Starting From the Top

first braHello, my Tribelet of beautiful Mini-Women. I’m really loving how our community is coming together.

    * You’re trusting each other by being real in your comments

   * You’re responding to OTHER girls’ comments, supporting everybody on this whole puberty journey

   * And you’re praying for one anotherpraying hands

Every week, new names pop up — Melissa and Zoe joined us since our last post.  And we’re getting more acquainted with Mini-Women who have been with us for a while — Halle, Ana, Adie, Grace, Asher, Eve, Sophie, Josie and more.

Not only that, but you’re adding to the blog in other ways, too. Asher has always done her amazing drawings for us, and now Ana is sharing hers.. This is just one; I’ll include more of her artwork in future posts. I would love to see more art and poems and photographs. So share, share, share!

angel web large ANA

You know what else impresses me? That you got right on my question: where does the verse about God shaping us like clay pots come from? HALLE, ANA, ADIE and GRACE all got it exactly right:

Isaiah 64:8-
“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”potter

 As Josie said, we gotta remember that God never makes a mess.  Right?

Speaking of your comments, several of you mentioned that you would love it if we went through the book YOU! together. That’s exactly my plan. When you express something I think we need to stop and talk about, like the whole weight thing, we’ll do that, but mostly we ARE working our way through YOU! A CHRISTIAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO GROWING UP. You on board?

AND if you’d like to read ANOTHER book about being a tween girl, check out this one:  Sherry Kyle's bookI know the author, Sherry Kyle, and she is way cool and speaks your language. To learn more about her and the fun stuff SHE does for tween girls, click here.

 You can never have too much info, right?

 Now back to us. One of the earliest signs that you’ve hit puberty and young womanhood is on the way is that you have (or will soon) started to develop breasts. The first thing I want you to do is answer this question, either just for yourself or in a comment: Are you more:

a. excited about becoming a young woman with breasts?

OR

b.  embarrassed by the whole thing? confused puberty girl

It’s actually a cool development because you’re getting a new feminine shape and you can wear different style clothes and you feel more grown up — all that stuff.  But it comes with its challenges too. Have you noticed?

  * Some people (okay, mostly those ALCs known as boys) may tease you about your  breasts. In the case of the Absurd Little Creatures, it’s because they just don’t know what to think. They thought they had it figured out that girls are gross and now they’re not and it’s confusing. So they point and snicker and do all the other things boys do when they’re clueless.  boys laughing

  * You might feel like you’re developing way ahead of other girls. Or way behind them. That whole comparison thing starts happening, which we talked about in a post not long ago.

  * Bras themselves may baffle you. What size do you wear? What’s with all those letter and numbers? What style isn’t going to be uncomfortable and drive you nuts? Do you and your mom agree on whether you actually need one? bra choices

Over the next several posts we’re going to talk about all of that and more. For now, I want you to think about what concerns you the most about this part of turning into a young woman. You’ll start, of course, by discussing it with God, who came up with this particular body feature in the first place … journal

 This week’s Talking To God Journal Prompt: “God? I’m trying to accept my body as the one you’re shaping but I do have some questions about, well, these breasts. Mostly I’m concerned about __________________________.”

If you want to share that with us, great. If not, you can still ask any questions about breasts, bras — fears and attitudes connected to them — anything you want to get off your chest. (Okay, that was cheesy. Sorry!)cheese I’ll try to stay abreast of your comments (oops — cheesy again!)

Blessings,

Nancy Rue 

 

 

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Blog Post Tomorrow!

Hello, Tribelet of amazing Mini-Women!

Our usual Wednesday post will be on Thursday this week.

See you tomorrow!

Am I Too Fat … Or Too Skinny?

weight issues  Hello, my Tribelet of beautiful Mini-Women. Thanks for being patient in waiting for this week’s post. I was out of town. Summer’s like that, right?

It’s good to be back with you –loved reading your comments and replying. Best discovery ever! (By the way, my replies say they’re from Melle, but they’re from me. Melle set up the blog for me so her name appears. )

Speaking of comments, several of you mentioned that you struggle with feeling like you’re too fat — or too skinny — weigh too much — or too little. I’m thinking that’s what we need to talk about today. Ready?

