BY CHERYL RISCHER & TONI WILLIAMS
This week, a couple of different areas of our lives intersected in a way we wish it didn’t.
Our lives as moms intersected with our lives as bloggers which would ordinarily be okay, but this intersection created a void for so many people in our local community.
Furthermore, all of it left us in tears. Tears for a heartbroken husband, tears for four girls, and tears for an extended family – none of whom saw any of this coming.
The blogging world is a special place. In the past 12 years, we have met a lot of women like us – Christian moms who have a penchant for writing – and who have challenged us to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, follow our calling, and take huge leaps of faith.
Women like Wynter Pitts.
In 2013 we met Pitts as we were preparing to launch the Best Southwest Moms Blog. We reveled over our similarities as three journalism girls turned mommies who wanted to be true to our calling as parents and honor our God-given gifts of communication. Those gifts took our expertise across three different forms of media – Wynter founded a magazine for tween girls, Cheryl founded a podcast and radio show about raising boys of color, and Toni shifted her writing focus to divorce and single parenthood.
One thing bonded the three of us…our love for Jesus. For Wynter, that love was apparent in how she lived her life daily. She didn’t even have to mention His name for anyone to know that she dedicated her life to Him. We had the pleasure of interviewing Pitts, who left an indelible impression on our lives, even as we followed her work over the years. It only felt natural to repost our original interview, as it appeared on the Best Southwest Moms Blog (BSWMB) five years ago as a tribute to Wynter’s life and legacy. Read our conversation below, and you’ll see why we are more and more committed to answering God with a huge, resounding yes whenever He talks to us.
BSWMB: Tell us about your new bible study for girls (ages 6-11).
PITTS: As a mom of four girls, I am always looking into ways to plant God’s word into the hearts of my girls. I pray for them. I pray with them. I seek guidance as I raise them. However, I believe that the bridge between my prayers and a true relationship is their personal ownership of their faith. In order to personalize it, they need to know and understand it. Which is why over the summer we decided to take a 6-week journey to really get our girls digging into God’s word for themselves!
The Study is called, I Know Who I Am. Each week we share a biblical truth as well as a study guide. The themes are:
I am forgiven.
I am saved by grace.
God is with me.
I am His child.
I am chosen.
I am the light of the world.
The guide includes a verse to memorize as well as questions and age-appropriate application scenarios. We have over 500 moms signed up and some still joining us! We are trusting God to open the hearts and minds of His girls while bringing moms and their girls closer together!
BSWMB: Your magazine and ministry seem to teach girls about community service in addition to enhancing their faith. Why is that important?
PITTS: I believe that helping girls to put their faith into action also helps them to own it. By encouraging them and showing them practical ways to serve others, we are teaching our girls how to be the hands and feet of Christ. The goal is to help them to see that being a Christian is not just something you say but it’s how you live.
BSWMB: You hosted a successful event last year at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church. Are you planning another any time soon?
PITTS: Last year’s event, “Give Away,” was a way to bring our local readers together for a time to serve. It was a great event and a lot of fun to see our little girls excited to give to others. We would love to have another event like this and our goal is to do it around the holidays this year as well.
BSWMB: You’re a busy mom to four girls! How do your daughters participate in your ministry?
PITTS: Well, For Girls Like You started as an answer to a need in my own home. My oldest daughter was a mature 6-year-old at the time and I really wanted to find a bridge that would connect her gifts, her likes and her personality with God’s purpose for her life. That is where the magazine was birthed. Now, 2 years later I like to call her my “Board.” She helps me to come up with the article ideas, the games and she even participates when we do feature interviews! It is a blessing to have her involved and now to see my younger girls following along and joining the process as well!
BSWMB: If you could tell your 16-year-old self anything, what would it be?
PITTS: When I think of my youth, I have memories of church services, bible studies, youth retreats and Christian camps. But if I am honest, I did not take ownership of my faith until I entered into the early stages of adulthood. If I could tell myself anything at the age of 16 it would be that I am worth it. Meaning that Christ picked me and had specific plans for my life. I wasted a lot of time and suffered a lot of hurt. If I had realized then and took ownership of the fact that I was God’s design, I would have been more careful and intentional about how I was living and preparing for my future.
BSWMB: What’s on your family’s “Summer Bucket List?”
PITTS: This school year was so busy for us! This summer we are really just looking forward to being together. We have a few small trips planned but mostly the girls and I (Daddy will be working!) just want to stay up late, sleep in and spend time together!
While Pitts mentioned that oldest daughter, Alena, was an important part of Wynter starting her ministry, the now 14-year-old has also made a name for herself as an author and actress. The younger Pitts starred alongside her cousin, Priscilla Shirer in the 2015 film, War Room. In an Instagram post this week, Alena wrote, “Obstacles will be thrown at me but my God is still there. He knows what he’s doing and he’s got a plan. I say this not by sheer will but through faith. In the moment, his plan may seem outrageous and I may not understand. I continue to ask myself why me. Why did He choose my family? But I’m reminded He’s in control.”
Wynter’s husband Jonathan Pitts acknowledges that heartbreak is present yet God’s sovereignty is supreme. “You can never know for sure if you are young or old because you don’t know when the Lord will call you home. So if Wynter’s life and sudden passing teaches you anything, learn to live every day in light of that fact. God is a good father.” (Source: Instagram.)
The world lost an inspiration this week. We can rest assured and know that her light, her legacy, and her work live on. Thank you for sharing a small part of yourself with us Wynter.
If you’re interested in books Wynter has authored, click on any of the titles below: