You Have Been Chosen

Mini-Women!! Next week will be the big Mini-Makers showcase so if you would like to submit something-email it to tribeletelder@gmail.com. As Beth mentioned in the comments, you can send “Whatever you want! Pictures, short stories, poems, etc. When Mini-Makers started, you could even send in recipes!” We’ll take recipes if you have any that are TO-DIE-FOR! I made some Oatmeal Cookies the other day that were the bomb!

And those of you who have sent something…don’t worry, we have it!! It will be up here on the blog next Wednesday.

But today we have the special treat of hearing from Jenna, a member of the TRIBELET and a mighty mini-woman of God.

Have you ever felt like you were not important? Have the girls at school ever dumped you because you weren’t wearing the “right” outfit? I have had that happen to me. I felt so hurt and so confused that I cried. I didn’t understand why someone wouldn’t want me to be with them and it was devastating.

But can I tell you something?

God started healing my heart.

I explained what happened to my mom and she helped me understand my identity in Christ. Those three words, identity in Christ, can pretty much change your life.

When I have rough days, I have to remind myself of this: God has chosen me.

chosen

In 1 Peter it says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession…” The Bible tells us that we are CHOSEN. We are ROYALTY.  We are the Creator’s SPECIAL possession. When those words are in our minds, the nasty names that others call us, don’t matter. But that is a really easy thing to say and if I’m honest, I have a hard time believing it myself.

For me, the names and labels cut deep. Looking from the outside, it seems that some girls are more effected than others. You know why? I think it is because of identity. The girls who know they are loved and adored by Jesus, are confident in who they are. The labels slip off.

I want that so much and I know that God desires it for me, too.

But how can we stop the mean words from hurting us? Something that has worked for me, is what I call smothering lies with Truth (the Truth of God’s Word).

When someone calls me insecure, I know that I am God’s Special Possession.

When I am called ugly, I know that Jesus’ love makes me Beautiful.

When someone says I am worthless, I see that I am a Daughter of the King.

When I am told I am unlovable, Jesus calls me His Beloved.  

When I feel like I don’t belong, I know that I have been Chosen.

daughter

Special, Beautiful, Daughter of the King, Beloved, Chosen, those words describe who WE are in Jesus. You are chosen each day to be the daughter of the King, who helps you see that you are special and loved, knowing that, Your Beauty will be evident to everyone around you.

In your talking to God Journal, write a list of unkind words. They can be ones you have been called, or words that you know aren’t true. Then on the same page, write the opposite of the mean word. Which column does God see you as? When you are feeling discouraged, remind yourself how much Jesus loves you.  

In the comments section: Have you ever been called something that you know is not true? Can you find a verse that can smother that lie? Then share it with us!

Love,  Jenna

 

    

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Feeling Overwhelmed?

Mini-Women!! I totally glitched. I am so sorry this post is late. On Monday and Tuesday I thought-I need to put the post up on Wednesday. And then Wednesday came and went…Poof. No posty the bloggy. I apologize. Funnily enough, this week Esmerelda wrote a post for us about what to do when you feel overwhelmed by life.  I can certainly relate to that. And I’m not even in school with all the end of year wrapping up that goes on. Once again, sorry this is late.

Hi everyone, Esmeralda here. I’m really excited to be writing this for all of you. I love this blog and have been here for about a year now! It has been a huge blessing to me and I hope that it is a blessing to you, too.

I’m going to be talking about being overwhelmed.

I’m sure it is a feeling that everyone is familiar with. Overwhelmed with school, homework, chores, babysitting, the lists go on and on. Especially with the school year ending now. Sometimes I just want to throw myself across my bed and scream.

flowers 

The good news-is that, I have some tips for you, these are all things that help me when I’m overwhelmed:

  1. Write lists of what you have to do, breaking everything down helps it not seem like so much. 
  2. Pray, pray that God would give you the strength, patience and help that you need to get through everything.
  3. Go for a walk or run if you can. It really helps to clear your head.
  4. Write in your talking-to-God journal, just write all about how hard it is to get everything done in time, etc.