First of all, let’s decide that there are certain words we aren’t going to use when we talk about ourselves and other people. weight issues 2They include (among others you can probably think of) —

     * fat   * skinny  * tubby  * scrawny  *blubbery

                          * stickwoman

Anytime we put a downer name to something, we get all judgy and we lose the truth. Here’s the ACTUAL truth:

(1)   In the 2 to 4 years of puberty (when you start turning into a young woman), you’re going to experience a growth spurt at some point. You’ll put on weight and grow taller at a faster rate than  you have since you were two years old. bodies

(2) If both the growth and the weight gain happened at the same time, you might not notice it as much, but it doesn’t. Some girls grow taller before they gain the pounds  so they feel like Olive Oil in the Popeye cartoons (that was me at age 12). Others put on weight before they shoot up, which leaves them feeling stocky. olive oil

(3) So first of all, remember that you’re not done yet! You won’t know what your adult body is going to look like until two or three years after you start your first period

(4) What’s the point, then, in being all cranky because your tummy’s rounded or your chest is flatter than a special at IHOP? Wait ten minutes and it will probably change! flat chest

(5) Your job is to love who you are at this very moment. There’s a woman taking shape here – sort of like a potter molds clay. In fact, there’s a verse about that in the Bible.  WHO WANTS TO FIND IT FOR US? God’s doing his artistic thing. Let him.pottery

IS there anything you’re supposed to be doing with all this right now? Just a few things, and these are all about taking care of that body of yours.

     a. If you get out of breath really easily because of your weight, and you can’t do the active things you’d like to, ask your mom to help you look at what you’re eating and how much exercise you’re getting. This isn’t about looking like Taylor Swift. It’s about being healthy.

exercise 2

   b. Be sure you’re eating healthy. We’ll devote a whole post to that if you want. LET ME KNOW IF YOU’D LIKE THAT. weight issues 3

  c.  Move around. We’re a pretty sit-in-front-of-a-screen society, and that’s not good for us. We’ll do an entire post on being active if you want.  TELL ME  IF YOU’RE INTERESTED.

weight issues 4

  d. Dress in a way that plays up your best features. If you have a straight up and down figure right now, go with those dresses and tops that don’t call for hips and breasts to make them look right. If you’re rounder and more curvy at this point, enjoy the flowy styles that are comfy and easy to move in.

  e. Do NOT go on a “diet.” Don’t. Not unless a doctor prescribes one for you. I’m going to say it again DO NOT DIET!!!! no diets

Here’s the deal: now is the time to focus on learning, finding out what you like to do and doing it, loving your friends and learning how to get along with them — NOT stressing about your hips or worrying because all your friends are thinner — or shaplier — than you are. Matter of fact, it’s never the time to get all anxious about your measurements and the number on the scale and the size on the tag. Start now — right now — learning how to live without body issues. Because  trying to have a perfect one will drive. You. Nuts. At any time in your life.

We’ve talked a lot about how hard this is, when everybody in the entire WORLD is talking about what kind of shape you’re supposed to have. healthy girlThe only way to really handle that is to (a) keep connected with a community like this one where we’re always reminding you that you. Are. Beautiful. And (b) constantly talking to God about it. So grab that Talking To God Journal and your fave pen …

journal

THIS WEEK’S  TTGJ PROMPT: God? I feel this way about my weight ________________________. Will you help me accept exactly who I am, which is _______________? And will you guide me in doing these things to help myself: _______________________. 

Of COURSE share if you want to. And don’t forget to tell us whether you want posts on eating and exercise. As you can tell, I’m shaping my posts according to what you need.  I hope you’re loving it as much as I am.

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

 

 

 

Is It Conceited To Like Yourself?

girl in mirror 2Hello my beautiful Tribelet of Mini-Women! Thanks for being so honest about how you compare yourself to other girls on this whole body thing. As usual, you trusted each other with what’s really going on inside you, and you trusted me which is the only way I can keep helping you.

