Hel-o-o-o, Mini-Women! You're being your usual wonderful selves with your sharing in comments and I'm going to get to those just as soon as soon as we get those prayer requests out there. We have some MAJOR things to pray about this time, GIA Agents, so get your knees ready. Your fellow Agents have asked you to pray for:
The new boy in BAYLEE's class who's being bullied because people are jealous of him. When will people get a clue, you know? Also for BAYLEE and her mom who just found out they have head lice. I am SO sorry!
BETH, who is (well, I guess you already went at this point!) going on a retreat with three girls, two of whom don't get along. Let us know how it went, Beth. I'm sure the girls who read your comment were praying for you.
CASEY who wants to stop this whole competition thing in dance.
EMMA whose mom is applying for a new job. Of course we'll keep praying for all the friends you've mentioned to us who are sick. Always. And we'll also pray that the whole issue of having to move will be resolved God's way. How's that?
ANNABELLA'S brother who has a lot of health issues going on. We'll also pray that he realizes God is there for him.
BROOKE who has a sickness going around in her neighborhood.
GRACE whose family is going through some storms (well put) and for her friend who needs some other friends as well, in addition to Grace.
CHANTEY who has a cold she can't shake.
MARY -- big time praise because she has won a poetry contest! Her work is going to be on the state radio. Woo-HOO, Mary! So proud of you!
ABIGAIL - thanksgiving because the first FaithGirlz meeting went so well. She also needs prayer to get her science project done -- that is going to be presented to the QUEEN! Yikes!
And speaking of moving, for LILIAN'S friend who has to move for the tenth time in 7 years.
Merciful God, please hear the prayers of your mini-women.
Now, back to Rachel and Leah and -- you. Seems like most of you have had some experience with that whole unhealthy competition thing and you get what kind of damage it can do. You've missed out on friendships that could've been awesome. You've seen jealousy come into friendships you've cherished. You've gotten mad and fought. You've doubted your own talents. You've imagined your parents love your sibling more than you. You've watched people get stuck in the middle and you've been there yourself.
So what do we do about it? You can't just say, "I'm not going to get jealous." That's like saying, "I will not cough" when you have a cold. If you have a cough, you do something about it. And there's something we can do about the jealousy that comes from unhealthy competition.
BEING TRANSFORMED #4: We're In This Together, Right?"
READ: Genesis 31:1-21 Again, that's a long passage, so if you just want to read the summary on p. 249 of THAT IS SO ME, you can do that. The basic point of the story is that Laban (Rachel and Leah's father) turned out to be even meaner than we thought. He tried to cheat Jacob (Rachel and Leah's husband, if you'll recall and the father of their, like bajillion kids) so God told Jacob to take his BIG family back to his own home country. Jacob was worried that Rachel and Leah would be upset about leaving their country and their dad -- especially since they had to sneak away in the dead of night and could be (unjustly) accused of stealing-- but finally -- FINALLY! -- the two girls agreed on something. They told Jacob they were behind him all the way. Then they had to work together to get out of there safely with their kids and their animals and, basically, their lives.
PONDER THIS: For years Rachel and Leah had been competing for Jacob's love and attention by seeing who could give him the most kids -- and not just kids, but sons (for some ridiculous reason people thought boy children were more valuable back then -- when we all KNOW that girls rule . . . ). What did it take for them to finally give that up? They had a reason to work together. They stopped competing and started co-operating. Huh. Go figure.
TURN IT INWARD: So go back to that quiz you took a couple of posts ago, or just look at the situation you commented about this last time. What would it take for you to let go of that and work with the person you're jealous of or find yourself competing with? What would be more important than staying mad or being better? What would feel better than clinging to that's-not-fair? This might take some imagination , but remember, it took the fear of being separated from their husband and kids that turned Rachel and Leah around. Think big.
For example, let's say Susie and her sister Sally compete for their mom's attention. Their mom's birthday is coming up and they both want to get her a present that's more impressive than what the sister is going to get her, but neither one of them can afford it. What if they put their money together and buy mom one big ol' honkin present?
TALK TO JESUS ABOUT IT. There is no way you're going to handle this alone. It goes too deep. So sit down with (or take a walk with or go for a bike ride with) our Lord and talk to him about this situation. Ask him for help in figuring out how you can co operate with this person instead of compete. Then ask him HOW you're going to get past your jealousy and your need to be the best. Ask him to show you who to talk to about it if that's what you need to do. Basically put the whole thing in his arms and see what he does with it. That is, after all, what he's there for . . .
NOW -- Do it. Just do it. What do you have to lose, actually? It hss to turn out better than what you have going right now. If the person says, "Are you nuts? I'm not doing that!" all you have to say is, "Huh. I thought you were better than that," and walk away. But you're still no worse off than you were to begin with. Besides, I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised.
SHARE: Tell us what a plan might be. If you discover something after you've discussed it with God, tell us that if you want to. And by all means, if you try something and it helps, let us know so we can celebrate. The whole point of this is not JUST to change the situation, but to begin to transform you. It's not a decision you make. It's the result of actions you take that you know are the BEST thing to do in God's eyes.
I am WAY jazzed to find out what happens.
I'm also jazzed to be giving away SOPHIE STEPS UP this month, so if you don't have that book you totally need to email me so I can get one off to you.
Love you, Mini-Women!