I hope that this post is helpful to all of you. I will be praying that all of you are able to be at peace and not be overwhelmed.

Thanks for reading this.

-Esmeralda

So what has you feeling overwhelmed at the moment? Feel free to share in the comment box. So we can be praying for each other.

And don’t forget-It’s Mini-Maker’s May. Send your creative submissions to tribeletelder@gmail.com so we can share them with the TRIBELET. And if you still don’t understand what mini-makers is all about-click here

Love, Love, Love,

Leslie

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Strength in the Lord

Hello everyone!!  It is Kaelyn here and this is my first ever post on this blog!!  I am honored to be able to do this and I today I am talking about the strength God gives us.  

It is something we all want to have whether it is to stand up to a bully, face your fears, or doing what is right in hard circumstances. God knows our fears, doubts, and worries. He cares about every single one of them and He even knows every hair on our heads. That is a lot,when you think about it!! In Luke 12:6 it says,” Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” That is a lot of love and, if He can see five sparrows,  how much does He see us? He sees us as His daughters, His beloved, and His princesses. He sees us as His children.  

luke-12-6-7

With this worth in ourselves, we can have courage.   What does courage mean? I looked up the meaning of courage and this is what I found.  

Courage

  1. The ability to do something that frightens one
  2. Strength in the face of pain and grief  

I also noticed something else in these definitions, the word strength. Being the kind of girl I am, I looked up the meaning of the word strength as well.  

Strength

  1. The quality or state of being strong, in particular  
  2. A good or attribute of quality or attribute of a person or thing 

We then may start to think,” I am not strong, and I am scared as well. ” We can change that by becoming stronger. We get stronger physically by working out and lifting weights.  We can get stronger spiritually by reading the Bible, praying, and being in a community of strong believers.  

A verse that has helped me a lot when I am afraid, is 2 Timothy 1:7.

 spirit of love

In another translation, it says , power and love and of sound mind.  When we have fear, we are not sound of mind. God can give us courage and we can do that by saying, ” I do not have a spirit of fear. I have a spirit of power, love, and self-control.” The awesome thing is, God is always there with us, we have worth,  and we are growing spiritually every day. He gives us the courage and the strength to move mountains. If that mountain is what is happening in our family situation, school situation, or anything at all. God is there and He gives the strength to move mountains with faith.

matt 17-20

Nothing is impossible with God, and with Him we can find the courage to do anything.  We can find the courage to stand up to that bully, to do the right thing when everyone isn’t,  and to face our fears.

In the comments, we are here if you want to  let us know where you need courage and strength in your life.  We will be praying for you and we can do this together. For me at times, I need courage to share the light of Jesus.  You are not alone and we are in this together. Also, if you want to say where God has given you courage, we all love to hear that too!!
In our Talking to God Journals this week, let’s ask God to give us the courage  to do what is right, to stand strong, and to have what we need through whatever situation we go through.   

This is Kaelyn and I will see you next time!!  🙂

Ok Mini-Women-you may have noticed a little something different today. We had a guest blogger!!!  Kaelyn has been a part of the TRIBELET for years now and we wanted to give her the opportunity to share a post. We are calling this is MINI-MAKER MAY and we want to hear from you! We thought it would be fun to make May a showcase of the many talented mini-women who are part of our TRIBELET. Send your art, poems, writing, photography…however you want to express your creativity and we will showcase it here on the blog this month. Just email it to tribeletelder@gmail.com. Find out more about mini-makers here.

 

May: A Month of Changes!

Hi mini-women!

 

We’ve got such an exciting month planned, and I can’t wait to read all these upcoming posts!  I love all you girls so dearly and I love that this blog is such a fun place to chat and learn and grow.

