Monday!

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Hello, my Tribelet of Mini-Women Friends! We were going to do a What Kind of Friend Are You survey today, but that’s going to happen Monday. And on Wednesday — a whole new series starts. Don’t miss it! Meanwhile, have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend — even if you don’t live in the U.S.!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

 

 

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JUNE MINI-MAKERS!

Digital Camera

Hello, Tribelet of Mini-Making Mini-Women, and welcome to the June Showcase. It seemed super appropriate to start off with SOPHIA’S waterfall photo, (which I missed in May …)  since this month’s collection is overflowing with great songs, stories, poems, drawings and photos.

 What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you look at this awesome photograph? Me? “Abundance.” Kind of a God-thing, don’t you think?

And then here’s KAELYN’s poem, written especially for us daughters:

 

Father, Father

Father, Father I love you so

Father, Father come close

Father, Father help me pray

Father, Father help me yearn today

Father, Father come help me Lord

Father, Father you I adore

Daughter, Daughter I love you so

Daughter, Daughter come close

Daughter, Daughter I will help you pray

Daughter, Daughter I will help you yearn for me today

Daughter, Daughter Help you, I shall do

Daughter, Daughter Agape, unconditional love, I will forever forgive you.

What’s your favorite line in Kaelyn’s poem, the one that says to you, “Pay attention to me!” Me? “Father, Father, help me yearn today.” I want to want God even more than I do.

Since we’re all about summer right now (right?), ESMERELDA’S photos are perfect.

Esmerelda June 2   Esmerelda June

Which of Esmerelda’s pictures makes you want to reach in and pick a flower? Me? Those wonderful purple ones. Are they wisteria?

MIAH submitted a short story. I always admire a writer who can say a lot in few words:

One day a rich dad took his son to a very poor family. He wanted to show his son how unlucky and poor someone can be… At the end of the trip the dad asked his son “How was the trip?” “Great dad” the son replied. “What did you learn from the trip?” the dad asked.

The son replied “We have one dog, they have four. We have pool, they have a river. We buy our food, they grow theirs. We have light, they have stars. We have walls to protect us, they have friends. We have television, they spent family time. We have the world, they have God!” The boy’s dad was speechless and realized new new things. Then his son added: “Thanks dad for showing me how unlucky we are.”

Moral of the story: It’s not money that makes us lucky or rich, but Simplicity, Love, Compassion, Friendship, Values, Family and your relationship with God that makes our lives lucky and rich.

Mark 8:36   

“For what does it profit a man to gain the world, and forfeit his soul?”

What does Miah’s story make you think about in your own life? Me? That instead of buying some new shoes, I need to walk barefoot in the grass.

I’ve learned that a LOT of Mini-Women love horses, and we have two in our showcase this month.

SOPHIA’S horse: Sophia Baig June

Why do you think Sophia’s drawing has the title, “Be Yourself”? Me? Maybe because none of God’s creatures other than humans can be anything else BUT themselves. 

JENNA’S Horse: Jenna June

Jenna’s drawing is so real it looks like her horse is about to speak. What do you think he/she wants to say? Me? I think she’s saying, “Mini-Women, know that you are beautiful.”

We’ve been waiting a WHILE to see the next part of CORINNE’S continuing story, “Here’s Anastasia.”

“Ok, first, before you say anything, your father and I need to talk.” Mom announced.

Her sister jumped up and started towards the stairs. Anastasia jumped up as well, and ran as quietly as she could to her room.

“Were you eavesdropping?!?” her sister practically yelled. Anastasia had just reached her door and pretended to have not heard her.

“Addie, to your room!” Mom sounded ready to give out punishment.

Her sister did a hand signal that said “Come with me, or else”. So, Anastasia followed her. Inside Anastasia felt her lower jaw drop as she stared at the posterless walls before her.

“He even took my picture of Mark and me! And my model posters!” she cried.

“Hmm… I think I know why. Dad doesn’t—well, I don’t think he’s ready for you to have a boyfriend yet. You’re only in 7th grade! And those models—well…I guess he didn’t approve of the clothes they were wearing.” Anastasia did her best to explain. To her surprise, Addie looked down at her shoes, and big tears rolled down her cheeks.

Which of Corinne’s two characters can you relate to the best? This one I can’t really answer!

ASHER usually gives us a drawing, but this month she’s showing us another of her talents by sharing two poems called haiku:

The Empty Briefcase 

Two stacks. Business cards

Old and new, past and present…

It’s time to move on.

 

The Broken Mirror 

Okay is a mask.

Normal is an illusion.

Expectations lie.

Do Asher’s poems inspire YOU to write a haiku? Here’s the form:     

     First line — 5 syllables

     Second line — 7 syllables

     Third line — 5 syllables

Me?

Looking for True Selves

In God’s mirror within

My Mini-Women

(Thanks for letting me submit this time!)

I’m so proud of all of you. Few things make me happier than giving you a chance to showcase your work. Get ready for July — submissions are due  July 17 for our post on July 18. If you’ve just joined us and you have NO idea what this is all about, just right here Calling All Mini-Writers! And of course, if somehow I’ve missed your entry, please let me know by emailing me. I want everyone to have a chance to show that, like God, you are a creative being!

Blessings, Nancy Rue

 

 

 


 

When a Friendship Is Over

Asher April Hello, my Tribelet of amazing Mini-Women.

Is there anything much sadder than the end of a friendship? When you’ve shared giggles and tears and growing-up stuff with another girl — and then it all goes away?

SO many thoughts and emotions, right?

     Did I do something wrong?

     Should I have stayed and tried harder? inner-critic-asher

    Is there something wrong with me? Am I, like, friendship challenged?

    Will I ever have a friend like that again?

That can all be pretty tough to manage, but we’re here to help.

(1) If your friendship is floundering, first make sure it’s time for a break-off and not just a case of a friendship flub that can actually be fixed. You definitely need to part ways with a toxic friend, one who often leaves you feeling bad about yourself . Asher girlsBut if there’s still a lot of good in your relationship, see if the suggestions we’ve made in this series of posts can help you.

(2) If you’ve tried to solve the problems and it isn’t working, tell your friend good-bye without turning it into a drama queen scene. Here’s what no-drama might look like:

      “The way you treat me (or other people) just doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried to talk to you about it but nothing’s  changed. So I think we should take a break from each other. I don’t hate you. I just think this is the right thing to do.”  ashtons-october-13-pic

      The same goes if your friend says something like that to you — or just dumps you without an explanation. If you’re willing to try to work it out, say so. And if she says it’s too late, leave as gracefully as you can. That might look like this:

     “I’m sorry you don’t want to be my friend any more. I’ll leave you alone. But it would sure be helpful if you could tell me why.   Then I can make other friends.”

(3) Give yourself time and space to be sad. No matter how bad things have gotten, at one time you had hopes of being in each other’s weddings, for Pete’s sake, so it’s hard to watch a friendship go away. Asher's tween girlTalk to your mom or dad or another adult you trust.  Go ahead and cry and, of course, talk to God about it in your Talking To God Journal — but do that alone or with that adult. Feel the feelings all the way through.

(4) Do NOT put down your ex-friend to other kids, even if she was heinous to you. You can talk to another friend about how bad YOU feel but leave your former friend out of it. Asher's gossip drawingIf she spreads bad stuff about you, let it go. Things like that die down. Don’t lower yourself to her tactics.

(5) Make a fresh start by doing things like –

     * avoiding her without making a big thing out of it

     * letting adults like teachers or coaches know things have gone sour between you so they’ll know not to throw you together

    * start to look for other people to hang out with, people who like the same things you do for openers.Ashers health drawing

   * going back to the post on making new friends: Friendless in Tween World

This time, don’t settle for anything less than a friend who doesn’t pull you down or hold you back; who loves you because you’re you; and who helps you to be your true, fabulous self. No friend will be flawless, so just look for one whose flaws you can smile at.

If your friend left you, talk to an adult you trust about what happened and see if you can figure out what mistakes you might have made that you can not do with new friends. aSHER'S FRIENDS DRAWINGWe’re not saying a break-up is your “fault,” but why not learn from experience, yes?

