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!



Talking to God Journals (DIY)

Hi, Tribelet – Asher here! Today I’ll be writing about the Talking-To-God Journals we often mention on our blog.  

What are they? 

Talking-To-God Journals are books filled with conversations you have with God. Any kind of book is fine: you could use a sketchbook, notebook or even some loose-leaf paper bound together – it’s your choice! 

These journals will be very personal to you, so you might want to keep them in a safe place away from nosy siblings and curious parents. (Unless you want to share your journal with others, which is fine too.)  

world notebook

How can I use them? 

You can use your Talking-To-God Journals to communicate with God in whatever ways you like. Here are a few ways which may work for you:  

  • Write out your prayers  

Example: You could write prayers out the way you would write a letter to a friend (“Dear God…”) 

  • Make lists of things you’d like to share with God 

Example: Making a list of ‘Questions I Have About God’ 

  • Draw as a way of praying 

Example: Sketching out things which you are thankful for 



  • Write notes about what you’ve learned from our blog, church, or the Bible 

Example: You could write down a few key points from the extract of John you read in church 

And while you’re busy scribbling away in your journal, don’t worry about making it perfect! This is a place where it’s okay to make a bunch of spelling errors, draw a sketch which is not to your highest standard, or write about a ‘silly’ topic like what you had for lunch. Communicating with God is much easier if you let go of the need for perfection. Think of talking to Him as talking to a friend! 


When and where should I use mine? 

This is really up to you. It is, though, a good idea to make a habit of using your journal at a certain time, whether that’s every night before bed, before church on Sundays or after reading blog posts.  

If possible, choose a comfortable, private place to journal – maybe your bedroom, a quiet spot in the park or the library. 

in my room

Why should I have one? 

Personally, I think having a Talking-To-God Journal is a great way to sort out your thoughts. Expressing your fears and troubles through writing/drawing really helps you let go of them. 

If you tend to get distracted when talking to God through ways such as speaking or silently praying, you might find journals useful too – my mind wanders much less when I’m using my journal! 

Finally, it’s wonderful to have a record of your conversations with God. Once you start journaling, you’ll be able to look back on how your faith was a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. You’ll see just how much you have grown over time, and how God has answered so many of your prayers!  

 And of course, all of these factors support the main reason why we use Talking-To-God Journals: to grow closer to God! 

Prayer Journal

DIY Galaxy Journal Cover* 

Want to add a personal touch to your journal? You might like to try this fun DIY to decorate your cover!  

 What you’ll need… 

  • Card stock or sketchbook paper 
  • Watercolor paints 
  • A paintbrush 
  • A silver marker or thick white paint or liquid paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue 
  • Ruler 
  • Your Talking-To-God-Journal 


  1. Measure the dimensions of your journal’s cover. Cut out a piece of card stock/paper which will fit it. 
  2. Use your watercolor paint to fill your paper with splotches of different colours – this is the ‘base’ of our galaxy.  
    •  (Yes, it will look a little odd at first – be patient!)watercolor 
  3. Wait for your base layer to dry.  
  4. Cover your base with a thin layer of black watercolor paint. You might want to test out the consistency first – make sure it is thin enough so that the base layer shows through, but not so thin that you can see the base super-clearly! 
    • You may want to dab at some parts of the black layer so that the base layer can show through more in some places. 
  5. Let the black layer dry.  
  6. Use your silver pen/white paint/liquid paper to doodle stars on top of your galaxy.  
  7. You could also use your pen to letter something – maybe your favorite Bible verse, quote, or just “[Your Name]’s Prayer Journal’! 
  8. Glue your galaxy on your prayer journal and viola – you have your own personalized cover!  Prayer Journal

*This DIY is based off Kristina Werner’s design, you can watch her version here:  


In the comments, we’d love for you to share: how do you/will you pray in your Talking-To-God Journal? Also, please let us know if you have any questions about using the journals which I didn’t cover.  

Looking forward to hearing from you all! 


A New Beginning … In a Lot of Ways

Hello, Tribelet of amazing mini-women! Can you ashers-christmas-drawingbelieve that Thanksgiving is over (for us U.S. Girls) and everything is now all about Christmas — already? December doesn’t even start until tomorrow, yet every store is playing holiday tunes and most commercials on t.v. have something to do with buying presents (who gets somebody a CAR for Christmas? What’s that about?) I don’t know about you, but it feels a little rushed to me. Sure, I love Christmas morning with all its wonder, but, yikes, it’s more than four weeks away!



