Helloooo, Mini-Women! Today I'm wishing we could all gather around my Christmas tree (just put it up last night) and have mugs of hot chocolate and help each other out of our closets. Wouldn't that be fun?
But since we can't, let's do the next best thing. Let's share what we know so far:
- We can't really celebrate the birth of the Lord who comes to set us free if we don't even know we're locked up.
- We've figured out what closets we're trapped in -- Being afraid and not sure and jealous and addicted to our video screens.
- We're calling out to God for help, seeing how He's the one with the key to the closets. We're crying: Comfort me Unlock! It’s So Cramped In Here! I can barely breathe! Help me now! I want out! HEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP !
- And we're repenting, which means we want to change direction. Earlier this week I suggested that you fill in the squares for December 8, 9 and 10 with the things you want to repent, and here's what you've come up with so far:
- Envying * Rude to mom and dad * Grumpy with mom and dad
Swearing under pressure * Video Game Addiction
Getting distracted * Shutting down * Grades stress
Destroying others * Feeding self trash * Complaining
The next logical step, of course, is to make that U-turn, change direction, head TOWARD God instead of away. But, um, how do we do that? Well, first of all, it's a very slow turn sometimes! It means being really, really patient with yourself. But it CAN be done. Some simple steps might help, as long as you remember that you'll have to keep taking them. Over and over.
↑ Talk to God about it every day in your Talking To God Journal. Even if it's just a sentence or two, keep bringing it up. Sort of the way you nag your parents for something you want, right?
↑ Ask a grown-up you trust to help you. That means (a) tell her what you want to do; (b) ask her to pray for you; (c) ask her for suggestions; (d) ask her to give you a signal if she sees you doing this thing you want to stop (she tugs her ear lobe when you start bossing your friends); (e) meet with her once a week to talk about how you're doing.
↑ Think of one tiny step you could take AWAY from the closet you don't want to be in. Take that step every day. For example:
If you want to stop being rude to your parents, tell each of them at least once a day how much you love them.
If you want to stop being grumpy with your mom and dad, apologize every single time you talk back to them.
If you want to stop envying other people, write down five things in your TTGJ every day that you're thankful for in your own life.
If you want to stop swearing when you get frustrated with absurd little creep boys, roll your eyes and walk away when they call you names.
If you want to break your video game addiction, set a timer for 30 minutes when you sit down to play and when it goes off, go do something else. Ask your mom or dad to help you enforce that.
If you want to stop getting distracted from schoolwork or Bible study or chores, promise yourself a reward when you finish your task (peanut butter on crackers always does it for me! so does reading a chapter of a book I'm into, or texting Miss Crystal!)
If you want to stop shutting down instead of listening, ask you mom to simply say, "Sophia, your eyes are glazing over. Are you with me?"
If you want to stop destroying others instead of building them up, write an encouraging note to the person you put down most often.
If you want to stop feeding your "temple" trash, ask your mom if you can have your own container of healthy snacks in the frig or snack drawer.
If you want to stop stressing out big time over your grades, ask someone to help you on your worst subject.
If you want to stop complaining, mark a plus sign on the palm of your right hand every time you say something positive and a minus sign on your left every time you complain. Compare at the end of the day. Challenge yourself to have an empty left hand.
that pesky thing you're repenting of. And if you want to comment between now and Tuesday (12/15), tell us what small step you're taking. If you take it, share what happened.
Come back for cocoa and more good talking on Tuesday. See you then, Mini-Women!