If you want to talk to God about this, get out your journal and write about one or more of these things:

Asher tween you and me logo

  * a friend who’s not really being a good one right now

 * any feelings you have that you might be getting on a friend’s nerves

  * a friendship that’s ended that you feel bad about

Just talking to God about it will help soothe those feelings and even give you ideas. This I know from experience. Do you trust me?

If you’d like to comment — and we hope you do! — tell us comment

   * Do you have a friendship that isn’t going to make it? 

   * Have you recently ended a friendship and don’t know what to do now?

    * Do you have experience with ending a friendship without a lot of funkiness?

Share with us. We can help. This is a place where friendships don’t end.

And don’t forget to send me submissions for Mini-Makers by tomorrow for Wednesday’s post. We have some awesome stuff already so be sure to come by and see.

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

This Week’s Mini-Women Schedule!

cafe nudge picture Hello, Amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women! I missed you last week, but Hannah and I are making up for it THIS week with a full schedule of good stuff for you. Here’s what it looks like so you’ll know when to check in:

LATER TODAY (June 26): A post from me on “When a Friendship Is Over.” Asher April

WEDNESDAY (June 28): the June Mini-Makers post — which means you have one more day to get your stories, poems, songs, photographs and drawings to me by email. Jenna May If you don’t know about Mini-Makers, just click here for more information.

FRIDAY (June 30): A post from me where you can find out what kind of friend you are. Not “good or bad”, but “Cheerleader or Silent Partner,” that kind of thing. I think it’s going to be fun. Veronica march 1

SO … we’ll see you later this afternoon. Can’t wait!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

RMGs: Really Mean Girls

SO not ok cover high-res Hi mini-women! Hannah here. Welcome back to our When Friendships Flounder series, (which you’ve really been responding to in your comments, and that rocks.)

We’re diving into a topic this week that isn’t so fun, but it just HAS to be dealt with.  We’re talking about Really Mean Girls – Bullies. It’s so important that Nancy wrote a whole series of books about it, called The Mean Girl Makeover trilogy, as well as a section in her non-fiction book, Girl Politics (just in case you want more info.)

I remember the first time I ran into some really mean girls.  I was only four years old!  I danced into my preschool room, so excited to go cut down a Christmas tree with my class, and sat happily in my assigned seat.  I turned to the girls next to me and said, “We’re getting a Christmas tree today!”  The one girl glared at me and the other one curled her lip.  “Umm I think we know that,” they answered.  tattling And then turned away from me.  I was so crushed!  Who is that mean at four years old?  Anyway, I’m ranting, but as you can see, it’s decades later, and I can still remember it.  Not cool!

But out of that experience, I also tried to be a very nice person – always.  I remembered what it was like to have someone treat me like I was weird, and I tried my hardest to not do that to other people.  girls talking 2 So I will chalk that up as a good thing.  God can make a lot of good come out of bad things that happen to us.  Remember that, girls.

But back to the topic.  So what does a bully look like?

A bully is a girl who excludes people from her friend group for being different.  Or talks bad about someone behind her back – or maybe right to her face!  A bully will tease about someone’s clothes, or the way she talks, or the hobbies she likes.  A bully is not someone that we want to be. SNS-2

We may all be guilty from time to time of taking teasing too far, or making a hurtful comment that we didn’t mean to, but a bully is usually TRYING to be how they are.

One thing about bullies is they are usually pretty sad people on the inside.  They just don’t want anyone to know it.  So the easiest way for them to feel like they’re in charge and their life ISN’T falling apart, is for them to go after somebody else’s life! SNS-4 It’s not the right thing to do, but I only point that out to make sure we don’t say that bullies are 100% horrible people.  They’re usually very sad, hurting people.

That being said, it’s hard to feel bad for them when you’re at the other end!  When they make fun of who you hang out with, or the type of food you eat, or that you have a crush on a boy, you don’t really feel bad for their sad life do you?  SNS-7And sometimes bullying can get even worse than that.  Taking other friends from you, and making sure you’re alone is a big one.  A bully can also make physical threats or tell you to harm yourself.  These are some BIG signs that you’re being bullied.

