Healthy Snacks

Hello, Mini-Women! It’s so good to be back for a visit. I’m loving this series Leslie and Hannah and Asher are doing with you, so when they asked me to talk to you about snacks (one of my favorite topics) I jumped right on it.

Healthy is the New Skinny

See if this sounds like you.

You just get back from a bike ride (a gymnastics class, a shopping trip, a leap frog competition … okay, maybe not that). You’re starving but it’s not time for dinner, so you check out what’s to eat. You decide on some cereal. That sounds healthy, right? Of course, when you look at the selection in the pantry, most of it looks boring (does anyone actually LIKE bran?) but there’s still some left of that kind with the colored marshmallows in it. As you head for the family room you promise yourself you won’t eat the whole box.

Lucky Charms

And actually you don’t. Because about halfway through whatever’s on TV, you ditch the few morsels that are left and curl into a ball on the couch. It seems weird. You’re kind of jittery, and you don’t even have the energy to grab the box from your little brother when he passes through and snatches it. You thought exercise was supposed to make you feel more energetic, but right now, you feel like a complete blob. When your mom calls that dinner’s ready, all you can say is, “Ug.”

Here’s the deal. You’re growing more in your tween years than in any other season of your life (except birth to 2 years old). Between that and the exercise you’re getting (you are, aren’t you?) you obviously need the right fuel. Not just anything you can get your hands on, but the real stuff your body needs for all the growing and changing it’s doing.

Amarise 1 of 3

So what’s the real stuff? That’s pretty simple. It’s the God-made stuff. If it basically happens naturally, it’s good for you. If it contains more than one ingredient you can’t even pronounce, it probably isn’t.


Whole grains




Dairy (or dairy substitutes like soy, almond or rice milk)

Meat and beans


Not God-stuff:

Soda (even diet; in fact, especially diet)

Artificial sweeteners (Stevia is okay, but not Equal or Splenda)

Any foods with sugar as the first ingredient on a package (yeah, that means the Chips Ahoy)

Crackers and chips containing partially hydrogenated oil (which even sounds disgusting)

Greasy fried foods (Yep, that includes French fries – in fact, most fast food)

Processed foods made with corn syrup (and most of them are)

Besides being nutritionally sound, this whole thing is Biblical.

God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” (Genesis 1:29)


“Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat.” (Leviticus 11:2)

I’m not seeing Pop-Tarts and Hot Pockets in there, are you?

Even if your family doesn’t fix meals from the God-stuff list, making your own snacks can help. At first that may sound like you can only eat celery sticks and drink water, but there are a BUNCH of great possibilities if you use your imagination. Some of my faves:

· Those celery sticks … dipped in a little bit of peanut butter

· A bowl of berries in a pool of milk

· A sliced banana mixed with nuts

· A half an apple baked in the microwave for 30 seconds and sprinkled with cinnamon


Once in a while it’s fun to savor a treat that’s on the Not God-Stuff list. Having an ice cream cone or a Snickers bar now and then doesn’t mean you’re disobeying God! Trying to eat healthy snacks most of the time does mean you’re taking care of that awesome body God gave you, and it keeps you from turning into a couch potato — when there’s so much living to do. In your Talking To God Journal, write about why it might be hard for you to pass up the cookies and chips, even though you know other choices are healthier. God can help.

If you want to make a comment, tell us what one item on the Not-God List you’re going to try to give up. We will cheer you on!




The Best Version of YOU

Hi mini-women!


We’re talking about body image this month, and boy is this a great topic.  You can struggle with body image your whole life, and that would be such a shame because God didn’t intend for us to live that way.

I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. – Psalm 139:14

We all KNOW that verse but it can be hard to feel ‘wonderfully made’ when it seems like every other girl at church or school is a lot more wonderfully made than we are!

Some of us have experienced bullying, and it’s awful.  But I would say that sometimes our worst bully is the voice inside our heads.  We do it to ourselves, and how sad is that?

Would you tell your friend that her legs look stumpy or her nose looks lumpy?  No, never!  Right?

So why on EARTH is it ok to whisper that to ourselves?

Here’s the short answer: it’s not.

We were created to be the best version of OURSELVES.  Did you catch that?  We aren’t supposed to have the same face, same eyes, same skin as anyone else.  We’re supposed to be ourselves and that’s it.

Confidence is Beautiful

God created us to be healthy, sure.  He gave us an amazing body that we shouldn’t load up with garbage (like 27 Oreos every night) but we can all be beautifully healthy and not be the same size.

Just in case you missed that:  YOU CAN BE HEALTHY AND NOT BE THE SAME SIZE.

We are not supposed to have the same size thighs as our best friend, or the same hair, or the same arms.  We are supposed to have our body and be good caretakers of that body!  God only gave us one, and that’s the one we’re supposed to focus on.

Whatever You Do for the Glory of God

Girls, I’d be lying if I said I got this all figured out.  If I told you I never looked at someone else and wished I looked like her!  But what a waste of a life, to only mope around and wish you were somebody else.

You’re not!  You’re beautiful YOU and that’s all that God asks of you.

Think about that.  The magazines ask you to be some kind of girl, your friends may all look a certain way, but God says – No, be the best version of what I made you.

That’s it.

It’s that simple.

God gave us the body that’s going to carry us through life, and all He asks is that we take care of it, that we feed it good food, give it good exercise and treat it with respect.

If that means we learn to eat right and exercise and we still aren’t a size zero, that’s ok!  We aren’t called to be a jean size, we’re called to be healthy.  It’s taken me a long time to learn that, and I’m still learning, but I want you girls to hear it loud and clear now, so you can start learning it early.

Healthy is the New Skinny

In the comments below, tell us what bothers you about your body image, and how you’re going to readjust your thinking about it.  What are you going to tell yourself the next time you start getting bummed out and whining about how you look?  Share your pep talk!

Here’s mine: “I am not as skinny as some of my friends and that doesn’t matter.  My body is healthy and strong and carries me through my day and I am lucky to have it.  And my nose isn’t big; it’s cute! 😉




Body Image: Comparison

Hi Tribelet!

It’s Asher here again, and today I’ll be bringing you the first post of our new series: Body Image! It’ll run for the rest of March – stay tuned for future posts from Hannah and Nancy.

Let’s dive in!

I don’t know about you, but one of my greatest struggles is comparing myself to others. She’s so much smarter than me. He’s more athletic than I’ll ever be. How come I can’t be a leader in church like she is? The same struggle certainly applies to body image.

In this day and age when we are bombarded with pictures of how we “should” look, whether it be on TV, billboards by the highway or on social media, it’s almost impossible not to notice how we don’t look like that “ideal” girl.

The thing is – that “perfect” girl doesn’t exist. No two people’s perceptions of beauty are the same. For example, in the States, where most of you come from, many people think it’s desirable to have tanned skin. But where I live in China, it’s the opposite – most people consider girls with lighter skin as prettier! There is no real definition for beauty. So why should it define you?

Girl in Mirror Sketch

One that I can be sure about, though, is having a godly character does make you beautiful. Make a mental list of people who are beautiful to you – maybe it’s your mom, who selflessly cares for you and your siblings, or your best friend, who’s always there to make you laugh, or your English teacher, who always compliments her students. It’s unlikely that all of the people on your list would be considered as conventionally gorgeous, but because of the way they treat others, they are beautiful to you.

Girls and Snacks

Okay, so physical beauty shouldn’t define us – having inner beauty is more important. Great! So, how do we stop comparing? Here are a few suggestions:

• Be accepting. God carefully designed you before you existed, and make you look the way you do for a reason. It may be hard, but try to acknowledge that God made you the way you are, imperfections and all. Instead of trying to look like someone else, learn to embrace the way you look!

Be Yourself

• Be busy. Of course, overworking yourself isn’t the idea here! But do invest your time in something you enjoy, whether that’s theatre club, writing in your Talking-To-God Journal, or just talking long bubble baths. You’ll find that your priorities will change quickly – worries about not looking pretty enough are soon replaced by thoughts about your new hobbies. As one of my classmates said, you can’t check if others’ grass is greener if you’re too busy watering your own.

Bubble Bath

• Be kind. We have so many harsh thoughts about our own bodies – my eyebrows aren’t thick enough, my stomach isn’t flat enough, I’m never going to look good enough – but we would never say such things to somebody else! If you struggle particularly with this, write a little contract, promising yourself that you will think and speak about your body as if it were a friend’s. And if you’re in the middle of picking out your flaws, challenge yourself to pick a feature you like for every “flaw”.

• Be careful. Do you fall into a black hole of comparing yourself to other girls when on Instagram? Tend to question your beauty when you’re with your dance class friends, who seem to only talk about makeup and diets? Feel ashamed of yourself when that guy in your Chemistry class picks on your glasses? Get out of these situations if you can! Delete the Instagram app on your phone. Find a new group of friends at dance class. Tell the Chemistry guy his teasing is crossing a line, and if he doesn’t listen, tell the teacher. Your confidence is something to be protected!

Social Media

• Be positive. Along the same lines of be careful, fill your life with things that are uplifting. Were you around during our ‘Whatever’ series? Yeah, the one about the verse “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” So, do choose environments, friends and websites which make you feel satisfied with yourself.

• Be prayerful. Write about your comparison troubles in your Talking-To-God Journal, and keep on reading the Bible regularly (or start a Bible-reading routine if you haven’t already). As you learn more about true inner beauty and just how much God loves you, the need to be pretty enough will fade away. What’s “pretty enough”, anyways? It doesn’t get much more beautiful than spending time with God.

Prayerful Girl

So, if you’d like to comment: how are you going to prevent comparing yourself to others this week? Will you try complimenting yourself, stop going on Instagram for a while or pray about it? Let us know! While you’re at it, share a feature about yourself that you love, physical or not. We know you’re beautiful already!

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!


March Mini Makers

Hi, Tribelet!

Asher here – welcome to Mini-Makers, our special blog posts in which members share their artwork, photos, poetry, creative writing and more with us.


Alexis 1 of 1

Without further ado, let’s begin with ALEXIS’ stunning sunset photo. I love how she captured the sky’s blue-to-pink gradient! What do the clouds in her photo remind you of? They make me think of the Northern Lights, and just how amazing God’s creation is.


Catherine 1 of 1

Moving on to CATHERINE’s roses – I love the vibrant colours she used! It’s also so cool that she included a Bible verse in her artwork. How do you think the flowers and the verse complement each other?


Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. 

   Someone jabbed her in the back. Brianna opened her eyes and stopped tapping her feet. There, looming over her, was Ms. Johnson.

   “Really, Miss Freeman. It’s only the first day of school and I have to get onto you. I’m sure someone has told you the rules, no headphones in the classroom?” She raised one of her perfectly trimmed eyebrows while she waited for an answer. 

    Brianna sat back in her chair and folded her arms and said defiantly, “No.”

   “Yes, well, now you know.” She held out her hand. 

   “You want me to give them to you?”

   “Give me the headphones, or would you like to spend an afternoon in detention writing an essay on atoms?”

   Brianna felt everyone’s eyes on her and shrunk down into her chair. This was exactly the attention she tried to avoid, but she also couldn’t seem to keep from arguing with the teachers. 

CORINNE sent us a new excerpt of her story – you can read other snippets of it in previous Mini-Makers posts. I really like how Corinne brought Brianna to life through her dialogue with the teacher. What did you notice about Brianna?


ESMERALDA shared two photos with us this time. It’s awesome that she’s trying out different styles of photography, with both close-up and landscape shots! What detail from her photos caught your eye the most?


Kate traveled to Iceland and got these amazing photos!  Yes, those are PEOPLE in the water in that left picture!  These all make me shiver, but also they make me REALLY want to travel here for myself someday!  Do you girls have a country you want to travel to someday?  After looking at these, Iceland is sure on my list now!



Elsa 1 of 1

Check out ELSA’s cartoon cats! I think they’re absolutely adorable, and I love how they’re piled on top of each other. Which one of the cats would you be? I can definitely see myself in the sleepy orange cat!


Hannah here to comment on Mariah’s photos!

These sky pictures are gorgeous!  I love how some is just the pure sky, and some you get a little peek at the view below.  These pictures make me want to sit out in the warm weather, underneath a sky like this, and write a poem!  Which pictures do you like best, the ones with just sky, or the ones where you can see some buildings?  I can’t decide!

Halle Belle

And last but not least, HALLE BELLE shared her mini-gallery with us. It’s awesome that she’s experimented with so many ways of creating art. Which of her artworks is the most “you”? For me, her bottom right photo is totally my style – monochromatic and I love the focus on the raindrops!


Thank you for sharing your submissions – I enjoyed looking through every one of them!

Oh, and if you’d like to comment, here’s a little creativity challenge for you: how are you going to try something new creatively this month? Maybe you’d like to jump into the world of play-writing for the first time, or perhaps you’ve already mastered word art, and plan to dabble in lettering with watercolors. Do let us know!

Looking forward to our next Mini-Makers post!