Making Sure Fear Isn’t Your Control Freak!

hannah Hi mini-women!  Hannah here.

Boy am I enjoying this series on fear.  Why?  Because I feel like I’m preaching to myself!  We make so many decisions based on fear without even realizing it.  Our mouth gets dry, our heart starts racing, and all of a sudden we’re making crazy choices without even thinking twice!nervous-girl

Our God is a God of Hope, yes?  So let’s try to make choices based on HOPE, not fear.  Let’s believe that God will give us the strength to try something new.  To go to a new school, to audition for a musical, to try out for a competitive sport.hope

Because of course God will.  God doesn’t want fear to stop us from anything.  Remember the story of Jonah?

Talk about a guy who made a big decision based ONLY on fear, and not at all on hope.  God told him to go one way, and because it seemed too scary, he sprinted off in the opposite direction!

Now, God was merciful, and let him live by having a whale swallow him, but think about this – A WHALE SWALLOWED HIM. jonah I don’t know about you girls, but I would be SCARED out of my mind to have a huge whale mouth close over me!  Right about the time that I saw that big mouth coming at me I’d be thinking, “Boy I wish I’d just done what God asked, and not been so scared!  A new town with some not-so-nice people is better than getting EATEN BY A WHALE!”

We all look at Jonah and say, “Well of course he did the wrong thing; we would never disobey God like that.”  But we do.  We really do.  We avoid making new friends, trying out for a play or a new sport because it’s just easier to stay home.frightened-turtle

And surely God doesn’t want that!  I’ve never found a verse that said, “Better to be a couch potato than to try something new.”  You girls let me know if you find a conversation between God and anyone else in the Bible that gives you that impression.

But let’s remember two things about Jonah’s story.

  1. He avoided doing what God asked, and his life got way worse.  He had to live in a STOMACH for 3 days, for Pete’s sake!  jonah-2 You’re probably not going to get eaten, but you may be lonely without friends, or sad when you go see the play you could have been in, or disappointed when you hear that sports team won the game and you weren’t a part of it.

Your life will just be a bit gray-er than it should be, right?

  1. And this is the comforting part of the story – when Jonah messed up, God still stayed with him. Yes, he was in a worse situation.  But God never left.  He was faithful.  (Just a little encouragement if you’ve made a fear decision – God WILL get you back on track!)

All I mean to say is, making a decision based on fear almost NEVER ends well.  And making a decision based on HOPE, well that just opens doors to things you never thought were possible      .hope-2

And isn’t that what we want from life?  Doing amazing things and giving God the glory?  I say yes.

It may not be easy.  But the Bible says to take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and I like that because it doesn’t just say, “Hey work hard and don’t be afraid – you’ll get there!”

No, instead it says, “Look, you may have thoughts that give you fear and make you want to run the other way all the time, BUT you’ve got to be rough on those thoughts.  Take them captive and kick them out.”  That’s a good way to start obeying Christ – fight back against thoughts that AREN’T from Him in your own head.fight-or-flight

So for your Talking to God Journals this week, why don’t you make a list of things that you HAVEN’T done because you’re too afraid.  Then go over that list, and ask God to help you conquer ONE of those fears this year.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  You don’t have to ask Him to fix all those fears right away!  Just one.rara's cover

Here’s what I’d love to hear in your comments this week, if you want to share.  What is one area of your life that you are going to start kicking fear OUT the door, and try using hope instead?

I’ll do mine.  I’m going to start believing that I CAN write a good story, and I will NOT fail to finish.  It will take some work every day – but God is going to help me write, and give me good ideas.  That blank page on the computer screen isn’t going to scare me anymore!

How about you sweet girls?  Let’s hear it!





Your Personal Fear Style

asher-fear Hello, awesome Tribelet of Mini-Women! Hannah and I are loving how brave you’re being in sharing your fears with us — even the ones that are of the Bogey Man variety. The first step in conquering fear is to admit you have it. So good on ya!