At least that gives us plenty of time to get ready, right? But do we really “get ready'” on the inside, too? In churches like mine — which are called liturgical — we observe the four-week season before Christmas, called Advent. It’s the perfect way to prepare ourselves for the important stuff, even while we’re saving up to buy gifts for people and eating as much cookie dough as we end up putting on the sheet and getting that thrill thing going when we see all the lights on people’s houses.


Here at Tween You and Me, we want to share the tradition of “doing Advent”. We’ll do it as a Tribelet: each week whoever is writing the post will explain the theme of the week and talk about some real ways you can get yourself ready for more of Jesus — and thus God — in your life.

Does that sound good to you?

Now, about those people writing the posts. That’s going to be Leslie (you met her last week)

Leslie 1

and Hannah, who you’ve known for a while now. Hannah writing Asher will also be adding her comments to each post in the If You Ask Asher section. As for me …

Advent is a new beginning for me because I’m starting one new adventure and leaving an old one to make room. I started Tween You and Me eight years ago, and it’s been going strong ever since that first post. cafe nudge pictureGirls who are now in COLLEGE were part of the blog when it began. Some of them want to be writers, and I’ve started a program to help them. It’s kind of a big deal and I want to give it all I have.

So … this is my last post as the lead elder of our Tribelet. If Leslie and Hannah invite me, I’ll do a guest post now and then, and I’m sure I’ll pop in to read your comments so I can keep up with all of you I’ve come to love. You can definitely count on me praying for you and answering your emails when I can. Besides …

I’m leaving you in the BEST hands ever. Both Hannah and Leslie are writing for young girls and young women. They both LOVE mini-women. They know how to talk with you and listen to what’s bothering you. In fact, because they’re so much younger than I am they can probably understand you way better than I can on some things.

The blog is staying. You are still a Tribelet.Asher journal You’ll still write in your Talking To God Journals and share your comments. You probably won’t have Mini-Makers; and I apologize for not being able to keep that going these last few months.  Everything else will stay, and I’m sure there will be many more surprises along the way.

Promise me you’ll stay together? That you’ll keep praying for each other and encouraging one another like you do?  Noble AsherThat you’ll suggest new topics to Leslie and Hannah? After all, the blog is and always has been YOURS.

And it always will be.


Nancy Rue




Stressing Big Time!

Hey, Tribelet! Today I get to introduce you to the newest member of the Tween You and Me Team. Ladies, meet

LESLIE! Leslie 1 Do you love her smile or what? Don’t you just want to sit across that table from her and have a hot chocolate and talk? Well, grab your mugs, because she’s going to talk to YOU … right now!

Hello beautiful mini-women!! It is such an honor to get to chat with you ladies. I love reading the comments and getting to know each of you a little better. This month we’ve been talking about stress and one thing is for certain, we all feel it.

pug in blanket

Stress: a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.

 And isn’t stress such a feeling? Think about it. When you feel stressed, what happens in your body??? I feel mine in my face. My blood pumps a little louder in my ears and I get a little humming feeling in my hands. If things are really bad, my mind starts to run through all the things I need to do before my head hits the pillow and all of a sudden, I just want to take a nap. It’s exhausting.

In this series we’ve been given some great strategies to help stay organized and on top our responsibilities.  Which has been AMAZING advice. I made my very own chore chart and it has been so freeing!!! I know what I need to do and it’s has helped to keep me on track. The surprise has been how much free time I have to do what I want because I did what I needed to. Love it!!


Leslie's chart

But not all stress can be fixed by a chart. Some stress comes from deep within. And some comes because of things going on around us. Some that we can control. Most that we can’t.

sand through fingers

And that’s when things get overwhelming.

I know for me, when I start to feel stress, anxiety is the next thing that starts to creep in.

Anxiety: fear or nervousness about what might happen

 I am the queen of worst case scenarios and worrying about what might (or might not happen). And it does not serve me well in life. In fact, it causes me to act a little crazy, a little mean or a little scary. Fear is not my friend.

When I read the Bible, it’s pretty clear that God doesn’t want us to worry. Or be afraid. He says it a lot. Like 80 times or so. But the great thing about God is that he doesn’t just tell us not to worry (we’ve all had that friend), He gives us the tools to combat stress so that we can live a little more free and a little lighter.

