Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Last night was our final meeting as a group before the end of the year gathering. To conclude our year together, I asked each of the girls to write a testimony of something God had taught them during the year of Bright Lights. Then, we gathered back together & various girls took turns sharing their testimonies. It was a sweet time of rejoicing in what the Lord has done this year. There were several times of laughter but also several tears hanging in the corners of eyes as young ladies shared the stories of God working in their hearts.

Below are a few of the written testimonies girls shared with me:

"After the lesson on giving your heart to your father, I've found out the impact gratefulness can have. I've found it easier to express thankfulness for things my parents do for me. I've also noticed more of the many, many things they do for me on a daily basis."

"This year in Bright Lights, I was probably most affected by the lesson on encouraging your brothers and sisters. It helped me to realize that just having a 'better than average' relationship with my siblings wasn't good enough, and that I needed to be much more intentional about my words and actions. As the oldest, I have an amazing opportunity to impact their lives on a daily basis, and I had no idea how much simple little acts of kindness and encouragement could really brighten up their day. This is definitely something that I'm still working on, but I think that now I can say that I am making a conscious effort to show my love for them everyday instead of just assuming that they know how I feel. Me being more open with my emotions has really made a difference in how we can relate to one another and it has definitely improved our relationship."

"One of the biggest lessons I have learned from Bright Lights this year is diligence. This year has been very challenging for me. I have learned how to balance going to a really difficult school, working, and being a small group co-leader. I've had to learn perseverance and a lot of diligence. While I most definitely don't think I'm perfect, God has used this year to grow me and strengthen me in this area."

"Diligence has been something that I have been learning to have. I knew that I needed to be more diligent with my time and how I use it. I have really been trying to apply this to my life after Allison spoke about it a few weeks ago. I just saw how I was not really giving enough time to the Lord and that I need to spend more time in His word, especially with some difficulties going on in my life lately. This lesson really spoke to me and showed me that I needed to change things."

"One very important thing that I learned was how sinful we are compared to God. Allison talked about this during a lesson and demonstrated it by holding up a gray sheet of paper next to a black sheet of paper. Next to black, the gray sheet looked white. However, when she showed us the gray sheet of paper next to a white sheet of paper, the gray definitely looked gray.

A lot of times, to make myself feel better, I compare myself next to the world. I say, 'I'm so much better than them; I don't steal, cheat or do very bad things and I read my Bible and pray and I try to actually do better. But I have to remind myself that I shouldn't compare myself to the world, instead, I should compare myself to God. After all, by God's standards, I'm as black as could be - I can't do anything to change that. I'm powerless. I really have to rely on Jesus to wash me clean of sin. Allison's demonstration really helps me to do that, because it stuck in my mind."

"The Lord has taught me so many things that it's hard to decide which one. I believe that the Lord has taught me to realize that I am never, ever alone. The Lord loves me as I am. I am just a little speck in this big universe. He could have chosen to ignore me as a wicked, sinful person. Instead, He had His Son Jesus die for my sins. God gave me the Bible full of sweet promises and commands. To me, the Bible is a letter He has written to help me onto the path of life."

"One topic in particular that stood out to me was delighting in God's Word. I was really struggling with doing my daily devotions and this topic really helped me. One thing that stood out to me in the pamphlet was looking for Jesus in every passage. So, I started highlighting one of God's names every time I came across it. That really helped me to focus on what I was reading. I am surprised at how many of God's names are in one page! Additionally, I have really enjoyed being able to fellowship with other girls this past year during Bright Lights."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Group Happenings

It's been a while since I've posted anything on the blog. Here are a few photos we've managed to grab over the past couple of months during our meetings.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Deeper Retreat

This past weekend a group of the older girls from both this group and the other group I lead in Belleville, gathered for a time of seeking the Lord, encouraging one another & growing intentional relationships with one another. Unfortunately, we were so busy enjoying our time with the Lord & each other that we forgot to take very many pictures! However, I've asked the girls to share a few testimonies about what God did or taught them through the retreat.