As we keep looking at the scary stuff in life — the really frightening things, not the scenarios we dream up — our NEXT step is to figure out how to respond to it. We all want to do what our ASHER shows us in her photo above (which features her usual awesome drawings and lettering). We want to say, “Good-bye, Fear. You have no power over me. I’m gonna let my light shine instead.”

Uh-huh. comfort-zone-1

If you can do that every time your mouth goes dry and the butterflies in your stomach feel like they’re on steroids, please raise your hand …

None of you? Of course not. If we could just ignore fear or send it packing, nobody would ever be afraid, and that wouldn’t be good. What if you just shrugged your shoulders about:

     * stepping out into a busy street?

    * walking around outside by yourself at night in the middle of a city?  walking-at-night

     * getting into a car with a stranger?

    * jumping into a swimming pool in the middle of a thunderstorm?

Fear was created by God to tell us that something is dangerous and we need to take action to avoid being taken out. We’ve already talked about things that really aren’t scary; we’re looking here at the things that require us to respond.

And we all have a different way of doing that. Some people freak out. nervous-girlOthers are paralyzed and can’t do anything. Others get angry and do things that actually don’t help. Each of us has our own Fear Style, but it helps to know that they ALL fall into one of two kinds:

     (1) FIGHT. Some people react to something scary by trying to scare it back. If they come up against a bear on a hike, they scream at it and try to chase it away. If a bully attacks them they come back swinging. If a teacher scares the bejeebers out of them, they lose their temper and yell at her. scary-teacherThe Fear Fighters aren’t necessarily brave. It’s not a good idea to try to chase a bear off by screaming at it. Lashing out is just what they naturally do.

    (2) FLIGHT. Other people react to a scary thing by getting the Sam Hill out of there. If THEY meet a grizzly while hiking, they turn tail and run. If a bully attacks THEM, they go hide in the bathroom. If a teacher turns into a monster, THEY crawl under the desk. Running away is just what they naturally do. running-away

        Think about it:  are you more of a fighter or a fly-er?

  We can’t change that first instinct. It’s built into us. I personally want to take off like my tail is on fire when I’m scared. That’s what comes into my head to do.

BUT — that doesn’t mean we should say, “Oh, well, that’s just the way I am.” We’ve talked about this before, right? If it were okay to simply go with that all the time, we’d have people running away from things they need to confront and people getting into fights they need to walk away from. fight-or-flight

So how do we know the right thing to do when we’re scared, and how do we change from our natural instinct when we need to?

It would take more than one blog post for me to answer that, but I CAN give you some guidelines that might help you.

   You should always run (take FLIGHT) when:

  * you’re in  physical danger (except when faced with some wild animals, which is a whole other thing …)

  * someone is trying to talk you into something you know isn’t right to do and they won’t take no for an answer

 * you can’t handle the situation alone and need to go get help help

* you need time to go someplace and think through what to do

In those cases, it isn’t cowardly to run away. It’s smart! Of course, it’s hard to do when you’re a fighter, so just keep telling yourself as you take off in the other direction that this is the wise thing to do — that you can’t always control a situation — that you’re going to live to fight another day!

You should always FIGHT when:

   *  somebody is trying to keep you from being who you are

  * somebody needs you to stand up for them and they’re not in physical danger (in that case, you go for help) arguing

 * somebody is trying to take away your rights

 * somebody is attacking your faith

Keep in mind, though, that “FIGHT” doesn’t mean roll up your sleeves and start punching somebody out. Nor does it mean yelling in someone’s face, throwing things at them, etc. It DOES mean taking a stand. Saying what needs to be said  in as loving and firm a voice as you can manage. Or just going with, “Really? You think you have that kind of power of me?” and THEN walking (not running) away. running-from-fear

That’s hard to do when everything in you wants to take off screaming. Trust me — I know. But when the fear is worth fighting, it will follow you even if you try to leave it in the dust. Because, um, it’s inside you. So there’s that.

That’s a lot to take in, so why don’t we stop here so you can think about how it applies to you.

First, grab your Talking To God Journal and ask God to help you be honest about whether you’re naturally a Fighter or a Fly-er — and about what situations in your life right now are challenging you to do the opposite of what you naturally want to do. ashers-girl-writing-in-journalAsk for help, because that’s the first step no matter what you usually do with your fear, right?

  Second, if you want to comment this time, read the situation below and tell us these two things: (1) what you would NATURALLY do if you didn’t think about it; and (2) what you think God would want you to do.

SCARY SITUATION: You go to a birthday party of a friend who lives in another part of town. When you walk in you realize you don’t know anybody who’s there except the friend who invited you and she has to spread her attention to everybody. That would be scary enough, but there are two girls there who seem to be making it their business to laugh at everybody else. Asher's gossip drawing AND you find out a game is planned in which each girl there has to get up and act out their favorite famous person while everybody guesses who you are. You feel like you’re going to throw up.

I hope you never find yourself in that situation. But in any scary scene, just keep remembering that God is there to whisper, “Nothing is going to happen that you and I together can’t handle.”Yeah.


Nancy Rue

Real Fear vs. the Bogey Man

hannah Hi Mini-Women!  Hannah here. It’s so great to be back here again in the New Year.  I’ve missed you all!

You all know we’re doing a new series on fear, right? (If not, click here to see last week’s post.)  Today I want to talk to you about: the wrong kind of fear.

I think I’ve used this verse before, but I love it so much so I’m bringing it back around.African American girl

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind – 2 Timothy 1:7

Now, just a reminder.  You can still feel fear.  That’s natural.  We get nervous about things. (Sweaty palms, dry mouth, butterflies flapping around in your stomach.) Us being human beings is why that happens.

And SOMEtimes that fear is good.  It could keep us from jumping from the top bunk and breaking our ankle, or keep us from hanging out with a bad crowd who might make bad choices.  I think that’s where the ‘sound mind’ part comes in – that’s God’s way of saying ‘common sense.’comfort-zone-1

But a lot of fear is in our own heads, and it’s not a ‘sound mind’ from God.   This kind of fear is what we want to avoid.  It cripples us and makes us hide from a lot of good things in life.  It tells us:

     *not to try new things

     *that feeling embarrassed is the worst thing that can happen to us

     * that staying home and in the same routine is the only way to stay safe – and that safe is good.embarrassed-3

But you girls to know that isn’t true.  Think of your favorite hero.  Could be someone from the Bible, or someone with a great story from your history book, or maybe someone you know.  Either way, when they did their heroic deed – were they safe?

Probably not! super-hero

That’s because the good things in life, those great accomplishments, those new ideas, don’t usually come to those who live safe.

That fear in your heart about auditioning for a play, speaking up to a bully, studying a tricky new subject – that’s not from God  He didn’t put it there, because he doesn’t give fear.  That’s our False Self operating. (Remember her?)confused puberty girl

Not God.  He gives power, love, and a sound mind.  The power to try something new and be brave, the love of those around you to encourage you, and a sound mind, instead of a racing, nervous one.

I remember being a little girl and being scared of a movie I saw.  I don’t even remember what scared me about it, but I do remember being huddled in my room at night, and I couldn’t sleep. scary-movie I didn’t want to close my eyes.  My dad knew I was still up, and he came in and sat on my bed.  I told him I was scared and he just shook his head and said, “You’re giving your fear too much value.”

He was right.  I was making it the most important thing in the world.  I had let it move right into my head and block out everything else.  I wasn’t remembering that I had a great little sister sleeping right nearby, sleepingthat my parents loved me and were right in the next room.  That I was in a nice warm bed, I had nice toys …

And most importantly – I had Jesus.  He was ALWAYS there with me, and He didn’t care about a silly movie.  He cared about me.  He was always going to stay right there with me, and He would help me fight back fear.

So when you’re feeling afraid and you know it’s just you believing in the Bogey Man – remember this: something else is more important than fear.

     * We can’t let fear spend too much time with us.

     * We can feel it, we just don’t let it hang around.

     * We don’t let it move in.

