35 Healthy Habits I Hope My Daughter Takes Along When She Leaves Home

35 Healthy Habits I Hope My Daughter Takes Along When She Leaves Home

I don’t know why the article caught my eye.

But it sure did.

I don’t think it would normally have intrigued me so, except that I have a daughter who is getting ready to leave home.

She’ll soon be boarding a plane to fly across the country to attend a new college. Nearly 3,000 miles away.

2,682.7 miles to be precise.

And about 2,682 miles too far, if you ask me.

So in this article was a list of a bunch of habits every girl should have, or something to that effect.

And I had that momentary mommy-panic that we all get now and then.

Oh no. What habits will that girl of mine take with her now that she’s leaving home?

This particular post was from a secular source and, while there were some things I could agree on, there were plenty that I found either empty—or even worse.

Habits I did NOT want her to have.

So that got me thinking. Why not come up with my own list? Why not share with her the habits that I would want for her to have?

My daughter Vienna

35 Habits I Hope You Take Along, My Dear Daughter

  1. Make your bed. Every morning. First thing. An easy way to get off on the right foot.
  2. Drink lots of water. Because it’s good for you.
  3. Smile. It will make your day go better, and that of those around you too.
  4. Dress for success. Take a little trouble to wear something clean and nice.
  5. Start each day in the Word. No better way to begin your day.
  6. Pray. About all things.
  7. Count your blessings. This habit alone could change your life. Or at least your perspective.
  8. Stand up straight. It will improve your appearance and add to your confidence.
  9. Get some fresh air. You’ll feel better if you do.
  10. Exercise. A few minutes each day, if at all possible. Even a good, brisk walk counts.
  11. Eat something green. Preferably dark green and organic.
  12. Limit the carbs. They are not your friend.
  13. Dip into your stash of dark chocolate. It’s full of antioxidants and can be a real mood-changer.
  14. Don’t even think about fast-food. Junk, junk, junk.
  15. Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Even if you’re in a hurry, try to grab a piece of fruit and a boiled egg.
  16. Brush and floss your teeth every day. Twice a day. But you already knew that.
  17. Invest in at least one item that makes you feel pretty. A scarf, a bracelet, or a fun hat?
  18. Always arrive on time. If at all possible. Maybe even show up a little early.
  19. Regularly attend a good, solid church. Find a strong Christian community for love and support.
  20. Don’t ever use your credit card. Save it only for emergencies. A real emergency.
  21. Don’t spend more money than you make. A simple rule that will save you a lot of trouble.
  22. Put away a small amount in savings every month. Because you just never know.
  23. Wash your face before going to bed. Improves your complexion.
  24. Get enough sleep. Your body and mind will thank you.
  25. Keep a journal. Cheaper than therapy and interesting to look back on.
  26. Keep in touch with a few good friends. Take the time, no matter how far away they live.
  27. Laugh a little each day. It really is the best medicine.
  28. Make sure your nails look nice. Clean, neat, and maybe a light polish.
  29. Don’t forget your vitamins. Preferably a good women’s multi-vitamin and Vitamin D3.
  30. Take Echinacea.  Pop a couple of capsules whenever you feel like you’re coming down with something.
  31. Keep the Sabbath. Not out of law, but because a day of rest goes a long way.
  32. Read a good book. Something rich that doesn’t have to do with work or school.
  33. Early to bed, early to rise. The early bird gets the worm and all that. :)
  34. Always remember you’re a princess. A child of the King.
  35. CALL YOUR MOM. Every day. Okay, at least often.

Now if you practice these habits – that you’ve hopefully learned at home – then you will be well on your way to a happy and healthy new season of life.

And the wonderful thing about good habits? They really do add up more than you might think over time. You’ll be glad you took these with you and you’ll see what a difference they can make.

So I wish you God’s richest blessing as you follow Him in this next adventure across the country.

And I’ll be praying for you.

Every day. 

Because that, my dear daughter, is your mom’s habit. 

With much love,


*Your turn! Anything to add to this list or advice for our daughter who is leaving home? 

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How Sisters Grow Into Good Friends: Encouraging a Strong Bond Between Girls

How Sisters Grow Into Good Friends: Encouraging a Strong Bond Between Girls

I don’t mean to complain.