This verse has been such powerful tool for me when I feel stressed. Or anxious. Or worried.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

                                                                           Philippians 4:6-7

boy reading bible


Let’s break it down. Here’s what stands out to me:

  1. Don’t worry about anything. Another version says “Be anxious for nothing.”

 2. Instead of spinning your wheels worrying, pray about what’s going on. Tell God everything.

For me, that’s where my talking to God journal comes in. I make lists. All the time. Lists of what I need to do. Lists of what is bothering me. Lists of what I’m worried about. And as I write down all the things that keep me up at night, I give them to God. And I ask Him for help.

  1. Then make a thankful list.

I write down all the ways I’ve seen Him work in my life. I thank Him for all the cool things he has made. That He has done. That He has said.

  1. When you do these things, you’ll feel the peace of God.

Mini-women, it’s crazy. But true. The things that are causing stress don’t go away. Your brother won’t disappear, your room won’t clean itself and yours friends won’t automatically start talking to you again. But the feelings will fade. The horrible, awful pressure you feel in your chest, or the blood pumping in you head or however you feel stress//anxiety//fear//worry….it goes away. Because you’ve brought God back into the picture. You’ve taken time to connect with Him. And invited Him into your life. Mess, stress and all. He loves you, And together you can get through whatever you need to do. Before your head hits the pillow tonight.

leslie's journal Now, I’m a huge fan of my Talking-to-God journal. My mind wanders when I try to pray so I do best if I journal out my thoughts. But a few summers ago I was at a camp and they had this crazy amazing prayer room. It was filled with all these creative ways to talk to God and there was one idea that was so helpful, I use it all the time.

Prayer Knots


1.Get a piece of rope or thicker ribbon.

You should be able to tie and untie it easily.

  1. Go find a quiet spot.

In your room, outside, your favorite place to just think.

  1. Tie the rope around something.

It can be a chair leg, tree, anything. Just make sure you have to equal

sides hanging down.


  • Sometimes our worry, fear and anxiety can make us feel like we are literally tied into knots. Take a moment and think about the things that are causing you to feel stressed. Fearful. Anxious.

  • Each time something comes to mind, tie a knot in the rope.

  • When you have finished tying all the knots, hold the rope in your hand.

  • Say a little prayer. Mine usually sounds something like this.

“Lord, I am so overwhelmed. I have so much to do. And I haven’t really made the best of my time. I give all of things that are causing me stress, worry and fear to you. Please help me know what to do in each situation. I really need you help.”

  • Then, untie each knot. And as you do, imagine letting go of whatever it represents and watching it float up to God. And into his capable hands.

  • When you are finished, take a minute and tell God five things you are thankful for in this moment.


Tonight in your Talking-to-God journal, write a note to God about what is causing you to feel anxious, worried or stressed. Tell Him everything. And then make a list of everything you are thankful for. If you are feeling really wild, you could even give the Prayer Knot a try.


And in your comments, we’d love for you to share: What are you thankful for today?

Asher's header One thought I would love to leave you all with is: God is a God of possibilities. Often when we worry, we focus on what we “cannot” do – ace that big math test, give a presentation to your entire class or go to a new school. If you feel helpless, don’t lose hope; it is true that we are powerless alone, but God promises to give the strength we need and with Him everything is possible.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31

So dare to dream! Next time you face something that makes you anxious, think about the things God could make possible through this situation. Going to a new school might be nerve-wracking, but God could strengthen your trust in Him and provide you with new friends through it. With Him, the possibilities are endless! ASHER

Looking forward to reading what you have to say!!!

Love, Love, Love


P.S. All the definitions come from I use it all the time because it breaks words down into simple meanings. Great for vocabulary homework. Especially if you’ve read the definition 5 times and still don’t know what the heck it is saying.

Asher On Stressing Over SCHOOL!

Hello, Tribelet of Amazing Mini-Women! Thanks for being patient with computer issues that kept us from posting Wednesday. But here we are, with our next installment of the I’m Stressing Out! series — and this week we bring you Asher. She was a mini-woman not too long ago, and now at 14 she is part of the Tween You And Me team. She can talk about school stress better than any of us because, hello, she’s in it! So — let’s see what she has to say.

School! It takes up so much of our lives, from attending morning classes to after-school activities to doing homework in the evening, so it’s not surprising that you mini-women listed it as one of your main sources of stress in the comments.

Asher bus

Staying Organized

I think staying organized is a great way to manage school stress, as difficult as that can be. Why? When you map out deadlines and know where everything is, you’ll see your workload more clearly and it’ll become less overwhelming.

