The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

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…


There it was. That beautiful voice, drifting down the stairs, once again. If only I could understand even one of the words she sang in Latin. The fullness of her classic melody belonged in a cathedral; not holed up in the tiny bedroom where she practiced with her piano again and again and again.

For months my daughter Mariah trained, went to lessons and followed every instruction given by her vocal instructor. To be part of our state’s honor choir; that is what she wanted and Mariah did everything it took to be chosen. The first scary step involved singing a solo for her teacher. Terrified, she signed up for the audition and gave it her all. Several days later, she got the great news. She had made the cut!

Next, she traveled hours away for the audition. With my ear glued to the thick, wooden door, I strained my ear to hear that expressive melody again as Mariah sang for the panel of judges. Professionals would make the call. The hours of waiting dragged as we paced the halls, waiting for the list to be posted outside the door. When the results were finally tacked on the board, Mariah’s name was missing. I felt certain there was a mistake. Didn’t they hear her? The disappointment Mariah felt overwhelmed her. She had worked so hard this year, but next year, she would train even harder.

The next year, she did it all again. Sang for her teacher. Traveled to the audition. Performed for the judges.

Yet, she didn’t make the honor choir again. And that was it. She was senior; there would be no more opportunities.

Sometimes, even when we do the scary thing, the brave thing, it still doesn’t work out.

As her mom, it crushed my heart to witness Mariah’s pain, not once but twice. I wanted to fix her heartache; take the bad pain away.

It was a good thing I couldn’t.

Mariah could have quit after the first time. Even after the second rejection, Mariah could have been done doing hard things. I asked her recently: why were you so positive? She said, “Because I believe I could do it.”

You know what happened? After Mariah allowed herself some time to feel sad about her loss, she eventually became even braver! Doing the scary thing prepared Mariah to be brave again and again. She knew if she could do it once, she could find the courage to do it again.

No one wants their loved one to hurt or feel pain. If I could have stepped in to remove the hard thing, I would have eliminated the test. Yet if I could have taken away this trial, I would have gotten in the way of Mariah learning to be strong, brave and confident.

It has been 5 years since that hard time. Today, Mariah is one of the most courageous people I know. If I had gotten in the way, she might not have ever become brave. Mariah could have been terrified of trying hard things for the rest of her life. And now, for her profession, Mariah helps others to be brave, working in a crisis response center.

In Judges 3, the Lord allowed the Israelites’ enemies to remain in the Promised Land for one reason: to teach them. He wanted His people to learn how to do hard things, depend on Him and not run away.

These difficult times in our lives, yes the ones God allows, can be the exact opportunities we need to learn not to quit. To be brave and to do the hard things again and again and again. And here, in these tough places, we can learn that our God is faithful to help us; He will never leave us or forsake. That is when the bad thing becomes a good thing.

Yes, our child might have to try out for that sport twice. We may need to ask for that raise more than once. We might have to trust God for that answer to prayer for not just days, but weeks, even years. And we can, because we are learning to be brave.

We can be brave because our bravery doesn’t come from someone liking us or someplace that makes us comfortable or something like our talents or accomplishments. We can believe that we can do it because our courage comes from Christ.


Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books, written for young girls, teen girls and women of all ages. Lynn’s newest book, “Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You”,  is written especially for girls between the ages 8 – 12. It’s not just a book — it’s a companion guide on a girl’s journey to learning to become courageous, confident and fearless. Statistics also reveal that a girl’s confidence peaks at age 9, so now is the time to help her build a confidence in Christ that stands firm for the days to come.

And good news!  On November 14th, Make Your Move: Finding Unshakeable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures, a Bible study empowering women to become brave releases as well!

Of course, you don’t need to wait until November to get your hands on Lynn’s encouraging words. You can grab your own copy of Brave Beauty today and stop by Lynn’s site for this free download: Grounded: Standing Firm in a Roller Coaster World.




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

  1. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a guest on your blog today, Alicia! I appreciate you!

    October 6, 2017 at 11:56 am
  2. Steph Vander Molen

    I needed to hear this today! Claire had her last cross country meet and I am so proud of her for taking on this sport and running with joy! If she had asked me this summer what I thought about her going out…I would have thought no way can she run! A courageous girl who tries new things and lives for Jesus…that is my prayer!

    October 9, 2017 at 9:27 pm
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      I’m praying that with you today, dear friend! Love you so

      October 13, 2017 at 10:50 am

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