A Fond Farewell

Oh, precious Mini-Women.

This is Nancy.

When I started Tween You and Me 10 years ago, I had no idea how many tween girls like you would meet here and comment and share and pray and laugh and have blog parties. I don’t actually know how many, but it’s been a LOT. Some have graduated from high school – gone to college – some are even married! That means the tween years really do pass, and I hope the Tween You and Me blog helped make those years – and yours – easier and more fun and, most important of all, more God-filled. We have talked about everything from bullying to those absurd little creep boys. From keeping a Talking To God journal to dealing with friendship flubs. From celebrating Advent to observing Lent. From making friends with our own bodies to dealing with our siblings (and we don’t know which is harder!). God has been right in the middle of all of it – the doubts and the faith, the questions and the answers, the prayers and the celebrations.

caricature of signingNow it’s time to say good-bye to the blog, and each one of us who has been part of it on the posting end – Asher (who has grown up here!), Hannah and Leslie – is going to take a turn giving you some parting words to send you on your way. After all, that’s what we’ve always done, isn’t it?

Asher … Some advice on school

My advice would be to find balance. Yes, grades are important, but so is meeting people, doing extracurriculars and actually getting something out of your education. In middle school I tended to say in my comfort zone – focusing on getting good grades and my existing friend group. Now that I’m a sophomore, I’ve learned that branching out is important. It’s really helped me widen my perspective of life, and taught me my second piece of advice …

final AsherMost things don’t matter. As they’re happening to you, moments seem huge – failing that math test is the end of the world and noting is more mortifying than messing up when you try debate for the first time. Truth is, most things won’t bother you ten days … ten years from now, so don’t be afraid to give things a shot and save your energy for what truly matters. Things that aren’t temporary. You, people and what you believe in.

And practically, when your busy school life begins to overwhelm you, breaking things down helps. Study by chapter, not by textbook, at a time. Makes lists of your priorities. Plan, putting short term and long term goals into action.

As always, take care. Love, Asher.

Friendship Farewell Post

Hi, Mini-Women- it’s Hannah!

It has been my HONOR to speak to you about all sorts of topics over the past year. I will miss your cheerful responses and conversations, but I know you have all the knowledge you need to grow into amazing your women. In fact, I’d say you’re already there!

You’ve shown us what it means to be a true friend, with your sweet advice and promises to pray for each other. That will carry you far in life. I hope we’ve shown you that if you turn to Jesus and what He said, you won’t go wrong when it comes to making friends, keeping friends and being there for those friends. Find your tribe and be loving to them. Find girls who will remind you to turn to the Ultimate Friend when your life looks cloudy and gray. We have all friends here for a little while, but those friends will last a lifetime.

Oh, and as far as our Mini Makers, I will say – keep creating! You girls are seriously fantastic. And loved. Every. Single. One of you.

kindhearted

It’s Leslie here,

I’ve been thinking about you mini-women this past week and what I want to share as we say goodbye to the blog What I wish someone would have told me what I was your age. And this is where I landed. My hope is that you would be mini-women who learn to love well. Who love God and love all people. And love them well. That’s what we are called to do. Just love. Do small things with great love regardless of the outcome. Keep loving. And when your spirit runs out, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His love. To the brim. Overflowing, He never runs out. There is always more. It’s not about doing it right or being perfect. Just love.

Ask God to teach you about his love. For you, your family, your friends, the world. He will show you. His love never fails. It’s perfect. And even better, his love for you will never change. He loved you so much, He sent Jesus so you could know him. And the Holy Spirit so you can connect with him. Nothing you do or say, or don’t do or don’t say can ever separate you from His love. He is always there. Ready to listen. With arms wide open.

Good things, like this blog, end. That’s part of the rhythm of life. Seasons change, people change, life changes, But God and his love for you do not and will not change. So keep getting to know Him. Love Him. And no matter what comes your way, you will more than okay.

Jeremiah

If you want to write in your Talking to God Journal, maybe you can tell God some of your favorite memories from your time spent here on the blog. And we do hope you’ll continue your habit of writing to God as often as you can. We still do!

If you want to make a comment and continue the conversation with your friends here a little while longer, the blog will remain up for two more weeks (until September 26). So why not share the most important thing you’re learned from being part of Tween You and Me?