Here are some tips that might work for you:

  • Have separate folders for your subjects. That way, you won’t have to scramble through your bag for ten minutes just to locate your English assignment!

  • Have a specific homework/study spot at home – a space with all of your school supplies away from distractions like screens. Set a certain time to study and do homework, for example 7:00-9:30pm.

    Asher organization

  • Tape a copy of your schedule on the back of your front door. When you leave the house, you’ll be able to quickly check that you have everything you need for the day. It might be a good idea to keep a copy at your study space too.

  • Use a planner to record any tests, events and deadlines you have. You could also put your to-do lists for chores and homework in it, so you’ll have a clear idea of what needs to be done when. You can buy one or make your own like mine below.

    asher planner

Struggling with a school subject can be quite stressful as well. To improve, try creating a study plan in your planner – if you’re struggling with math and science, you could dedicate Tuesday afternoons to studying those two subjects. Review your notes, watch teaching videos, test yourself on what you’ve learned – whatever works for you.

If you’re still having trouble at school, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Talk to someone who can help, whether that be your dad, your teacher or your friend who’s a whiz at math. Maybe your teacher or friend could help you after school, or your dad could help you find a tutor.

asher homework

Pressure to Make the Grade

Many of you cited getting bad grades as a source of stress – I can definitely relate! The pressure to do everything right can be overwhelming.

It’s certainly a good thing to do your best at school, but grades are not a measure of how good a student, person, and daughter of Christ you are. Next time you find yourself worrying about whether you’ll win the competition or what grade you got on a test, ask yourself: “How am I defining myself?” Your worth is not based on your success or report card or anything else, but who you are in Jesus – a wonderful person made in His image.

Asher mirror

Also ask yourself, “What am I putting first in my life?” When you make getting straight A’s and winning every science fair too important, you may start putting those things before God. Make sure you put prayer time and writing in your Talking-To-God journal in your planner as well. Remind yourself with a sticky note by your homework desk or your bathroom mirror to put God first. As it says in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When you are putting God first in your life, He will give you peace to stay calm in that math test, endurance to finish that social studies project, and courage to get back up again after you fail.

And while you’re in the thick of projects, activities and school fairs, try to enjoy it! You might not be thrilled every time you walk into the math classroom, but make a list of the things you do like about school, like giggling with your friends during recess or doing creative writing or trying fun experiments in science. School will be over sooner than you think, so you might as well make the most of it.

Asher journal

In your Talking-To-God journals, tell God about what you’re finding stressful about school, and ask God to provide ways for you to manage your stress. Thank Him for the things you do enjoy at school. You might also want to ask Him to help you put Him first and define yourself as who you are in Him.

And in your comments, we’d love for you to share: what problems are stressing you out at school? What ideas do you have for managing that stress? Looking forward to hearing from you all!

Praying that all of you will grow, flourish and find joy in your school days.

AsherAsher's portrait


Friends Are Stressing Me Out!

Hey girls! Hannah here. Is it just me or is there a LOT more energy here on our blog these days?  We’re loving it, and we hope THIS post will get you even MORE involved.

Today we’re talking about stress caused by friendships.  Listen ladies, you can have the best friend in the whole world and you’ll still have times when she will be sad and you can’t seem to comfort her,  Asher Whatever IS Right or you two get in a fight or she’s just plain getting on your nerves.  This is all normal.  It can be sad, but I promise you it happens to everyone, and you’re going to get through it.

Fighting With Friends

I think one of the worst things that can happen in a friendship is when a friend gets mad at you.  I just hate that feeling, don’t you? Sometimes we know what we did, and other times we’re just clueless!  Either way, anger between friends is just downright uncomfortable. inner-critic-asher

Remember, this is your friend we’re talking about.  If you’re not sure what you did, you’re allowed to go to her and ask!  Sometimes just a simple, “I feel like you’ve been really quiet lately.  Is everything ok between us?”  Maybe you’ll find out you did something wrong or maybe you’ll realize she’s going through a lot of her OWN stress and it has nothing to do with you.  Either way, your friendship gets a lot stronger from that one act of kindness.Asher girls

There’s also another scenario, and that’s when you KNOW what you did wrong.  Maybe you failed the math quiz, tripped in gym class, and got a stain on your favorite shirt at lunch and all that combined to put you in one rotten mood!  Your friend comes along and you say something rude or snippy and you’re too grumpy to apologize.  Mini-women, I’ve been there.  Give yourself a day (or a few hours) to calm down, and then give her a call.  Ask for forgiveness, and mean it!  No excuses (you can tell her about gym class later), just an apology. Noble Asher

One of the best Scriptures for this is Matthew 5:23-24.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Veronica march 1 This is how seriously God takes ‘making things right’ with our friends and family.  He doesn’t even want our gifts, our tithes, our volunteer hours in Sunday School, if we haven’t made things right with our friends.  He says take care of that first and then come talk to me.  The Lord delights in us when we are determined to keep the peace.