  That something else that’s more important might be:

     * you finally mastering that new school subject

     *being able to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without flipping out

     * making the person who was picked on feel better, when you stand up for them.arguing

So my dear Mini-Women, what I want to ask you is this:

  • Look back at your comment from last week’s post. What are you afraid of?

     * In your talking to God journal, write about this question: Is it something you’re SUPPOSED to be afraid of? ashers-girl-writing-in-journal Or are you just nervous, and whipping it up in your head, and you need to remind yourself that God is with you?

     * Maybe there is something in your life that IS a big deal and you feel like you definitely should be scared of it.  And that’s all right. Talk to God about that too.  Just remember our verse, and ask God to give you power and a sound mind to defeat it.  Let God talk to you more than you let your FEARS talk to you.

And He will!  Every time.

If you want to make a comment this week, tell us one thing that fear is keeping you from trying or enjoying. inner-critic-asherAnd remember that nobody is going to say your fear is stupid or lame. We are the Tribelet. We support each other!



Second Ever Monthly Mini-Makers Post


Hello, Tribelet of Mini-Women! Welcome to our second 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. Just like last time I wasn’t able to include everything you sent in. But –

     * Every one 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.

 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.

Without further ado, I give you …


        The photo above is of course hers. We know her beautiful work by now, right? She says, “This time, my Mini-Makers piece is a notebook cover that I made for my mom – lettering of one of our favorite verses. Like last time, I also composed the photograph.”

What I love: Asher made this for someone else, and yet it still shows so much of her and her own talent. I think the best gifts we give come from our very soul.

If you want to comment, tell us what you know about Asher from studying her photograph.


She says, “I’ve added a bit more to my story for the next Mini-Makers post.” We’re glad she did. We’ve been waiting.

Jeremy froze as the girl closed in on him. Surely she wouldn’t take it any further than ridicule! She grinned at him. “You can’t escape from me now, Little!” Jeremy shivered and shook his head. When he didn’t answer, she spoke again. “He was right, you know.” Jeremy could swear he saw angry tears in her eyes as she said these words,  “No one is special, Jeremy! And it would do you good to remember that!”  Nervous under her glare, he nodded, and something in her expression softened slightly. “Don’t tell Bruce that I released you. Now go!”  Jeremy was grateful. Without thinking twice, he ran home. His mother would not be amused at his late arrival.

Now, back in his bed, Jeremy puzzled over the events in his mind. What was with that Elizabeth girl? He could not understand why she had let him go. And he had seen her crying, of all things! Or at least he thought he had. Maybe it was just his imagination. Minds can do funny things when you’re lonely.

What I love: Olivia writes like a seasoned author. She gives us dialogue that sounds real, action that makes us feel like we’re there and thoughts that ring so true I think I might have thought them myself. That last line is amazing.

If you want to comment: why do you think I said “That last line is amazing?”




Eve sent me a number of awesome photos so I chose this one for winter. She says, “One of my hobbies/something I like to do is taking pictures of animals. My dad is a Wildlife Biologist, so I know what a lot of the animals and plants are, and I also think I get my passion for wildlife from him. This is an injured Barred owl that my dad picked up to take to rehabilitation.”

 What I love: Can’t you just see Eve’s respect for this noble, dignified animal, even in its injured state? She clearly believes that all God’s creatures are of value. I’m so glad a person like Eve is here in our world to help protect the earth, our fragile home.

If you want to comment, tell us what you think this owl could be thinking about his photographer, Eve.


  Johnna shared a number of songs and poems with me for today’s post, and I’ve chosen this one because it says so much about her creative mind.

 If I could just have a second,

Away from the business of the day.

Just my imagination,

Where I rule in my own way.

All my favorite characters,

From all my favorite stories.

In a world of my design,

Where there is no hurry.

My turf, my rules,

All I want is to see,

All of the people,

Of whom I dream.

What I love: I can relate to this poem, because I feel that way when I want to work on my new book and so many other things keep getting in my way. Thank you for speaking for all of us creative minds, Johnna.

If you want to comment, tell Johnna whether her poem makes you go, “That is so me!”


This month’s tip from Nancy: unr-library

        Kaelyn wrote this to me last week:

It is me, Kaelyn from the blog. I am working on part-two for ”The Space Secret”, the story I am writing for  January’s Min-Makers. How do you make the characters so alive in your books? Lucy is such a tomboy and loves soccer. Lily Robbins is always trying something new and always does her best to be herself. Sophie helps others and truly cares about her friends. How do you make them so alive? Could you please give me some advice on that? I got to get to start writing their personalities of my characters in my idea book.  Any ideas? I would love to hear them.

        Here’s what I told her:

I think you answered your own question! The characters come alive because each of them is unique, different from any other character. The thing to do is get to know your main character as if she’s a real person. You know your Talking To God journal? Your main character can have a Talking To Kaelyn journal, in which she tells you all about herself. She’ll soon reveal things about herself that make her her true self. I know it sounds crazy, but it always, always works for me .Asher tween you and me logo

So make a journal – just some lined paper with a plain paper cover stapled together to form a book – and on the first page write her a note, something like: “:Dear ________, I want to show how real you are when I write about you, so I need you to tell me what makes you different from everybody else. Can you do that?” Then just pretend you’re her and let her write whatever comes to you. Yes, weird, but we fiction authors are not like other people! (Note: don’t tell your siblings you’re doing this; there will be no end to the teasing, trust me …)

This month’s challenge:

Whether you draw or take photos or write songs and poems or stories and books, try doing what I suggested Kaelyn do. Let the character in your creative work write to you in a journal, just the way you write in your Talking To God Journal. Then write, draw or photograph a piece after that. See what happens. Kaelyn did: “ Dear Mrs. Rue, I  tried it and it worked! I think it is such a great idea. Thanks for the advice.”

That’s what I’m here for.

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 next Tuesday. I’ll post them all without comments, just for you to enjoy. And don’t forget to be here tomorrow for Hannah’s post!


Nancy Rue


Be Not Afraid? Really?

nervous-girlHello, Precious Tribelet of Mini-Women! With a New Year comes a new series. (If you haven’t read yesterday’s post wrapping up our last series, be sure to click here and make your comment.) For the next several weeks we’re going to talk about …


Gee, that’s a cheery topic, isn’t it?

Not to worry (or be afraid!). Hannah and I are going to try to help you get a handle on the things you’re afraid of so they don’t keep you from living your best life ever.comfort-zone-1

It’s definitely an important topic. I’ve read that some form of “fear not” or “be anxious for nothing” appears 365 times in the Bible. That’s one for every day of the year. I haven’t actually counted them myself, but let’s just say that God thinks it HUGE that we get it: we have nothing to be so afraid of that it wrecks us.

Of course, if we could read, “Do not be afraid,” and say, “Oh, okay,” and then live fear-free for the rest of our lives, you wouldn’t need this blog. I wouldn’t still deal with nail-biting now and then. inner-critic-asher You wouldn’t get sweaty palms every time you have to take a test — or get that cotton-mouth thing when you walk into a room where you don’t know anybody — or freak out when you even think about learning to drive a car someday. As much as we trust God, it just isn’t that easy to say, “God says don’t be scared so I’m not going to be.”

That’s because fear is a human emotion. God planted the ability to feel afraid into our make-up so we don’t just stand there when a rattlesnake sticks out its tongue or walk out in the middle of the road when there’s a bus coming. nervousHannah is going to talk next week about the difference between fear that saves  your behind and the panic that stands between you and a great life.

So, no, it isn’t “against God’s will” to get

panic buttonsweaty palms and bats flying around in your stomach. That’s natural. What God doesn’t want us to do is get so worked up that fear controls us, or so paralyzed that we can’t do the next right thing, or so flipped-out we go off on other people. THAT’s the kind of fear we’re going to talk about this month.

  Does that sound like something that might be helpful to you? Or does the idea of talking about fear make you, well, afraid?