Blessings, Mini-Women,

Nancy

Asher

Hannah

Leslie

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Hang in there for next week!

Hi mini women!

 

This is a short post just to say we were actually be back NEXT week to say our goodbyes.  We are bringing all hands on deck for our farewell post and we need a little more time to pull it all together.

Woman Writing

 

If you want to comment below, tell us what you think was the most important thing you learned here on Wednesdays with Nancy!

 

We love you girls, and we’ll talk to you next week.

Friendship Verse

 

Getting to Know Jesus – Week 3

Hi mini women!  I can’t believe it’s our last Getting to Know Jesus post.  Let’s dive in.

 

What did Jesus think about Friendship?

 

Well, we know a couple things.

  1. He was fine with having friends with different interests.

His disciples ranged all the way from tax collector to fisherman.  That’s like an accountant and a construction worker being friends today.  So if you’re really into music, and absolutely hate math – don’t ignore that math genius in your class!  You might have things to teach each other.

When I was in school, I absolutely hated gym class.  I was so uncoordinated and jealous of all the girls who felt at right at home on the baseball field.

Polar Opposite Friends

Fast forward a few years and I’m friends with some of those girls now!  They encourage me to keep running and lifting weights, and they are so kind and helpful.  I would have lost out on some good friendships if I only hung out with the theater and English class girls!

 

  1. He forgave them.

Peter is the best example of this.  He was so on fire to be Jesus’s right hand man, and yet when Jesus had been arrested, he was asked three times if he knew Jesus, and he said no every time.

When Jesus resurrected, He gave Peter the chance to say he loved Him three times, and Jesus forgave him.

Friends Forgiving

Girls, if Jesus can forgive that, so can we forgive our friends!  I know it can be hurtful when your group of friends goes to the mall without you, or doesn’t check in with you right away when you’ve had a bad day, but give them the chance to explain.  That gives you the chance to forgive, and to save what probably is a really special friendship.

 

  1. He served them. (John 21)

When Jesus was resurrected, He passed along the message to the disciples to go to Galilee and wait for Him.  Well, they are there, they’ve been fishing to pass the time and not catching much.  Also, they’ve heard Jesus is alive, but they haven’t seen Him yet.  What if it’s all a lie?  I can bet their mood wasn’t so great.

Jesus appears on the shore and calls out to them to lower their nets on the other side of the boat.  They might not have been able to tell it was Jesus by seeing Him, but boy I bet they knew it was Him when their nets filled immediately!

When they got to shore, Jesus already had a fire going and fish cooking for them.  I love that picture.

Don’t you always feel so loved and taken care of when you’re sad about messing up a test or missing a goal during your most recent soccer game and your mom makes you your favorite dish?  Or another family member brings you some soup when you’re feeling under the weather?

I love that Jesus cared about his followers enough to host breakfast.  It reminds me to serve my friends when they are hurting!  When they’ve had a bad day, send them a funny card or a quick text to remind them I’m here if they want to talk.  When they’re sick, leave some groceries on their doorstep.

Care Package

Jesus clearly loved and cared about His friends.  He set the example and I think you mini women are MORE than up to the challenge of doing the same!

 

In the comments below, tell us which point stood out to you the most.  Do you need to try to reach out and make friends who are different than you?  Do you need to forgive a friend?  Or do you have a friend that’s hurting, and what are your ideas to help them?

I can’t wait to hear from you girls!

Love,

Hannah

 

This is a quick note, unrelated to our post, but I wanted to let you girls know that we will be closing the Tribelet blog next week.  Me, Leslie, Asher and of course Nancy will be back for one last farewell post next Wednesday.  We are so grateful for all the fun we’ve had with you here, and we are looking forward to talking to you about where to go from here.

We love you Mini Women.  And we’ll talk next week!

Getting to Know Jesus – Week 2

Hi girls!

I’m excited to have the next topic to chat about this week.

Exodus 15 Verse

What did Jesus think about healing?

I know some of you have shared in the past that you’re going through some medical issues, and if you personally aren’t, I think we all know someone who is.  Healing can be a difficult topic.  Sometimes the Lord chooses to not heal a person on earth, and to give them a new body in heaven instead.