When Your Friend is Sad

Mini-women, it’s confession time for Hannah:  I hate when people cry.  When people are sad and crying about something in their lives, I get all weird and nervous and awkward.  I feel like I never say the right thing.  It’s embarrassing sometimes.Asher's tween girl But I’ve gotten better over the years after I realized that God makes all of us different.  He created me not to have words of wisdom for my friends, but instead I can be the silent friend.  You know, the one that sits beside our crying BFF and doesn’t interrupt, but lets her get it all out.

Girls, no matter how God made you, I will tell you this:  He made you to be compassionate.  And I know for a fact that you girls already are that way, because I see you in the comment section, praying for everyone.  I know you must be the same way with your friends off the computer too. July 6 2017 post

If you are the type of person who always has something sweet and comforting to say – be that girl.  If you trip over your words like I do, give your friend a hug and go home and ask your mom for some help whipping up a snack for her.  (Nothing says ‘I care about you’ quite like a batch of homemade cookies, am I right?)

Either way, take the strengths that God has given you, and know that He has placed you in your friend’s life to be a helping hand, and He’s given you the tools to do it.  You don’t have to understand everything she’s going through to show her love.

Asher journal

In your Talking to God journals this week, ask God how you can be a better friend.  How you can keep your temper in check and not be snippy next time, or how you can show your sad friend that you’re there for her?  Remember that Jesus walked on earth and had friends who got mad at Him, and friends who were sad around Him.  Ask God to show you some stories in the Gospels about how Jesus acted as a friend.

And in the comments section, you can tell us a friend problem (and your ideas for what the solution should be) so we can pray over you about that!  Remember, solving the problem leads to us getting rid of that pesky friendship stress that keeps us awake at night.  Let’s work to fix it!

Asher's header

When Friends Drift Apart

Have you ever had a friend drift away? They gradually begin hanging out with a group of friends very different to yours, and before you know it the girl who you shared all your secrets and spare time with feels like a stranger.

If you’re feeling like a friend is drifting away, ask them about it if you can, even if it may be uncomfortable.  If it’s clear that you and your friend have drifted apart, don’t feel guilty: it’s not your fault if you and your friend have changed – this is part of the growing process. It is tough when a friendship fades, so give yourself time and space to be sad. Keep faith – although things may be hard now, God has great plans in store for you and is your friend, always. Maybe you could even take this opportunity to make new friends and discover more about yourself and God! Asher's portrait


Love you mini-women, and I love that we’re friends!


Hannah hannah






Oh, My Messy Life!

confusedHello, Tribelet of Amazing Mini-Women. Today we start our new series – which comes just in time for some new members who have recently joined us. Please welcome (drum roll please) BETH … ALANA … POPPY  … KYLIE … ELSA … MELODY. They need a big ol’ shout-out from those of you who have been with us for a while. We’re glad ALL of you are here.

Now, about this new series. A few months ago, one mini-woman emailed me and asked if we could do some posts on STRESS. When I put that out there and asked if anybody else was feeling anxious and afraid and, if so,  about what, the comment box filled up.


Sounded like a God-thing to us.

So the team got together – me (Nancy), Hannah, Asher and our newest member Leslie, who you’ll meet later. We looked at all your input and came up with these themes, which will be the topics for November’s posts. Ready?

  • Stressing out over friends (Hannah)

  • Stressing out over school stuff (Asher)

  • Stressing out over Godly things (Leslie)sad girl

  • And this post (by me) – Stressing out over responsibilities

So why is today’s post titled “Oh, My Messy Life!” ?

Because you told us that you get WAY anxious about these kinds of things:

  • A messy room

  • Being latedrained

  • Having too many chores to do when there’s homework

  • Trying to do everything RIGHT!

If you think back just a couple of years when you were in those early elementary grades, you probably didn’t even know what “stress” was, right?  You went to school or showed up at the dining room table for home school. You did your work. You played. You maybe had some activities. You went to bed. And all along the way somebody was reminding you to do all of the things.

