What About Cliques?

aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWING

Hi mini-women!  HANNAH here.  We’re sky-diving into a thorny subject today, so strap on your helmet and let’s jump, okay?

We’re talking about  … cliques. A clique is when a group of girls becomes pretty exclusive and closed off to others.  Gossiping and trying to be clones are pretty good signs of one!

I cannot. stand. cliques.

Wherever you see a group of girls dressing alike, talking alike, having all the SAME hobbies — with a Queen Bee leader who calls all the shots or you’re out — queen bee I can 100% guarantee you there is a girl standing off by herself somewhere, wishing she could go along to the movie too, or get that inside joke too, or just have fun with a bunch of girls too. inner-critic-asher

But nope.  For whatever reason, we girls like to travel in packs, and we get a little territorial about letting new members in. Kind of like a pride of lions.

But NEWS FLASH!  We’re not lions, ok?  We’re not animals who claw at each other and push the weaker ones out to die alone. pride of lions (Sorry about all the animal analogies.  I’ve been watching too many wilderness documentaries recently.)

We’re higher than the animals.  God made us so, and we’re called to act that way.  When we see someone who doesn’t fit in, we are supposed to call that person over.  We should ask how they’re doing, see what kind of movies they like, food they like, sports they like, to see if there’s a way we can connect with them.Asher girls

Now listen, I know we can’t be friends with everyone.  There are some people God knows you won’t click with, and that’s okay.  He’ll send other people their way.  He only asks that we try.  Smile at new people, say hello, and don’t act like they’re contagious with the flu!

Remember in the Bible when Jesus went and chatted with the Samaritan woman at the well?  She was in a rough place in life, and He knew that, and He wanted to connect with her. woman at the well So when He saw she was getting water to bring back to the house, He started talking about how people who call on Him never get thirsty.  And she asked him questions, and boom, we have a friendly conversation.

Now, she and Jesus probably didn’t go on to be best pals.  He had other places he needed to go, he had his best pals along with Him (they were the first FRIENDLY clique!) and He knew He needed to go on and reach more people.

But her life was changed forever.  See, Samaritans were used to being treated pretty badly.  They followed some of the Jewish teachings, but not all.  So the Jews really didn’t like them.  Bible womenAnd women were used to being ignored.  Their opinions counted for very little in the culture back then.

So a Samaritan AND a woman?  Let’s just say she was probably used to not getting invited to bowling night down at the arcade.  She was used to feeling like an outsider.

And Jesus wasn’t having that.  You shouldn’t either.  Neither should I. clique

My point in all this is:  Don’t be scared to reach out to someone.  I think sometimes we feel like we have all the friends we need, and this other person seems really different, and maybe we won’t hit it off.  And maybe we’re right.

But still, we need to try.  That act of kindness could change their sadness into a smile, and who knows?  You might start to like the person behind the smile.

So don’t be clique-y.  Cliques are just not Jesus-approved.  He talked to ANYone.

So what do you do when you are the one outside of the clique?  Well first of all, let’s try and remember that Jesus calls us to be kind to everyone no matter what.

Asher's bad influence friends

If there’s a bossy mean popular girl who is shutting you out of things, don’t turn around and start bad-mouthing her.  That gets you nowhere.  You just become crabby and who wants to be crabby?

Second, remember that these girls aren’t the only girls on the planet.  You don’t need mean friends.  Go search for others, for people who are going to smile back when you talk to them, who are excited to spend time with you and hear about your day.  You may not find them right away, but you WILL find them!  Trust me!

ashers-girl-writing-in-journal

In your Talking to God journals this week, ask God if there have been times that you’ve excluded others because they were just too different than you – OR have had it happen to you.

 And we can talk about that in the comments too! I know I definitely have done it!  I’m a naturally shy person so it takes me a little bit to work up the courage to go talk to someone new.  girl on computerBut as a shy person, I also know what it’s like to be left out of things.  So I have to try and do my part. Can you tell us about YOUR experience?

Love you mini women!  You’re the best example of a healthy group of girls, instead of a clique!  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and see you rally around each other — like you do!

Blessings,

Hannah Hannah doing research

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New Series: When Friendships Flounder

 Hello, amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women! And welcome to our newest member, ESMERELDA. We’re glad you’ve joined us — and let’s make sure Esmerelda knows she’s one of us. welcome

Today is the beginning of our next series of posts about friendships. In our last series we talked about Friendship Flubs — those annoying sort-of-little but can-get-bigger things that happen in just about every CFF group (that’s Close Friends Forever) from time to time.

NOW we’re going to go just a little deeper, into the stuff that’s more disturbing. The things that make our friendships flounder. If angry fishyou’re not familiar with that expression, it means when your relationship is like a fish (a flounder is a kind of fish) that gets caught out of the water and flops all around gasping for air on the ground.

Not a pretty image, is it? But it definitely describes what it feels like when these kinds of issues happen:

      *  When a friend group becomes an exclusive clique

clique

      *  When all your friends dump you — or you never had any in the first place 

sad girl

    *   When really mean girls turn on you 

kaelyns-inner-critic

    *    When it’s time for a friendship to be over

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ASHER came up with that last one in a comment, which gave Hannah and me the idea to let YOU make some suggestions for any friendship issues we haven’t mentioned. In the series we just finished we’ve covered THESE flubs, so you won’t want to include them in your suggestions:

      * Rumors and gossip  *  One friend always being the boss * Expecting friends to read your mind  * Jealousy  * Drama Queens  * The clone thing

Here’s what we suggest:

     (1) In your Talking To God journal, journaltell God about the worst friendship issues you’ve had lately. Pour it all out. God isn’t going to judge you or tell anybody else what you say (best kind of friend!)

    (2) If there is anything that comes up in your journal that isn’t on either list above (pink or green), tell us in a comment so we can include it.  OR tell us which comment from the green list you’re looking forward to the most. Our first one will be next Wednesday.

  Meanwhile, know that friendships don’t flounder here on Tween You and Me. We’ve always got your back.  Veronica May By VERONICA

Blessings,  Nancy Rue

  PS — Entries for our June Mini-Makers Showcase are due June 23! For more information, just click here: Calling All Mini-Writers!

From the Pens and Sketchbooks and Cameras of the Mini-Makers!

  Asher April

Hello, my amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women. Today’s a pretty huge day for us: the day we showcase your creative work from BOTH April AND May. You rock, Mini-Makers.

And what better way to start than with ASHER’S awesome drawing? We’ve seen a lot of Asher’s work here on Tween You and Me — some of it over and over because it works so well. In this latest drawing I think you’ll see Asher experimenting more and growing as an artist.

    What do you see different in the above drawing than in her past work?  Asher girls 

KAELYN wrote a poem for us this time …

                                                           My Rock

                                        I have a rock who is mighty and strong

                                        My rock will stay with me my whole life long

                                        My rock will serve and protect as a mighty shield

                                        My rock will protect me on the chaotic battle field

                                        My rock I will cherish with all my heart

                                        My rock will not let me fall apart

                                        My rock will protect me from the mighty waves

                                        My rock will hide me from the enemy’s gaze

                                        My rock is there when I can’t find my way

                                        My rock will always be my stay

 I love Kaelyn’s metaphor of the rock, which of course stands for _____

SAVANNAH’S photograph gives us another metaphor:

Savannah April Why is the way Savannah placed the steeple so perfect?

We have a lot of tributes to God this time. Here’s one from GRACE:

I Love God

 

I love God because his love shines through.

When I worship him in song and in prayer too!

His love is redeeming, graceful and kind.

And it’s always reassuring to have him by my side!

 

One thing I love about EVE are her delightful wildlife photos. Look at that BABY!

eve may

What do you want to do when you look at Eve’s photograph?

I don’t know about you but I’ve been waiting for the next installment of THIRZAH’S story. And here it is!

I searched box after box with no luck. then in a dusty corner (I knew it was dusty because I couldn’t stop sneezing), I came across an old trunk, it was made out of sturdy oak and had two bands of brass supporting the hinges. I tried to open it but it was locked, I searched the attic from top to bottom trying to find the key but couldn’t find it anywhere! I realized I had a bobby-pin in my hair, so I thought I’d pick the lock. I took out my bobby-pin to pick the lock, and there was the key, in the lock.

Needless to say, I spent about 30 seconds silently yelling at myself for not noticing the big golden key right-smack-in-the-middle of the keyhole. Once I finished scolding myself, I turned the key in the lock and opened the trunk.

