Saturday, September 26, 2009

Week 2

This week was my week to tell a story from my life to the group. It was required that I be detailed and truthful and as open as possible. I ended up bringing two stories so the girls had examples. Here they are:

This morning on my way to work:

It takes me thirty minutes to drive to work every morning. Usually the drive is fine but this morning I didn’t want to wake up. I got ready to go as fast as I could because I was running late and hopped in the car. Because I was late I usually have a tendency to drive a bit faster than usual and today was the same. I am driving fast down the highway when I take the exit for Choctaw rd. As I make the right onto the sweet little street I am astounded by the beauty of the sky. It was the most beautiful light blue. The sun was shining my favorite golden light and it only made the view more spectacular. The trees are starting to turn a bit so they all have a slight golden color with a few touches of red. One of my favorite songs came on and in that moment everything slowed down. I didn’t want to drive faster I wanted to revel in the beauty of Choctaw rd. The words in the song were the exact words I needed to hear and the melody made me want to dance. It was a wonderful moment. (Play song and then discuss)

The Most Awful Thing of My Life (or so it seemed at the time)

When I was younger I idolized Faith Hill. I wanted so desperately to be a beautiful and talented as Faith Hill. When I was 12 I decided I would follow in her footsteps and chop off all of my hair. For the entirety of my life I had hair all the way down my back. It was long and blonde and to me it was very plain. I wanted to be the girl that everyone saw and thought wow she is so stylish and pretty. So I made a hair appointment. My mom had a friend who lived down the street who was a hair dresser and she didn’t charge us very much and so she was going to come cut all of my hair off for me to make me less awkward and more beautiful. She showed up at our house and asked if we could use my mom’s bathroom as a salon. I sat in a chair as she stood behind me in the tub. I remember the sun coming straight into the big window behind me and it made my mom’s bathroom look colorless it was so white. I sat there waiting for her to begin and she asked a final time if I still wanted my hair cut and I said yes just like Faith Hill. I watched my long blonde hair swirling around down to my feet and began crying. She finished and turned me to look into the mirror. I looked like a boy with bangs. I hated it. I waited for her to exit the bathroom and began bawling. I wanted so desperately to be someone else so that I could be better and ended up hating it, not to mention I got plenty of stares at school the next day but they came with harsh words and mean glares.

I read these to the girls and we talked about things in these stories that reminded us of stories in the Bible, metaphors for God, what they thought of the story, and what they felt while I read it. They had time to write or draw in a journal after our discussion so they could respond on their own without fearing what someone else might say.

And because it made me excited, we also had a new girl come this week. She doesn't go to church but she had heard about what we were doing and felt like this may be a place for her. Somewhere she can go and learn her place in the story of life and help her create her own life story.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Our First Week Together

This Wednesday was the first week of our Girlfriend group. We spent an hour getting to know each other with a bag of M&Ms. This neat game allowed us to gab about our funniest quirks and our favorite things, and our hidden secrets. It was a great way to form a safe place for us to share our most intimate of moments. I am going to attach the game below for those of you who work with youth regularly.

I think this will be a very successful next few weeks. The girls are already excited to get to see what the 22 year old will have to say. It is a nice age difference, but I am still young enough in their minds to know what they feel and to not have a "mom" view. I am very excited where they will lead me in my journey as well. I have always felt that my gifts were with children, and I am not saying that they aren't, but in just an hour I can see how God can use me in different ways.

The M&M Game:

This icebreaker is a simple way to help people introduce facts about themselves. It’s very flexible and adaptable – and (if you have a sweet tooth) delicious too! The M&Ms Game goes by other names: the Skittles Game, the Candy Game, the Color Game, among other names.


Pour M&Ms or any other multicolor candy into a bowl. Have everyone in the group grab as much or as little as they like from the bowl. Make sure that no one eats their candy right away.

How to Play

For each piece of M&M candy they took, they will have to answer a question, depending on its color. For example, you can designate:

  • Red candy: favorite hobbies
  • Green candy: favorite foods
  • Yellow candy: favorite movies
  • Orange candy: favorite places to travel
  • Brown candy: most memorable or embarrassing moments
  • Blue candy: wild cards (they can share anyone they choose)

You can be creative and choose any questions you think would be fitting for your group. The facilitator will then call out the color topic and everyone will go around the room sharing 1 answer per M&M. As an example: if you chose two red pieces of candy, you will have to name two of your favorite hobbies. After the individual has shared that color with the group, he/she may then eat their candy. Continue to go around the room until each color topic has been shared.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Doing Girlfriend Theology by Dori Grinenko Baker

I had the opportunity to read a book entitled Doing Girlfriend Theology for a class. It is a small group setting for young women, middle school through high school aged. The book lays out a process of meetings where each girl leads the group with an important story from her life. They then discuss the different theological motifs in the girl's story and help her see God in her story and in all of her stories. It was a way of empowering young women to live their story in the comfort of God's love and grace. The book also makes suggestions on how this can be used in male groups and co-ed groups.
"Addressing the problems of girl teens' missing voice (as a footnote to contemporary theology) Baker identifies feminist theology's 30-year disregard for teenage girls. She admits early on that the research result for this book was "to lead girls to more fulfilling lives because of a connection to their feminist inheritance" (page 20). Girlfriend Theology anticipates assisting marginalized teen girls in reclaiming their God-given humanity."
It's a great read and I will be starting a girls group next week based on this book and will be documenting our process in the following weeks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Colors in God’s World: The Yellow Sun

Colors in God’s World: The Yellow Sun
“God made the two great lights – the brighter light to rule the day and the dimmer light to rule the night.” Genesis 1:16

Call to Worship
(Sung to “The Bear Went over the Mountain”)
Let’s worship God, let’s worship God, let’s worship God,
With joyful hearts, with joyful hearts, with joyful hearts,
Let’s worship God with joyful hearts!

Joys and Concerns
Have the children share a few joys and concerns they have and follow with a prayer thanking God for our joys and asking God to be with us in our concerns.

Ask: What is something you like to do outdoors on a sunny day? (swimming, playing on the playground, etc.)
Begin by holding up the Bible. Ask: What book is this? (The Bible.)
Say: We learn a lot about God’s world in the Bible. In the first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis, we learn how God created the world. These verses tell of God creating the sun and the moon and the stars. “14 And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. 16God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19” On the fourth day of creation, God made the sun. The sun gives energy and warmth to the world; causes plants to grow; and gives light. Without light, we would not be able to see any color in God’s world. Ask the children to each name one or two things in God’s world that they especially like to see.
Sun weather mobile: Take a paper plate and have the children draw a sun on both sides of the plate. Have them glue streamers to the bottom and a string on top so they can hang them up.
Say: Loving God, thank you so much for the yellow sun. Amen.