February 19, 2018

About Edwina Howard

Edwina Botha Howard – Blog Contributor – Singles Ministry
Edwina currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She is married to an awesome man and has an adorable 12 year old daughter. She is an International English Teacher and has traveled quit extensively. Edwina loves to read and travel, experiencing new cultures and trying out foreign cuisine. Her message to others is stop fretting, God is in control!

Captivating: Chapter 11 – Warrior Princess Weekly Review

Girlfriends, after reading this week’s chapter, I cannot wait for our next study to start. I just know that God is preparing us for great, awesome things, and I am certain that we will come out victorious when we follow His plans for our lives. I want to encourage you to sign up for our next study if you have not done so yet.  Go to our sign page located HERE to enroll today!!

On Monday, Jackie’s prayer for us was that we will be prepared to fight our daily battles knowing that we are more than conquerors. Christ won the battle on the cross for us, and we need not fear for THE  BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD. Face each day like a true Warrior Princess. Not only are you beautiful, but you are also wise, cunning, strong, courageous, and victorious.

On Tuesday, Tonya shared with us that emotional attacks in life are very real. These attacks are not limited to our minds, or our hearts, but are aimed at our bodies as well. Satan is out to hurt us, and he will do so at any cost. Although Satan has his ways to try to get us defeated, God’s ways are stronger, more powerful, and made specifically to protect us.

On Wednesday, Carissa wanted to know from us whether we believe that each one of us are warriors in Christ. We have God’s strength to sustain us when we feel we can’t take another step, another breath, another disappointment, another insult, another negative feeling. Talk to God, share with Him, rest in His presence and in His control over things that may seem uncontrollable. Nothing is too much to handle for our God.

On Thursday, Michelle reminded us to remember that we are warriors. Each day we must put on the armor of God to battle the demons that Satan sends our way. No one is immune to it, but the more we prepare ourselves for battle, the better our chances are to conquer the enemy each and every day. Stay strong, be prepared, and depend on God!

Girls, God wants us to succeed! Let’s be strong and equip ourselves with the full armor of God at all times.

Let’s Pray:

Father, thank You for equipping us so that we can be more than conquerors at all times and so that You can get the glory. We love You and need You, Amen.




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Captivating: Chapter 10 Review – “Mothers Daughters Sisters”

I am going to start off by telling you that I did not really want to read this chapter. I have put off reading it, until I could no longer. But God….

On Monday, Jackie reminded us that some of us might not have fond memories of our mothers because of the pain our mothers may have caused. She said that no matter what happened in our past, a mother/daughter relationship is the most important of all. It is the relationship that helps us when we grow up and become mothers ourselves.

On Tuesday, Tonya shared with us that the redemption and healing of a relationship is possible. Through some of the most difficult situations and circumstances God will rebuild ties that were severed forever. He will mend together the pieces of our heart that we thought were not able to be fixed.  Redemption is possible. Healing is possible.

On Wednesday, Cariss reminded us that we did not have to give birth to be a mother. All we have to do is care about someone, offer a listening ear to that person, and encourage him or her to simply be who God created them to be.

On Thursday, Michelle reminded us that an important aspect of a successful relationship is your own personal security of  your identity in Christ. Fallen women want people to come through for them, they have been hurt so they withdraw to avoid further pain. Redeemed women know Christ has come through for them, and are freer to give of themselves and ‘put themselves out there.’  They know they are valuable and secure in the Lord, so they are able to be vulnerable.

Girlfriends, I told you earlier that I put off reading this chapter. A lot has happened in my life, and a lot is still happening, where it concerns my mother. Today I am just so blessed to say that I serve an awesome God. When we choose to trust God and forgive without being forgiven by those who are supposed to love us the most, God can make us whole, He can use us in His Kingdom! He will come through for us!!!!


Let’s Pray:

Father, what a privilege to be in Your presence again. We need You all the time. Help us to mother those who are in need of love, direction, or just companionship.  Amen.



Our next Women’s Online Bible/Book Study begins March 24th!  Click on the Girls with Swords book above, complete the registration process, and we will email you further details!  We hope you will join us for this amazing study!

Captivating: Chapter 9 Weekly Review – “Arousing Adam”

Wow, wow, wow!!!  Has this been an awesome chapter or what? Every week we learn so much from the Eldredge’s!

On Monday, Jackie wrote that although we love the men in our lives with all we have, we cannot answer the question that boggles their minds. This validation of a man’s soul only comes from knowing who he is in Christ. In the same way, a man cannot fill the void that is inside our hearts no matter how much he declares his love for us. Only God Can!

On Tuesday, Tonya confirmed once again that the strength of God is what makes us BEAUTIFUL. The hand of God in our lives is what prepares us for life, it’s what teaches us how to be beautiful, it’s what teaches us how to be good women. God completes us, not men. God needs to be our Number One man, always!

On Wednesday, Carissa asked if we identify with the Emasculating, Desolate or Arousing Woman. What we do need to remember as a woman, is that the men in our lives need us to be their “ezer,” their support, and their strength.  Which woman did you identify with?

On Thursday, Michelle told us that we deserve to be valued, and not every man deserves all of us. We must guard our treasures—physical, emotional, and spiritual—to share with the man that only the Lord provides.

Reading this chapter made me long to be the Arousing Woman. I want to be the woman my husband hates to leave in the morning and can’t wait to return to in the evening. Yes, things happened in our lives that made us feel insecure, hurt, and ugly but, by the grace of God, all that can change. Let us put God first, let Him be our Number One Man, and our relationship with the man in our lives will be what God intended it to be.

Let’s Pray:

Father, thank You for another chance to learn about being Captivating. I pray that we will put You first in our lives, that we will work on our relationship with You first. Amen.



Our next online Bible study begins March 24th!

Click on the picture to sign up TODAY!!


Captivating: Chapter 8 Review

Girlfriends, this week we learned about our true beauty!  Please join me as I go over some vital points of this last week with you.

On Monday, we learned from Jackie that Beauty that comes from the inside is what this world longs to see from us. It is such Beauty that speaks and people listen; it invites others in and makes them want to stay forever; it nourishes, comforts, inspires, and it is transcendent. It is this Beauty that draws us to God.

On Tuesday,Tonya said that, despite what life and others may say, God created all of us for a reason. He knew what character traits we would have, and He placed them in us for a purpose. Through Him and His love we can all embrace who we are and open our hearts to rest.

On Wednesday we were challenged by Carissa to think about our ‘ugly’ moments. Our ‘ugly’ moments have one thing in common: OURSELVES!!!!! Let us change the ugly into beauty by reaching out to those in need. We offer joy and beauty when we serve.

On Thursday with Michelle we learned that unveiling our beauty is not just a simple matter of putting on a nice outfit and some makeup. Unveiling our beauty is our greatest expression of FAITH, HOPE, and  LOVE.

Girlfriends, for the last couple of months I have been on a life-changing journey. Although I have been deeply hurt and wounded, I decided to trust God with every fiber of my being. Instead of focusing on the ugly and the disappointments, I focused my attention on the beauty that will come out of this experience.

Let’s Pray:

Father, thank You for Your beauty that lives within us. Thank You that we don’t have to allow the ugly of this world to consume us and to change us.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Captivating: Chapter 7 Review – Romanced



Just the title of this week’s reading assignment is enough to make a romantic heart like mine inquisitive to find out what will happen in this chapter. Let’s see what our girlfriend bloggers had to say.

On Monday, Jackie told us that we have to understand that we don’t need to wait for a man to feel special, worthy, or beautiful. Jesus is our Bridegroom and we are His Bride.  Expect God to romance you the way your feminine heart needs because you are His Darling! “How beautiful you are my darling” (Song of Solomon 1:15).

On Tuesday, Tonya shared with us that when God pursues us, our hearts come back to life. When we allow our hearts to truly know God, and when we seek that intimate relationship with God , our hearts will begin to grow into the heart God intended for us to have all along.