Mystery and humor make a great combination. Were you expecting that solution to the problem?

I HAD to showcase OLIVIA’S kitty photos as a series.

Olivia April 3Olivia April

OIlivia AprilOlivia APRIL 4

  What do you think Gray Kitty is saying in each of the pictures?

 KAELYN gave us this acrostic, which shows you can say a lot in a few words:

Jehovah

Emmanuel

Savior

Unconditional Love

Son of God

And the first letter of each line spells ___________________

JENNA is doing some really imaginative things with her photos.

Jenna April And some daring things too. Jenna May Which of the two is your favorite?

VERONICA’S  drawing is so good I plan to use it in one of our Friendship posts.

Veronica May What title would you give Veronica’s sketch?

HALLE has given us the perfect way to close out our Mini-Makers Showcase. Why do you think I say that?

Halle April

I’m so proud of all of you. Your work is so REAL, and I love putting it out here for you all to see. Now, help us out, will you?

     * I’ve tried to include everything you sent in for April and May, but with the surgery I may have missed something. Please email me by clicking here if I’ve left out something you submitted. I’ll fix that! 

   *  Be sure to comment on the items in red — and anything else you want to say about this great stuff. All positive — we’re not here to critique, right? This is a celebration of art. 

  *  If you want to share your drawings, photos, paintings, stories (200 words max), or poems for the June Mini-Makers Showcase, please get them to me (Nancy) by Friday, June 9. For more information, just click here: Calling All Mini-Writers!

Be sure to come back on Wednesday, May 24 for the first post in our next friendship series: When Friendship Goes Wrong. Hannah and I are here for you!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

When Your Friend Wants to Be Your Clone … Or You Want To Be Hers

twins

Hi girls!  Hannah here. We’re cruising right through our Friendship Flubs Series, and I’ve loved your responses.  This week?

Cloning.

Yes, that’s right, cloning!  But not creepy science lab stuff where they try to make exact copies of human beings. (Think: another person just like your little brother – freaky, huh?)  This time when we say cloning we’re talking about us trying to force our friends to be just like us, and dealing with it when they try to clone US.boy 1

WHAT IT IS: I don’t think any of us would actually say, “I want you to be just like me, please.”

But we act that way sometimes.

When your friends like a food you hate, and you curl up your lip.  When they want to see another princess movie, and you tell them they’re acting like little kids.  Or when they want to try a new sport, and you say, “Why would you want to do that?  They have practices on the same night that we always hang out!”exercise 2

We want them to be like us.  Like the same food, same movies, same activities. It’s annoying when somebody constantly copies US, so why wouldn’t it be totally irritating to THEM we do it?

WHAT HAPPENS BECAUSE OF IT: This creates a TON of friction!  Two people being exactly the same is crazy talk!  And your friendship will start to feel more suffocating than fun and uplifting.  Besides, it doesn’t leave room for you to be supportive friends and cheer one another on.  How sad.

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And we all know life can’t work like that, right?  Paul in the Bible knew that too.  He’s got a whole paragraph about us Christians (1 Corinthians 12) and how different we are, and how our differences join together to make one amazing body of Christ.unique tweens

How boring would church be if every single person was a preacher?  Or every single person sang a solo every week?  Every single person volunteered at the soup kitchen?  Okay,  wait  … that one might be good but still.  You get my point.  We can’t all be the same.  God doesn’t want us to be clones when we’re serving Him, so we definitely shouldn’t have to be the same with our friends either.

Differences can annoy us, I know.  I’m naturally a little quieter, so if I come across a chatty person, I can start to get a headache. hit over the head But we need chatty people in the world.  If everyone was quiet like me, nothing would get said.  We have to have variety.

Besides, clones are creepy.

HOW TO FIX THE FLUB:  So what do we do when a friend is different than us, and that difference is getting on our nerves?       life preserver

  • First we pray. We always pray first.  We ask God to show us WHY this bugs us so much, and we say, “God please calm me down because I know You don’t want me grumpy like this.”
  • Then we give things another try. We remind ourselves that a sandwich needs peanut butter AND jelly, and so we need to give our friends space to be different.  We’re allowed to like a quiet hour playing the piano and they’re allowed to like a rough and tumble hour of rock climbing.African American girl
  • And third, remind yourself that it’s OKAY to have more than one friend. This isn’t like a stomping-away tantrum: “Then fine!  Guess I’ll find someone else to be my friend!”  This is just a friendly reminder from me that not everyone can be the same, and it’s okay to make a friend in your theater class if your best friend decided aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWING   not to try out this year.  More friends are great.

I know you mini-women are a bunch of sweethearts and you probably aren’t mean when your friend wants to try something different that doesn’t interest you at all.  But this post is just a reminder to stay that way as you get older, and to not freak out and think your friendship is drifting apart.  It’s not.  And you could be your friend’s biggest cheerleader on the sidelines.  You’re two different people, and that’s more than great – that’s what God wants.

Jpeg

IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO GOD: In your Talking to God journals this week, ask God if you have any cloning issues. Own those times when you’ve made a friend feel bad for wanting to try something fun or new, and ask God to help you be more understanding next time. And if you have a friend who wants to be your clone, talk to God about what to say to her – in love..

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A COMMENT: Chat with me below!  Have you ever pressured your friend to be more like you, or have you ever felt pressured yourself?  Where did you go from there?

Blessings,

Hannah   Hannah writing

PS – Don’t forget to send your submissions to Nancy if you haven’t already for Mini-Makers April/May. She needs them by Friday, May 19. Click here for more info.

Friendship Flubs: The Drama Queen

drama-queenHelloo, Tribelet of amazing Mini-Women! Isn’t it just so good to be back in our rhythm again? That’s the thing about communities — we can go for a while not hearing from each other but eventually we need to be back in touch.

That’s  one of the reasons we’re doing our Friendship Flubs series: because it can be hard to get past some of the mistakes we make as friends and come together again. And one of those mistakes happens when somebody in a friend group is …

A DRAMA QUEEN

crying

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: This is when a girl (maybe even you … just sayin’) turns everything into a reason to burst out crying or screaming or to declare all-out war. It doesn’t even have to be over something big, and usually it isn’t. Here are some examples:

SUSAN: (in a low voice) Um, Cara, you have a little booger coming out of your nose. You might wanna wipe it off.

CARA: (in a freaking-out voice) Thanks for embarrassing me! You always do that! Now everybody’s going to think I’m gross.

horror

JENNY:  Lauren took Ashley to the mall Saturday instead of me, and I’m her best friend. I’m not speaking to her until she says she’s sorry.

GRACE:  Then neither  are we. THEN she’ll know what it feels like to be left out.

inner-critic-rebekah

LYDIA: We were both gonna wear our pink hats today. Where’s yours?

HILLARY:   Aw, man! I forgot!

LYDIA:  No you didn’t! You left it home on purpose!

HILLARY: I didn’t! I promise!

LYDIA: If you didn’t want to wear it you coulda just told me. Now I feel like a total idiot!

WHAT IT ISN’T: This isn’t just about some girls being more sensitive than others or having bigger emotions

bryn-christopherGetting your feelings hurt easily is being sensitive. Having a total freak-out over every little thing? Not so much. And it’s not just hormones out of control. Being a little weepier than usual could be from bouncing hormones, but we don’t get to blame all full-blown blowups on puberty.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEBODY’S ALWAYS A DRAMA QUEEN:

     * hurtful things get said that can’t be un-said

     * other friends get drawn into it and before you know it you’ve got a reality TV thing going on aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWING

    * the friendship stops being fun because there’s always an issue to be cried over and somebody is always in the girls’ restroom needing to be talked out of the crazy tree

  *  anger, fights and hysteria get to be a habit and soon nobody knows how to react to anything without losing it

  *  people get sick of it and move on — the end to what could’ve been a great friendship running-away

HOW TO FIX IT:

    If YOU are the drama queen … give up your crown by

   (1) Deciding what’s really worth going off about. Laugh off tiny comments that weren’t actually said to hurt you. Shrug off your friend’s occasional bad day. Save your  big reactions for things that truly matter to you, like somebody being mean to you on purpose

(2) Finding out the facts involved. Does your friend know you’re super sensitive about your freckles or your brother who’s always in trouble? Did she invite that other girl to go someplace with her because her mom made her? Having all the information usually heads off a blowout. Asher girls

(3) Speaking up sooner about the things you have good reason to be upset about. If you tell your BFF the first or second time she teases you about how hopeless you are in math — and do it calmly and reasonably — the resentment won’t build up in you until you explode.

(4) Talking to an adult you trust if you just can’t seem to control all the tears and the hateful words that spew from your mouth before you can stop them. There is always a reason for the things we do, and sometimes they go down deep. Ask for help.

(5) Remembering that nobody’s life is non-stop drama. A little boring can be a relief! girl-smiling

If your FRIEND is the drama queen, you can help her by —

 (1)  Letting her know how you feel about her dramatic performances at a time when she isn’t having one. (Talking to her when she’s in the middle of a tirade will only make it worse) Let her know you love her and want to keep being friends, but you’re really not into all the drama

  (2)  Not letting her draw you into a production you don’t want to be part of. Academy Awards Remove yourself from the situation or just say, “Y’know what? I think I’ll stay out of this. ” LATER you can tell her that the whole tragic thing just isn’t your jam and you’d rather talk things over like the mini-women you are.

   (3) Being really careful about teasing your friends, even when you’re doing it in fun.  This doesn’t mean it’s your fault that your CFF cries and carries on. But you’ll be a far better friend over all if you don’t give people reasons to be resentful. inner-critic-asherFor example, your friend (even a non-drama queen) might laugh it off the first two times you tell her she’s a complete klutz, but if you keep it up, she’s going to start to hate it. And if she’s a DQ she’s going to  … well, you know. Here’s the deal: teasing is supposed to be fun for everybody involved. If it isn’t, it becomes taunting, which you can’t make okay by saying, “I was just kidding!”

   WHAT NON-DRAMA LOOKS LIKE:

  SUSAN: (in a low voice) Um, Cara, you have a little booger coming out of your nose. You might wanna wipe it off.

  CARA: Yikes! (she goes after it with a Kleenex) Is it gone?

  SUSAN: You’re good.

CARA: Thanks for saying something. All I needed to do was walk into class with that hanging out of my nostril. Benjamin would call me Snot Nose until we go to college.

Ana's journal 2

TALKING TO GOD ABOUT IT: If you want to write in your journal, tell God if you think you might be a DQ or if you have a friend who qualifies as one. Ask for help whichever side you fall on. God completely understands that it can be tough to be a tween girl with so many emotions bubbling inside you. God’s got this.

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A COMMENT (and we hope you do): Tell us about any drama going on with your friends. Share with us whether anything in this post has helped you. And of course, pray for each other. That’s one thing you can never flub up on !

Asher tween you and me logo

Blessings, Nancy Rue

   PS — There will be a post on the Clone Friend Thursday and our Mini-Makers post for April AND May on Monday. Get your submissions in by Friday (May 19) and click here for more information about that.

I’m BA-A-A-A -CK !!!

convalescing 2

Hello, my Tribelet of precious Mini-Women! You have been so patient these last few weeks. As you can see from the picture, I had a big ol’ surgery on my foot and have had to get around with my knee on that  thing that looks like a tricycle. This is what healing has been looking at at my house (The spinning wheel is my daughter’s; that’s not one of MY gifts!) My office, where I can write blog posts for you, is not where I could get to it (lots of stairs in my house).

And y’know what else? It takes a bunch of energy to let your body heal …

day one after surgery

It’s happening, though. God made our bodies to be amazing, and mine is doing exactly what it’s supposed to. Just slowly …

It helps to have as much fun as possibleme on scooter

To soak up the sun’s healing rays …

outside with scooter

And to keep smiling. Thinking of you and the fun stuff we’ll do when I’m back up to speed (literally!) has helped just as much. Here’s what that looks like:

     * Tomorrow, May 16, I’ll publish for you our next Friendship Flub — the Drama Queen drama-queen

     * Thursday, May 18, we’ll publish Hannah’s post — the Clone Friend.  twins

     * On Monday, May 22 we’ll do a BIG post for April and May Mini-Makers together, so if you want to share something and you haven’t sent it to me by email yet, you still have some more time — until Friday, May 19. girl artist(And if you’re new here on Tween You and Me and You Have NO Idea what Mini-Makers is about, just click here.)

If you want to comment, just tell us YOU are back too and we’ll take it from there. And let’s all thank our Hannah for answering all your comments and letting you know that the Tribelet is still alive and well!

Blessings, Nancy Rue     slipper socks