Hannah on Being Yourself

embarrassed-3Hello, precious Tribelet of Mini-Women! Yesterday we talked about what to do when things are awkward and at the end I told you I know how hard it is to laugh off embarrassment at this point in your life. Today,  HANNAH, our newest Tribelet Elder, is here to help you with that. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, definitely do that so you’ll know who Hannah is. Although after you read her post, you’ll not only know more of who SHE is, you’ll know more about who YOU are!

Blessings, Nancy Rue




That’s what everybody says.

And for the most part, I agree!  Those things that make you different from your friends, from your family – those are the things that you make you special, make you unique, make you YOU.        different

You don’t need to feel weird if your hobbies and interests aren’t what everyone else is doing.  You hate makeup – your friends love it.  No worries.  You love drawing – no one else in your family can draw.  No problem!  Believe me – be yourself.

No one is supposed to be exactly the same.  How boring would that be?!

But there’s one more piece of the puzzle,purple puzzle piece one more word of that phrase: “Be yourself”, one secret that the world won’t usually tell you, but I’m gonna let you in on it today.

Be your BEST self.

Got that?  The best person you can be – THAT’S what you chase!

See, the advice about being yourself is great, because it makes sure that you realize how unique you are, and that you don’t try to fit yourself into a box that isn’t quite right.

But that advice can also have an ugly side.  Here’s how.

Sometimes people use that phrase to be… not so great.  Maybe you’ve done it.  I know I have.  Here’s what I mean:

“I’m not being rude, I’m just being myself.  I always tell it like it is.”rude.png

“I hate doing chores; I just like lying on the couch all weekend – that’s how I am.”weight issues 4

“I don’t need to try healthy food – I’m a cookies and mac ‘n’ cheese girl!”  (To be fair, aren’t we all?!)

Let’s be honest – we’ve all said stuff like that.

But check this out:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  (Psalm 139:14)

 Yeah, we’ve all heard that verse right?  But think about it.

You, you reading this right now – you are wonderfully made.  The coolest new cell phone, the most delicious looking cake (with buttercream frosting falling off the side!), the best new outfit with the perfect pair of shoes – you’re more wonderfully made than all of them.aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWING

Because God made you.

Do you know how valuable that makes you?

Sometimes we use the phrase “Just be yourself” and what we really mean is, “Just be who you are right now.  No need to improve – you’re perfect just how you are!”

You ARE perfect when it comes to how God MADE you.  But listen to this:

 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

 That’s Jesus talking.  He’s saying that he wants you to have your BEST life.  Not your normal life, not your “just the way I am” life.  The best!!!

He wants you to be kinder to others (more kind than you thought you could be), more helpful to your parents (more helpful than you thought you could be) and try the healthy food so you can fuel that wonderfully-made self, not just stuff your face.Ashers health drawing

He doesn’t want you to settle for less than your best.  A wonderfully made person doesn’t do that.

If there is something about you that you’ve noticed (or others have mentioned – ouch, isn’t that so tough?) that isn’t so good, just know that Jesus loves you and wants to HELP you change that.

Because He wants you to be more than yourself.

He wants you to be your BEST self.

Asher's tween girl

So my question for you mini-women – what’s one “that’s just how I am” thing that you could maybe stand to work on a little more? If you want to comment on today’s post, tell us. (Remember that this is a safe place. Nobody will put you down)

I’ll go first – mine is sarcasm.  I am so good at it.  I can fling the best comment right back at someone, and I’ve said before, “That’s just how I am!  I’m a sarcastic person, and some of my comments are funny!  I’m just funny like that.”

Good try, me.  Good try.      Can’t wait to hear from the rest of you!

And your Talking To God Journal is a great place to ask God for some help with that “just how I am” thing. Ask, and you’ll receive. Every time.




What To Do When It’s AWK-WARD!

ashtons-october-13-pic Hello, my Tribelet of precious Mini-Women! While I have NOT been posting regularly (more on that below), YOU have! Not only have you been helping each other with emojis and praying for one another and supporting everybody through broken bones and concussions and sicknesses and tests (big breath) — you’ve shared so much of your private stuff in answer to my question about embarrassing moments so nobody feels alone with their red faces. You. Rock. (And as she so often does, ASHER created a new drawing for us. Is she gifted or what?)

