HI, Mini-Women!

We are SO CLOSE to Christmas.  I can hardly stand it.  I hope you all have the BEST time celebrating with those you love.

ashers-christmas-drawing

Hi, Mini-Women! Hannah here.

We are SO CLOSE to Christmas.  I can hardly stand it.  I hope you all have the BEST time celebrating with those you love. (and thank you, Asher, for this drawing just for us!)

We’re winding down our True Self/False Self series, but THIS topic might be one of my favorites. It’s a good one to think about in these last few days before THE BIG DAY!

 Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zone vs. Being in a Bad/Uncomfortable Situation

comfort-zone-1

 I like this topic because I stepped out of my comfort zone this year and before I did, I definitely felt scared and not ready at all!

When it comes to things I feel comfortable about, that would be reading, writing, crocheting, cooking, and so on.  Doing an 11-mile obstacle course that was designed by the Army and is covered in mud is NOT something I would think to do on my own.

But this was one of those cases where peer pressure was a good thing.  My friends convinced me to do it. I am in good shape and I exercise a lot, so it wasn’t like I couldn’t do it.  I just was scared to.

       What if I fell?

      What if everyone else was faster than I was?hurdles

      What if I hurt myself?

See what I did there?  I let my fears gallop away and drag me with them.

  • I didn’t stop to think that these people I was running with were my friends and would surely wait for me if I was too slow.

  • I didn’t stop to think that this course would have amazing medical care if I was injured.first-aid

  • I didn’t stop to think about how long I’ve been a runner, and that I would definitely be able to keep up.

I’m glad I did the race and silenced my fears. I felt God’s hand with me the whole way, strengthening me and lifting my spirits.  logLike when we had to lift this huge log over a wall, and I somehow did it – had to be God!  And a little human muscle too.

 It. was. awesome.   That sense of accomplishment crossing the finish line was a-may-zing! 😀 crossing-finish-line

The Bible, of course, covers the subject of outside-the-comfort-zone fear. Let’s check out what Paul said to Timothy:

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment (2nd Timothy 1:7)

Right there.  God’s spirit in us will never make us timid.  We’re going to have the power to do difficult things.  Like running a crazy race, singing a complicated solo,ashers-rock-star-drawing writing a new story or painting a tricky part of a landscape.

There is nothing “bad” about running a race. In fact I would say it’s mostly a good thing!  Except if I got crazy-obsessed and started doing one every weekend and never saw my family again. Right?  And I think God likes it when we do things that are outside our comfort zone, because that’s when He gets to show us how strong we can be when we rely on Him.       comfort-zone-2

BUT if a new situation arises, and you know it’s going to make you drift AWAY from God, or do something that goes against the Bible and His plan for your life – THAT’S when I think we need to stay IN the comfort zone.  Like maybe a new sport that only plays on Sundays during church time.  Or performing in a play that makes fun of Jesus.  Or getting hooked on a new TV show that doesn’t respect God’s word – at all.

If something comes along like that, and we know deep down that we may start to drift from God if we go much further – then I think we should rename the comfort zone the Safety Zone, and be glad to stay put. safety-zone

Let’s go back to 2 Tim for a minute: For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and SOUND JUDGMENT (2nd Timothy 1:7)

See that? His spirit also gives us a smart mind, to have the wisdom to know when we’re in a bad situation, or following a bad path, like the new Sundays-only sport, a sketchy theater play, or a questionable TV show.

So the next time you feel nervous or afraid about trying something new, send up a prayer. praying Ask:

  • if God’s gonna use this to make you stronger than ever

OR

  • if God’s telling you to use your ‘sound judgment’ and turn around

In your Talking To God Journals this week, ashers-girl-writing-in-journal write that prayer, and ask God what new stuff in your life He’s going to give you strength for, and what new stuff you’d be better off leaving behind.

In your comment this week, tell us the last time you tried something new, and had a GREAT time!  Maybe tell us how you overcame your chattering nerves. nervous-girl

And if you’re up for sharing, you can tell us the last time you turned down something new that didn’t seem like the right thing.

Love you mini-women!  Oh and – MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Let’s end with this beautiful Christmas song from our own Johnna.

Blessings,

Hannah

hannah

Christmas bells are ringing,

Jesus comes knocking at your door.

He asks for a place to stay,

How can you turn him away this day?

A lovely Christmas Eve,

Jesus comes knocking at your door.

He asks for a place to stay,

How can you turn him away this day?

Christmas Day, early and bright,

Jesus comes knocking at your door.