On Wednesday, Carissa wanted to know if we know that God ‘gets us?’  You don’t need to hide your true self from Him; He created you to be just the way you are. So when you are talking to Him, you can just be yourself. He is your oldest, most true friend. ‘He knew you before you were even born!’ (Jeremiah 1:5).

On Thursday, Michelle asked a very important question, ‘Where has God been on your list of priorities?’  Whether God has been at #1 or He has been relegated to “if I have time,” God is still there…He is still waiting for you. He longs to spend time with you, and He will delight in you the very second you return to Him.

Girlfriends, at times when life seems to spin out of control, I find peace at the feet of my Father. When you feel lonely, put in some worship music and let His presence fill your life. God has good plans for all of us, we do not have to feel disconnected.  All we have to do is spend time with Him, allow Him to romance us.

Be blessed!



Let’s Pray:

Father, thank You for being our friend, confidant, lover, husband, our everything. We love You and we long to spend time with You, Amen.

Captivating: Chapter 6 Review – Healing the Wound

This week an issue we all struggle with has been addressed; join me as I recap what was said by our bloggers.

On Monday, Tonya reminded us that despite our wounds, despite our hurts, despite the past that we as women carry, God is not done with us and He will do everything it takes to rescue us and set our hearts free. All we have to do is allow Him.

Then on Tuesday, Tonya again shared with us that God is knocking and asking us to turn the key over to Him. He is asking us to unlock the door and let Him in to begin the healing work He wants to do. He is asking us to stop believing the lies of our hurts and to remember the healing message in His truths. God wants to make our hearts the complete masterpiece He designed it to be.

On Wednesday, Carissa asked a very important, life-changing question: “What burdens are you still carrying?”  When we forgive, a burden is lifted. Once we forgive and let go of those hurts, we can fully receive the healing that is promised by God.

On Thursday, Michelle said that no matter what your experience with your dad, you have a Heavenly Father that loves you and cares about you more than any human father can, no matter how amazing they are.


Girlfriends, I have been hemmed in by God. For years while we were still dating, my boyfriend then, was my everything. I did everything for him and forgot all about my Heavenly Father, He had no place in my life. I could not wait to get engaged and when that happened, I could not wait to get married, it was truly magical. But something was missing. God had no place in my life.  For a while everything was great, until God with His gentle firm hand started to hem me in.  He showed me that He wants to be my first love and once He has His rightful place in my life, everything else will fall into place. Believe me it did not happen overnight—it’s a process—but one that is worth the wait.

Let’s put God first and allow Him to work in our lives.

Be blessed.



Let’s pray:

Lord, You are so good to us!  You continually draw us to Yourself desiring to heal us and bless us and show us our worth to You.  please help us, Lord, to allow You to do Your mighty work in our lives.  thank You!!!  You are our loving, heavenly Father…and we love You so much!   in Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.


Captivating: Chapter 5 Review

Wow, ladies!  As women we have special powers that absolutely terrify the enemy! Please join me as I try to summarize this week’s truth-revealing blogs which were written by our fabulous bloggers!

On Monday, Tonya reminded us that this journey we are on might be tough at times, but that we can be assured that the AUTHOR of our stories is walking along with us.

Then again on Tuesday, Tonya said that despite what our history was, or how it leads those around us and in society to see/feel about women… please rest and be assured that God’s plan is playing out. His will is being done and we are living according to His purpose. Don’t look past the history, don’t look past the influence it has on our world today, and don’t overlook God’s hand in that history.

On Wednesday, Carissa shared with us that Satan is fighting a losing battle. We have won! And we are crowned princesses of the MOST HIGH !!!!

On Thursday, Michelle told us that HOPE DOES NOT PUT US TO SHAME. Do not let the trials we face cause us to cave. Let it bring us to our knees, to the feet of our Great Redeemer. In Him we receive our HOPE.

Girlfriends, for years I have believed the lies of the enemy. I believed that I could never be loved…that I would end up alone…that I am not good enough…. Ohhhhhh, BUT GOD….