For today, we’re going to talk about when Jesus healed people on earth.  I’ve got three stories for us to look at.

(Go grab your Bibles if you’re not familiar with the stories I’m talking about, and read them!  You’ll understand my commentary much better!)

 

Story #1:  The Roman Centurion and his servant (Luke 7 and Matthew 8)

Mini women, did you know this is the only time in Scripture where Jesus makes such a huge proclamation, “Nowhere else have I seen such faith!”

And this faith was not from a rabbi, a disciple, a faithful Jesus follower, but from a Roman soldier, a man whose only real job was to keep the Israelites under control. A high-ranking soldier it seems, so someone who had fought in many battles, and learned the harsh warfare techniques of the Roman empire.  Let’s just say, he was not an innocent peaceful man.

Luke 7 Picture

But he knew this, which is why he didn’t even let Jesus come to his house.  His faith was so great that He knew if Jesus just said the words, his servant would be healed no matter where Jesus was.

Again, this man was not a Jew, had no reason to believe in Jesus, and yet his faith was praised by the Messiah Himself.

What does this tell us?

First of all, it reminds us that you do not have to have a pure and unblemished record to ask for healing.  I am not saying to ignore sin in your life, or ways you need to change, but I am saying – don’t let that stop you from coming to the Throne Room and asking for your miracle.

And second, when you do to Jesus in prayer and ask, do so with humility.  This Roman centurion was in charge of many men and had great authority, and could have easily thrown his privilege around.  He chose not to.  He told Jesus not to come to his home, because he was unworthy to host Him.  He was content to send a messenger, to allow Jesus to answer him from afar, whatever that answer would be.

 

Story #2:  The Blind Man (John 9)

There’s no getting around it girls.  This one can be a tough pill to swallow.

When we are suffering, it’s only logical that our mind starts to search for answers.  “What have I done wrong?  Where are you God?  Why don’t you take this pain away from me?”

The disciples sure thought so.  They saw the blind man and immediately thought he must have done something wrong.  Or maybe his parents did and their punishment was a blind son.

Jesus answered them with a pretty powerful statement.  “This was done so the glory of God might be displayed in him.”

Jesus knew that this man had suffered greatly since birth.  This man must have had some heartbreaking days.  But Jesus also knew that without suffering, there is no rejoicing.  There are no miracles if there is no one to heal!  It can be a bitter pill to swallow when WE are the ones doing the suffering and waiting on Jesus.

John 9 Verse

But oh mini women – what an incredible story we will have to tell, of how the Lord was faithful.  And it will be so amazing and fun to help others who are struggling in the same way.  Because we’ve been there, done that.

 

Story #3: The Lame Man at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5)

Now this story always makes me chuckle a little.

There’s a man laying by the pool waiting to be healed.  The story tells us he can’t walk and has been waiting for 38 years!  But what does Jesus ask him?

“Do you want to be healed?”

Well goodness I would think so!  He’s only been waiting for 38 years!

But Jesus gives him the choice. We always have one.  Maybe we think the healing will be too hard, or take too long, or change our lives too much.  But I hope we be like that man and choose healing.  Jesus is more than able, but I think this story reminds us that we have to ask!  We might ask many many times, but let’s not be shy.  Let’s come to Jesus and say, “Yes please!”

John 5 Verse

 

Mini women, I know today was a heavy topic.  Next week will be lighter I promise!  But in the comments, please give us some prayer requests for healing so we can all pray for each other.  Remember not to give too many personal details, just so there’s privacy. 

 

Love you girls!  Let’s pray together, and I’ll see you next week!

 

This is a quick note, unrelated to our post, but I wanted to let you girls know that we will be closing the Tribelet blog at the end of August.  After August, me, Leslie, Asher and of course Nancy will be back for one last farewell post in the first week of September.  We are so grateful for all the fun we’ve had with you here, and we are looking forward to talking to you in September about where to go from here.

Getting to Know Jesus – Week 1

Hi Mini Women!

Two weeks ago you girls chimed in with some really great ideas for new blog topics.  One of them really stood out to me.