He asks for a place to stay,

How can you turn him away this day?

The day after Christmas,

Jesus comes knocking at your door.

He asks for a place to stay,

How can you turn him away this day?

The last day of Christmas,

Jesus comes knocking at your door.

He asks for a place to stay,

Then says, how could you turn me away?

 (We don’t turn him or any mini-woman away here on Tween You and Me!)

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Showcase Overflow!

kate-tree-photo-1

Hey, Tribelet of Mini-Women! We weren’t able to publish absolutely everything that was submitted for Tuesday’s Mini-Makers Showcase (click here if you missed that) — like this awesome photo by KATE. So we’ve included all the December pieces here — without comments  — just for you to enjoy.

If you want your creative work featured on January’s showcase, just email me with your 100-word story or poem,  drawing, painting, photo — whatever — by January 10.

And now, I give you the Mini-Makers!

JOHNNA

Harry Potter fan fiction

Drew Malfoy crept down to the Gryffindor common room in her pjs. She stood in the middle of the room for fifteen minutes.

            “Hey!” came a voice from the staircase. Harry stepped into the light. He looked nervous. “How long have you been waiting? Am I late?”

            Drew smiled at him. “Not very long. You’re fine.”

            He looked relieved. “So, to perform a patronous charm, you have to think about something really happy. Then say, ‘expecto patronum!’” Instantly a large ghostly stag came rushing out of his wand. It pranced around for a little while then faded away.

More Harry Potter fan fiction

            Drew Malfoy watched everyone go up to be sorted into their houses. They went alphabetical order so she knew she’d be right after her brother. Her brother, Draco, went up when his name was called. The sorting hat immediately called out Slytherin. Draco looked delighted.

            “Malfoy, Drew!”  Professor McGonagall called out her name. Drew slowly walked up to the stool and sat down. The sorting hat fell over her eyes. It was five minutes before the sorting hat said anything.

            “Gryffindor!” Drew smiled as the hat was pulled off her head. She went to sit down with the other Gryffindors. 

Poems

“My Lord, My Father”

My Lord, my Father, my God almighty,

You help me, you love me, you care.

He cleans up my life, nice and tidy,

And you give me the clothes I wear.

 

The Father, the Son, the Spirit,

The blessed Trinity,

His love I will inherit,

And I stand with humility.

 

He has created all the earth,

With his curiosity.

You help me when I’m hurt,

And I strive for integrity.

 

My Lord, you give me life,

Strength, hope, and belief.

You remove all my strife,

And you care about every leaf.

 

My God, I praise you today,

And forever more.

For now I can go and play,

Because you help me endure.

 kate flowers photo.JPG

PHOTO BY KATE

Sophia

 Sing a Thankful Song Unto the Lord

By Sophia

 

Thank You God, you truly made me,

                You made the whole world,

I am as happy as can be,

                And I will never mold!

(Repeat once more)

 

You made the earth

                You made the skies

You put me in so my mom could give birth

                And you made with all my tries!

 

I sometimes wonder what I would do

                If I were not here

But I will keep following You

                I really like You near

 

Thank You God, You truly made me,

                You made the whole world,

I am as happy as can be,

                And I will never mold!

(Repeat once more)

 

Those Few Long Days

Sophia Blue

                 “The war is still going on,” sighed a sad Mrs. Frost.  “Will my so ever come home?”

                “Robert was always a good son,” her husband added with a choke in his strong voice.

                “Will Robert come home, Mrs. Frost?” asked a small seven year old girl. Her blue eyes were filled with worry’s she looked the lady strait I the eye. “Please tell me the truth!”

                “Lydia, I wish I could lie to ye,” replied Mrs. Frost the pleading girl in front of her. “He may not –“

                “Hush Rachel!” Mrs. Blue said sharply, “you know as well as me we don’t ever speak of those things in this household! And, even if ye be thee guests, those exceptions are never bended.” Then Mrs. Blue looked at her daughter, and her eyes got softer as she added, “Especially with my child, Lydia.”

                Mrs. Frost nodded quietly,” Yes Mary.”  She then quietly walked out of the house. Lydia watched her Aunt, her mother’s sister. Mrs. Frost walked over to the porch swing.

                Without asking Lydia ran outside, “I am outside if ye be needin’ me!” she called rushing out of the blue house. In her childish way she looked over to where her Aunt lay on the grass. If Lydia had called from where she stood she would have been heard. Instead, Lydia ran over to the pod, and after stripping herself bare she prepared to jump in.