“Did you brush your teeth?”

“Do you have to go potty before we leave the house?” watching movie

“Let’s say our prayers together.”

And then did it seem like all of a sudden that changed? Now —

  • You have to get yourself ready in the morning

  • Somebody yells if you don’t make your bed

  • You have to make sure everything is in your backpack

  • You have to wash your own hair

The list goes on, right? You now have responsibilities. And if you don’t take care of those things, your Life. Gets. Messy.

Your room is a pit and you can’t find anything.

You go to the dentist and he/she finds cavities.

You can’t keep up  — with your homework – with that project you worked so hard on and now where the Sam Hill is it? – with that list of things your mom asked you to do.

hit over the head

            And when life gets messy that way, you get stressed. Gigantic butterflies bat their wings inside your stomach. You can’t sit still. Your sister says something unintentionally annoying and you want to punch her in the face. You cry for no apparent reason (a phenomenon fathers simply do not understand).

The good news? There’s a way to ease that stress and feel pretty good about your responsible sweet self. You might want to try these steps.

  1. Take it to God in your Talking to God Journal. (If you’re new here and you don’t know what that is, just ask and one of the Mini-Women will explain it in a comment) Blurt it all out just like the Psalmists do

  2. in the Psalms. Asher journal They whine ENDLESSLY to God. You can too. While you’re in your journal, ask for God’s help. Then watch for it. God won’t clean your room, but God will send ideas, energy and people your way. Be on the lookout.

  3. Make a list of all the responsibilities you have other than schoolwork (Asher goes into more detail on that in “If You Ask Asher” below). Things like ’keep my room cleaned up’, ‘take my dirty clothes to the laundry room,’ ‘let my mom know about things coming up at school that she needs to be aware of’ (like baking brownies for a bake sale BEFORE the day they’re needed). sketchbook

  4. Look at your list. Is it REALLY all that long? Is it TRULY more than you can handle? When Paul writes in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” he means ALL THINGS. You can do this, Mini-Woman. You got God.

  5. Being strengthened doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly WANT to do all that stuff and you’ll magically have all this energy. What it means is that with GOD’s energy you can find ways to make it happen. You know what I do? I have a chart for every week that lists the chores I need to do every day. I can get so wrapped up in my head with things like, okay, composing this blog post, that I forget to clean the toilets and the trash is suddenly running over onto the floor and I’m wondering why I don’t have any clean socks. I am telling you the absolute truth: every time I do one of the tasks on my chart, I give myself a star sticker. Here’s a picture of it for this week. chore chart I don’t really care if guests see it and think I’m acting like I’m in fourth grade. It works for me. (And what’s wrong with being in fourth grade anyway?)

  6. Finally, set a specific time to take care of those chores – and then don’t procrastinate by putting in a movie or getting into a video game or playing with your new puppy Gibbs at vet(Okay, so I used that example so I would have an excuse to post a picture of Gibbs!) Those things are your reward for AFTER you take care of business.

Have you noticed that I haven’t said, “There are 365 places in the Bible that say something like, ‘Do not be afraid.’ So don’t be.”  If you could just say, “I’m not going to be anxious about this anymore,” and be instantly calm, wouldn’t you have done it by now? I think what God is telling us is, “Don’t be afraid to try to change. Don’t be afraid you can’t do it. Just. Do. It. And I’ll be there for you.”

Asher's header

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when your days are packed full of schoolwork, after-school activities, responsibilities, and an endless to-do list… I’m starting to feel stressed just thinking about this!

It might be worth taking a step back, as busy as you may be. List the things that are making your life messy in your Talking-To-God Journal. Think about each item you listed – is it really worth your time? Maybe you’ve signed up for the school newspaper team, which costs you a lot of time, and you don’t even enjoy it that much. It might be worth taking a break from a responsibility that’s simply making your life more stressful. If a responsibility that you can’t give up, like looking after your siblings, is stressing you out, discuss it with someone who can help.

Being involved in a lot of activities can be a good thing, but sometimes it’s even better to make sure you have time to spend with God and take care of yourself. That way, you’ll be able to give the responsibilities you do have your very best!  

If you want to post a comment this time, tell us what’s on your “Chore Chart”. Tell us if you’ll set one up. We’ll give each other gold stars – because that’s what Mini-Women do!



Hannah writing Hi mini-women!  Hannah, here. Can you believe this is almost our last post in the series?  I have loved reading and writing these – and I think this one is my favorite. It’s a good verse to pick apart, in my opinion.