 

Speaking of growing and changing, this month will sure be a change for me!  I just had my first baby a few weeks ago!  He’s such a fun little man and being a mom has already been quite the adventure!  So if you don’t see me chatting as much on the blog this month – you can blame my little boy!  He’s taking up all my time and he doesn’t seem to care. 😀

 Introducing Sebastian Paul!

Sebastian being amazing

Never fear girls, I should be back in June!  And you know that Leslie and Asher are awesome and are happy to cover for me while I figure out how to be a mom to a little person who doesn’t like sleep as much yet!  Seriously, he needs to realize that naps are the best thing ever.  I’m trying to convince him of that!

 

The month of May is really all about change anyway, isn’t it?  For those of you who are homeschooled, you’re finishing up your schoolwork, and those in you in public school have only about a month to go!  Yay for summer break!  The weather is FINALLY warming up and we’re starting to see some flowers pop up.  I happen to like all four seasons (yes, even when that means piles of snow!) but there is something happy and fresh about spring that wakes up your senses after a long winter of the earth taking a rest.

 

For me, spring time sparks my creativity.  I write more poetry, I write more stories, I take more walks outside and I sometimes even draw pictures.  Well, I should say I TRY to draw pictures.  Trust me, you mini-women don’t want to see my work featured in Mini-Makers!  I’ll leave that to you talented souls.

 

For this month, I have a new baby and I’ve never been a mom before, so I could certainly say that’s ENOUGH of a big change for May!  But I think it’s important to make sure that I don’t label myself a mom and forget that I was Hannah first.  So for May, I think my goal will be to go outside and work on my archery skills!  I have a bow and arrows and a target and I’m home all the time now, so I say it’s a perfect time to work on that hobby!  I think that can be my May goal.

Female Archer

What about you mini-women?  What’s something NEW you can try this month?  I can’t wait to hear!

 

~Hannah

Journey to Myself

Hello, Mini-Women. I LOVE being here for a visit! Thank you, Leslie, Hannah and Asher for having me. It’s sort of like coming home, you know?

The reason for that? Because this is a place where everyone can simply be who she is without feeling afraid that someone’s going to say, “You are so weird,” or “Did God miss blessing you with the cool stick?” Here you can just do you.

Even here, though, it’s sometimes hard to know exactly who we are. So hard that I wrote a whole book on that topic, called Everybody Tells Me To Be Myself But I Don’t Know Who I Am. (Possibly the longest title ever) We can all get there, but it’s a process, a journey. It takes as much time for us to discover who God made us to be as it does for us to physically become who we’ll be as adults. Just looking at the pictures I’ve shared here of me growing up proves that, right?

The difference is that our bodies sort of grow by themselves. We don’t have to focus on how long our legs are going to get or what shape our noses are going to take (although I spent my middle school years wishing I COULD do something about my schnozz!) When it comes to our inner selves, however, it seems like the choices never end. Should I be more outgoing? Should I figure out when to shut up? Should I be more creative? Should I try to act like I’m smart and maybe I’ll fool people? Should I laugh more? Laugh less? Laugh louder? Laugh without snorting?

I’m still on that journey of discovering exactly who God made me to be, I think because it continues as long as we’re on earth. But I have learned this about the process: the word “SHOULD” needs to be erased from our vocabulary when it comes to being authentic. Perhaps if I take you through my tween journey to myself I can show you what that looks like.

I was about nine years old when I started to think about who I was.

age 9

Up until then I was pretty much on automatic pilot, but in fourth grade the questions started. SHOULD I be playing outside when what I really wanted to do was read 24/7? I actually had nothing against being outdoors, as long as I could take a book with me. (I always wanted to read on the limb of a tree like Louisa May Alcott did as a kid, but it was really uncomfortable. She must have had bigger trees.) SHOULD I try to beat Douglas Ledbetter in math grades, when what I really wanted to spend time on was the stories I invented in my head? I tried being outdoorsy and becoming a whiz at fractions, but it made me seriously anxious. I think that’s when I started biting my fingernails. What if I hadn’t finally decided that I was a reader and a creator of stories, and not an athlete or the next Einstein? I probably wouldn’t be writing this post for you right now.

When I turned ten, it seemed like friendships got a lot harder.

age 10

SHOULD I spend all my time with my BFF (because if I didn’t, she would give me the silent treatment for days) or make friends with a lot of different people (which I was figuring out I was kind of good at.)SHOULD I take up my whole recess time in a tornado of girl drama, or hang out with people who loved to giggle (and snort!) as much as I did? What if I’d chosen to limit myself to one main friend and talked about everybody else behind their backs? I might never have grown out of it – and then I DEFINITELY wouldn’t be writing this post for you. And I sure wouldn’t have written Girl Politics.

By the time I turned twelve, boys had entered the scene – for every other girl in the seventh grade except me.

age 12

I was faced with the dilemma: SHOULD I pretend I had a crush on some kid just so I’d have something to talk about at the lunch table, or just have fun with the people –girls AND boys – in my youth group who didn’t care if I was “going out” with someone. (I always wondered where we were going to “go” without cars and money …) SHOULD I beg my mother to let me grow my hair long like everybody else who wanted to look like Cher, or concentrate on the confirmation class where some of the stuff I didn’t understand about God was being explained? What if I’d opted for boyfriends (as if I could have gotten one) and hippie hair instead of discovering that I could actually pray? On my own. Without anybody telling me what I should (there it is again) say. I sure wouldn’t be here suggesting topics for your Talking To God Journal, because I wouldn’t have one myself.

Speaking of that journal, if you want to write in yours, why not talk to God about the SHOULDS you find yourself believing. Are they really you – or are they just what everybody says you SHOULD buy into?

If you want to comment, will you share one of your SHOULDS? I’ll go first. I’ll go first. At this point on my journey to myself, I’ve found myself asking SHOULD I write more books, or retire like most people do at my age? What if I decide I’m done? I’ve pretty much determined that God isn’t saying that yet. SO here I am with you … and loving it. Thank you for letting me be part of YOUR journey.

now

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

Identity: Asher’s Journey + Tips

Hi, Tribelet! It’s Asher here, and this week we’re continuing on a topic very near and dear to my heart – identity.

Imagine this…

As you walk down the hallway at school, you recognise almost everyone by what they’re known for. The girl carrying a huge cello? She’s amazing in orchestra. The guy who grins as you walk past? The class clown. The kid with hair almost as messy as her half-open backpack? She’s the best writer in your class.Identity 1

It seems like they’ve got themselves figured out already. All you have is a whirlwind of questions.

What about me? Who am I?

Are you familiar with those questions? With my not-so-great grades, friend group made up of misfits and lack of ‘defining qualities’, I struggled with them a lot in as a tween. I felt lost and inadequate next to my peers, who seemed to have found their talents already.

Things started to turn around when I taught at Vacation Bible School for the first time. Working with the kids was so rewarding – I began to realise that I could make a positive difference with the gifts I have. At school, I started working harder and smarter, which resulted in my grades climbing. I also discovered some things I enjoyed doing, like drawing and participating in this blog (I’ve been on it since 2015!).

In the next couple of years, my grades improved a lot – I became “the straight-A girl” to most of my classmates. That was exactly the recognition I craved before! But you know what? I didn’t feel any more significant for my improved achievements. If anything, it opened the door to a whole new set of insecurities – What will people think if I fail? How can I keep up my standard? What if I can’t… what am I then? I began putting my identity in grades.

Fast forward to now.

I still struggle with putting my identity in achievements and what others think, but I like to think I’m improving. Looking at things in a long-term perspective helps – if I do badly in a quiz, it won’t affect my future much at all, and it’s better that I fail and learn earlier than when it’s too late. I don’t know much more about who I am, but I’m learning.

I recently encountered a new question:

‘Do you think you are important?’ my Bible study teacher asked.

What would your answer be?

To God, we’re all important. You probably know that already, but believing it is key.

As Romans 12:3 (MSG) says: “The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.”

Next time you feel incompetent, take a minute to remember what God has done for you. He clearly cares a whole lot about you! So do try to see yourself as He sees you – His beloved child, regardless of how significant you or others think you are.

So, what steps should you take if you’re struggling with your identity? Here are a few things that worked for me:

Don’t…

* Compare yourself to others – it’s toxic! Head over to my “Body Image: Comparison” post if you’d like to know more…

* Be afraid to talk – one mistake I made in my early middle school years was not sharing my thoughts with family/friends. In hindsight, talking about identity questions really does help – your loved ones have probably encountered the same problems before!

* Put your identity in the wrong places – you might be an amazing dancer, Miss Popular, or drop-dead gorgeous now, but all of those things could go away in a matter of seconds. Instead, focus on eternal qualities you have, such as how you’re always there for your friends.

Do…

* Write in your ‘Talking-To-God Journal’ – I wrote in it so much while I was struggling with who I was. It helped me get everything off my chest and keep things in a God-perspective. If you’ve journalled for a while, it’s also great to look back at old entries and see how you’ve progressed along your identity-journey, and how God came through for you in the past.

* Be okay with not knowing who you are – you are not alone! Many adults, let alone tweens, fully know their identity. God will help you learn more with time – for know, appreciate what you do know, and know that you are important.

* Come here for support – we’d be more than happy to pray for your requests, answer your questions and encourage you! Do stick around, we’re all in this identity-journey together.

If you’d like to comment, we’d love to know: What do you put your worth in? And please share your personal tips about identity struggles if you have any!

I hope you all have a blessed week!

Asher

Embracing Whose You Are

Hello La Petite Femmes! I’m hoping that’s Frenchish for mini-women. Leslie here:) It feels like forever since I’ve posted but as always I have loved reading your comments and conversations. I admire how brave and honest you are in sharing as well as how much you welcome and encourage each other. It’s so fun to be a part of our Tribelet.

This month we are talking about “Embracing Who You Are.” Each week, one of us (Hannah, Leslie, Asher and Nancy) will share a little bit about our personalities and our journey to embracing the way God made us. Like Hannah said, we all have unique personalities with lot’s of different features. And a big part of life is learning to appreciate who we are and how God made us. Different.

Girl in Mirror Sketch

This is a really important topic to me because when I was your age- I lost myself for a little bit. And learned some really painful (but helpful) lessons in the process.

Here is the truth- We are all created in God’s image. And that is what gives us value. He made us. As we are. We are all unique with different gifts and talents. Wonderful combinations that He designed. And no matter what happens in life…Or what anyone says, no one can ever take away your value. Because your value comes from the fact that you are created in God’s image. And you always will be.

But what seems to happen too often, is we lose our voice.

be-silent_fa5906864

It’s a funny idea but stick with me. My friend Jo describes voice like this…

Voice: Our most authentic self. The real you. Your passions, values, gifts and talents. Your identity in action. How God designed you so that you could make a unique contribution to the world.

She asks the question, “How can brilliant, beautiful, strong, gifted mini-women (which we all are) grow silent?” 

  • We lose our identities
  • We make ourselves small

Her encouragement is that we don’t need to be sorry for how God made us. He see’s us as we are, who we fully are. He sees our stories, the life that we can bring. He sees our potential and purpose. He know us and hears our voice.

I say all of that because when I was your age, I lost my voice.

I always joke that if everyone was born doing the tango, I was born doing the twist. I always felt a little different from everyone around me, including my family. And for a long time, it didn’t matter.

I was creative, funny, full of energy and spunk. I loved life and couldn’t wait to see what each day might bring. I was always reading and playing pretend. I loved to watch movies and learn about new things.

And then I went to a new school in fifth grade.

And there was a group of girls that I wanted to be friends with. Because they were church girls. And they were “popular”.

I think this was the first time in my life I started seeing people as “popular” and “unpopular”. It might have been because of the books I was reading. (I didn’t have Ms. Nancy’s books back then) It might have been because I have an older sister who was figuring out her own journey. Or it just might be something we all wrestle with at some point in life.

IMG_2360

But something began to change in me. I started losing my voice. My authentic self.

  • I was creative but being a cheerleader was cooler.
  • I was full of energy and spunk (Calm down. You don’t have to shout) so I learned how to stay quiet and hide my enthusiasm.
  •  I was always reading and playing pretend but my friends thought this was boring so I stopped playing like I used to.
  • I loved to watch movies and learn about new things. Well, the types of movies they watched and some of the stuff I learned wasn’t good for my heart.

And by seventh grade, I had become a mean girl.

Until, one day I sat down at the table in the library. And all of my friends got up and moved to another table.

There was a new girl in school. And over the weekend (at a sleepover I wasn’t allowed to go to) I somehow got ousted from the group. It only lasted a few weeks but that’s all it took.

It devastated me.

Crushed me.

I bawled on my mothers lap for weeks.

And then on a Wednesday night at church, a woman said something to me that changed my life forever.

“Popularity only lasts in high school. No one remembers or cares after that. But popularity with God lasts a lifetime. And He is the friend who will never leave you or forsake you.”

It took me a few years to recover from what happened at that library table. I felt so rejected, so betrayed and honestly so confused. I didn’t realize how much I had changed. I didn’t know I was becoming a mean girl. I was just trying to “fit in” with my friends.

But here is what I learned through all of that…

There really is no popular//unpopular in the eyes of God. We are all created in God’s image. And that is what gives us value. He made us. As we are. We are all unique with different gifts and talents. Wonderful combinations that He designed. And no matter what happens in life…Or what anyone says, no one can ever take away your value. Because your value comes from the fact that you are created in God’s image. And you always will be.

God loves us. As we are. And He is the best friend in the world. Life will change. People will move. You will grow up. And the one person who will never change is God. He is the most kind and faithful person I know. He is easy to talk to. He always forgives us when we act like jerks. And He wants more than anything to get to know us. There are lots of ways to get to know Him better. Talking to Him (Prayer) Reading His Word (The Bible) and going to hang out with people who know Him (Church).

One or two good friends who speak your language is better than a whole crew who make you feel like you don’t fit in. Mini-women this is the truth. And you can take it to the bank. As I healed from what happened and went to high school, I was a little skittish about making friends. It took me a long time to trust people. And find my voice again. But I did. And along the way I met some amazing mini-women who liked me for me. Loud, spunky, creative and all. And man did we have fun. And still do:)

leeann, andrea and me

I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant to share that story because who wants to say they were a mean girl? Or they ditched their friends to be “popular”? But making mistakes and learning from them is such an important part of life.

And I hope that this might help you in your journey to embracing who you are.

In your Talking to God journal,  ask God to show you what special gifts and talents He has given you. And how He might want you to use them to make a unique contribution to the world. Then make a list of 10 things that make you…YOU and/or that you like about yourself. And take some time and thank God for how He made you.

In the comments section, share with us your list of things that make you…YOU. And if you feel like you have ever lost your voice, I’d love to know how you got it back:)

Love. Love, Love,

Leslie

P.S. A lot of what I learned came from a book by Jo Saxton called “The Dream of You.” We always need to cite our sources:)

P.P.S. I love cheerleaders and quiet people. I just wasn’t created to be one. You be you!!!

 

 

 

Embracing Who You Are

Hello darling mini women!

 

We had all of March to talk about health and wellness and body image.  And I hope we keep weaving that into future posts, because I believe it’s so important to have a healthy life and mindset.

BUT just as important, is loving that part of yourself that God ALSO made so special – your personality!  This month you’re going to hear from ALL of us about embracing WHO YOU ARE.

Now, you girls are smart enough to know that if your personality involves you getting a little too sarcastic and mean, or being impatient with your little siblings or sassing at your parents, that those are things we need to work on.

But for today we’re going to talk about the sweet parts of who you are, whether it’s loud and silly or quiet and serious or some combination in between, that is exactly the person God made you to be!  He wants all kinds of people in the world, and you, my dear mini-woman reading this right now, fit RIGHT into where He put you.

For me, I can be a funny combination.  When I’m around people I don’t know, I can be very quiet.  I’m always a bigger fan of listening to conversation around me and trying to figure out people out, instead of talking so much myself.  I’m sure I’ve looked very shy to a lot of people.

But then you get me around a small group of friends I know very well or a family gathering, and I can really get loud and funny!  It all depends on who is there, but there are times I’m the loudest one in the room.  (My sister, who is naturally louder than me at ALL times, never believes me when I tell her I can be really loud and funny. 😀 )

And you know something, I like both parts of me.  I like that I can be quiet and listen, and I like that I can cut loose and joke and make people laugh sometimes.  I don’t consider either side of me to be ‘fake’ or putting on a show.

Two Sides of Me

Not only does God use different kinds of people in His kingdom, but I would say that He uses different sides of your personality for different situations.  When your friend is crying over a failed test, she might need a quiet hug or a funny joke – and YOU, the many sided-personality person that you are, will get better and better as you get older at knowing WHICH side of yours is going to help your friend in that moment.

I love that I have different sides to myself.  Not everyone is that way, and that’s ok!  Some are always going to be quiet, some always loud and that’s fine too!  As for me, I like my patchwork quilt personality, and I think God does too!

Patchwork Quilt

 

Tell me girls, in the comments below, how do you see yourself?  Are you a mixed bag, or do you have a steady theme of how you act in every social situation?  I’m curious!

Love you girls!

Hannah

Healthy Snacks

Hello, Mini-Women! It’s so good to be back for a visit. I’m loving this series Leslie and Hannah and Asher are doing with you, so when they asked me to talk to you about snacks (one of my favorite topics) I jumped right on it.

Healthy is the New Skinny

See if this sounds like you.

You just get back from a bike ride (a gymnastics class, a shopping trip, a leap frog competition … okay, maybe not that). You’re starving but it’s not time for dinner, so you check out what’s to eat. You decide on some cereal. That sounds healthy, right? Of course, when you look at the selection in the pantry, most of it looks boring (does anyone actually LIKE bran?) but there’s still some left of that kind with the colored marshmallows in it. As you head for the family room you promise yourself you won’t eat the whole box.

Lucky Charms

And actually you don’t. Because about halfway through whatever’s on TV, you ditch the few morsels that are left and curl into a ball on the couch. It seems weird. You’re kind of jittery, and you don’t even have the energy to grab the box from your little brother when he passes through and snatches it. You thought exercise was supposed to make you feel more energetic, but right now, you feel like a complete blob. When your mom calls that dinner’s ready, all you can say is, “Ug.”

Here’s the deal. You’re growing more in your tween years than in any other season of your life (except birth to 2 years old). Between that and the exercise you’re getting (you are, aren’t you?) you obviously need the right fuel. Not just anything you can get your hands on, but the real stuff your body needs for all the growing and changing it’s doing.

Amarise 1 of 3

So what’s the real stuff? That’s pretty simple. It’s the God-made stuff. If it basically happens naturally, it’s good for you. If it contains more than one ingredient you can’t even pronounce, it probably isn’t.

God-stuff:

Whole grains

Veggies

Fruits

Nuts

Dairy (or dairy substitutes like soy, almond or rice milk)

Meat and beans

Blueberries

Not God-stuff:

Soda (even diet; in fact, especially diet)

Artificial sweeteners (Stevia is okay, but not Equal or Splenda)

Any foods with sugar as the first ingredient on a package (yeah, that means the Chips Ahoy)

Crackers and chips containing partially hydrogenated oil (which even sounds disgusting)

Greasy fried foods (Yep, that includes French fries – in fact, most fast food)

Processed foods made with corn syrup (and most of them are)

Besides being nutritionally sound, this whole thing is Biblical.