                Then a shriek made her stop from jumping into the lake. “Lydia Blue!” her Mother screamed, “why are you not wearing thy clothes? I mean, really, ye are about get on your mother’s nerves! Get on thy clothes, and run in ‘for thy supper gets cold.” Then Mrs. Blue ran back in the house like a grasshopper running fro m its enemy.

                As she put o her red skirt and white shirt she wondered what Robert was doing now. Then she hastily went in to eat her meal before bed.

                That day all Lydia’s elders where scattered. “Good mor-“

                “Give me that right now Jenn-“

                “No Mary, I want to –“

                 “Mary, my wife…give that-“

                “Ye be my brother I law, ye I’ve-“

                “Stop it right now!” Screamed Mr. Blue, “Mary, read the article before we speak!”

                After nodding Jenny looked at all of the people seated in her room. Then she began,”

                                                World War – Look out All Parents!

                                The fighting and bloodshed is getting outrageously worse! All sources say that whoever may go to the war will have thyself killed. Ad whomever has gone already – if not yet killed- shall be killed. A good source……..Utica News report!”

 

                “All Mississippi is doomed!” wailed Jenny, “if it reached to Utica, then what is happening to Robert?”

                 “Oh my goodness!” cried Mr. Frost.

                While her Mother and Father tried to comfort and reassure the Frost couple Lydia slipped outside. Lydia sat under ad old oak tree, but did not do or think anything. “Tis so hard to understand news reports!” she burst out in exasperation.

                Then Mrs. Frost sat down quietly beside Lydia, “Hello darling! How are ye be doing’?”

                “Not so good aunty Jenney….not so sood,” Lydia replied slowly. “Robert is dying?”

                “He not be dying at all,” her Aunt replied with renewed strength. “I have been praying hard, that I have… Robert be alive and well; but yes, the war gets harder and worse! Look over yonder Lydia. Do ye remember the sermon Jesus preached on the Mount? About the flowers, they do not have any preparation for the next day ahead. But they look up to God to supply them! Do you have faith Lydia?”

                “No mam!”

                “Ah, you are like I was-until your mom changed that, she did. Not trusting anyone…That was me! I knew ‘bout Jesus, but thought it all folly. But then ye Mom showed me the right path to follow!”

                “I can’t have that path.”

                “Yes you can, Lydia…But ye must believe!”

                “Ok, how do I start?”

                “Pray.”

                “Dear Father, I know You love me…But it is very hard with all the war ad stuff. Help Robert come home safely, please. That is all, Amen!”

                The next day Robert said he would return home I a week, and all the family rejoiced over his coming return. The ladies fixed their hair with flowers. The men joked about things they never had before. The war had ended, it was finally over!

                In Lydia’s world everything was perfect. She skew the sun and moon would rise and fall every day and night. But she and her family would stay strong! “When we pray God works,” she whispered.

 kate-tree-photo-2

PHOTO BY KATE

OLIVIA

Beginning of book:

It was nearly midnight, and all the people of New York City were drifting to sleep. All but one.

On the rooftop of an apartment building a scrawny boy with tousled, brown hair lay on his cot, staring up at the starry sky above. The boy’s name was Jeremy Little.

He had had a rough day at school, and he was reliving the terrible experience in his mind.

Bullies had always seemed to target him a lot, given the fact that he was skinny and towered over all the boys and girls in his seventh grade classroom, but this had been the worst.

It all had started late that afternoon. School had just finished and Jeremy was clearing off his desk. He was just about to head out the door of the classroom when he stumbled and dropped his books. Someone had shoved him – hard! He swiveled around and faced his oppressor. It was Bruce Stone, his old archenemy. Bruce’s friends were there, too, and – oh no.

The new girl! She had already been sucked into Bruce’s trap.

Everyone liked Bruce because he was popular, and they all wanted to be his friends. Jeremy, however, knew that Bruce’s “friends” were not really friends, merely minions to do the dirty work.

Jeremy felt somewhat sorry for the girl. She’d learn soon enough that Bruce Stone was not someone to cross paths with.

“A bit humbling, isn’t it, Stick Boy,” Bruce snickered, “to be that low to the ground?” Jeremy scrambled to collect his things. “No, actually, I find it quite nice down here. Beats having to look at your face!”