But I haven’t been sleeping too well lately.

It’s all the racket that goes on upstairs.

That party that seems to start up most every night.

I won’t mention any names, but they’re girls and there are 3 of them.

And they happen to be mine.

Three sisters.

Who like to stay up late (which is to say, past 10 pm) and talk and laugh. Confide and cry. And get a little crazy together.

That’s our girls.

Now – not to pull you into our personal family matters – but I will tell you that it used to annoy my husband. All that noise and chatter. His inclination was to shut it down. Put a stop to the soiree.

I protested, “But, Honey, I actually really like it. Those are beautiful sounds to me. In fact, I LOVE to hear the girls giggling late into the night.”

Because, you see,  I never had any sisters.

No built-in friends for me.

I just went to bed and lights out. No one to talk to . . . or laugh with . . . or cry on. A rather lonely deal.

But these girls haven’t had that same experience because they’ve grown into good friends.

The closest of friends.

Notice that I say “grown into” because that’s the key word here.

They were not born best-friends.

This is something that we worked on. Worked hard on at times.

I  just don’t want you go get the wrong idea. Like we’re all simply peaches-n-cream over here.  All politeness and understanding.  Soft answers and sacrificial love.

Because I don’t know what your daughters are like, but let me say this about mine.

These girls are strong. They have very different personalities and sometimes very different ideas from the others.

So this sweet friendship that they now enjoy?

It took a lot of effort and encouragement.

On their part.

And mine.

How Sisters Grow Into Good Friends: Building Strong Bonds Between Girls

How to Encourage A Strong Bond Between Sisters

Help them to appreciate one another’s differences.

They say “opposites attract” but they must not have been talking about sisters because this sure didn’t happen naturally in our home.  As the mom, I got to play a heavy role in helping the girls see the good qualities in each other. One child is dreamy and the other is practical. One child is a “messy” and the other a clean-freak. One is a chatterbox and another is quiet and more reserved.

These differences often resulted in irritation, argument, and sometimes downright jealousy between the girls.

So it fell to Matthew and me to help them get beyond these surface things and on to a deeper understanding and appreciation of each sister. To help them see and celebrate the differences.

Insist on loyalty to each other.

Each of our girls has friends outside of the family. But those friends all know that the Jacobson girls are fiercely loyal to one another. That’s just a well-known fact. So don’t even think of talking behind their backs or saying anything disparaging about a sister.

Because blood is thicker than water and all that.

And these girls stand by each other.

Take the time to talk things out.

And if you’re thinking, but that could take hours! You would be right. Yet those hours are well worth it now that they’re older and turn to each other, every bit as much as they turn to me.

So take the time and teach them the skill of working things out. They’ll have the rest of their lives to thank you for it.

Set aside time to build a friendship.

It’s not easy to grow close when everyone is busy and always scattering in opposite directions.  So we started by having a Tea Time together once a week and now that ritual has grown into Tea Time every night. Before retiring (well, before their Dad and I turn in – because their party is only beginning, as you know), we gather together for a cup of tea and discuss what went on in our day—-events, frustrations, feelings, and things of interest.

Since the girls have grown older and can drive, they like hanging out together – go out to coffee, catch a movie, or help out a family in need.

Pray for their relationship.

Often the best thing you can do is simply pray for your girls and their friendship. Pray for a breakthrough, for better understanding, and for a new closeness. Pray for healing where there’s been hurt feelings and for reconciliation where there’s been broken relationship. Pray that they grow to love one another.

How Sisters Grow Into Friends - Encouraging Strong Bonds Between Girls

Sisters & Friends

Now that two of these girls are getting ready to leave home? Head out across the country?

They’re already making plans on how they’re going to visit each other, Skype one another, and spend their holidays together.

Continue to talk and giggle and grow together.

Because, of course, that’s what good friends do.

So the party goes on . . .

And I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss those loud, laughing noises upstairs!

In His grace,

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*What do you do to encourage friendship in your family? Did you grow up having sisters – and are you close now? 

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For Girls Like You: 70 Days of Encouraging Devotions for Your Tween Girl

For Girls Like You: 70 Days of Encouraging Devotions for Your Tween Girl

So you already know that I have four daughters.

