The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

Tag Archives: Lynn Cowell

When a Mama Just Has to Get Out of the Way: Guest Post by Lynn Cowell

My youngest daughter was getting ready for school one morning when I saw her squeeze her eyes shut tight. She stood frozen in front of the bathroom mirror, her purple tooth brush in hand, and she shook her head side to side as if she were chasing a bothersome thought out of her mind.

I placed my hands gently on her long silky locks and asked, “Honey, what’s wrong?”

My eight-year-old opened her eyes and met my gaze. Then she shrugged her shoulders. “Nothing’s wrong, Mom.” she replied with a quiet sigh. “Sometimes I just can’t look at myself in the mirror too long, or I notice things I don’t like.”

My heart sunk.

I swallowed a lump of sadness rising in my throat and looked at my little girl–big blue eyes, rosy pink cheeks and a wide contagious smile.
What could she possibly see that she doesn’t like? I wondered as I wrapped my arms around the budding beauty at my side.

Raising daughters is no small task. And calling out the brave beauty in our girls is, inarguably, a giant job.

That’s why I’m so grateful for this new book, Brave Beauty, written by my Proverbs 31 Ministries sister and friend, Lynn Martin Cowell. Lynn has a passion for equipping young girls with the confidence of Christ. And Lynn has a heart for us, too— for all of us who are raising daughters or nurturing granddaughters or walking along side the next generation of young women. And she wants to put resources in our hands that will help us to teach the girls we love above brave beauty.

Lately, I’ve been curling up with my little girl and reading her Lynn’s words from the pages of Brave Beauty. ‘Cuz it’s my prayer that my girl and yours will one day look in the mirror and see what Jesus sees–brave and beautiful daughters of the King.

May Lynn’s words be the gift to you that they’ve been to me…


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On Cracked Cups and Broken Hearts and A Moms who Dream Big for their Little Girls

Dear Magdalene Hope,

It’s dark outside and the house is quiet.

And last I checked, you were tucked under your poke-a-dot comforter in the bottom bunk, your face warm and flushed with sleep.

I don’t know the dreams that are dancing through your head on this moonlit night, but I’m well aware of the dreams that are waltzing through mine.


And as I scribble your name across that crisp white page in my prayer journal, I realize that it’s impossible to tell where a mama’s prayers for her girl end and where her dreams begin.

So, tonight, while you sleep, I will carry you to Jesus, wrapped in wistful prayer, and I’ll trust that the One who never slumbers will hear my cries and understand my heart…

Those fancy Valentines you signed are tucked in your school bag, waiting to be shared.

And you’ve been singing love songs all day.

And yesterday, when we raced through the grocery store, you slowed your steps and stopped in front of the great big display of chocolate hearts and you picked up a box that was designed to look like it had split in two.

You stared at it and ask, “Why does this heart look broken?”

And I read the words printed in swirly white letters on the outside of the box, “Don’t break my heart, Valentine…”

You cocked your head and digested the words, then you clutched your heart and batted your eyelids like a bonafide diva and you said, “I hope nobody ever breaks my heart.”

I’d shook my head and patted yours and then steered you toward the toilet paper aisle.

But, tonight, as I’m praying, I realize that what I should have told you, precious one, is that your wish will never come true.

Because your heart is broken already.

And so is mine.


We’re like that little yellow teacup you left sitting on the coffee table after your tea party in the living room this morning….


You were sparkling from head to toe, dressed in that princess gown that always drips glitter across the floor like a leaky faucet.

And you had a pink clip stuck willy nilly in your tangled hair.

And bright red lip gloss smeared across your smiling lips.

You moved with a mix of shimmer and swag in those bangled plastic dress up heels, and you batted your eyelids with lofty six-year-old sophistication.

And as I watched you, I realized, once again, how much I love you, my bigger-than-life-little girl.

You had filled your tiny tea pot with a special razzle-dazzle love potion (the kind that drips from the bathroom tap), and you’d lifted your pinky high when you’d tipped the spout.

“How are you, Mr. Bear?” you’d asked with an elegant curtsey as you filled your teddy bear’s shiny blue teacup to the brim.


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When You Want Your Daughter To Have Magnetic Beauty

Okay, I’ll admit it. I was spying on you. 

Kind of. 

I mean, I couldn’t help but slow my steps when I walked by the open bathroom door this morning and heard you humming. 

And then, I saw the way you studied yourself in the mirror when you thought that nobody was looking. 


And I nearly gave myself away with an embarrassing sob.

That’s what I wanted to do right then and there— to cry happy tears and jump up and down and thank Jesus for that glimpse of beautiful He just gave me. 

‘Cause when you leaned in close to that fourteen-year-old in the mirror, you smiled.

You looked at her  fly-away curls and her imperfect complexion, her not-yet-brushed teeth and her make-up-less face, and you flashed that girl in the glass a satisfied grin.

A magnetic grin.


I flattened myself against the wall and set my laundry basket down, pretended to be fiddling with the freshly-folded clothes I’d been delivering to your bedroom before I started spying.

And I just watched  you for a moment longer.

I thought about all those prayers I’ve uttered since the day I first held you in my arms, all wrinkly and pink.

I pondered the promises I’ve plucked straight from the Word and claimed as yours, day by day and year by year.

Honestly, I don’t know where my own wishes for you end and God’s dreams for you begin, but I hope; oh I hope, that they are one and the same.


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