Hellooooo, Mini-Women! I love HALLE BELLE'S calendar, don't you? I hope you're all using the squares on yours for the things we talk about in each post. I think by Christmas Day you're going to be surprised by what you see there about yourself.
It SOUNDS like you're making progress! AMANDA, ALYSSA, EVE, KAYLEE & SARA all checked in with the baby steps they're taking to make that U-Turn that needs to be made. (If you have NO idea what I'm even talking about, just click here for a quick review. You can just pick up where we are any time, but sometimes it's nice to know what's going on, right?)
One of the "baby steps" you really seemed to like is what AMANDA suggested. She says: "A small step I have made in my life is I have started a jar of "hearts". It's a jar where I put verses from the Bible that I like and that cheer me up. And then whenever I'm sad or mad or lonely or anything I just reach in to the jar, grab a couple of the inspiring verses and read them!! It's really helping me a lot! "
I can see how that would help us as we try to make U-Turns -- you know, repent, which means change direction -- to get us out of those places we're trapped in. We could write down verses that remind us, hold us up, make us strong and look at them when we realize (and we will) that we're going back to the same old stuff we wanted to turn away from. I like it!
Absolutely make a Heart Jar if you want. I'm going to suggest, though, that for the Advent season we're in, we simply write those verses in the squares on our calendars. That way they're in front of us all at once.
Because here's the thing: we aren't going to be able to make those U-Turns on our own. The whole third week of Advent is about asking God to stir up His Holy Spirit in us so that we WANT to make the changes, we WANT to be free, we WANT to be able to celebrate no longer being slaves to our own grumpiness and rudeness and video-game-ness.
SO ... having verses from God Himself where we can easily see them, and reading them when we find ourselves all locked up again, is one of the ways we can keep growing. It won't be another, "I was doing good for a while and then I got lazy." Or, "I was doing that every day and then I just kind of forgot."
Need some suggestions?
* If you're having trouble NOT talking back to your parents, you'll want Deuteronomy 5:16
* If you're so jealous of the stuff your friends have you can hardly stand it, make Deuteronomy 5:21 your own.
* Swearing when you get really frustrated? Matthew 5:34 is your go-to verse.
* Should worrying about, well, everything, be your thing, give Philippians 4:6 a shot.
* Putting people down with your words instead of building them up? Write down James 3:5.
* Chowing down on too much junk food? There's nothing more helpful than I Corinthians 6:19.
* Complaining 24/7? Ephesians 4:29 is all ABOUT that.
Here's your charge: On the calendar you've created for Advent in your Talking to God Journal, write a Bible verse that will help you stick with that U-Turn (just the "address," not the whole verse) in each of these squares: December 15, December 16, December 17. You might need someone to help you find them, but that's a good thing. It will get a conversation going that will not only keep you u-turning, but will let someone else know you're really trying.
Here's another challenge: write out those verses in your Talking to God Journal so you don't have to hunt for them in your Bible every time you want to read them again.
If you want to comment between now and Friday, share one of your verses IN YOUR OWN WORDS. So give the "address" (Luke 10:27, for example) and then your own Alyssa or Kaylee or Eve translation. Who knows, we might want to write YOUR suggestion on OUR calendars.
I'm proud of you, Mini-Women. Very proud.