Four teenage daughters whom I love and adore.

Who were themselves “tweens” not so long ago.

And can I just tell you something? A moment of complete frankness between us both?


There! I said it and it’s true.

People told me that being a teenager was a challenge, so I was as ready for that as a parent can be reasonably expected to be.

But nobody told me that there was also this in-between age – sometimes called a tween – that has challenges of it’s own. No longer a little child . . . and yet not quite grown up enough to enter the Big Girl arena either.

Or, worse yet, thrown into the Big Girl arena when you’re not ready for that world just yet.

We had more than a few tears during those younger years as our girls were trying to navigate this growing world they were encountering.

So do you know what I wish I could have offered them as a source of encouragement and comfort? A source of wisdom and grace?

A little devotional of their very own.  One that understood where they were at and about what they were going through.

One like this newly-released, For Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens by our own Wynter Pitts . . .

For Girls Like You Devotional

I am so excited to discover this wonderful resource for young girls!

So you want to know what I like about it?

Okay, I’ll tell you . . .

Friendly.  Each devotional takes such a kind tone, as if talking to a younger friend. I appreciate the gentle, and yet inspiring voice in each one.

Real.  Rather than the “stuffy” approach I’ve seen some books take, this one takes a realistic view of the world we live in and the challenges that our girls can face.

Short.  These bite-sized devotions are just right for this age! Only a page, or page-and-a-half long, each one can easily be read in a short sitting.

Practical.  I appreciate the concrete, do-able challenge that is included with most every one.

Prayerful.  A small prayer is included at the end of every devotion.

Biblical.   Each devotion includes a verse – not merely “tagged on the end” – but woven very naturally into the lesson presented.

For Girls Like You

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For Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens

For Girls Like You Devotional

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2015)

Tween girls have access to an unbelievable amount of media and information with just a simple click of the remote or mouse. Every outlet they turn to attempts to subtly influence their worldview…and what they believe about themselves directly affects how they live.

Wynter Pitts, founder of For Girls Like You magazine, gives girls a new devotional showing them a correct definition of themselves, opening their eyes to God’s truth and the difference it makes in their lives. Each daily devotion includes a prayer to help girls apply the lesson. ~ from The Publisher

“If you’ve wondered whether there is anything left on the planet to entertain your young beauties that promotes morals you’d approve of, look no further” –Author and speaker Priscilla Shirer

Available here:  For Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens

So if you, or someone you know, has a young girl in the age-range of 8 to 12? One of those terrific tweens?

Then I can recommend this devotional as a very encouraging resource!

In His grace,

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P.S. I want to mention that For Girls Like You has a magazine for young girls – and their parents – as well.

For Girls Like You, is a ministry to young girls and their parents, that also includes a quarterly print magazine, journal, and other print and web resources. We have a passion and drive to introduce young girls to Christian values in a way that they are able to palate and digest, so they can walk passionately and boldly in who God has created them to be.  

What Every Daughter Desires to Hear from Her Mom

What Every Daughter Desires to Hear from Her Mom

It’s not easy to define what success in a relationship means because relationship is a very fluid thing.

It moves and breathes.

It changes with time.

But I can tell you that my mother and I have a successful, close relationship. And I’m pretty sure this is one of the main proofs:

I’ll call her until the day she dies.

My mom and I talk as much as we can in our busy lives. When I traveled around Europe, as I prepare to move across the country—it doesn’t matter.  If we can’t talk in person, we use the phone.

You see, my mom is not just a “person” in my life. She is not just the woman who gave me birth, she is the woman who gave me life.

Because of my mom, I know I can fly. She is the first person I want to cry to and the first person who hears my good news.

So, this mother of mine asked me to write about what every daughter desires to hear from her mom.

And this is my answer—for all the women who were perfectly made to be the moms of their precious daughters:

I will listen.

It’s no secret that girls are usually talkers. We have lots to say, and even if we don’t initiate the conversation, it’s very likely we still have lots to say. If your girl is a talker: let her. If she is quiet, give her time and space to open up. Create opportunities for her to tell you the secret things.

I value you.

