Building Up Girls

The RISE Robotics girls did an amazing job Saturday, October 3, 2020 sharing a devotional for a Top Buttons event called “Building Up Girls.”

Top Buttons is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable and educational organization building self worth in young women. Through our online platforms, educational events, clothing boutiques, and program for teens in need, Top Buttons empowers young women with the resources they need to present their best self to the world without compromise.

Through the Wearing Confidence Program, Top Buttons provides Christ centered, life skills education and proper fitting attire to more than 300 very deserving young women each year from organizations such as PACE Center for Girls, Heartland for Children, Parker Street Ministries, One More Child and many more. 

Top Buttons has 3 local Boutique and Designer Thrift locations (through which their programs operate) that are open for public shopping – which helps fund the Top Buttons’ full-time charitable efforts.

  • Lakeland: 236 N Kentucky Ave, Lakeland, FL, 33801 Store Hours: Monday – Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm                      
  • Bartow: 160A East Summerlin Street, Bartow, FL, 33830 Store Hours: Monday – Friday 11am to 6pm, Saturday 10 am to 2pm
  • Winter Haven: 226 W Central Avenue, Winter Haven, FL, 33880

Below is the speech the LCS RISE robotics girls shared.

Lauren: Good morning! My name is Lauren and I want to start by saying how honored we are to be here today. I’m the captain of the robotics team at Lakeland Christian and I wanna tell you a little about what we do. So our team is a part of a world-wide competition where teams all over the world build robots to compete with one another. Each year we get a new challenge that we have to design our robots for to complete certain tasks. Some of the key elements for our success are teamwork, critical thinking, outreach, and community. Now we want to talk to you a little bit about two very important tools that we use in robotics.

Maddie: Hi, my name is Maddie. So one of the main tools we use in robotics is 3D Printing. The 3D printers are tools that can make things that we design out of plastic filament. They print, or add, layers of plastic to create things. We use the 3D printers to make parts that we have designed on the computer.

Katherine: Another technology that we have access to is called a Glowforge. The Glowforge is a machine that uses a laser to cut items out of wood or other materials. And we typically use the Glowforge to etch designs into wood or acrylic parts or to cut items, like your keychains, out of wood.

Lauren: So the two processes that Maddie and Katherine have just described are opposite technologies. The 3D printer builds up while the Glowforge cuts away, but both create something new and beautiful. The Bible tells us that in a similar way, God builds us up with the good and cuts away the bad as He makes us into His own beautiful creations — for God tells us that we are each fearfully and wonderfully made.

Now I recognize that many of you may not know God like I know God. But I want to take this opportunity to tell you that God loves you. God cares for each of you. And while I don’t what you’re going through, God does.

I want to point your attention to this keychain that each of you will receive today (show image on screen). On it is the tree of life, which in many ways illustrates us as children of God. At the top you have the leaves, the branches, and the fruit. The Bible tells us that the life of a true believer will bear fruit. So what does that actually mean? Well the fruit in our lives is visible in our love and care for others and in our relationship with God.

Now this seems like a lot, it seems like a big ask, but what I’m going to tell you in a minute is that God does not expect us to come to Him already perfect. He does not expect us to come to Him perfect or complete or whole. In fact, He expects us to be broken and afraid. Which brings us to the most important part of the tree, the part that is often overlooked, which is the roots. The life of the tree is in its roots. This is true for us as well. Whatever we choose to ground ourselves in, whatever we choose to dwell upon will affect our life and our fruit. I want to point to a passage in Jeremiah. It says,

“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

To really dive into this passage, we have to understand our roots. Many of us have experienced immense pain, and loss, and suffering. Maybe you have experienced a period of darkness in your life, or maybe you’re in one right now. And when we experience this pain, and this fear, and this shame we have two choices: we can either ground ourselves in the darkness of our past, or we can put our trust fully in the Lord.

Now I won’t pretend to know the pain and loss that many of you have experienced, but I do know what it is like to be stuck. Stuck in the past, stuck in the fear, stuck in the shame, stuck in the dark with no hope for escape. And I know that allowing myself to be rooted in that darkness leaves no room for growth. But the amazing thing – the most amazing gift we could ever receive – is a way out of that darkness. And Jesus promises just that. He tells us that He is the way, the truth, and the life. So, if we plant ourselves in His promises and in His love, freedom is possible. And I will be the first to tell you that trusting God is hard, it is not easy. I know I have struggled with doubt and fear, and I still do, just as I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

But I want to ask you two things. First, what needs to be added to your life? Just think about that for a second. Just like the 3D printer adds, we should be adding positivity. And that can be in the form of relationships with people that pour into your life, finding mentors and role models, finding a community of people that understand what you’re going through, and even looking for the good in the middle of our hurt. Secondly, what needs to be removed from our lives? Now this one is harder. Just like the Glowforge cuts away, we should be cutting away the negativity. This can be cutting out negative relationships when possible or making a conscious decision to filter what we hear and see in the form of television, Instagram, music, magazines.

If there is anything you take away from what we’ve said today, I want it to be this:

Even in our doubt, God is patient. Even in our pain, God comforts. Even in our sadness and our shame and our suffering, God is there and He is longing for us. He grieves with us. So don’t be afraid to admit your doubts and your fears to God.


Hear that again: do not be afraid to admit your doubts and your fears to God, for He already knows and is working for your good. He is fighting for you. No matter what place you’re in right now, God hears your cries and He knows your heart and He is working for your good, even if you can’t see it yet.

We pray that you would join us today in rooting yourself in God’s words, in rooting yourself in His promises. We pray that you would take that first step with us today and submit your life to God, submit your fears and your pain, and your brokenness to Him. Because I promise you, life at the feet of Jesus will set you free; free in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine.