Monthly Archives: July 2016

A Send-Off Prayer for a Friend

This is my friend, Christa.She is about to begin a new chapter in her life. 


Our friendship began a short few months ago. In that time she has become a kindred spirit. 

Christa provided a bright spot in a spiritually lonely time in my journey as a new mom. I met her at MOPS. Her presence quickly helped me see God’s faithfulness to see even the small details of my heart’s cry for friendship. 

Our staccato conversations, interrupted by toddler squeals begging for discipline, have become a collective life-giver to my soul. Her kids befriended my kids, and the rare gift of having children of similar age play together blessed me tremendously. 

She helped me re-organize my perspective of motherhood to be more kind and less self-critical. Her own vulnerability became an unexpected balm to my weary spirit. That, and we both find potatoes hilarious. 

And now she is moving to a new city, 6 hours away. With littles in tow, 6 hours might as well be across the country. I will miss her greatly, but I have great hope for all that God has in store for her family. 

As her new chapter begins, I would like to send her off with a heartfelt prayer…
Lord, 

Thank you for friendship. For creating me with a need and desire for it, and for meeting that need, in part, with such a beautiful soul. 

I praise you for the work you have done in her family, for guiding her husband into godly leadership of their home, to build a life that glorifies you. May he always lead with such Christlike direction. 

Father, give them so much joy in this transition. Provide in my friend that Proverbs 31:18 sense “that her gain is good:” that she is a good mom, regardless of a perfectly executed Pinterest project or an epic parenting fail. She is a good mom because You are a good, good Father, who gave us access to perfection through the cross of your Son. 

Protect her children and her marriage. Bind up any force of evil that might influence their life. I pray against any form of depression, anxiety, addiction, manipulation, selfishness, pride, or bitterness that looks for a way to take root in her heart, or the hearts of her husband and sons. Bring each family member friends, mentors, and other life-givers to help each of them flourish in the way You uniquely designed them to. 

And prepare your church in their new city, Lord, to welcome and embrace this lovely family. Ready the hearts of everyone in their neighborhood and nearby parks to be impacted by the enriching joy that this family offers. 

As I trust my friend into Your hands, I trust my own heart to your plans. Your ability to WOW me never fails. As I wait, help me to be a similar life-giving friend to those around me. 

To exemplify such fierce love and devotion.

To drench my surroundings with such hope that spills over from a truth-soaked soul. 

To abundantly bless in all that I do.

By your will, and through your grace I pray,

Amen 

Do you have a friend who could use a similar prayer? Copy the link to share this post through a personal text or message, or tag a friend in social media comments on Facebook or Instagram. 

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3 Tips For Planning a Christ-Centered Bachelorette Party

bachelorette party

I am getting a new sister-in-law in less than 10 days! I am thrilled to celebrate the wedding of Shane’s brother Brandon to his high-school sweetheart Taylor. But I have a strange confession: I might be even more pumped for her bachelorette party!

A bride may have many types of pre-wedding parties to celebrate the coming marriage. However, a bachelorette party is rather unique:

The way I see it, a bridal shower sets a bride up for success in the kitchen; a bachelorette party sets a bride up for success in the bedroom (or kitchen, depending how adventurous she wants to be).

Warning: adult content ahead (it totally glorifies Jesus, but it’s not for little readers).

The bachelorette party is my favorite party, in part because we get to celebrate God’s awesome gift to a married woman: sex. It can be a commemoration of purity (or renewed purity) and a launching point for a holy anticipation of pleasure. That’s right, I said a holy anticipation of romantic and sexual pleasure. I believe it is holy, or set apart, because sex within marriage is God’s idea, His gift. When celebrated and promoted in the beautiful boundary of marriage, it is holy and honorable and right, and oh so good. It is worship.

A vulnerability with one another on the wedding night represents the intimacy that Jesus Christ longs to bring His own bride into. Naked intimacy requires trust, as does our relationship with Christ. (Read Ephesians 5 for more on this comparison).

With that in mind, here are 3 tips to planning a bachelorette party for your friend or sister that will make God and the bride smile from ear to ear.

Tip 1: Check in your Bashful Badge:

An appropriate amount of modesty should be applied to the topic of sex in many situations… except the bachelorette party! Now is the time to talk about God’s plan for marriage and sexuality as good, exciting, and worth celebrating!

I believe it is, in fact, a Biblical idea. The first few verses in Song of Solomon 1 is a conversation between Solomon’s bride and her friends. They celebrate the woman’s love for Solomon:

“We rejoice and delight in you;
    we will praise your love more than wine.” SoS 1:4

In my opinion, they were throwing bachelorette parties long before the 80’s made them popular (and raunchy, and embarrassing, and uncomfortable [Check out this article for more on the history of Bachelor parties]).

So bake that anatomy-shaped cake if you want. Play silly games and blush and giggle. Ask attendees to bring the bride-to-be some fancy lingerie. Just keep in mind tip #2:

Tip 2: Consult the Bride, not Pop Culture.

I highly advise anyone planning a bachelorette party to figure out what the bride finds to be fun. Pop culture has an idea about bachelorette parties that does not glorify Jesus, much less the coming marriage.

Remember, the friends of Solomon’s bride said we will praise your love MORE than wine. Be careful to keep the bride in focus. Before you roll out the shot glasses and male strippers because “it’s how it’s always been done,” take a party-planning-second to use your own creativity and imagination. Ask:

  • What are some Life-Givers for our friend (the bride)?
  • How can we highlight this night as a celebration of womanhood, fierce feminity, and all things _________________[name of bride]?
  • How can we help the bride feel more excited, comfortable, and supported to start (or re-begin) her God-given sexual journey in marriage?

My friends asked those questions and planned the most spectacular event for my bachelorette party. We called it the Mighty Mountain Women Weekend. It featured cabin-camping, hiking, hot-tubbing, movies, lingerie-gifting and of course S’MORES. There was also a late night activity to help me make something special for my husband-to-be. I felt supported and I had a blast! (Thanks Andy)

Tip 3: Feature a Short Bible Study.

Bibles and bachelorette parties may not seem a likely pair, but I guarantee God has awesome things in mind for the bride’s sexuality and the celebration thereof. Why not invite God’s perspective into the party? Ask an older sister, friend, or mentor-of-honor to give a short but sweet commemoration of God’s good gift.

Look to Song of Solomon, Ephesians 5, even Genesis 1 for ideas on how God sees marriage and sexuality. Take time to pray over the bride-to-be regarding this specific area of her marriage.

smores

I plan to thoroughly enjoy my soon-to-be sister-in-law’s bachelorette party. In addition to a thrilling lake day and delectable treats from her chef-cousin, I think the bride is such a worthy reason to celebrate lavishly under the broad smile of our Savior.

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