Our first official date was Valentine's Day 1998. Don't be impressed because Jeff did not even know it was Valentine's Day! However, it's been a great reminder of what God taught us all those years ago. We founded our dating relationship on choosing the highest good for another and trying to leave one another better than we found each other.
In a culture that idealizes happiness, love has lost it's God designed flavor and we are on the mission to help moms, daughters, and those they love to understand the richness of it's true meaning. God's love is not codependency, sometimes confused with serving one another. Codependency is a "have to" posture, rather than an "I choose" posture. It's when I live my entire life trying to make others feel okay. In other words, I lose who I am to keep you from feeling any bad emotions. Love is not self-seeking. Nor is it staying connected just because it feels good. These definition are based on fantasy and unrealistic expectations of God, others, and ourselves. In Courageous Girls, we are continually unpacking the steady drip of God's 1 Corinthians 13 love. The kind of love we can only give when we truly receive it from God and others.
I (Terra) recently found a note that I had written to Jeff months into our marriage. Truth be told, it was an apology note filled with reminders of who I wanted to be in our marriage and where I was failing miserably. But, it stands as a reminder (to both of us) of what we had founded our relationship on in those early years.
1. Love God above all (even each other). 2. Make time for ourselves with Him.
3. Make time for our relationship before all other commitments. 4. Do special things for one another to remind each other that we chose each other, every day.
After 23 years in our own relationship and walking alongside many struggling marriages, we are more aware of the value of these principles than when we first named them!
Love is about a million little decisions. Small decisions to lean into God and let Him shape our view of love. Love is a give-and-take dynamic.
If we only give, we are codependent (finding our identity in what we do for others). If we only take, we are selfish (finding our identity in what we think of ourselves). God's love is beautifully found in the center of the cross - both vertical and horizontal, moving in both directions. If love only gives or only takes, it fails to be Christ-like.
Listen to the Living Wholehearted Podcast this month as we unpack more of our love story, the principles we have learned from our own mentors over the years, and what we want our daughters to grasp about TRUE LOVE (Princess Bride reference...did you get it?). We even share why we waited until marriage to have sex. Yep! And so much more...
In this together,
Terra and Jeff
Words of Love "And do everything with love." - 1 Corinthians 16:14
Understanding Your Own Design
“We love because he first loved us.”~ 1 John 4:10
We love when we are first loved. It seems that God's design calls us to love like He loves us. He designed us and delights in that design. His word even says to "love others as we love ourselves." Do you know who you are? Do you see what God sees? When you do, it's almost impossible to not want to share that same delight with others. That's why we use the Core Values Index to help moms and daughters (and their families) understand their own unique fingerprint and then be able to appreciate "others."
The Core Values Index (CVI) bypasses age, personality, gender, culture, environment and experiences and has a 97% test/retest reliability. It reveals how a person sees the world, which impacts how they communicate and conflict, what they are motivated by, how they learn and contribute, etc. It has been a game changer in our own homes and relationships!
Here are 5 resources to help you in your journey of understanding how God made you and the people in your life:
2. Join the CG Co-Founders, Jeff and Terra Mattson for a FB Live on the basics of "Core Value Index: Understanding Our Wiring" on February 17th at 1:00 PM.
3. Ask us about individual or group CVI coaching with a Courageous Girls Leadership Coach! For more information, email email@example.com.
4. Get a monthly CVI snippet via email. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and put in the subject line "CVI TIP" to receive a monthly email with insights and tips on how to implement the CVI with the people in your life!
Our kids remember what we say (darn!). Words shape our sense of identity and what we believe about ourselves...which then impacts everything else about our walk in life. No pressure! Right? And, yet, we ALL mess up (more than we care to admit). So, what do we do when we say something we regret? Own it. Then ask for forgiveness.
Our kids truly aren’t looking for perfection. In fact, looking perfect only produces children who hide and pretend. They know we're human and are watching what happens after we own mess-ups.
In the meantime, we can intentionally speak words of affirmation over our daughters to help shape her view of herself and fight all the other voices she battles in her head. Try speaking words of encouragement (focus on character and effort) and not just words of praise (focusing on product). Here are some ideas:
1. Write words of encouragement highlighting her unique giftings on her mirror with dry erase markers.
2. Write her notes and tuck them around her room for a fun surprise. Watch God use it at just the right time.
4.Do family affirmations. Choose one person to affirm with words and memory examples during dinner each night or have everyone think of 5 words that describe each person and share them together.
On the hunt for a unique Valentine’s gift? Don't forget about our “Beloved-Beauty from Brokenness” Kintsugi vases and handmade Beloved kintsugi cards by Oregon artist, Stephanie Schmidt. For vases and all the other CG swag, visit ourCG Shop.
Love extends even to our sisters and do we have a sister story for you! Merin and Tessa Brown have a unique and powerful bond as sisters and Courageous Girls. Their profound story of sisterly love will be shared on @mycourageousgirls on FB/IG on Friday, February 19th. For more of their story, listen to the girls and their mom (Meagan) on theCG mini podcast.
Growing in Compassion
Black History Month is a federally recognized celebration of the contributions made to our community, nation, and world by African Americans. It is also a time to reflect on the continued battle for racial justice.
A core value of Courageous Girls is loving others and growing in our compassion and understanding. Take time to research or read with your daughters about the inspiring, heroic, and courageous African American women and men who have impacted our history and culture. Dr. Ron Archer was featured on 2/2/21 on the Living Wholehearted Podcast. Every CG dad needs to hear this man's story.
Click below to find a specially curated collection of influential and inspiring African American authors.
Each month, we feature a mama/daughter duo from around the globe. This month, we are featuring a Courageous dad and his daughters and they will be sharing how being in the Courageous Girls Movement has deepened their relationships and heightened their focus to love others well.
Nick West, Courageous Girls dad, is husband to Stephanie and dad to two courageous daughters, Gabby (12) and Livvy (9) and son Noah (6). Nick is Director of Basketball Operations for the Portland Trail Blazers and is currently in his 11th season working for the team. Nick values the opportunity to work in professional sports, but his greatest passion and title is “dad.”
For Nick, being part of the Courageous Girls Movement as a dad, has given him a framework and a heightened intentionality to love his daughters and pour into them in ways that resonate with their hearts. CG helped Nick understand each of his daughters’ heart wirings and their love languages. Livvy values time and gifts so a weekly walk to town with her a special treat from the bakery fills her soul. Gabby values quality time so a weekly card game with tea is meaningful to her heart. Understanding that pursuing his daughters’ (and son’s) heart consistently is one of his greatest callings, which brings Nick much joy!
Nick also loves time with his family. They love taking hikes, going on walks, shooting hoops and going on family road trips. They are looking forward to doing more of this as the pandemic hopefully improves over the course of 2021.
Be sure to listen to Nick and his daughters, Gabby and Livvy, in this month’s CG Mini Podcast. You won’t want to miss this one!
Being Daughters Rooted in Grace
Order the book here.
Shrinking the Integrity Gap:
Between What Leaders Preach & Live
Order the book here.