Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Year - New Friends

A new school year! Exciting, yet scary. Can't wait one minute; nervous stomach next.

One of the great things I always looked forward to in a new school year was the chance to change things up a bit and meet some new friends. Different classes brought new opportunities to meet kids I had never hung out with before. Some times, though, those first few days can be weird. Trying to get a conversation started can be awkward. What if they think I'm weird? What if they already "have enough" friends and aren't looking for any new ones?

I know when I walk in a new place, I can feel uptight at first. But just think, if I feel that way, they probably do too! So how can we break the ice and find out if that new girl sitting next to me might just be my new best friend?

First prepare some great "ice breaker" questions. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, so asking questions is a great place to start. How long have you lived here? What activities are you thinking about participating in? What school did you go to last year? What do you think might be the best thing about this year? Once they answer that question, based on their answer you can ask another. (Be sure to comment back with your own answers to the questions, that way you are starting a conversation and not just asking questions!)

Next, really listen when she talks. So many people want to do all of the talking. If you are a real listener, you'll stand out as a great friend right from the start!

Lastly don't be afraid to do some inviting. Ask her to hang out at lunch, study for a test coming up or go to the first football game. Everyone wants to be wanted and asking her to hang out says just that!

As a final note: be sure to keep your eyes open for the kid who is new to your school. I recently read a startling statistic: kids who move more than three times have twice a likely chance to try to commit suicide. Moving is tough! Look for the girl who is twice as nervous as you and try to help her fit.

I'd love to hear how your first day of school goes! Stop back by and let me know.

Always His,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Means Girls

“The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.” Nahum 1:7 NLT

“The words on FaceBook glared back at her. “You are so ugly! You are fat, annoying and I hate you!” Lindsay just sat there, starring at the screen. “What did I say? What did I do?”

Maybe this has happened to you or maybe you have never faced the type of flat out rejection that Lindsay did. I recently spotted a t-shirt at the mall that read “You’re no one until someone talks about you.” Growing up today in a world where “Mean Girls” and “Gossip Girl” are our movie and tv titles, it comes as no surprise that many of us have been there. These feelings of being unaccepted are definitely not new. In Song of Solomon 1:5, we are first introduced to a young girl who feels the same way “Don’t look down on me because I am dark…” The Message. She felt rejected. Those feelings are so opposite of what we want to feel. What we want to be accepted!

So what can we do when we feel out ? For me, it helps to find out where I am in. The Lord is very specific about how He feels about me. “My beloved is mine, and I am His…”Song of Solomon 2:16a (NKJV). “You're beautiful from head to toe, my dear love,
beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.” Song of Solomon 4:7b The Message. “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” Psalm 45:11 (NIV). These are the types of verses I take and put them everywhere so that I can read them over and over and over again. When I feel rejected, these words remind me that I am accepted by Him!

Next time you feel left out, rejected, not "in"; remind yourself of the truth of how He sees you. Let these words go deep into your heart and watch how the Lord will turn what was made for evil into good!