God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” (Genesis 1:29)

AND

“Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat.” (Leviticus 11:2)

I’m not seeing Pop-Tarts and Hot Pockets in there, are you?

Even if your family doesn’t fix meals from the God-stuff list, making your own snacks can help. At first that may sound like you can only eat celery sticks and drink water, but there are a BUNCH of great possibilities if you use your imagination. Some of my faves:

· Those celery sticks … dipped in a little bit of peanut butter

· A bowl of berries in a pool of milk

· A sliced banana mixed with nuts

· A half an apple baked in the microwave for 30 seconds and sprinkled with cinnamon

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Once in a while it’s fun to savor a treat that’s on the Not God-Stuff list. Having an ice cream cone or a Snickers bar now and then doesn’t mean you’re disobeying God! Trying to eat healthy snacks most of the time does mean you’re taking care of that awesome body God gave you, and it keeps you from turning into a couch potato — when there’s so much living to do. In your Talking To God Journal, write about why it might be hard for you to pass up the cookies and chips, even though you know other choices are healthier. God can help.

If you want to make a comment, tell us what one item on the Not-God List you’re going to try to give up. We will cheer you on!

Blessings,

Nancy

The Best Version of YOU

Hi mini-women!

 

We’re talking about body image this month, and boy is this a great topic.  You can struggle with body image your whole life, and that would be such a shame because God didn’t intend for us to live that way.

I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. – Psalm 139:14

We all KNOW that verse but it can be hard to feel ‘wonderfully made’ when it seems like every other girl at church or school is a lot more wonderfully made than we are!

Some of us have experienced bullying, and it’s awful.  But I would say that sometimes our worst bully is the voice inside our heads.  We do it to ourselves, and how sad is that?

Would you tell your friend that her legs look stumpy or her nose looks lumpy?  No, never!  Right?

So why on EARTH is it ok to whisper that to ourselves?

Here’s the short answer: it’s not.

We were created to be the best version of OURSELVES.  Did you catch that?  We aren’t supposed to have the same face, same eyes, same skin as anyone else.  We’re supposed to be ourselves and that’s it.

Confidence is Beautiful

God created us to be healthy, sure.  He gave us an amazing body that we shouldn’t load up with garbage (like 27 Oreos every night) but we can all be beautifully healthy and not be the same size.

Just in case you missed that:  YOU CAN BE HEALTHY AND NOT BE THE SAME SIZE.

We are not supposed to have the same size thighs as our best friend, or the same hair, or the same arms.  We are supposed to have our body and be good caretakers of that body!  God only gave us one, and that’s the one we’re supposed to focus on.

Whatever You Do for the Glory of God

Girls, I’d be lying if I said I got this all figured out.  If I told you I never looked at someone else and wished I looked like her!  But what a waste of a life, to only mope around and wish you were somebody else.

You’re not!  You’re beautiful YOU and that’s all that God asks of you.

Think about that.  The magazines ask you to be some kind of girl, your friends may all look a certain way, but God says – No, be the best version of what I made you.

That’s it.

It’s that simple.

God gave us the body that’s going to carry us through life, and all He asks is that we take care of it, that we feed it good food, give it good exercise and treat it with respect.

If that means we learn to eat right and exercise and we still aren’t a size zero, that’s ok!  We aren’t called to be a jean size, we’re called to be healthy.  It’s taken me a long time to learn that, and I’m still learning, but I want you girls to hear it loud and clear now, so you can start learning it early.

Healthy is the New Skinny

In the comments below, tell us what bothers you about your body image, and how you’re going to readjust your thinking about it.  What are you going to tell yourself the next time you start getting bummed out and whining about how you look?  Share your pep talk!

Here’s mine: “I am not as skinny as some of my friends and that doesn’t matter.  My body is healthy and strong and carries me through my day and I am lucky to have it.  And my nose isn’t big; it’s cute! 😉

 

Love,

Hannah