Now, just one thing.  I hate to go all extreme on you, mini-women, but let’s remember when the soldiers were literally killing Jesus, He prayed for them.  So, there’s that.

Fine, you say.  But Jesus got to be raised from the dead and go back to heaven.  He didn’t have to go to school with the soldiers the next day!

Fair enough.  So what to do if someone is bullying us?

First, pray for her.  I don’t mean pray for months while the bullying continues.  I mean pray right there in your head, the first time it happens.  Then move on to Step 2.

SNS-5

Step 2 – Try to ignore it if you can.  A lot of bullies want a reaction out of you, and if you give them one, oh boy let the games begin.  Find a way to walk away like you didn’t hear it, or find a way to change the subject.

Step 3 would be to stand up to the bully.  Not in a mean, tease-them-right-back way, but something like, “I’m sorry you don’t like who I am,” or maybe “I think you’re better than all this teasing you’re doing.”  These are things you can say to take back the power to be yourself.  YCSWU-5

If Step 3 doesn’t work, you feel physically threatened, or you can’t focus on your schoolwork anymore, go tell an adult that this person is being hurtful to you (Step 4).  I know sometimes we think tattling is lame, but you know what’s more lame?  Someone treating you rotten.  So there.  reportalert Besides, tattling is when you’re actually TRYING to get someone in trouble.  Telling an adult in this case is actually getting YOU out of trouble, and harm’s way.

And I would say Step 5 is to surround yourself with great friends who don’t act that way.  There are great girls out there, and I know this because I’m writing this blog post for them!  YCSWU-7 If you don’t have a whole group of new friends, at least ask a few of your friends to come with you wherever it is you’re being picked on.  Bullies usually back away from a pack of nice girls.

We know that God calls us to love those who are hard to love.  And if we cut every difficult person out of our lives, we’d probably end up with no one at the end of the day.  SNO-4[1] But there are also things we can do to set healthy boundaries, and I hope you girls will give me some more good ideas for how you’ve handled this in the comments!

In your Talking to God journals this week, first definitely ask God if you have any bullying tendencies that He wants you to work on.  We can’t all be perfect all the time, and He would love us to come talk to Him about it.  SNO-9[1]

And if you’ve been on the bullying end of things, pray to God about forgiving this person (and ask Him to help you remember they’re probably hurting inside too) and finding a way to create a healthy boundary for yourself.

I just have to close with one more thing.  Girls, you are so valuable and worthy of respect.  I know the term ‘princess’ can get thrown around a lot, but honestly girls?  SNS-1 You and I and everyone who believes in Christ is so royal.  I don’t say this so you can be prissy, but so you can be confident.  You can ignore the bullies, you can tell an adult, you can find a better group of friends – all with your head held high.

If you want a LOT more information about Really Mean Girls, just click here to go to Nancy’s Join The Tribelet website.

Blessings,

Hannah

OH, and Nancy asked me to remind you that submissions for the June Mini-Makers Post need to be  emailed to her by June 23. For more information click here: Calling All Mini-Writers!

Friendless in Tween World

Meet the Elders Hello, precious Tribelet of Mini-Women. We’re loving your responses to our Floundering Friendships series, especially when you tell us the issues you want to talk about. JENNA, ASHER and MIAH have already given us some topics we hadn’t thought of, and we will absolutely get to those as the summer moves forward. Anybody else have one?

One of the things I’ve realized in thinking about friendship stuff is that the WORST problem is when you feel like you don’t have any friends at ALL. new girlI mean, right? Finding yourself friend-less can happen for a number of reasons:

     * You move to a new town or school and it seems like all the friendship slots have been filled. Doesn’t anybody want to meet anyone new? What are the friend groups … closed clubs? clique2

   * Your Best Friend moves away and you realize she was the only person you trusted. alone in a crowdNow it’s like you’re all alone, even when there are a bunch of people around.

  * Suddenly it seems like everybody is leaving you out — even the people you thought you were friends with. You stop getting invited to birthday parties and sleepovers. left outNo one says, “Hey, sit at our lunch table.” The other girls seems to know jokes you’re not part of. It’s like you’re invisible.

  * You just had a big old fight with your CFFs and everybody is taking sides — only none of them are on yours. Members of a community welcoming a new member.Every day feels like you against them.

DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE!

Believe me when I tell you that there are friends out there for everybody. Every. Body. Okay, so maybe you aren’t or never will be THE most popular girl ever — but do you need to be? Asher girlsWhat we all want is to have at least one buddy we feel comfortable with, who we can count on, who helps us be our best selves.

AND EVERYONE CAN FIND THAT PERSON.

The way I know this is because God created friendship and meant for us to enjoy it. I mean, why else would there be examples in the Bible like Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Jesus and Mary M Mary and Elizabeth, Jesus and, well, a whole BUNCH of people (including Mary Magdalene; he didn’t just hang out with guys), Paul and his besties like Peter, Silas and Timothy?

And the need for people to travel through life with hasn’t disappeared since then. In fact Jesus said: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. (Matthew 18:20)

Ya gotta love that. Knowing that it’s not only possible but something God wants for us, let’s look at some ways to allow friendships to form in YOUR journey:

1. Accept that it’s normal to be nervous when you try to make new friends.  Don’t wait for those butterflies-on-steroids in your stomach to go away. girl in troubleTake a deep breath and start slowly (this isn’t going to happen, like, right now).

2. Begin by just smiling and saying hi to kids who seem friendly and girls you’d like to get to know, especially if you’re the new kid. girl-smilingDon’t wait for people to come to you. NO, it won’t work to say, “Hey, wanna be BFFs?” Just let people know you’re open to friendship.

3. Without being all pushy, start conversations, and the best way to do that is to show an interest in the person you’re talking to — not by immediately jabbering about yourself. This is true even with kids you’ve been around but haven’t gotten to know. ashtons-october-13-pic Ask that girl where she got such a cool backpack. Comment on the cute kitty picture that girl has on the front of her binder. Compliment the girl on the bus for sticking up for her little sister. Ask someone you’d like to be friends with to help you with something — story problems in math, the boys to stay away from because they’re more absurd than most, how to French braid your hair.

4. Listen more than you talk. If you’re like me you probably jack your jaws about ninety miles an hour when you’re nervous, but again, take a deep breath, ask questions, and really pay attention to what the person says, listening 3without mentally trying to figure out what YOU are going to say next.  Everybody likes to be heard.

5. Be as close to the real you as possible while you’re doing all this. It’s never a good idea to pretend to like chasing boys or act like you have a huge interest in horses when that’s not actually true about you — just to get in with people. Instead, look for friends who like the things YOU like — whether that’s gymnastics or flute-playing, video games or writing poetry, playing soccer or reading every book an author ever wrote. Ashers health drawing You aren’t the only one who likes what you like, even if it seems like “everyone” is different from you. Sometimes people are just afraid to admit they enjoy something that isn’t considered “cool.” Be the brave one. Somebody will be so glad to find you.

If you’re reading all of this and thinking, “Huh. I don’t have that problem. I got lotsa friends,” yay for you. You’re blessed. And being blessed, you have a responsibility to spread that around. SO  if you see a girl who seems all alone —

  * Smile at her and say hi

  *  Ask her a question about something

  *  Find out what she likes and even if it isn’t something you’re into, suggest somebody for her to strike up a conversation with, someone who IS all about that unique tweenshobby or sport or quirk.  Better yet, introduce them.

Nobody should have to travel through Tween World alone. So if you really have that lonely feeling and none of this helps, will you email me? Maybe we can figure something out together. Meanwhile, you have a whole TRIBELET of friends here. So —

   If you want to post a comment, tell us what your next step is going to be to either try to make a friend or help a girl who seems to be floundering.

It’s always a good idea to talk to God about whatever is going on with you, so in your Talking To God Journal, ask God to show you that next step. Larissa' journal Pour out how hard it is, and by the time you’re  finished, it just won’t seem that hard any more. That’s how God works.

Blessings, Nancy Rue