The power a mother has over self-esteem cannot be measured. It is limitless. Communicating and saying, I value who YOU are as a person, I value your gifts, I value who you were made to be, can change your daughter’s life. It can give strength to her soul. It will give her the strength to fly. Every girl is different. Value her, just for her.

You are my friend.

Your daughter will always have to face enemies. So make sure she knows you are her friend. Be on on her team. You are rooting for her. Include her in your life. Ask her advice. Tell her that you are going to be best friends for life. As she grows older, eventually, this can come true.

And lastly,

I love youno matter what.

Love is transcendental. Love is safety. Love is approval. Give your daughter your love. Tell her. Show her. Approve of her with your looks. If she is different than you, rejoice in her giftings. Don’t try to make her like you.

So there it is.

And mamma, you just hang in there with that little girl. We grow up. But we will always need you.

Really, you have always been the perfect thing we needed.

~ Savoury Jacobson

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Aging Grace: The Day My Smile Lines Made Me Cry

Aging Grace: The Day My Smile Lines Made Me Cry

It started with the mirror.

That strange place that can bring so many tears to so many women.

I had been getting ready for the day – drying my hair and applying mascara (but not necessarily at the same time) – when our oldest daughter popped in for a visit.

Her nearly daily ritual.

Savoury often sits on the edge of the tub and watches me while I get myself ready and we chat.  She’s had this same routine since she was a bitty girl.

Although now she’s 19 and all grown up and, yet, still she comes in.

So we talk – more about women things than girls’ things these days.

And that’s when I saw it.

Saw them, really.

All those swirly lines around the edge of my face.

Surely, they’d been there for some time, but it wasn’t until that morning that I saw them so clearly. So defined. Glaring at me.

Smile lines.

Small creases on either side of my mouth. And a few more around my eyes because I tend to squinch up my eyes when I smile or laugh.

Some people call these wrinkles. Or fine lines.

But whatever they are, everyone knows they’re not supposed to be very nice.

So I scowled at the very sight of them.

But not my Savoury.

She smiled big.

Grinning at me from behind the mirror,  she wrapped her arms around me and said this:

Oh, Mom, when we were young, you used to say you wanted smile lines when you got older and so you were determined to practice smiling so that’s what you would end up with.  And now you’ve got them – just like you’d always wanted!

Just like I’d always wanted . . . .

It’s funny that I’d forgotten about that wish of mine over the past few years. Life had become busy and I’d had no time to worry—about either happy or unhappy lines. No time to really think about wrinkles at all.

But it’s true: I used to dread  that I’d end up with frowny lines. Deep creases between my eyebrows and downturned lines around my mouth.  The natural consequence of a negative, unhappy attitude. Ugliness.

So I’d practiced smiling.

And now the results were in. And it would seem that there’d been a lot of smiling going on to get those kinds of lines . . . and so many of them.

I looked into the mirror and my eyes filled with tears.

Right there with with my now-grown-up-little-girl watching me.

A strange mix of happy and sad. Young and old. Past and future. Lined and unlined. All mingled together as we sat side-by-side on the edge of the bathtub.

Realizing I got what I’d always wanted. 

Lisa Jacobson at Home

Aging Grace

And how about you? Are you practicing now for those lines that will come later?

Maybe you’re young and your skin is still smooth and fresh. Or you’re already a ways down that road. Maybe you don’t want to think about wrinkles at all. Ever.

But they do come.

No matter what the world tells you, or how our culture seeks to defy it.

They show up no matter what creams and lotions you try or how you attempt to avoid it.

And can I just tell you something? The honest truth?

They’re not really as bad as they make it seem.

Besides, if that’s the price you pay for smiling? For laughing and crying with the people you love?

Then I’d say they’re worth it—more than worth it.

So smile away, my friend! Because, after all, isn’t that what we really want? 

Aging grace. 

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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

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The Bare Essentials: What I Tell My Daughters About Modesty

The Bare Essentials: What I Tell My Daughters About Modesty

I was practically born in a bikini.

Okay, so I was probably wearing less than that.

But I did grow up hearing my mom tell people that I was only 3 weeks old when I took my first trip to the beach. Living close to the sunny Southern California coast, it’s where I spent most of my childhood—at the beach.

And, if you didn’t already know this, beaches and bikinis . . . well, they just kind of go together.

Like mint-chip and ice-cream.

Or something like that. 

My point is that I didn’t exactly grow up in an Amish community and modesty wasn’t the hot topic for those of us immersed in the beach culture.

Even though I attended church, I honestly don’t remember the topic of modesty being brought up there. Not in Sunday School, in sermons, or at youth group. Maybe I just missed it, but it was rarely, if ever, mentioned in our church setting.

So I feel a little funny telling you this, but it wasn’t until I was all grown up – a wife and a mother – that I realized that modesty wasn’t merely a “nice” subject for “nice” girls, but was actually a biblical one. Like, it’s literally found  in the Bible and that I should probably try to figure out what modesty really means. (I Timothy 2:9-10)

I said I was a mom, but I should add that I’m a mom to four girls. So not only did I need to come to grips with this whole modesty thing, I now had the responsibility of teaching our daughters about it. And it’s not quite as easy as it sounds.

Do I “lay down the law” and decide what the girls can – and can’t – wear? Or do I ignore the topic altogether and hope they figure it out for themselves?

Neither of these approaches set very well with me.

I’ll admit that I wish it was defined a bit more clearly. You know, what modesty is and what it is not. Seems to me that it would have made things a lot more simple.

But then again, the Bible also says we’re to “love one another fervently” and doesn’t explain the “rules” of how we’re to go about that. Yet it doesn’t keep us from seeking what love might look like. How that might play out.

So modesty doesn’t come with a rule-book either. But I’ve decided I’m willing to wrestle with it. And our daughters are right there with me and we’re working it out together.

Does modesty merely involve wearing more clothes? Ditching the bikini? Never wearing jeans? Always wearing skirts? But never short skirts? And . . . how short is “short” anyway?

I’m sorry, but you’re going to be disappointed if you were hoping that I’d answer these questions.

Except maybe the one about the bikini. That got ditched. A while ago.

But I do still love mint-chip ice-cream, just so you know . . . and if you wanted to send me some. 

What I can tell you is what I tell our teenage daughters. What I believe to be the bare essentials about a woman and modesty.

The Bare Essentials: What I Tell My Daughters About Modesty

The Bare Essentials: What I Tell My Daughters About Modesty

Modesty has far more to do with our hearts, than it does with our clothing. Anyone getting all caught up in the apparel is probably missing the point.

Our beauty should come from within and not be wrapped up in our bodies. True beauty is found in our hearts and will be evident to anyone around us. Baring our bodies doesn’t make us more beautiful. No matter what the world might tell you.

God made women with feminine curves and that’s nothing to apologize for. So we don’t need to hide them, just not accentuate them to a point of distraction.

Save sexy for marriage. It’s the best place for it. In fact, it’s a great place for it.

Sometimes it helps to get a second opinion. Does this work? Too little, or too much? This is what friends – or sisters or mothers – are for.

Modesty doesn’t have to mean frumpy. No need to completely abandon style or taste in the process.

If God had wanted modesty to consist of a bunch of rules, He would have listed them out for us. Just remember the point is not to see how much – or how little – we can get away with.

Our definition of modesty might look a bit different than that of others. Some of our friends wear only dresses and some of our friends wear only jeans. As it happens, around here we wear both.

Sometimes modesty means simply dressing appropriately for the occasion. In other words, don’t wear a ball gown to the beach and don’t wear your bathing suit to the dance.

My job as mom is to teach the principle of modesty, but I didn’t sign up to be the Modesty Police. You belong to Christ and I won’t be dictating your clothing choices.

The Holy Spirit will guide if you ask Him for wisdom in this matter of modesty. Look to Him for direction and you will do well.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. ~ I Peter 3:3-4

So, my dear daughters, I hope you always walk in love and forever in beauty.

Imperishable beauty. 

Because you are truly precious.

In His grace,

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*I always welcome comments and discussion and look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions. A gentle reminder, however, that Club31Women is a community where we strive to speak both grace and truth, so please refrain from insulting, divisive, or judgmental comments.  Thank you ~ Lisa

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