Besides THAT you also welcomed our new mini-women, ADA and LAUREN. TAYABALLERINA, are you a newcomer too? welcome-2We’re really glad you’re here, and if you have any questions about how we do things here on Tween You and Me, just ask and one of us will help you.

Speaking of which, there are now going to be MORE people to help you. Here’s how:

* Elder Melle (we love her) did a quick post to let you know that we won’t have the “Ask the Elders” feature on the Join the Tribelet website any more — where you could ask the older girls questions and they posted answers. melle But Melle (her actual name is Melody) has “archived” all the answers, which means all the old ones are available for you to look at any time you want.

* I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t been posting as often these past several months as I used to. There are a lot of reasons for that and NONE of those reasons have to do with you and how awesome you are. cropped-nancy-tween.pngI love reading your comments and responding and finding new ways to help you with the stuff you struggle with and wonder about.

* And I don’t want to give up the tween blog. I mean, seriously, this is family. You don’t just tell your kids you can’t hang out with them any more! So I started praying for a way to keep it going so you have a safe place to do all the things I just complimented you for in my opening paragraph. I did what I always tell you to do when you’re trying to make a decision. I opened my Talking To God Journal and prayed. And guess what? …

*  I got an answer. One of my jobs is mentoring (teaching/coaching, you know) people who want to be writers. Some of them are young — like in their 20’s — so I asked them if they’d like to be part of our Tween You and Me community. One of them said YES! And then she sent me some posts. I loved them, I love her and you’re going to love her too. (AND you’ll love the awesome YA book she’s writing when it’s published.) Her name is HANNAH, and you’re going to meet her tomorrow.

* So here’s how that’s going to work –sometimes I’ll post. Sometimes Hannah will. But you WILL have a post every single week (and sometimes some extra ones in between). We will BOTH respond to your comments. You’ll still know just what to comment ON because it’ll be in red as usual, and both of us will always give you things to think about and write about in your Talking To God Journal.

*Again, you’ll meet HANNAH tomorrow, but here’s a sneak preview — profile-pic-hannah-f Doesn’t she just LOOK like she belongs here on Tween You and Me? I know you’ll give her a big ol’ Tribelet welcome.

NOW — about today’s post. You sure have had some embarrassing moments! They seemed to fall into four categories:embarrassed-2

      (1) Bras — itchy ones, siblings talking about YOURS at the tops of their voices in the store, people saying stuff like “You’re wearing a bra?” or (the worst) “What is it for?” Poor Ana. Her mom bought her, like, 11 of them and piled them up on the counter for the entire WORLD to see. bra choices

(2)  Periods — everything from getting yours when the toilets weren’t working at school (it may not GET any more embarrassing than that) to your best friend asking LOUDLY in the cafeteria why you have the pads she needs when you haven’t started yours yet.

(3)  Boys — whether it’s your crush finding out you like him and then not speaking to you for three years to brothers in generalboy laughing

(4) Other body issues — one of you precious mini-women accidentally peed your pants at a party, and several of you have had people point out in public how hairy your legs and arm pits are. I mean, REALLY.kitty legs

There really is only one thing to do when those kinds of things happen and you want to crawl under the nearest table. ASHER (and a few others) already figured it out.

 You just have to laugh.


  Seriously. You just look at the people who are staring at you and put them all at ease by throwing your head back and letting out a big ol’ guffaw. Or making a joke —

“I KNOW! Don’t I just look like ape woman? I gotta start shaving.”

“Yeah, it’s a bra, all right. I have them in several nice colors.”

“Did I just pee? Okay, I have to stop laughing so hard.”

“Can you believe people are making such a big deal out of a simple crush? Seriously, why wouldn’t I think you’re cool? But nobody said I wanted to MARRY you! Yikes!”

That’s called diffusing the situation. We do it for a couple of reasons —

(1) It stops everybody else from feeling awkward embarrassed

(2) It makes the person who embarrassed you (if there is someone) know they messed up, without you yelling at them. 

(3)  It shows that you’re comfortable with yourself no matter what happens. Why wouldn’t you be?  You’re a girl just like every other girl, with bras and hairy legs and periods and even pee.

Okay, yeah, that’s easy for me to say. I’m not 11 years old any more. OF COURSE it’s embarrassing when you’re just getting used to your new undies and your changing body and you do NOT want other people pointing it out to the rest of the planet. But this is a chance to experience the other part of turning into a woman: you have grace and class and style. You don’t have to put a bag over your head just because somebody else doesn’t think before he or she blurts something out.

Oh, and if your friend or a family member is the one who puts you in those awkward situations, take that person aside later and say, “Um, that really embarrassed me. Could you not do that any more?” And if your brother is the culprit, just go to your dad and ask him to have a talk with the ALC. (That’s Absurd Little Creep for those of you who just joined us). sibling-rivalryIf it’s your dad, for Pete’s sake tell your mom! After all, she’s a girl too. She knows how it is.

Yikes! This was a long post. Just two more things, Mini-Woman —

     Number One: If you want to write in your Talking To God Journal, tell God about somebody in your life who doesn’t seem to take your feelings into consideration before he or she speaks. Ask for help. It will come.Asher tween you and me logo

     Number Two: If you want to comment on today’s post, tell us what you’re going to say the next time somebody embarrasses you. I always say it’s good have that one-liner ready!

See you tomorrow with our first post from HANNAH.

Blessings, blushing Mini-Women!

Nancy Rue

Elder Answers Archive!

Hello, mini-women! We did a lot of great work on the So Not Okay, Join the Tribelet page! While the focus of that page is changing from interactive to instructive (How to form a tribelet!) we wanted to make sure that you have access to all of the amazing questions and answers that we discovered together, so we created an archive on THIS site. (You can find it in the navigation bar at the top of the homepage.) You’ll have a library of sisterly advice at your fingertips, whenever you need it. Thanks so much for being a part of something that was so special for us all. Love you, mini-women! -Elder Melle

Embarrassing Moment Alert!

embarrassed-chimp Hello, my Tribelet of precious Mini-Women! You really are awesome.

Take for instance the way you all rallied around our Savannah (also known as Vanna) when her Nannie died. You immediately poured out the prayers and comforted her with your comments. Nobody even had to ask you to.

I know you’re going to be just as amazing in welcoming our newest member of the Triblet, CORINNE. Give her a big ol’ Tween-You-and-Me greeting, willya? Corinne, we’re so glad you’re here.

You know, speaking of our Savannah/Vanna, she posted a comment titled, EMBARRASSING MOMENT ALERT! and that gave me the idea for today’s post. I’m traveling a lot, (helping new writers get to be better ones) and can’t post as regularly as I like to, so this seems like the perfect time for something a little different. Are you up for it? different Tell us about an awkward or embarrassing moment you’ve had, having to do with something about puberty, growing up, that kind of thing. If you haven’t read Savannah’s example comment, here you go …

We (me and my family) were shopping and there was this store and the bra section was in the front. My Pa , being a jokester, said ” Hey Savannah did you find you a bra in there?” Then everyone else (besides my mom and me) jumped right in. The embarrassing thing was I’m pretty flat-chested so it was REAL awkward when later the men were jokin bout them wearin’ ’em and what size they would wear and my brother said” Savannah would wear tiny teeny itty bitty ones.” AWKWARD!

Ya think?embarrassed-2

You’ll have two weeks to get yours in because, as I said, I’m traveling. When I come back I’ll write a post about how to handle those moments when you pray for a trapdoor to appear in the floor so you can fall through it. 


If you want to write in your Talking To God Journal (will someone explain to Corinne what that is?), talk to God about an embarrassing thing that gets to you for more than just one moment.  Something that you wish you could change because it constantly makes you want to hide your face. Or your whole self. As you write, ask God to help you sort that out. I have a feeling you’ll discover some answers. But be sure to return Monday October 10 to see the ones I’ve learned in my life. Ana's journal 2

Meanwhile, remember that you rock — in God’s eyes and in mine. Blessings,

Nancy Rue


Things That Just Aren’t True About Periods


Hello, my Tribelet of Amazing Mini-Women! I just discovered that last week’s post got posted on the wrong site! ARGH!!!  So here it is. Enjoy!

I’m liking those  great attitudes about getting your period. I don’t usually do the whole “When I was your age…” thing, but this time I think it works: when I was 10 and found out about periods, I was secretly freaked out. I didn’t actually get mine until I was 12 1/2 so for two and a half years I lived in dread.


Of course, part of that was because no one actually sat down and talked to me about it. I found a booklet on my dresser one day after school, and that was pretty much all the information I got. So no wonder I would lie awake some nights and think, “This is going to be horrible!”

A lot has changed since then (yes, you can call them the old days if you want!). Women are more open about discussing their bodies. Which is probably why  you’re doing so much better with it.

Asher's tween girl

But one thing that hasn’t changed are the conversations that go on among girls at sleepovers and during PE on the days it’s raining and you’re just sitting around. When the discussion turns to periods — and somehow it almost always does — the “facts” come out that aren’t really facts at all. They’re just something somebody heard from somebody who told her who got it mixed up from some person who told HER. THOSE  are the false statements that lead to the midnight freak-outs, no matter how good your attitude is. So today I want to set the record straight on those things you’ve heard that just flat  out aren’t true.

thumbs down“Menstrual blood is poisonous.” What? No way. It’s made by your own body!


thumbs down  “A boy can tell by smelling your breath that you’re on your period.” Seriously?  He might be able to tell you had onions on your taco, but no. Just no.

thumbs down  “A dentist can tell you’re on your period.” I asked a dentist that once and he looked at me like I was nuts. Besides, even if he or she could, this is a medical professional who isn’t going to announce it in the waiting room, so who cares?

thumbs down“You can’t go swimming if you’re on your period.” Why not if you’re using a tampon or a thin pad? A thicker pad will act like a sponge so you probably don’t want to go there, but being on your period shouldn’t keep you from having fun in the water.

thumbs down“A tampon can get lost up in your body.” Not gonna happen. The only place it could go would be through your cervix into your uterus, and the opening of the cervix is about the size of a match head. Who comes up with this stuff?

thumbs down“You shouldn’t wash your hair when you’re on your period.” Actually, there’s no better time TO stay clean and looking your best. It’ll make you feel better on bloated days.

thumbs down“If you’re cranky and hateful when you’re on your period, that’s okay. It’s called PMS and you have no control over it.” Okay, you might be crabbier than usual just before your period — which is why it’s called premenstrual syndrome. Maybe you’ll be more weepy. Stuff that doesn’t usually get on your last nerve may make you want to pinch someone’s head off. However, that doesn’t mean you get to use it as an excuse to go around smacking people and getting into their faces.

Next week we’re going to talk about ways to feel more comfortable (and less like a drama queen) during your period. For now, just know that this much is true:

thumbs upAnything new takes some getting used to, so, yeah, having your period can be a little funky at first. But the more you know about what’s going on and how to take the best care of yourself, the less of a nuisance it will be. Before you know it, it won’t be one tenth as annoying as your little brother.

And here’s the other thing. Even though the people in the Old Testament believed women were unclean when they were having their periods (and sent them out to live in a tent for the week!), we now know that just isn’t true. God created menstruation as part of the whole picture of being a woman. You might not be ready to buy that it’s actually kind of a beautiful thing that women have cared for and paid attention to and respected in their bodies since Eve, so just think of it this way: it makes you part of a wonderful club called Women.

If you want to write in your Talking to God Journal, why not list the “myths” you’ve heard about the whole period thing that just don’t make sense to you. Ana's journal 2AND you might at least try to thank God that you’re a woman — because I’m here to tell you, it’s a pretty special thing.

So much so that I think we should each celebrate it. If you want to comment this week, tell us how you had a private little woman’s day party. Even though my period days are over, I’m still honoring the fact that I’m a woman, and I’m going to mark that right now by making myself a soy latte. You might snag a couple of cookies and some milk and curl up on your bed with your fave girlie book. celebrateOr find a quiet place in your backyard to sit with some ice tea and a sketch pad. Maybe you’ll paint your toenails or re-decorate your backpack or call your BFF and giggle for ten minutes. Whatever you do, tell us about it.

And meanwhile, thank you,  God, for letting us be girls!


Nancy Rue

EVERY Month?

Asher's tween girl

Hey, my awesome Tribelet of Mini-Women! I’m sorry I couldn’t be with you last week. I was in Colorado Springs taping a radio interview for Focus On the Family about bullying. It airs October 10, and I’ll be posting a link for you here.

Meanwhile you’ve been carrying on GREAT without me! You’ve all prayed for Kaylee and her family about her mom’s cancer, offering her some Bible verses to her to lean on. And you’ve given each other assistance with those emojis that are a mystery to people like me. You have truly become a community, and I’m proud of you. praying

Our group has a new member: Savannah! Ladies, let’s give her a huge  Tween You and Me welcome.

So, it looks like we have the shaving issue under control. Most of you have healthy attitudes about it, and I think we can all agree that even though some of us like the look and feel of smooth legs and pits, hair itself isn’t this heinous (super ugly) thing that has to be gotten rid of the minute we see it. Whew! Glad that’s settled!

There’s still one thing about your changing bodies that we haven’t talked about and that, of course, is The Period. periodMost of you have said in your comments that you know about menstruation, whether it’s happen for you yet or not, and that your moms are okay with me talking about it here. If your mom isn’t, scroll down to the part in red print. Otherwise, read on, Mini-Women!

We’ll spend more than one post on this, so this week let’s focus on our attitude about this deal that’s going to happen every month until you’re 50 or 60. Trust me, that is a LONG time, so a healthy point of view about it will make your life SO much easier.attitude

A few things I hear from girls — and some things that might help:

(1) It’s the thing that freaks you out most about growing up right now. It seems like such a big deal! Actually it IS a big deal. There’s the keeping-clean part of it and the aches and pains that sometimes come with it  and the oh-my-gosh=I’m -really-becoming -a- woman part of it.nervous If you weren’t at least a little bit concerned about it, I’d wonder if you were really paying attention! It’s okay to be nervous.

(2)  Other girls are telling you horror stories about having blood on their clothes at the worst possible times or starting their first period when nobody was around but their brother or having cramps so bad that … Well, you get the idea.horror I’m not saying don’t trust your friends, but in  this case it would be better to trust me. We’re going to cover all of that in the weeks to come. For now, just know this: if having a period every month was as terrible as some people make it out to be, why isn’t every woman walking around crying all the time? I mean, seriously …

(3) You’re embarrassed by the whole thing — to the point that you don’t even want to talk to your mom about it. It’s so, um, personal … And so normal! At first it seems  like it would be totally mortifying to discuss it but when you think about it, every woman who has ever lived has experienced it, so why would something that concerns half the population be impossible to talk about? embarrassedOkay, so you’re not going to go around bringing it up with everybody you run into. Hello? Absurd Little Creature boys?  But moms want to help and so do other adult women who have been where you are. Nobody needs to enter this unknown territory alone. 

For this week, just think about this, and post a comment if you want to:

  When it comes to the whole period thing:

(a) I’m so freaked out I think I’ll skip this series here on TYAM

(b) I’m nervous about it but I want to learn more so I’m in

(c) I’m okay with it. I mean, it’s normal and I have to deal with it so, post on, Nancy Rue!

  (d) I am completely jazzed about having periods. It feels so grown-up!

Before next Wednesday’s post, why not take out your Talking To God Journal rara's coverand ask God any questions you have about periods (like why on EARTH He thought up such a thing!) and let him know what has you a little concerned (I can hardly remember to brush my teeth, much less deal with the whole pad thing …) If you get any answers or a sense of peace, will you tell us about it?

See  you next week when we’ll talk about the GOOD news about periods. And yes, there IS some! 

Blessings, Nancy Rue


Hairy Situations

kitty legs Hello, my Tribelet of beautiful Mini-Women! We have two new members this week, so please welcome ABBY (who is GRACE’S sister) and YEMZI. We’re glad you’re here, ladies. Please jump right in with comments, which as we all know are just responses to whatever you see in RED in a post. The “Rules” are simple: treat each other with respect. And you do it SO well.

We’ve been talking this summer about all the things that come with puberty — that season in your life where you’re slowly turning from girl-child to young woman. Our series wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include a post about one of the most, shall we say, interesting parts of puberty ….