He stood up to his full height. “What do you want from me?” A nasty grin formed on Bruce’s face. “Oh, nothing much. Just a bit more humility, Little. You think you’re better than me? You’re trash.” “And what do you mean by that?” Jeremy ventured. “Anyone’s better than you, Bruce!” Bruce smiled in mock innocence. “You know, you’re really dumber than I thought, Jeremy. I would think you’d know.” Jeremy was fuming by now. “Well, I don’t. Why do you think I’m trash? Please enlighten me.” Bruce smirked. “Fine,” he said. “Why do you think your father left you? I’ll tell you why. Because you’re just a filthy, worthless piece of garbage!” He had drawn the last straw.

“That’s it!” Jeremy roared, and, fists flying, he lunged at Bruce. Bruce was too quick for him. He easily dodged Jeremy’s fists.

“Elizabeth! Grab him!” He said. The new girl stepped forward and grabbed hold of Jeremy, who was struggling greatly. “You’re gonna get it bad.” She hissed. Jeremy kicked and squirmed, but did not say a word.

“Good work, Jackson, you’re in. Jeremy Little, did you really think you could outsmart me? Even the new girl has made the decision to trust me. Elizabeth, let go of him.”

Jeremy was thrown hard on the ground. “Why do you hate me?” He whimpered. Bruce sauntered over to him. “You will never be anything special, Jeremy. Accept it. If you would only join me, then there might be hope for you. There’s nowhere else to go. Think about it.” He said, and his voice faded to a whisper as he turned over to the new girl. “Elizabeth, take him to – you know where. Make sure he doesn’t escape.”

Elizabeth moved to grab him, but Jeremy, realizing the ability to use his legs, tore out of her grasp. He ran out the door and down the street as she struggled to keep up. He came to a turn. Suddenly he stopped.

He slowly backed into a corner of the alley as the realization dawned on him: It was a dead end!

Part 2:

“Hey, you! Come out of there!” Jeremy hollered as he stepped nearer to the shrubbery. “Yeah, why don’t you show yourself?” Liz added. Slowly a little man came out of his hiding place. His complexion was marred with scars that told stories that they could never dream of. He was also quite bald and he had an awful hump on his back. Jeremy backed away in apprehension, but Liz moved forward, curious. “Who, or, actually, what, are you?” She inquired. The man hesitated, then spoke. “I’m not a ‘what’, nitwit! You can call me Lump! But I’m a dwarf, if that’s not clear enough.Woulda thought you’d figure that out. You look a smarty.” “Hmph!” She replied, disgusted with his rudeness. Jeremy, however, walked closer to the dwarf. He was intrigued by this interesting man. “Well, ‘Lump’, what are you doing in the forest? “My business, lad, you will soon learn of,” said the dwarf. “But first, what do they call you, boy?” Jeremy answered, “Oh! Of course. I’m Jeremy Little, and this is my best friend, Liz Jackson. Pleased to meet you, sir.” “Why, how lovely to make new friends!” Lump was delighted. He stuck out his hand to Jeremy and Jeremy grasped it. Lump then offered it to Liz. She made a quick grimace, then took it. Much to her surprise, the dwarf kissed her hand! “Honored,” he told her, “to make your acquaintance, milady.” Liz was quite taken aback by this gesture; he had seemed so tough and impolite at first. Now she saw that, despite his first impression and outward appearance, he was really a sweet man. She found herself warming up to him. “We’re looking for an adventure. Would you like to join us?” She blurted out. “Why, certainly,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I was just on a little adventure myself when I met you two…” As he finished speaking, his voice trailed off into the distance. Liz, paying no attention to what he had just said, shouted, “Hurray,” and pumped her fists in the air. But Jeremy had a sharp ear. “Wait, Mr. Lump! Didn’t you say you were on some sort of an adventure? What kind of adventure?” The dwarf looked down at his large, hairy feet. “I suppose I should tell you my purpose for being in the forest…”

kate-tree-photo-4   PHOTOS BY KATEKate tree photo 5.JPG

Being Kind vs. Being Fake

hannah Hi mini-women!  Hannah here.

Are you all getting excited for Christmas?  I know I am!  It is my favorite holiday – EVER.  Hey, fun survey (put this in your comments):  What’s your favorite Christmas carol?  I have so many favorites.  “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Oh Holy Night.”  I just could go on and on.  I love so many! (Nancy’s is “Angels We Have Heard On High.”)christmas-caroling

Ok on to today’s True Self/False Self topic.  The last time we were together, I talked about being honest vs. being rude.  If you missed that post, just click here.

Let’s switch that today.