It’s pretty tempting not to talk about the things that give you bad dreams or make you want to throw up.  But y’know what? fear-faceWhatever we bury alive is going to dig its way out eventually, and it isn’t going to be happy with us. Why not explore it together, here, where it’s safe?

Are you in?

You can start by turning to your Talking To God journal and writing to God about all the things you’re afraid of. Asher tween you and me logo Don’t worry that it’s going to sound silly. Don’t hesitate to write something down because it doesn’t seem like something you “should” be afraid of. God understands. Trust that.

If you want to post a comment — and we hope you do — share the 3 things you’re the most afraid of. Not only will that help you not to feel like you’re the only one who breaks out into a sweat over shots or math or yelling dads frightened-turtle— it will also help Hannah and me know exactly how to help you in the posts to come.

One more thing: January 13 is our next Mini-Makers post. If you want to share an original poem, song, story excerpt, photo, drawing or anything else creative you’ve story-telling done, email that to me by Tuesday, January 10.

Meanwhile, Mini-Women, think about this … “do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. “(Isaiah 41:10) Yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.


Nancy Rue

EVERYBODY’S New Year’s Resolution

new-yearHello, my precious Tribelet of Mini-Women! Happy, happy 2017. We are going to have an AWESOME year together. Hannah and I have some great new plans for the blog, and then, of course, there’s the monthly Mini-Makers Program (see reminder tomorrow) and your on-going comments and sister-love for each other. Yikes – so much ahead!

When a whole new year stretches out in front of us — with no mistakes in it yet — some of us make New Year’s Resolutions. new-years-resolutions  You know, that list of all the habits we’re going to start and things we’re going to change about ourselves. Exercise a bajillion times a week. Make straight A’s. Be nice to little brother. Keep room clean and organized every single day.

But even if we make that list a little bit more do-able — Get exercise 3 times a week. Make A’s and B’s. Don’t flush little brother down the toilet. Be able to open my closet without fear of an avalanche — new-years-resolutions-2MOST of us realize about January 15th that we haven’t done such a great job of keeping those promises we made to ourselves on January 1. In fact, we’re not even sure where we PUT that list … oh, is that it, buried under the pile of junk in the corner? Or did I crumple it up and throw it at little brother? no-more-resolutions-2

That’s human nature. Change is HARD.

So does that mean we shouldn’t make New Years Resolutions at all? That it’s pointless to even try to change? no-more-new-years-resolutionsActually, it just means we need to look at the whole “this year is going to be better” thing a little differently. Here’s what I think:

Why don’t we ALL make just ONE promise for 2017? Let’s ALL resolve to try every day to be our TRUE, AUTHENTIC, REAL selves. What do you think?

That’s going to look different for absolutely everybody because each of us is made to be totally unique and, well, different from everybody else. God is the biggest creative of all, so that makes sense, right? aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWING

So when you resolve to be the self God made, it’s about:

     *looking back at all the blog posts we’ve done in our True Self False Self series and the things you’ve written in your Talking To God Journal and seeing what you’ve learned about who you really are. olivias-self-portrait

     *doing the things in your spare time that YOU want to do (not just what everybody else is doing)

    *treating people the way YOU know is right (not just the way that will make you a part of the group) Asher's bad influence friends

     *dressing to express your real self (not just what everybody else is wearing, unless you like that)

 Sure, you could make that resolution and STILL not carry it out — IF you tried to do it alone. But YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    *You have Hannah and me and this whole community to support you   hannah    caricature of signing

   * You have God to guide you every day — every minute, even — especially if you talk to God in your journal everyday

So let’s go for it, Mini-Women.

In your Talking To God Journal, write your resolution to God and ask for God’s help in showing you just exactly who you are right now and how you can express that.ashers-girl-writing-in-journal

If you want to post a comment, tell us whether you’re in for making the True Self resolution. Then tell us what your first step is going to be.

Me? I’m going to go through my closet and take out all the clothes that just aren’t me and give them to Good Will. Yeah. Feels real!


Nancy Ruehappy-new-year