Getting to Know Jesus Better

It’s really an amazing topic because you can live your whole life learning about Him and you’ll still come up with new stuff every day.  Maybe you’ll read a verse you’d forgotten about or maybe something will happen to you personally that makes you pause and say, “Oh right, Jesus is incredible.”

It’s my hope that these next few weeks I can lay out a clear picture of what Jesus was all about.

This week is a topic that’s dear to my heart, and I know you’ll feel the same.

How did Jesus feel about women?

Girls, if you don’t already know, the Jewish culture was not exactly set up to give women an equal seat at the table.  Now, there were rules in place to make sure they weren’t mistreated, but as far as being respected as much as a man was – forget it!

Of course by now I think you know what I’m about to say – Jesus turned all that upside down when He arrived.  I’ve got some stories for you…

  1. It was a woman who decided when His first miracle should be. Mary, his mama, was the one who got His attention to turn the water into wine for the wedding guests!  (John 2)

Mary and Jesus at Cana

Girls I know we talked about this before (in our Miracles of Jesus series) but I just want to say again – Jesus was 30 years old.  Well past the age that you “have to” listen to your mom, but He showed respect and kindness and listened to her anyway.  He started His whole ministry not on His timing, but on the advice of a woman.

  1. Women traveled with Him, along with His twelve disciples.  (Luke 8)

Women Traveling with Jesus

Now we hear this and say, “Cool!  Wish I was one of those women!”

But back in that day?  This was RADICALLY not cool, at least in the mind of the Pharisees.  And anyone else watching His ministry closely would have probably called it “weird” at best.  Women weren’t even allowed to leave the house without an approved male escort.  Sure, the disciples were all male, but a lot of them were married and their wives stayed home.  Not really “approved” male companions for these women.  But Jesus wanted them there, wanted them to come along.

And along with this well, I’m sure you girls have gone on vacation before.  Did you pay for it?  Probably not.  But I’m sure you remember Mom and Dad talking about how expensive it was!  Eating out more, going to museums, hotel rooms – it all adds up!

Jesus and His disciples were basically always on the road, never sure where their next meal would come from or if they’d have a place to stay that night.  Guess who paid for all of this?  Women!  Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna just to name a few.

I know it’s another thing that’s different about our cultures, but it would have been completely embarrassing for a woman to have to financially support a man.  Jesus wasn’t embarrassed.  Clearly it was public knowledge.  Jesus treasured these women and not only wanted them along to see His amazing ministry, but also graciously accepted their help!

  1. He appeared to women first when He was resurrected. (Matthew 28)

Woman at the Tomb

Girls, if anything tells you how much Jesus values and honors women, this should be it.  It’s the single GREATEST moment in the history of the world, and Jesus wanted women to be the first to know.

Think about it.

He could have just reappeared right in front of the Pharisees.  Just to rub their noses in it and scare the sandals off of them!

He could have gone straight to where his disciples were gathered and mourning Him.

He didn’t.

He stayed in the tomb, and waited.  He knew the women were coming to see His body, and He wanted them to be the first to know.  AND He asks them to spread the news!  Back then, a woman’s testimony wasn’t even allowed in a simple courtroom trial.  But He chooses women to testify to the most incredible story of all – that He is alive!

***

Mini Women, I could go on and on.  There are countless stories of women stepping into the Gospel and making their mark on the greatest story ever told.  I’ve only given three examples.

But this I want you to know.  Jesus loves and values and honors you.  YOU.  If you ever question that, if someone ever tells you that you are not worthy of His respect, I want you to turn to the Scripture.  Scriptures written by men, men who had been raised in the Jewish culture, who told stories about incredible women.

Girls, in the comments, tell me which story stood out the most to you.  Or if you have a different one from the Bible that you remember, tell us that one!  I’m telling you, there are a LOT to choose from.

 

This is a quick note, unrelated to our post, but I wanted to let you girls know that we will be closing the Tribelet blog at the end of August.  After August, me, Leslie, Asher and of course Nancy will be back for one last farewell post in the first week of September.  We are so grateful for all the fun we’ve had with you here, and we are looking forward to talking to you in September about where to go from here.

We love you Mini Women.  And I (Hannah) will see you next week!

August Mini Makers

Hi ladies!  We are so excited to showcase your creativity. Let’s look at what you’ve sent in for us.  Asher left her remarks (and questions for you) underneath each one.

Hi Tribelet! Asher here, I hope you’re all having an awesome summer. Mine’s been interesting but busy, and I am definitely not ready to go back to school yet!

It’s been a while since we’ve had Mini-Makers on our blog, which is why I am so excited to share this months’ entries with you!

First of all, we have LYDIA’s poem.

Lydia

GOD

God is there in the sun, and in the rain.
God is there in the summer, and through the winter.
God is there in the night, and in the day.
God is there through thick and thin.
God is there standing by our side.
God is ALWAYS there.

No Matter What Happens…
GOD IS THERE.

I think its message is powerfully simple – it’s tough to feel like God is there all the time. When could you use the message of Lydia’s poem the most? Personally, I need it most when I feel like my prayers aren’t being answered.

Esmeralda

 

Which snap do you find the most interesting? I love them all, but if I had to choose it’d be the first purple flower one. The hollow petal are so cool – Esmeralda has a great eye for detail! Does anyone know what type of flower it is?

Hannah

Waves

The waves of life may be hard to sail,
But with God on your side you will prevail.
Through the ups and downs,
The goods and bads,
God will be with you,
He always has.
So hold on tight and stand strong,
Because God has been with you all along.

I love this poem as well. The idea of a friend or family member walking with me through difficult times is really comforting, and this poem is an excellent reminder that God does that as well. Which line of the poem do you like the best? The last line’s my favorite. 🙂

 

Larryn

 

Aren’t they all adorable? Which one is your spirit animal? I would have to say mine is the Llama – I’m always listening to music (and bopping along when nobody’s watching)! I also love that Larryn experimented with both realistic and more cartoon-style art. Way to go!

Jenna

New Beginnings

Welcome to a land where love is played-out and smiles are unwrapped every day. J This is a story about the beginning of a special friendship. It all began with a little fox, who had a red-tipped tail and a sweet face. Her name was Ellie.

One cheerful spring day, Ellie peeked her fuzzy nose out of her warm and inviting den. She was new in this little town and didn’t know the One, who had painted the sunrises and wispy, pink, clouds of dawn.

She decided that a walk outside would be nice. “And,” She giggled to herself, “maybe somebody else will be out, too. Maybe, a new friend.”

If you walked down a certain path that led to a grove of trees, you would find a very special tree. The other animals in Ellie’s village called it the Tree of Life, but no one knew who had planted it or what it did.

I found the symbolism of the ‘One’ and the ‘Tree of Life’ really interesting! I’m looking forward to finding out what they mean to Ellie later on in the story. What did this excerpt remind you of? The Tree of Life reminded me of Genesis and Revelation.

Thank you to everyone who shared their entries, it was a pleasure looking through them! I can’t wait to see what you all create next, it’s great seeing you improve as artists. 🙂

Stay creative!

Take care,

Asher

Hello August!

August

 

Hi Mini Women!

This is going to be a short post to kick off the month of August, but don’t you worry – we’ve got lots of good content coming up!

But Leslie and I think we need another poll!  Tell us in the comments – what do you want to hear about?  Give us some topics that interest you or you want to learn more about.  We want to hear from you!  It can be anything.  We can’t wait to hear what’s on your mind.

 

Also…

We’re doing a Mini Makers post next week!

For those of you who are new, Mini Makers is when you girls send us your creativity, and we put it proudly on display!  A picture you’ve drawn, a photo you’ve taken, a poem you’ve written – it’s all fair game.  Short stories and poems need to be 150 words or less.

Submissions are due by Sunday, August 5th at 8am est. Send your submissions to tribeletelder@gmail.com. You can put August Mini Makers in the subject line so we can grab it right away!

We are so excited to see what you’ve got up your creative sleeves!

Until next Wednesday,

Love from Hannah, Leslie and Asher!

Women of the Bible – Lydia

Hey girls!

Today is our last women of the Bible entry but please know there are SO many others to learn about. I encourage you to look through your Bible and find your favorite!

Today I’m going to talk about Lydia, and if you want to read her story, go to Acts 16.