Let’s talk about  Being Kind vs. Being Fake

We all know what this means, don’t we?  We see someone give a compliment about a nice pair of earrings, and then earring-girl leaves, and the compliment-er turns to the rest of you and says, “Weren’t those earrings hideous?”

earrings

Isn’t that saddest thing to see?  Just reading that makes me wanna run and give earring-girl a hug!  Now, you’re probably not like that.  I know you mini-women a little better now, and I doubt you’d ever be that mean.  Buuuuuut…..sadly I think we all do stuff like this sometimes – just in a more hidden way.

Like when we smile and laugh with a new lab partner in science class, but inside we’re really wishing they had been absent today so we could be partners with our best friend again.lab-partner

Like when we tell someone how great their new sweater is when they ask, but we actually think it looks like the yarn vomited into a big ugly mess.ugly-sweater

Or maybe just when we smile and wave at someone coming down the hall in school or the aisle in the grocery store and inside we’re thinking, “Please don’t stop and talk to me!  You’re so weird!”

I bet we could ALL come up with more examples.  And don’t get me wrong – these aren’t all bad feelings.  It’s ok to miss your best friend in science class, to not like someone’s sweater, or feel a little awkward talking to someone who isn’t quite your cup of tea.frog-in-tea

And it doesn’t hurt to be kind, even when you’re uncomfortable.  I think we can all agree that Jesus wants us to be loving, rather than the opposite.  But I think we also know that He wants us to be kind and loving, right down to the bone, instead of just the surface.  Right?

  Ok, so how do we do that?

 Solomon talks about that surface-fakey-fake behavior in Proverbs 23 (verses 6-7 specifically, but read the whole chapter if you want!).  Basically he says that those fake people are not great.  cranky-kingHe gives the example of a king or a rich person (depending on the version you’re reading) who pretends to be all nice and generous and says, “Eat and drink all you want – my treat!”, but inside he’s getting grumpy that people are eating and drinking all his snacks and soda.

And that’s it.

  That’s the only part of the story that the Bible gives us.

  It doesn’t say anything about the guest.  Maybe the guest is weird, or annoying, or even rude, for actually all eating ALL of this rich guy’s food.  But the Bible doesn’t worry about that.  It’s more concerned with the rich man’s heart.  Solomon warns us not to be fake.  When we are kind to someone, it needs to come from inside.real-vs-fake

Jesus felt this way too.  He reminded us of this when someone asked Him what the most important commandment was.

And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.   This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Can you tell us the “address” for that in the Bible?)

love-neighbor

He doesn’t say anything about your neighbor either –whether he or she is weird or annoying.  He just says to love them and consider them as unique and valuable as yourself.

So that lab partner in class – remind yourself that she might feel as awkward as you, and she would love for you to make her feel welcome.girlfriends-talking

That sweater you hate?  Well the person wearing it might just love it.  And if she loves it, then who cares what you think?  Tell her it makes her look colorful and happy!ugly-sweater-christmas-party

And that weird person coming down the hall?  Well that’s the neighbor Jesus was talking about.  He is as special and loved by Him as you are.  keep it realSo if Jesus lives in your heart, then make that smile real and don’t worry if you can’t think of something to talk about.   You smiling at him might be all he needed today.

So the next time you’re are nice to someone, Mini-Women, just out of habit, (even though you really don’t like that person), remind yourself that the Bible says to be nice – AND MEAN IT.  Don’t fake it – make it real.  Remember that Jesus loves HER the same amount He loves YOU – and treat her that way.girl-smiling

Topic for your Talking To God Journal:

  • Can you think of a time you were fake to someone? What did you do or say that wasn’t genuine? Tell God about it.

  • Ask God what you can do better next time, to make sure that your kindness comes from the heart?

    ashers-girl-writing-in-journal

  • And while you’re at it, talk to God about what you can do to make REAL kindness a habit, and not a one-time thing?

If you want to comment on this post, tell us:girl on computer

  • when do you find it the hardest to be kind on the inside even though you’re being “nice” on the outside? (Nancy’s answer: when somebody is going on and on about something I’m not even the tiniest bit interested in; I pretend I’m fascinated when really I just want that person to hush up before I fall asleep)

  • What could you replace that inside thought with? (Nancy could think: who cares if I’m interested or not; this person just needs to be heard.)

Love you girls – and that’s sisterly love in Christ – so yeah, I mean it! 😀

Hannah

First Ever Mini-Makers Monthly Showcase

halles-painting

 

Hello, Tribelet of Mini-Women! Welcome to our first ever Mini-Makers Monthly Showcase. If you have NO idea what that is, click here so you’ll know what’s going on.