So let’s go on with something JOSIE said in her comment –(oh, and by the way, when I reply individually to your comments, that’s actually me even though it says Elder Melle; she set up the blog in the beginning so her name is on there; sorry for the confusion)

Where was I? Oh, yes, JOSIE, who I think speaks for a lot of you when she says she feel selfish when she thinks about how her body is just as beautiful as anybody else’s. I can say, “Are you serious? OF COURSE that’s not selfish! What are you even talking about?” And I’m right when I say that.

kitty confidence

But I’m competing with a lot of other voices telling you that it IS conceited to like yourself. Unfortunately, most of those voices are Christian, and they have it totally wrong. Let’s talk first about why people say that:

    * They’re confusing being happy about the way you’re made with thinking you’re all that. Yes, there are girls who are so jazzed about their “perfect” figures that they act like everybody else is so ugly next to them why don’t they just put bags over their heads. But that isn’t you. That isn’t the same as thinking, “God made me this way for a reason. So what’s not to like?”

    * They think if you are content with where you are you won’t try to grow. Here’s the deal on that. When it comes to the way you treat people or how close you are to God, of COURSE there is always room for improvement. That’s not what we’re talking about here. This is about your developing body that you can’t and shouldn’t do anything to change right now. So why would you sit around going, “My thighs are so huge!” or “Why hasn’t the breast fairy come yet?” insecurity

* They want you to focus on who you are inside instead of how you look. They’re leaving something important out of that sentence: Focus MORE on who you are inside than who you are outside. But it’s ridiculous to think you’re never going to think about how you look. Thinking your body is pretty dang nice does NOT mean you’re forgetting to love people and be your best inside self.

SO — what happens if you keep thinking your body is too Whatever and never get comfortable with it?

    * You’re insulting God. Really. Remember that verse from last week about God knitting you together in your mother’s womb? Refusing to see your body as a beautiful gift is like throwing a birthday present back in your mom’s face and saying, “I hate this!” Don’t you think it makes God happy when you look in the mirror and say, “I might not look like a model, but this body of mine is unique to me and I’m liking that.”

gift return

   * You’re learning to hate yourself, and hate is not a good look for anybody. Try this. Think of something you truly despise. For me that would be Brussels sprouts or liver or reality TV. Think hard about it. Then look in the mirror . THAT is not an attractive face, right? When you walk around hating your own body, refusing to see what’s good about it, that’s the expression you wear on your face. THAT you can change — with the God-confidence that it is exactly what it’s supposed to be at this very moment.

hateful eyes

  * You’re becoming critical of other people. Remember how the commandment says, “Love your neighbor as yourself”? If you don’t love what’s good about you, inside and out, how on EARTH are you going to be able to love everybody else? You’ll think and say the same kinds of things about them as you do about your own self. Seeing the positive is a habit you have to work on — and it benefits everybody around you.

Beautiful women are beautiful because they’re confident. They KNOW who God made them to be and they’re thankful for it. They’re wonderful to be around. They make other people feel good about their God-made selves too. What the Sam Hill is selfish and conceited about that?

confidence

I know it isn’t easy to get past all those messages: “You think you’re all that. You’re totally conceited. You shouldn’t even THINK about yourself.” But we all need to, and we can only do it by taking it straight to God. So get out that TTGJ (if you’re new, ask us what a Talking To God Journal is and somebody will explain it to you in a comment) and let’s write –

journal

THIS WEEK’S TTGJ  PROMPT:   God, I’m kind of struggling with this whole idea of liking my own body because __________. Will you please help me to see that You want me to be confident, especially about my _____________________ (list your best features). 

As always, share what you fill in if you want to. And anything else you want to say about having God-confidence. We’re here to be our best selves!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

The Comparison Game

comparison

Hello, my Tribelet of precious Mini-Women! Before we get started on today’s post I just want to say how pleased I am with my sweet self. I just discovered that I can respond to your comments individually. How cool is that? Another way to connect and let you know that each one of you is important to me — as you own unique self.