Now, Lydia wasn’t someone who you’d look at and think, “She really needs Jesus.” I know we ALL need Jesus but Lydia sure looked like she was on top of everything in her life. She ran a successful business of dyeing clothing purple and sold it- it’s what made the city of Philippi famous back then. (I love purple and would totally buy her clothes.) She had a large house with plenty of space and servants to help her.

And she had God. She was already a devout practicing Jew who loved God and worshipped Him. But when Paul came to town spreading the news of Jesus, she listened. She was the first European convert to Christianity, and she set the example for everyone in her town.

Lydia

Now we may look at someone like Lydia as a recently converted Christian and say, “Ok now it’s time to give all that money away to the poor.” And sometimes God did ask people to do just that!

But this time God had a different idea. Lydia came to Paul and said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Whenever you’re in town, whenever ANY of your friends are in town to preach God’s word, you come stay at my house. You’ll have a bed, plenty of food, and shelter. All for free. Any time.”

I don’t have to tell you that traveling the country as a missionary back then didn’t pay so well. This was a huge blessing to them! Her house was where Paul and Silas went STRAIGHT to after they got out of jail. They knew they’d be safe and welcomed. She used her spiritual gift of hospitality to bless others.

Spiritual Gifts

Girls you probably don’t have a thriving business or a huge house to offer to missionaries right now. Neither do I!

But what do you have? What character trait, what skill or hobby can you offer to the church or those around you to bless them? Let us know in the comments!

For me, I try very hard to have the spiritual gift of encouragement, and really listen and try to sympathize with what someone is going through.  I try to say something that might be uplifting. I also LOVE to cook and bake, so I love bringing food for family events, or taking food to moms who just had a baby.

Ok enough about me! Let’s hear from you girls!

Women of the Bible-Esther

Hey Tribelet – Asher here! How are you all?

Today I’ll be talking about Esther, one of my favorite characters of the Bible for part 3 of our ‘Women of the Bible’ series.

Esther started from the bottom of the pile. She was an orphan, cared for by her uncle, Mordecai. On top of that, she was a Jew – a race that was looked down upon at the time.

I wonder if Esther had big dreams for her life. Today, many of us can hope to become an athlete, veterinarian, detective… But most girls back in Esther’s time had a much more limited future: their main destiny was to marry someone of a similar social standing.

Even if she did have big dreams, I doubt Esther expected much more.

Unexpectedly, king Xerxes, the most powerful guy in town, picks her to be his wife. Her life is totally changed. From a dirt-floored house to a palace. From girl next door to having all eyes on her. From being able to talk to Mordecai casually to not being able to speak to the king unless he summoned her.

Soon Esther finds out that the king’s right hand man, Hanan, has passed an order for all Jews to be killed. Her people. Mordecai begs her to ask the king for mercy. But the king doesn’t summon her. By approaching him she could die.

Mordecai, I’m sure, is aware of this – but he continues to encourage Esther to speak up:

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (NIV)

He tells Esther to make the most of her power. Her voice, her royal position, her race – everything God placed in her life was an opportunity – to speak out for the oppressed Jews.

Esther replies:

“I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.” (MSG)

I find it interesting that Esther’s feelings don’t come up in the Bible. We never find out whether she feared approaching the king or not.

Bravery isn’t the absence of fear. It’s doing the right thing even if you are scared to death.

By focusing on how Esther takes action instead, we can see the importance of bravery. Regardless of how she felt, Esther chose to do what counted.

“If I die, I’ll die.” She also accepts the fact that things might not go her way. She knows she can’t do anything about the result of the situation, but God will take care of her eternity.

I don’t know about you, but to me, that is true bravery.

In the comments, we’d love to know:

We may not have opportunities as “significant” at Esther’s lives right now, but what do you have that you can make a difference with? Maybe you’re in the same class as someone who is lonely. You could still try to do what you can and be by their side. Perhaps you’re great on the piano, and could offer to play at the old folks home in your town.

Also… what holds you back from taking action? Maybe you’re afraid your friends will abandon you if you start spending too much time with the lonely kid. Perhaps you get stage fright and performing on the piano is out of your comfort zone. Do share if you’re comfortable – there’s no shame in weakness!