"I had such a blast at the Bright Lights retreat! Not only did it give me the opportunity to dig deeper into the relationship I have with my Lord and Savior but also with the girls around me. It was such an encouragement to spend time with other believers and learn that I'm not the only one who struggles with spending as much time with God as I should. I was challenged as we spent time learning new ways to spend time with God." - 17 year old

"I was so encouraged by the videos, encouragement groups and prayer time. I loved spending time getting to know the other girls, just knowing that we are all struggling and that we can all help each other is cool. I loved being able to spend a whole weekend in prayer and talking with or about the Lord, and also finding new ways to have a deeper relationship with Him. I was really convicted by the fact that I need to surrender my entire life to Him and let Him write my story. Also, that I need to be spending more scheduled times in prayer. I really appreciated all the times we spent in prayer in our encouragement groups. It was really cool to share different thoughts, stories, verses and struggles. I know the Lord was working in each of us, and I'm so thankful for this opportunity." - 15 year old

"I had one of the most amazing times at the Deeper Retreat. At first, I didn't want to go because I didn't feel 'good enough.' However, I grew so much closer to the girls and realized they struggle with the same problems I do (even Allison! Shocking, I know! ;), which means we can pray all the more sincerely for each other. The Holy Spirit convicted me of many things - like how I wasn't surrendering my whole life to Jesus - and the retreat pushed me to answer those questions which sit in the back of your mind that you don't want to deal with. After the retreat, I felt so refreshed, encouraged and close to my Lord." - 16 year old

"God further instilled in me a fervor to fear Him and obey His calling no matter what other people think or say. To possess Chazak and Amats! RAK CHAZAK  people of God!!" - 18 year old

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Preparing to be a Wife & Mother

Tuesday was our first meeting back together after our break over the holidays. What a joy it was to see everyone again & get started for the semester! We began our new set of lessons with the topic of "Preparing to be a Wife & Mother."

I shared the vision for our God-given role as women and the exciting potential we have to impact many for the kingdom of God when we choose to embrace the jobs God has chosen for us. We also talked about the importance of beginning to prepare for these jobs now while we're young so that by the time God brings along our husband & family we will be able to serve well.

During the lesson, I had the girls throw out various skills that would be important as a wife & mother. Then, I had them share important character traits for a wife & mother to possess while I recorded them onto the dry erase board.

After making our lists, we used them to discuss how many areas we have to grow in as we prepare. We should have not problem keeping busy between now & then! ;)

At the end of the lesson, I encouraged the girls to be aware of the independent mindset that the world promotes for us as young women. I encouraged to truly seek the Lord about their future & pursue His heart for their seasons of preparation between now and the day they are married.

Once the lesson ended, the girls broke up into teams and worked together to create a skit. Each team chose one of the character qualities from the board to base their skit on. The skits had to demonstrate a situation in which a wife/mother would need to demonstrate that character quality & also show what would happen if she had not developed that quality in her life. ;)

We ended the meeting with small groups followed by tea time!

I look forward to seeing everyone again for our meeting on February 5th!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Party!

Last week, we gathered at Dr. Jazz Soda Fountain & Grille for a few games, Christmas carols & fellowship! Here are a few pictures from our annual Christmas party!

Thanks for the lovely evening, ladies! See you next year! ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Making a Wise Comment

On Monday night we gathered for our last Bright Lights meeting of the semester! Our topic was on "making a wise comment." I encouraged the girls that young ladies who choose to use their words wisely will have an incredible testimony for God's kingdom. We discussed 4 aspects of making a wise comment: being concise, worthwhile, relevant & appropriate.

I encouraged the girls that our goal in speaking to others is not to draw attention to ourselves but rather, to benefit and encourage the listener. It shows great wisdom when we can discern when to speak, what to say and how to say it.

After the lesson, we spent time in groups of 2 or 3 practicing using our words wisely by writing letters of testimony & encouragement to others.

We ended, as always, with small group discussion & then tea!

I look forward to seeing most of you next week for our Christmas party!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Reliability of Scripture

Here are a few pictures from our meeting last week. Our topic was the "Reliability of God's Word" and we talked about how we can trust the Bible to be a strong, faultless, foundation for our lives.

We look forward to seeing everyone again in just one week!