Hellooooo, Mini-Women! THIS is what it looks like to be free .... not all of you dressing like itty bitty furry animals and putting on gigantic glasses (although that might be kind of fun) but expressing yourself any way you want to as long as it doesn't hurt or offend someone.
That's what our OLIVIA has done here with her pretty amazing drawing. Is she gifted or WHAT? Thanks for sharing this with us, Olivia.
Olivia also loves to sing ... but she says, "The problem is that most of the time, I'm too shy to sing in front of people." Like a boy she wants to be better friends with and even her youth group. Why is that?
It's the same reason APRIL, HALLE BELL, AMANDA and KAYLEE long to be free from the so-called "rules" the world sets. You know, "rules" for:
*what to wear
* how to act
* how to talk
* how to do your hair
* what to own (as in phone/tablet/iPod/laptop)
* what way you should dance
Who sets those "Rules"?
* the "popular people"
* the "cool people"
* the "normal" people
In other words, the people who HAVE the phones/computers/all the techno devices. The people with the money to follow every new appearance trend that even hints that it's going to be "in" for the next ten minutes.
And not only do they SET the rules -- they do a number on everybody who can't follow them (or doesn't even want to!)
* "It makes me feel worthless because apparently, if you don't follow those rules, you're 'weird' and 'a loser' which isn't true, but everyone thinks you have to follow all those rules to be 'cool'."
*"Sometimes I feel like if you don't have something-like a phone/ tablet/iPod/laptop- you aren't 'normal'."
* "It makes the 'unpopular' kids feel worthless and like they want to be home schooled because of how often they get made fun of."
As if it weren't bad enough to feel pretty lousy about that, the whole "Rules of the Popular Kids" thing can bring out the worst in the non-rule-followers. Then we're talking JEALOUSY -- and that is nobody's authentic self. (KEILAH'S FAKE SELF)
We've all said we want to be free FROM that. But it's hard, right? Especially when it's in your face all the time. As SARA said, this is a time of being confused about a lot of things, including growing up, and feeling "normal" is a huge part of that.
I think the only way to be free FROM the "Rules" that tie you down is to make your OWN rules -- the ones that say what you are free TO do.
Here's my list:
I am free to ...
allow myself to grow older gracefully instead of trying to look younger than my age
write what I think is important for my mini-women rather than what the publishing company tells me is going to sell well
live what I believe from my relationship with God and not what any one church tells me I should believe
explore things I'm interested in instead of work-work-working all the time like I used to
What does that look like?
I let my hair go silver-and-gray!
I'm writing all kinds of new stuff for the So Not Okay webpage
I love to walk a labyrinth, take communion, listen to Taize music and read all different translations of the Bible
Right now I'm reading about Harper Lee's new book and learning how to make memes.
We can't be free FROM anything unless we know what we are free TO do and be. We have to write our own rules -- based on our faith in God, and the good things our parents have taught us -- and on the selves we are getting to know.
I'm glad AMANDA is reading Everybody Tells Me To Be Myself But I Don't Know Who I Am, and I hope all of you can at some point. It's all ABOUT discovering what you love and who you are so you can be free to do and be just that.Here's what you can do right now.
1. Open your Talking To God Journal (TTGJ) and make a list of the things you ARE free to do -- today -- this minute.
2. Then make a list of the thing you WISH you were free to do.
3. Study that second list, one item at a time. Is there any REAL reason why you can't do any or all of those things? Why CAN"T you learn to play chess instead of video games? What's wrong with playing dress-up with your little sisters to get ideas for your own fashion designs? Is there an actual problem with putting together a cute outfit from Target and being proud to wear it? Really?
4. Then share with us -- in a comment -- one thing you have realized you are free TO do, that maybe you didn't put together before.
Jesus said the truth will set us free, and the truth is that we were made to be somebody, and our only power is to work with God to be that somebody. No matter what other sad somebodies may say about it. Who gave them the power to make the rules anyway?
You did. It's time to cut yourself loose.