 Your response to my call for your creative works has been AWESOME. So much so that I wasn’t able to include everything you sent in. But –

     * Everyone of you who submitted a piece of your creativity will see some part of your work here

  • If you submitted two or more things, I only posted one today but I’ll include your other pieces in future posts. (see the end of this one)

 Here’s how this works:

  • You’ll see each piece with its creator’s name.

  • After each one you’ll find my comments on what I loved about that piece

  • And you’ll see the prompt so you can comment too. You don’t have to comment on all the pieces, but you certainly can if you want to

  • At the end you’ll see my Mini-Makers Tip of the Month and the challenge for the next month.

Mini-Women, I give you …

HALLE

            Halle’s painting of the Christmas ornament starts off today’s post (above).

What I love: The colors Halle chose. They’re different from what we’d expect so they catch our eye. It looks so real, and yet there’s something fanciful about it too. Two things I love the most: the three dimensional bow and the message. (and I WISH my handwriting was that beautiful!)

 If you want to comment, tell us the ONE THING you like best about Halle’s painting.

 OLIVIA

            When Olivia emailed this drawing to me she said it was “a self-portrait I just randomly drew in my notebook the other day while I was doing math. I had to stop in the middle of math to go into the bathroom and look in the mirror for a long time. I probably should have waited until I had finished math to draw it, but it might have come out differently and less accurate if I had. I think I still finished my math that day.”

olivias-self-portrait

            What I love: That it just came to her and she seized the moment to capture the way she sees herself. It’s hard to draw faces but this is beautifully done. I bet I would be able to pick Olivia out in a crowd now.

            If you want to comment, tell us what you know about Olivia from this drawing.

 JOHNNA

            In her email Johnna said, “I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard about a game called Minecraft, but it’s a game I play and I wrote a poem about it.”

     Minecraft

I start my world in survival,

I harvest a little wood.

I get out my axe,

Forget about the past,

And start chopping as I should.

I build a house straight and tall,

I work as hard as can be.

For the suns coming down,

I’m ready to shout,

The monsters are coming after me.

A little while later,

I find myself attacked.

By a zombie, a spider,

I don’t know what.

I died I’m not coming back.

I start my world in creative,

I build exactly what I like.

No need to chop, or fight, or hide.

I’m safe, I’m good,

I’m alive tonight.

            What I love: Johnna’s poem does what poetry at its best does: she takes something familiar and seems to be writing about it, and yet below the surface there’s a message that isn’t really about Minecraft at all. Very skillful. She also uses a sort of free verse approach. It flows but it doesn’t have a specific rhyme scheme. That’s sophisticated.

            If you want to comment, tell us your favorite line or two from Johnna’s poem.

KATE

kate-kitty-photo

            What I love: Kate didn’t just snap a photo of her kitty. She captured what we call the “essence” of the cat. She caught her (him?) in a moment of clearly saying, “What do you WANT? I’m trying to take a nap here. It’s what cats do.” She also used the light and shadows to make her photo pop. That and the colors – great stuff.

            If you want to comment, tell us what you think Kitty is saying in this picture.

 KAELYN

            Kaelyn shared an idea for a story called “The Space Secret.”

 What if aliens were real? What if there was one you knew, but never knew about it?  One day, on the planet Neptune, there was human scientists coming to their planet to study it. So, the aliens turned themselves into a human form and sent themselves down to Earth. They did not want the humans to find out that there were aliens on Neptune. They all left just in time.  Lots of the alien children were sent to different orphanages across the United States. One of the alien baby girls got adopted and was named Becca.  Becca was raised up by her Earth parents, Max and Sarah Heart and their son, Timmy. Will Becca ever find out  her real identity?   Find out what happens with Becca and her new Earth family next month on Mini-Makers . 

             What I love: I am intrigued by this story and I want to read more! Kaelyn takes something fascinating – hello, aliens from another planet – and relates it to us – we’re ALL trying to find our true identity; it’s the whole true self-false thing.

            If you want to comment, tell us what YOU think is going to happen next. (If Kaelyn submits the next part, you’ll find out next month!)