Be blessed!



If you are interested in joining us for the “Captivating” online Bible study, click HERE to sign up. Once you register, we will email you further information.

Captivating – Chapter 4 Weekly Review

On Monday we learned from Tonya that our fathers made a mark on our lives.  Some of those marks were better than others. But our Heavenly Father has the biggest impact of them all. Remember, despite the happenings of our childhood (good or bad), God created us in His image, and with His heart.

On Tuesday Tonya reminded us that we do not live in Eden, and that the world we live in is a troubled place, ready to hurt at any turn. But rest assured that we have God on our side. The Bible states it clearly: He is here to heal the brokenhearted, to set us free from the bonds of our wounds.

On Wednesday Carissa shared with us that God is waiting for us to trade in those evil messages that try to control us. He wants to exchange those negative messages for His messages of affirmation, love, beauty, strength, boldness, self-worth , and perfection in Him.

On Thursday Michelle said that God does not want us to live in shame. Shame makes us hide, makes us think that we are not worthy. As daughters of the King, we need to fight these thoughts that do not speak God’s truth into our lives.

Wow, girls, I don’t know about you, but I could totally relate to this chapter. I had my fair share of hurts and disappointments, but God…. Even at the age of 41, my mother’s words can still do some serious damage, I mean really serious damage, you know what I mean? Have you been there? I was the child who got her food right at the end when there was no more meat left in the pot, but God…. I was the ugly one in the family, the one no one noticed except for when I did something wrong. But praise God for His wonderful love and healing promises. Praise God that I was able by His grace, to turn those hurts into wonderful opportunities to bless my 13 year old daughter. I am determined not to allow the enemy to steal my joy.

Before we close, I want to share a video with you.  I love the words in this video “This is where the healing begins, when the Light meets the dark.”  God loves us so very much, ladies.  Do you know that?  I mean, do you really know that?  He wants to heal you, to heal the past hurts and wounds.  This is where the healing begins is when the dark meets the Light, as the song says.  Allow Him in, to give you the FREEDOM you’ve been yearning for!  Let His Light come through!!

Be blessed!



If you are interested in joining this Online Bible Study, please click HERE. Once we receive your registration, we will email you further details.

If you would like to send a private email to Edwina in regards to this blog, you may email her at: Edwina@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Captivating: Weekly Review Chapter 3 – Haunted By a Question

Weekly Review

With her blog on Monday, Tonya said that we often don’t feel like a life-saving lover, a relational specialist, full of tender mercies and hope, especially not when life is overwhelming and we feel caught in the struggle of balance.

But ladies, and this is a big but, we have to remember that on those days when we feel torn and unbalanced, that on those days especially, we need to remember the most that we are God’s. We belong to Him. We have to remember that we are inviting, we are captivating, and we are alluring.

On Tuesday Tonya shared with us that as women we want to be lovely, we want to be captivating. We question our inner “loveliness” in addition to our outer beauty.  As women we have vulnerabilities, we do have the habit of wanting to control situations, we are affected by relational issues, but thank God, He is strong where we are weak!

Tonya ended her blog with the following words,:” Rest assured, God knew what was going to happen; He knew what the outcome would be. He also knew that despite the curse, despite the fall out from the bite, we would be beautiful”.

My friends, you are…. and will always be …. Captivating!

On Wednesday Carissa asked the very important question, how do we deal with fear of being vulnerable? Do we play the defense trying to control our situations and that of others, or are we wallflowers,  preferring to be silent and unseen, thus also controlling the situation instead of surrendering it to God?  No matter how much we try to control or how well we hide, God knows our hearts. He knows  the motives behind everything we do.

She ended her blog by saying that God wants us to know Him. He wants us to know freedom from our fears and past hurts.He wants us to know the depth of His love for us. He wants us to know that in His eyes we are way more than “cute”.

Ladies you are beautiful and irreplaceable. God delights in you because you are captivating.

