction and you can encourage them as well.
4. What is one of the funniest moments when you were a girl?
Funny to who? One day in school, I had on a denim skirt with a zipper that went all the way from the waist to the hem. I was standing in the hall, by myself and there just so happened to be a really cute older student at the end of it. For whatever reason, my zipper broke and my skirt fell. I am sure it was funny for him. Me…not so much!
5. God works in unbelievable ways in everyone’s life. How has He worked in yours?
This thing He is allowing me to be a part of – pouring into the lives of young women – is incredible. When I was a young woman, I thought I wanted to marry a preacher. I knew I wanted to do something for God and I didn’t know any way other than being a preacher’s wife. That didn’t happen (you can’t make someone want to marry you, you know?) But, instead, God has given me the opportunity to be a preacher of sorts – sharing His love and greatness through speaking and writing. I love what I get to do! Plus, I have an amazing husband, Greg, who is my greatest cheerleader!
6. What is one way that girls can learn to stay closer to God?
Brooke, honestly, staying close to God is a day to day thing. Do you have a good friend? How do you stay close to her? You hang out, right? You two share your favorite everythings – food, music, shows. I think people make having a relationship with God much harder, more complicated, than God intended. Staying close to God is spending time with Him. Opening up His love letter to us – the Bible – each day and then talking to Him about what you find there. It’s talking to Him all day long. It’s being aware that wherever you are, He is and He wants to the center of everything in your life.
Thanks so much for doing this with me, Brooke! I wish you and I had been able to hang out at the new coffee shop in our little town. I know we would be great friends!
Wasn’t that fun? Thanks Brooke and Lynn for sharing with us today about Brave Beauty. Young or old may we move forward with courage as we grow.
P.S. Lynn will be an upcoming guest on the “Inspiration Doula” Facebook Live show, so stayed tuned!
Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books, written for young girls, teen girls and women of all ages. Her newest book Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You is written for girls ages 8 -12. Make Your Move: Finding Unshakeable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures a Bible study for women releases this fall. Her husband and their three children live in North Carolina where they love hiking, rafting and anything combining chocolate and peanut butter.
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