ASHER

            I expected Asher to submit one of her awesome drawings in the style we’ve come to love here on Tween You and Me. She surprised me, though, with something different and every bit as perfect. In her email she said, “It’s hand lettering over watercolor, and I also experimented with the presentation in the photograph a little.” So it’s not only a painted piece but a photo as well.

asher-dec-2016

            What I love: Asher is always trying new things, developing her gifts beyond just what’s comfortable. Not only that, but she paints and writes about what is true for her. And look at the way the watercolor suggests the mountains and the waters in her text. I’m also impressed with the various types of hand lettering she puts together. Who wouldn’t want this on their shelf, right?

            If you want to comment, tell us what other detail you noticed in Asher’s piece that I didn’t mention.

SOPHIA

            I had a hard time choosing which excerpt from Sophia’s story “Those Few Long Days” to use. Here’s what I selected:

      “The war is still going on,” sighed a sad Mrs. Frost.  “Will my son ever come home?”

      “Robert was always a good son,” her husband added with a choke in his strong voice.

      “Will Robert come home, Mrs. Frost?” asked a small seven year old girl. Her blue eyes were filled with worry as she looked the lady straight in the eye. “Please tell me the truth!”

      “Lydia, I wish I could lie to ye,” replied Mrs. Frost to the pleading girl in front of her. “He may not –“

           “Hush Rachel!” Mrs. Blue said sharply. “You know as well as me we don’t ever speak of those things in this household! And, even if ye be the guests, those exceptions are never bended.”     

             What I love: Sophia writes like a professional author. She immediately gets us interested with dialogue that sounds real for its time. She lets us know what the characters are feeling, not by telling us but by showing us. I’m intrigued by why they don’t speak of things like dying in their house. I definitely want to read on.

            If you want to comment, tell us which character you’re most interested in at this point.

 Very impressive, Mini-Makers. Very impressive

Mini-Makers Tip for the Month: Keep an Idea Book

            I have a mentoring program for adults who want to be published authors, and one of the first things I tell them is to make and keep an Idea Book. Here’s what I to say to them (those taller Makers)

            Find or make a small notebook to carry with you in your purse or backpack. Anytime you see an interesting person or have an unusual experience or think, “I would love to write about/paint/photograph/draw/dance/ this” jot it down. You can scribble lines you want to turn into poems later. Pick up that leaf you want to sketch. Copy down a funny thing somebody said that you want to put in a story. Write down the moves to a dance that comes to you when you get a glimpse of a deer.

 Here’s the book one of my clients made. Yours doesn’t he to be this fancy, but it should make us  go, “Yes. That’s so HER!”

kays-idea-book

This month’s challenges:

  1. Start an Idea Book, take a picture of it, and email it to me

  2. Create something that expresses “This is me at my best.” That can include a story you’ve already started; just tell me in your email how it represents the true you.

 Is this fun or what? Thank you, Mini-Makers. And if you want to see the rest of what your fellow MMs sent me this month, come back thursday. I’ll post them all without comments, just for you to enjoy. And don’t forget to be here tomorrowfor Hannah’s post!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

Last Call for This Month’s Mini-Makers!

story-telling

Hello, my Tribelet of Mini-Makers!

Just a reminder that today is the last day to submit your stories, poems, other writings, artwork, photographs and anything else creative you’ve done for the very FIRST Mini-Makers post. I’ve heard from a BUNCH of you and wanted to make sure everyone who wants to participate this month has a chance.

So  — if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just click here to find out.

And — if you want to submit something attach it to this email address

And — if you want to participate in Mini-Makers but you don’t have anything ready that’s okay. We’ll be doing this every month. The next deadline is JANUARY 10.

january

COME BACK TOMORROW — TUESDAY —  to see December’s Mini-Makers AND get some more tips on how to be your most creative self. tuesday

THEN  COME BACK WEDNESDAY for our regular post by Hannah which you don’t want to miss.  Trust me!wednesday

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

Being “Different”

Hello, Tribelet of Mini-Women! Let me say that differently: Good morning, Tribelet of UNIQUE Mini-Women!

different girlsGood morning, Tribelet of Mini-Women! Let me say that differently: Good morning, Tribelet of UNIQUE Mini-Women!

That’s what we’ve been talking about these last several weeks – the fact that each of us is one-of-a-kind, made by God that way. That when we’re trying to deal with the world we sometimes layer a False Self on top of that. And that God wants us to discover that True Self and be her.

 We’ve talked about a bunch of ways to allow that to happen – you and me and Hannah. onionWhen you’re peeling off those not-true layers it feels pretty good, right? Yeah, we can be real and it’s fabulous …

 And then somebody looks at us and says, “Why are you so weird? Why can’t you just be normal?”

 Or maybe we try really hard to be “normal” so nobody WILL say that – and then we aren’t our True Selves.

 aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWING

It would be great if we could all just be exactly who we are and everybody would go, “You rock.” Or better yet, they would not judge us at ALL because they’re busy being who THEY are.

 Doesn’t always work out that way, though, does it? This kind of thing happens:

 You discover a new hobby or interest and you’re so excited to tell your friends and they look at you like you’ve just grown a second nose. “Why would you want to go see a Shakespeare play?” they say. “That’s just weird.”

weird-nose

  • You wear an outfit that is so you it’s like it was designed for you alone, and your sister says, “I am NOT going out of the house with you if you’re going to wear that.”

  • You are so concerned about the fires in Tennessee or the child refugees from Syria, and some grown-up says, “Don’t be silly. You can’t do anything about that. Just be a kid.”inner-critic-asher

  • You’re feeling so great that you let out a big old, “YES!”, and some absurd little creep boy (ALC) goes, “Dude! What are you, wacko? Chill out!”

Suddenly the True Self you’ve been working so hard to discover scurries back into her little False Self cave and there you are again, trying to fit in and be “normal.”

in-a-cave

          Have you noticed that every time I type the word “normal” I put it in quotation marks? That’s because it’s kind of a false word. The only time “normal” should be used is when we’re talking about our body temperature or our blood pressure or something. That kind of normal means, “The same as most other people.”

 But we weren’t made to be like most other people! We were each created by God to be unique from every other human being who was ever made. So of COURSE we’re weird and different. EVERY ONE OF US.

 That’s doesn’t automatically help when you’re being treated like you’re un-cool and strange. The thing is, we can’t change the way other people respond to us when we’re truly being ourselves. We just can’t.

boys laughing

 We can only work on us.

I’ve come up with some tips on how to do that:

 * You don’t have to act like a freak to be yourself. For example, just dress the way you want to as long as you’re not offending anybody (like rude sayings on your t-shirt) or doing it just to get everybody to look at you. (Do you REALLY want to wear a Santa suit to school, or are you only wanting some attention?)  santa

  • Be interested in whatever you want to – your type of music, hobbies, things to learn about – but don’t be all hurt if other people aren’t fascinated by them. At the same time, you don’t have to hide those interests. You never know if somebody else might say, “That sounds cool. I want to do that too.” If it’s real for you, then just do it, without expecting everybody else to find it real for them. (So don’t invite me to come play volleyball, okay? I’ll cheer you on from the sidelines)

    Ashers health drawing

  • Never hold back from truly being who you are. If other people tease you for always raising your hand in class or for being nice to the kid who isn’t easy to be nice to or for standing up against gossip – that’s on them. You have no idea how much of an example you’re setting for other people who wish they had your courage – and will next time.

    SNO-1[1]

  • Remember that being “normal” is impossible. You couldn’t be like everybody else if you tried, because there IS no “everybody else.” If you’re brave enough to like what you like and stand up for what you know is right and be your unique self – you’re actually way ahead of the kids who are very busy trying to fit in all the time. Fit into what? A false way of being?

 comparison 4

Of COURSE we all want to belong, and part of being part of a group is having things in common with that group. Kids who play sports hang out together. Kids in the band spend time with each other. Girls who like to dance or draw or read are naturally drawn to each other. But each and every soccer player, flute player, tap dancer and artist is different from every other. Trying NOT to be different is sort of a slap in the face to God.

 Right?

 The key is to let being your unique self be fun rather than a thing that separates you from other people. So let’s try something, well, fun.

healthy girl

  1. In your Talking To God Journal, tell God about one thing you would do if other people wouldn’t say you were nuts (or lame, or un-cool … you get the idea). Maybe it’s listening to classical music or reading poetry or learning to juggle or writing a movie script … Dream with God. You can even write about what you think other people would say if they knew.ashers-girl-writing-in-journal

 2. Tell us what that is in your comment. You know for sure no one here is going to tell you it’s stupid. In fact, you’re more likely to get, “That sounds awesome!”

  1. Make a date with yourself to do that “different” thing. Even just a piece of it.

 Write again in your Talking To God Journal about how it felt. Did you feel more like True You and less like that hiding False Self You?

 5. Maybe in another comment you could tell us about it?

 Speaking of expressing your True Self, don’t forget to email me your writing, drawings, photographs or other creative stuff by Monday, December 12 for the next Mini-Makers post. Click here if you don’t know what that is. I’ve gotten some great submissions already. It’s going to be, well, Truly Awesome!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue