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the bow: how not to be a victim of the mean girl

Oh Girl World! My Linley girl turned the big 1-0 in June. It’s a big deal. Double digits, you know. We went to New Orleans for the Southern Baptist Convention and really were excited to celebrate this monumental occasion with a change of scenery and some beignets!

After a Sunday of experiencing some local coffee shops and hanging out around town, we enjoyed some pizza in the hotel room while Brett went to the convention center to set up. We watched a movie and had pink and gold decorations all ready to put up in the hotel room. I even brought nail polish! Upon return, Brett immediately took a shower and went to bed not feeling well. I put up the decorations with them myself, prepared everyone for bed, and went to bed myself.

About 11 p.m., the first kid went down. I did not feel well myself, but I went to the lobby looking for extra bedding and some cleaning supplies. Since the hotel was fully booked, they found only one extra pillow and one blanket and no cleaning supplies. Fortunately, I had brought my own Lysol surface disinfectant, so I used that. After I cleaned up, changed sheets, and paid an outrageous amount of money for a can of Sprite, I went back to bed.

Then they consistently all went down all throughout the night. I don’t usually go down, but it hit me too. The hotel ran out of towels, so we drip-dried. I tried to figure out how to separate the sick from the well among the four girls who slept in one pull-out couch. After I realized we were all going down, I figured it didn’t matter too much anyway.

The next day, we went for a ride to Sonic to get Sprites and pick up medicine at Wal-Mart. Happy birthday to Linley. I was probably more upset than she was. We had Chick-fil-A soup delivered to the hotel and ate in the bed while we watched t.v. It was a blast.

We finally made it to the convention center the next day to enjoy the SBC!

The rest of the time was fun, though. We met missionaries from the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board. We finally ate birthday cupcakes at a bakery there for Linley’s birthday too. Whew! I was so glad to get home…and sanitize everything!

We made paper airplanes and hung out with Lifeway friends!

We even met the author of one of my favorite board books The Moon Speaks!

We saw friends we knew and met some new ones!

As Linley grows and the other four girls grow up, I know they will experience difficulties and it is always tough to watch people navigate through it. Approaching preteen time and middle school, Linley will experience mean girls and be faced with making choices as to what is right and wrong. Mean girls exist now. Even at four, a little girl asked Linley to move to another seat so she could sit by someone else. Mean girls exist no matter how old we get! We never really outgrow feelings of inadequacy do we?

In first grade, the girl I carpooled with marked all over my hand with a pen and told me I had better not scrub it off or tell my parents she did it. As a sophomore in high school, I sat next to a girl in youth choir at church who asked me to scoot down because “Caitlin was coming to sit there.” Well, Caitlin had not arrived, but I could refuse to move and be in the way or just succumb to the request and just move down. I moved down. Now, I often question my ability to “mom” right. In fact, a woman at Chick-fil-A remarked that Ella Kate would “drop that baby” as she helped me hold Izzy Grace’s carrier while I cleaned up our table. She didn’t see Ella Kate ask to help or me show her how to carry the carseat. She also must have missed that Izzy Grace was sleeping soundly and was bucked in completely. Even this comment made me question everything about myself.

About age five, Linley had a double-stacked hair bow on at church. They are wearing the black bows in the picture above. If you live in the south, you know what I am talking about. You know what they say, “The bigger the bow, the closer to God!” Southern culture is pearls and bows. A little girl in her class at church told her that her bow was too big and looked bad. From that moment on, that bow has been a source of contention at home - even with the other girls because they know what was said to Linley. She also refused to wear the bow for years. It still hangs on the bow sash.

We were able to talk about not worrying about what others think or say and I had a chance to remind her that we answer to God, not anybody else. If she wants to wear a bow, go for it and walk with confidence. It is difficult to do so, sometimes even as a girl in my 30s, am I right?!

As I learn lessons of life with the Lord, I am asking for wisdom to help my own girls handle life. We are learning a few lessons as God grows us all. He is faithful to help us handle whatever comes and will always listen to us.

On the daily:

1. Smile. It creates a friendly appearance that attracts others.

2. Walk with your head up and look people in the face. This demonstrates confidence and draws people to you. It also creates confidence in you without you even realizing it! Funny, psychologically, when you act with confidence, you begin to feel confident. Confident behavior leads to confident feelings!

3. Laugh at yourself. Maintain a sense of humor! Life is too short to be serious all the time! Also, learning to laugh at yourself helps others feel at ease around you and draws people in, as it shows confidence and maturity! When you make a mistake, give it a laugh and move on!

4. Be who God created you to be. If you are not the class clown, don’t try to be. I am not that person. I tried it once, failed miserably, so I will just continue to be who I am!

5. Be kind. Sit with a lonely person. Ask others how you can help. Pick up trash on the ground. Push your chair in at the restaurant when you leave. When you treat others how Christ wants you to, it naturally draws people to you!

6. Put away negativity. God has a purpose and uses every experience. Do not blame other people for your problems. Your thoughts have a lot to do with your actions. CHOOSE to think positively instead of focusing on the negative. You may struggle with a girl in one class but choose to focus on the good friends you have to hang out with.

7. Focus on the plans God is working in you right now and the positive future. You are not “stuck.” Everyone suffers discouragement and setbacks. Although difficulty is never fun, it makes seeing what God does in the end that much sweeter.

8. Take control of what you can in your life. YOU get to decide how long you will study for a test. YOU get to decide of you have a clean or messy room or home. YOU get to decide how hard you will work as an employee. You get to decided how long you will practice your extracurricular activities. YOU get to decide how you treat others. YOU get to decide if you spend time with God each day. YOU get to decide what kind of reputation you make for yourself. YOU have a God-given responsibility and privilege to make these choices! Nobody else can control your choices and it is not anyone else’s responsibility to make good choices - it is up to you!

Ladies, remember that no matter how old you are, you are loved by God and as His child, you are always enough.



Pic(k) of the week:

Our kitty, Bumble loves to receive cat treats and roll around in the catnip. He loves summer time!


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