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Beautifully Made: Approaching Womanhood / Beautifully Made: Celebrating Womanhood / Beautifully Made: Wisdom from a Woman, Mother's Guide Review by Kate Kessler

EditedJulies Hiramine
Generations of Virtue
Generations of Virtue P.O. Box 62253
Colorado Springs, CO 80962

This little set of wonderful books is truly a godsend in this mixed-up world of ours. There are so many mixed messages sent to our lovely young ladies from such a young age that this "find" comes at a wonderful time. There are three books here, two for your developing daughter and one for the mama. All three were edited and compiled by Julie Hiramine of Generations of Virtue, a ministry to families promoting purity.

From their website:

"Generations of Virtue is dedicated to providing books, music, movies, audio books and purity jewelry that will equip parents, teens and children to mature and understand how to combat the cultural pressure that tries to squeeze them into the world's unrighteous mold."

"This ministry is the response to parents who are crying out for help while preparing their children to combat the negative influences, appalling opinions, perverse ideologies, and deteriorating morals, present in our culture. God is raising up a standard of purity to face our culture's crumbling values and its opposition to His Word. It is our children, if we prepare them, who will lead the charge in this mandate. It is imperative that we, the parents, equip and prepare our children for the battle ahead so that they can boldly face this onslaught from the enemy. We need to train our children to be the leaders who lift up a banner of purity for their generation."

"Generations of Virtue seeks to be your trusted resource to help you and your family grow in purity of heart, purity of mind, and purity of body."

The first book in their series is entitled, Beautifully Made: Approaching Womanhood, and has chapters that discuss the approaching changes your daughter's body will go through (or may be going through as she reads it). The first chapter, "What to Expect in Your Changing Body," discusses growing spurts, developing breasts, new hair, shaving, skin changes, and getting your period, all with the continual theme that God is the author and creator of these changes and how special they truly are. They do not present the changes as something to dread or fear. In the first paragraph they say this: "God designed your body to start becoming a woman at the time that is right for you and no one else." The underlying message is that: "You are going to begin changing into the woman God intended you to be. You are growing up! This is an exciting time for you." It is very positive and not at all the doom and gloom or fear and secrets that are usually associated with the physical or emotional changes that puberty brings on.

From here the book goes into when it will happen, what usually happens first, how it happens, what to expect and the biology of a period complete with a black ink drawing of the inside of a woman with identification of female body parts. They also explain pad use, bras, when and why to use one, how to choose one, body image, and wrap it up with questions to discuss with Mom. This is intended to be read together in quiet moments and discussed when needed. It is possible to give your already well-into-puberty daughter the book to read on her own if you wish. It was received very well with the child this was given to in our family and cleared up some concerns she had.

The second book, Beautifully Made: Celebrating Womanhood, is meant for the daughter when she has started her period. "Having your period is something to celebrate, and this booklet explains why." This book covers the topics of giving life without going into the details that should be left to the parents. For example, "God has given you the power to make life. Your body is actually changing and developing into a place that can house and grow life, kind of like a greenhouse would with plants. He doesn't give us this gift lightly. He expects us to respect life and treasure it the way he does. He values life so much that He sent His son to die so that we could keep on living. He says that our bodies are a temple, and we are to treat them that way." Isn't that beautiful? The rest of the book discusses more in-depth pad use, tampons as well as the caution regarding Toxic Shock Syndrome, and does have a detailed black ink drawing of this process. This is not a book for boys. There is a menstrual record chart for tracking cycles and a discussion of the symbolism of blood in scripture. PMS is covered as well as how to handle it when puberty happens to your child before it happens to her friends. This is also meant to be read with your child and discussed as needed.

These two books alone would be a tremendous resource for a mom alone if you didn't feel comfortable allowing your child to read the books or reading them with her. I have to say though that they so relieved my own child and gave her a sense of her beautiful worth during this stressful time of great change, and a true understanding of the beautiful gift she really has as a woman, that I heartily recommend them.

The third book in the set is the one for the mama, Beautifully Made: Wisdom from a Woman, Mother's Guide. It begins like this: "There have been days as a mother that I have wondered if I am an expert about anything, especially all the changes my daughters are going through. Then God speaks and confirms that He is the One who has given me these precious children as gifts and equipped me to be their guide for this season." This book really is for us to help our daughters celebrate the gifts God gives us as women! Sometimes it really is no fun to be the woman, when we feel horrible and gross, but God made us the way He did in His sovereign plan and it really is a blessing. What a glorious heritage to pass to our girls! The book goes on with chapters like these: "Is Now the Time?" (talking to our daughters at the right time), "Leading Predictors" (knowing the changes, what they mean, when they will happen), "Your Daughter's Changing Moods," "Biology" (the whole cycle from hormones, ovaries and how they work, to shedding the lining, etc.), "Practical Tips for Moms," and "Personal Experience." It is a gem for moms unsure of how to approach this subject and unsure of what to say when they do. It clears up any misconceptions we may have about the biology of it too.

All throughout the books the gift of scripture is sprinkled with the primary focus upon our great God and Savior and His marvelous works and timing in our lives. I am so grateful for Generations of Virtue! If there is one resource for the mom who truly needs some help, understanding, or guidance in this extremely important area of our precious daughter's growth, this would be the one I would recommend. Their website is filled with helpful information, books for families on these subjects as well as others, for boys as well as for girls. This is a gentle ministry with a heart of gold.

-Product Review by Kate Kessler, Product Reviews Manager, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2006