Ladies, I think the "Ayes" definitely have it. We WILL make our Lenten series a focus on worry . . . and before I go any further let me just say that none of you sound like "a mess" because you get tied up in knots over everything from going to the dentist to what the future holds. What you sound like are very human teenage girls who are paying attention to how crazy the world is and wondering how you're possibly going to survive in it.
After reading all your comments, and loving all of you more with every word, I've come up with our six areas. It seems to me that these will cover just about everything --
SELF-IMAGE/OTHER PEOPLE'S OPINIONS/THINGS THAT HAVE SHAPED THAT FROM OUR PAST
Spirituality will be woven throughout, since everything we talk about will depend on our relationships with God. That pretty much starts with Jesus saying:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry . . . "
It never occurred to me until I dove deeply into this to try to help you that the word "therefore" is important. We say therefore when we mean, "So, naturally," "So, obviously," So, it only makes sense that_______"
So I backed up and read what comes right before that, which is "You cannot serve God and wealth." Or God and success. Or God and other people's opinions. Or God and -- anything.
Basically, we don't get how Jesus can say, "Don't worry about anything -- not your clothes or your food or what's going to happen to you tomorrow," when we live in a world that causes us just about nothing BUT stress over that stuff! But when you look at it this way -- that if we're serving all that stuff, we DO have a reason to worry. But if we're serving God, we really don't. -- Jesus doesn't seem so out of touch!
That doesn't mean we go, "Oh, okay!" and we're good to go! What it means is that first and last and all the way through, we need to keep slowly and gradually and deeply getting closer to that God we say we serve.
So that's going to be the foundation of our series, even as we look practically at school worries and appearance concerns and the ever-present, "What do they think of me? DO they think of me?"
It makes sense -- therefore! -- that we all prepare ourselves for this series by making sure we have several things in place. Don't go taking off on a guilt trip if you haven't done these or you used to and you stopped blah, blah. This is about today, okay? So -- be sure you:
* have a quiet place you can always go to for reflection -- you might have to be creative if you have a big noisy family
* have at least a small block of time carved out of every day FOR that reflection; try not to wail, "That's the problem. I don't HAVE time!" If you can only find five mintues a day, that's a start.
* have a Bible you can understand
* have a journal or a sketchpad -- some way to record your thoughts either verbally or visually
* know God loves you and can't wait to spend this time with you -- no matter what you've done or how far away you've drifted or how "bad" you think you are. If you're having trouble accepting that, please, please email me. (email@example.com)
Tomorrow I'll be focusing on the tweens who I HOPE will finally have their blog party. Monday will be our first post in this series. Between now and then, please comment with your "getting ready" plans and support each other as we prepare to begin. And of course, Welcome MARGARET as you're all so good at doing.
I am SO looking forward to this Ladies. You have no idea.