Which brings us to the topic for the day. In those honest comments of yours a BUNCH of you admitted that the hardest thing for you NOT to do as your body develops is compare yourself to other girls (or even WAY older girls) and come out feeling less than. WAY less than.

comparison 2

Here’s the deal: the Comparison Game is no fun. In fact it’s one of the best ways I know to make yourself miserable. And isn’t puberty with all its confusing changes hard enough without adding THAT to the mix?

How, then, can you turn yourself  around and head straight out of that  dead end?

First let’s look at what happens when you start measuring your body against other girls’.

     (a)  There will always be somebody taller, skinnier, with a tinier waist and perkier breasts. You see only that, and not what’s great about YOUR figure.

     (b) That’s too painful in the long run, so you look for ways to catch up and feel better. “I may not have a perfect body like she does, but I’m WAY smarter.” Get the idea?

comparison 4

     (c)  Both of those things add up to jealousy — Ten Commandments anyone, the whole coveting thing? Have you ever looked in the mirror when you were having a jealous moment? I don’t care how physically attractive you are, that isn’t a good look for anybody.

      (d) The minute you feel jealous and have to make yourself feel better about it, you begin to lose any kind of friendship you could have with that person. Best-friendships have been lost of this. Is it worth it?

    (e) Sometimes you can really get lost in comparing and find yourself putting other people down OUT LOUD. “Sure, she looks like a model, but did you know she cheats? Lies? Picks her nose?”

Yeah, playing the Comparison Game isn’t going to take you anywhere you want to be, trust me? Let me spell it out:

     * You’ll focus so much on what you AREN’T, you won’t know what you ARE.

     * You won’t learn to love the body you’re going to live with for the rest of your life.

     * You’ll get into the habit of being all judgy in order to feel okay about yourself. And believe me, you won’t anyway.

So how do you stop doing it? That’s hard because we live in a society that is all ABOUT competition — sports championships, beauty pageants, special awards. It’s 0kay in those situations  but not when it comes to you and your own body.  I mean, seriously, did these words ever come out of Jesus’s mouth?

    “Peter is way better built than John. Look at those shoulders, man. I don’t know why John even bothers trying to follow me.”

     Jesus never said anything even close to that! He knew his Scripture and could probably quote this Psalm from memory. You might do well to memorize it too:

comparison 3

“For you (God) created my7 inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

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

No, not all of you are going to be super models. SO WHAT?

Not every one of you will wear a size 2 when you reach adulthood. And that matters because?

A very small percentage of you will be prom queen, homecoming princess, voted best looking in your high school class. Who the Sam Hill cares?

BUT … no matter what your hip measurement, your bra size, or the number on the scale, every single one of you IS:

   * beautifully unique in some way

    * created by God for a positive purpose

    * totally worthy of love

    * qualified to say, “I look like me and that is a good thing.”

We’re talking here about the natural size and shape of your body. Later we’ll touch on what you can do to keep that body healthy and strong and even how to choose clothes that show you at your best. For right now, let’s celebrate what you’re body looks like at this very moment because:

    * it’s turning you into a young woman

    * it’s growing exactly the way it’s supposed to

    * it’s yours and only yours

What’s that? Do I still hear some of you mumbling, “You don’t know what it’s like, Nancy Rue. You don’t know how it feels to be teased and feel ugly.”

Don’t I, now? Sweeties, I was five foot seven when I was twelve years old, which meant I towered over the cute little petite girls and most of the boys. I weighed at about 105, making me look like Olive Oil in the Popeye cartoons. I’m not even going to start on my flat chestedness, my gigantic nose, my bumpy complexion or my general spaziness. It was painful. And yet I did figure out that I wasn’t going to change that any time soon. I went with it. You can too.

Still, I’m not going to say, “This is easy.” I am going to say, “You need God.” SO let’s turn to that Talking To God Journal ….

Your TTGJ prompt for this week: God, I keep comparing myself to _____________. Will you please help me  stop?  I’m having a hard time doing it on my own because ________. 

Share with us if you want to. After all, we’re all in this together, right?

Blessings, Nancy Rue