On Thursday Michelle addressed the issue of ‘ indulgences’. Jeremiah 2:13 refers to it as our ‘broken cisterns’.  What is your ‘broken cistern’? Where do you tend to turn when things get tough?  We were created to be fulfilled by only one thing – the love of God. The time comes when we have to choose who or what will control us. We are given a choice. Will it be God or our own limited personality, or another imperfect substitute?

The good news according to Ezra 9:9 is that ” God has not deserted us in our bondage”.

Today, I want to finish this review with some personal thoughts.  Girlfriends, for years I, Edwina Botha Howard have been in bondage. To me life was all about looking a certain way, wearing name brands and it was just about stuff and more stuff. When I was happy I would shop, when I was sad I would shop, when my husband looked at me the wrong way I would shop. There was just no stopping to the madness. As a teacher I would buy a new outfit after every holiday, and believe me I am not exaggerating.

A month ago or so, I finally came to the realization with God’s help, that by always wanting and buying, I am saying that I am not satisfied with who I am because I could just never get enough. I came to the conclusion that it costs far less to work on the content of my character than on draping my frame with expensive fare.  What I wear and the price tag on my clothing is not of importance, it is what is on the inside. After all, the Word of God says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  This is the message that John and Stasi are trying to convey in this book.  You are beautiful!  It doesn’t take “things” to make you beautiful in His eyes!!


I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14




Before we close, I would like to leave you with a personal message from John and Stasi Eldredge on the Beauty of Women.  This is a video of an interview they did on the Joyce Meyer program.  It’s Part 1 of 3.  We’ll share the other two parts in the next two weeks.



If you would like to join us for the Captivating online Bible study, click HERE to register. Once we receive your registration, we will email you further details.

If you would like to email Edwina in regards to this blog post, please email her at:

GCH:decaf – Meet the Totally Awesome, Zinni!

It’s a new year girls and I can not wait to see what God has in store for me and my family, as well as what He has in store for all of you. Let us wait with expectant hearts on the Lord!

Today I have the privilege to introduce you to my beautiful daughter, Zinni. While interviewing her, she told me that the interview is about her and not about me, so here we go.


Zinni is 13 and is living in Cape Town, South Africa, but will be moving to Stafford, VA soon. When asked about her favorite group she gave me a list, but I will narrow it down to one group, which is One Direction, for now. She’s been going on about these guys lately; personally I think they have weird hairstyles :). Anyone out there who agrees with me?

Zinni’s favorite Christian artist is Mandisa, and here I agree with her wholeheartedly!!!

What you have to know about Zinni is that she loves movies! Did I tell you that Zinni loves movies yet? So I did, but I need for you to see how serious this girl is about movies. At first she said that ‘Marigold Hotel’ is her favorite; not the answer I expected, but its not about me, right! Anyway, she changed her answer to ‘ Rise of the Guardians “, a more accepted answer for me, seeing that I raised this girl and know her very well.

Her favorite TV show ? Girls we have a list, so be patient please. She loves to watch, Psych, The Mentalist, CSI, Power Rangers and Winx, just to name a few.

Now when it comes to clothes, we clash most of the time. To Zinni comfort is more important than being cute. She loves skinny jeans and loose fitting tops. She loves flats but do not like to show her toes; weird right?  On occasion she will put on earrings and other jewelry, but remember, I said on occasion.  So she will wear jewelry like three times a year or so. Blue is definitely her favorite color.

Zinni is a social butterfly, she loves to talk!  She and her best friend Gillian have this special language that they converse in. Watching movies and playing in the pool are other favorites.

Her favorite foods are pizza, chicken, bacon, crispy potatoes and cake.

Zinni’s return to South Africa after living overseas for 10 years has changed her life remarkably. Although the return is not permanent, she has been changed for the better. She says that this experience has changed the way she views things, and it has also brought her much closer to God.

Well girls, this is all I have on Zinni, for now.  I hope you have enjoyed getting to know her, as much as I enjoyed interviewing her!

I love you Zinni!

Be blessed.

If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information. We’ll be starting our next online Bible study soon! So be sure to keep checking back for sign-up details to be posted!