“Whatever is excellent and praiseworthy, think on those things.”

What comes to mind when you think of excellence or something that ought to be praised?Asher's rock star drawing  A 102% on a math test?  A home run with the bases loaded?  The first prize in a singing contest?

We would say congratulations to all of those people, and we’d be right to do so!  And yet, as always, Paul is calling us to think deeper.

See, this verse (this whole verse, not just the part we’re talking about today) is all about shifting focus.girl thinking  About stopping yourself from thinking of your worries and your fears and your insecurities and re-focusing to think on what is pure, lovely, and so on.

When you’ve been having a rough time in math, or at your baseball or choir practice, sometimes it can be hard to think about succeeding (being excellent or praiseworthy) in those things! hit over the head

“I don’t even want to think about a home run, I just want to hit the ball and be able to get to first base without being tagged out EVERY single game.” Or “That other girl has had private voice lessons since she was three, why should I even bother trying out for the solo?”

I know you girls have probably had these thoughts before, and so have I!  When we only value ourselves on what we can do, on our excellent and praiseworthy talents, we can feel like we fall short.  All. The. Time.

good-newsWe have to re-teach ourselves to define excellence and praiseworthiness in a different way.

Excellence is being the best person you can be.  Pushing yourself to your OWN limits, not the limits that someone else said you should meet.

This means that you are excellent when doing that thing that is perfect for you.  You may not ever slug a home run over the fence, but it could turn out that you’re amazing at soccer.  Or vice versa.volleyball  Being excellent means finding that talent, that niche, that hobby that you EXCEL in like crazy.  And not trying to fit yourself in someone else’s Excellent Box.

Praiseworthy is being someone who people speak highly of, and with great respect.

This is a whole lot more important than your talents.  This is about focusing on your inner self and making sure you’re a person who is worthy of praise- not because of what you can do, but because of who you are.

It really matters a lot more to God that you sit next the girl whose voice cracked in her audition and give her a hug, Asher girlsthan you going on stage and wowing everyone with your amazing voice.  Don’t get me wrong – talent is great and should be admired!  It just shouldn’t be what we focus on.

(P.S.  Besides, who likes a talented person who acts like a total snob?  You’ll be remembered for years for your kindness to others, far longer than people Asher phto excellentt

photo by Asher

remembering you being a showstopper in the school play.  Admit it girls – it’s true!)

It’s a great thing to be excellent and praiseworthy.  Let’s just make sure it’s for the BEST reasons, and focus on it that way.

In your Talking to God journals this week, have a chat with God about how you’d like to be remembered.  Asher journal

For what talent, for what nice thing you did for someone, for what characteristic?  Discuss with Him what is the most important, excellent, praiseworthy thing you ought to work towards.

And in your comments, tell me one thing about yourself that you would call excellent or praiseworthy.  Don’t worry girls, this isn’t bragging!  bryn-christopherYou know this blog is Honesty Central; we’ve all talked about our flaws plenty of times.  Now I want you to think about the part of you and your personality that you feel really happy about.

Asher's header

In a world that’s so focused on results – how many ‘A’s you got in your report card, what prize you got in the competition, how many people are coming to your party – it’s hard to think of yourself as excellent or praiseworthy when you fail. So next time things don’t turn out the way you hoped, try to think of one excellent and praiseworthy thing you did in the process. Even though you didn’t get a good grade on your English group project, you can still celebrate how you were kind to your teammates while you worked on it.

This world may be concerned about what’s on the outside, but achievements, popularity and possessions only have earthly value for a short time. God cares about your heart, and in the end that will be what matters the most. Asher's portrait

 I love you girls!  You’re totally excellent.


Looking Ahead: Anybody Stressing Out?

confused girl Hello, Amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women. Isn’t it just so good to be back together again? We’re hearing from some of you who have been away from us — just like I was. It’s kind of like going back to school after a long summer and realizing how much you missed your friends.

In the next couple of weeks we will:

(1) Finish up our Whatever series with one more post from HANNAH and one from me (NANCY)Hannah doing research

(2) Put together a Mini-Makers Post. If you turned in a poem, song, picture, photo or 100 words of a story that hasn’t been posted yet, I’ll include those.Whatever post Veronica If you want to add something, just email it me by October 27 — one week from today. If you have NO idea what we’re talking about because you’re new, just click here .

(3) Get ready for our next series.

Number 3 is what I’m about today. Not long ago, one of you emailed me and asked if we could do some posts on stress. You know, the things you’re afraid of that make you lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling and thinking up the worst possible things that could happen if you fail math or make your BFF mad or get laughed at by that group of girls who laugh at everybody but each other. hit over the head

Grown-ups may roll their eyes (don’t you hate it when they do that?) and say things like, “You think you have stress? You have no idea what that is. Just be a kid!” Have they completely forgotten what it was like to BE a kid? Really?

We haven’t, and we want to help. SO — in the next few days — by the end of the day Monday, October 23 — will you post a comment in which you tell us what: 

      * stresses you out 

     *  makes you anxious OIlivia April

     *  moves you to bite your nails and snap at your


From your list we’ll be able to come up with post topics to help you handle that Mini-Women stress and hopefully even make some of it go away.

And get ready from some cool new things that are going to happen here on Tween You and Me in November. Be sure to be here — and bring your fellow Mini-Women. There is always room in the stress-free Tribelet!

Blessings, Nancy Rue  Nancy



Asher On WhatEVer Is Admirable.

Hello, Amazing Mini-Women! Asher has been sharing her artwork and special comments with us for a while now, and today she’s making her debut with her first whole blog post. Let’s hear it for our own ASHER!


Asher's portrait Hey there, Tribelet! It’s Asher here, with my first full blog post. The topic? Whatever is admirable.

Have you ever met that girl that seems to have it all – you know, the one with a bevy of popular friends, who seems to effortlessly make straight A’s and look perfect when she gets out of bed each morning…. the list goes on. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wish I could be like that, and then feel inferior with my not-so-perfect life.

Asher mirror

The truth is, it isn’t fair to compare ourselves to others when we know our own messes inside out, but only see the outside of theirs. Admiring someone doesn’t mean trying to measure up to or compete with them. It’s simply appreciating and being encouraged by the person they are.

So then, what makes an admirable person?

  • Someone who is real. The world often puts pressure on us to act like we have it all together, but what’s truly admirable is someone who has the courage to be honest about their flaws and difficulties.
  • Someone who brings the best in you. Maybe it’s your best friend, who you can always be yourself with, or your cousin who always encourages you to keep writing (or doing whatever activity you enjoy!)  Asher coffee
  • Someone who strives to be like Jesus – think fruits of the spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

If you know admirable people in your life, try to get to know them better and learn from them if you can! You might also want to tell them what you admire about them and why to make their day.

One admirable person we all know is Jesus: our ultimate example. After all, he’s been through what we have – and did it perfectly. Here are a few ways you can become more like Him:

  • Learn about Him. Just like you’d spend time getting to know someone you admire, you can find out more about Jesus’ admirable qualities through reading the Bible.

If you struggle with deciding where or how to start reading your Bible, you’re not alone! One thing I’ve found helpful is reading verses about a particular topic. For example, if you decided to learn more about Jesus’ patience since your little brother has been getting on your nerves lately, you could look up Bible passages or verses about patience online, or use the index at the back of your Bible.


asher bible

Here’s what an index might look like in your Bible. Asher Bible index


If it helps, you could also make a list of admirable qualities you notice in your Talking-To-God Journal!

  • Pray and write about what you’re learning in your Talking-To-God Journal.
  • Surround yourself with pure things and others who also strive to be like Jesus. (If you’d like to learn more about this, you can read Nancy’s ‘Whatever Is Pure’ post!)
  • Take action. We’ve been exploring Philippians 4:8 in this series, but the verse after it is also worth looking at:

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

So, if you’ve been reading about how Jesus is kind, try to find something kind you can do in your life – like including the new girl at school, or volunteering at your local homeless soup kitchen. Asher girls


Becoming more like Jesus definitely doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t be discouraged if you end up lashing out at your brother or ignoring the new girl because you don’t want to be made fun of. After all, Jesus spent thirty years growing before he began his ministry – so be patient and keep learning and growing and trying!

In your Talking-To-God Journal this week, you might want to write about ways you’d like to become more like Jesus – maybe a specific quality, like faithfulness. Secondly, ask God to help you put that into action so you can become more like Him each day!Asher journal

And in your comments, we’d love for you to share: Who’s someone you find admirable, and what’s a quality you admire in them? How could you try to live out that quality this week? Looking forward to hearing from you all!


P.S. Also tell ASHER how you liked her post. Me? I appreciate the way she gives us practical steps to take. We can DO this! Nancy