Personally, I can make a difference by supporting family members going through tough times. The sacrifice of time, comfort and energy that takes holds me back sometimes, but I’m working on it.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Take care,

Asher

Women of the Bible-Hagar

Good morning TRIBELET!!! How is your day going? I’m feeling pretty mellow because it is SUPER HOT OUT.

Can I be honest? I am having the hardest time writing this post.

I was going to talk about Hannah-who is one of my favorite women of the Bible but for some reason, I just couldn’t say what I wanted to say.

Then I tried to write about Anna, another favorite woman of mine. But once again, all I was doing was typing and deleting.

Anyone else struggle like this when they need to write a paper or work on a project? You have an idea and it’s floating around in your head but FOR THE LIFE OF YOU, you can’t get it to make sense?

That has been me all morning.

I’ve been spurting out those, “Lord, please help me write this…” kind of prayers and still nothing stuck.

SO then I prayed, “Lord, who should I write about?”

And the name Hagar came to mind.

An Egyptian Girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then it all clicked.

To catch you up, this month we are looking at the lives of different women of the Bible. And what we can learn from them.

Last week, Hannah wrote about Sarah. You can read the whole post here but I’ve included a little excerpt to refresh your memory:

“Sarah and Abraham were promised a baby by God. They would be the family to start the entire nation of Israel – kind of a big deal I’d say! They were blessed and they were eagerly awaiting for the baby to come along.

But then years passed. Years and YEARS of waiting and both Sarah and Abraham had basically lost hope. They were old enough to be grandparents! I’m sure they felt like maybe they had misunderstood God. They had lived their whole life and no baby had arrived.”

Now, spoiler alert…God does keep his promise. They have a son named Issac and the rest is history.

But in the middle of the waiting is where we meet Hagar.

Now honest confession…Hagar isn’t my “favorite” woman of the Bible. I don’t think anyone who has ever read her story thought, “Man, I want to be like Hagar.” But the older I get, the more I appreciate who God was to Hagar.

Hagar had a rough life.

First of all she was a slave.

Sarah’s slave.

And Sarah got a little impatient waiting for God to keep his promise (that she would have a son) so she talked Abraham into having a baby with Hagar.

Which totally backfired. (As things often do when we take situations into our own hands)

When Hagar realized she was going to have a baby, she basically rubbed it in Sarah’s face all the time. Not cool, right? This hurt Sarah’s feelings (obviously) so she retaliated by being super harsh with Hagar. Oh boy.

Sarah was so mean that Hagar finally ran away.

And that’s where things get interesting.

Image result for tree desert israel

The Bible tells us that an Angel of the Lord found Hagar in the wilderness, sitting under a tree. Can you imagine how terrible she must have felt? Alone and pregnant. A slave. In the middle of nowhere. No hope. No options. Or at least that is how things must have felt.

But it wasn’t true. Because God saw her and sent help.

The Angel basically asks, “What’s going on?”

And Hagar tells him the truth. She is running away.

The Angel tells Hagar to go back home to Sarah and to submit to her authority (stop rubbing things in her face). And then he tells her to name her baby Ishmael (God hears) because God has heard her cries of distress.

So she goes back home, has her son and then 14 years later Issac is born to Sarah.

Crazy story right?
My favorite part comes right after the Angel finds her and talks to her. The Bible tells us that after that encounter, Hagar starts calling God by a new name. She calls him “The God Who Sees Me”, which is El-roi in Hebrew.

I love this for two reasons.

  1. When we encounter God, it changes the way we see Him.
  2. God saw her sitting under that tree, all alone and feeling at the edge of her rope. He saw her. And sent help. Because that is what God does. He sees us and helps us when we cry out to him.

And to be honest, there have been many moments in life where I have felt like Hagar. Unseen. Forgotten. Alone. And God has blown me away with His faithfulness time and again when I cry out to Him in my distress.

Can you relate to Hagar? Have you been feeling unseen? Alone? Wondering where God is in a certain situation? Tell God all about it in your Talking to God Journal. Cry out to Him. He is kind. He is faithful. He cares about you.

And in the comments, we’d love to know how we can be praying for you.

Love, Love, Love

Leslie