NEW HAIR hairy monster

We’re talking not about the lovely stuff that grows on your head. We’re referring to the hair that is appearing everyplace else. What are you supposed to DO with that?

Some of it you do nothing with because nobody else sees it, right? It’s the hair that sprouts in your armpits and the hair that has gotten thicker on your legs that at some point you look at and go, “I don’t think I want that there.” legs 4

Fortunately we human girls aren’t covered in fur like the kitty in the picture above (yikes!) but most of us do have our share. Let’s start with where you are. Pick the choice in each row that is most like you:

Underarm hair:  got none     light & fuzzy     dark and thick

arm pits

Leg hair: almost none     can barely see it    super obvious

legs 3

If most of your choices were on the left, you probably won’t want to add shaving to the new things you have to do to take care of your changing body.

If most of your choices were in the center, you might not be up for shaving your legs yet, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your underarms, especially if you sweat a lot. As we said last week, hair int he pits tends to hold perspiration where it can get a little smelly.

legs 2

If most of your choices were on the right side, you may have been eyeing your dad’s razor for some time, or you’ve recently started feeling as woolly as the family pet. That means it’s the right time to approach your mom about shaving. Promise you won’t just do it on your own without some instruction. It’s trickier than it looks and, um, you WILL be handling a very sharp-edged instrument.


Having said that, let’s take a look at your current ‘tude about the whole body hair thing. Select the choice that sounds most like you.

      a. What body hair?

      b.  It’s not a big deal

      c. I want it off!

  If you picked a., I wouldn’t think too much about shaving yet, at least your legs. If you haven’t even noticed that you’re starting to look like a Hobbit, that’s perfectly fine. There’s nothing immoral about having hair on your legs!

   If you picked b., you’ve realized ya got some hair going on but you’re not too concerned about it. Shave or don’t. You’re not hurting anyone either way.

legs bigger

   If you picked c., that doesn’t mean you’re vain. Some of us are hairier than others and some of us are more conscious of it than other girls. If it makes you feel yucky, then by all means tell your mom you’re ready for some razor instruction.

But what if you’re feeling ape-like and you ask your mom and she says no? She might give you one of several reasons, and if you can do it in a grown-up way, you might  respond as follows (but no whining, eye-rolling or door-slamming allowed …)

mom lecture

    *  “Once you start, you’ll always have to do it.” What she means is that after you shave once, your hair will grow back in stiff little stubbles. To stay smooth, you’ll need to shave regularly. A possible response: “I know it’ll grow back stubbley but if I find out shaving is too much trouble, I can live with that. It won’t be any worse than the hair I have now.”

    *  “You’re too young.” What that probably means is that she’s having a hard time accepting that you’re growing up. A possible response: Say okay. Be super mature in the weeks to come. And then ask her again. If you take responsibility in other areas of your life, she’s more likely to give you the go-ahead to shave.

mom love

Does the Bible say anything about girls shaving? No, probably because it wasn’t a thing until women started wearing shorter skirts and sleeveless blouses. What God does, say, of course, is to honor your mother. If she says no, then it’s no. But again, accept that in a mature way and show her that you really are growing up and she’ll come around.

Meanwhile, try not to let other people’s comments (like those ALC boys who point at your legs and call you Gorilla Girl) bother you too much. Flash that beautiful smile. Change the subject to something that’s actually worth talking about. Be your most awesome self. Because, seriously, you’re you whether your legs are silky smooth or not.

boys laughing

This is definitely worth talking to God about, so get out that Journal and ask him anything you want about the Hairy Situation.rara's cover Do you need help talking to your mom?  Dealing with brothers who won’t leave you alone about your underarm fuzzy-ness? Ignoring girls who tell you you’re disgusting because you don’t shave daily?

If you want to comment on this week’s post, tell us which of these choices sounds most like you: WHY I WANT TO SHAVE:

     (1) I don’t!

     (2) Some of my friends do it.

     (3) I feel like an ape!

This is a place where you can be honest and not worry that anybody’s going to think you’re uncool. It’s definitely a place where you’re going to find other mini-women who feel just like you do.


Nancy Rue