Tuesday

The Holy Pumpkin


October 1st- Let Fall Begin!!

My favorite month of the year- Fall, cool air, yummy things to bake, pumpkins, orange, my favorite things.

And now, OH THE JOYS that have sprung from one clueless Pei Wei worker! As I picked up my to-go dinner a few years ago, I noticed my name on the receipt, "Holy Pumpkin" (even my last name rhymes with pumpkin). Really?? I know phone reception can be bad, but come on, did they really think I said Holy Pumpkin? Or are they just a really bad speller?

Well regardless of the reason, that clueless worker launched my love of fall into a new level. You know I love a theme, so I rushed over to a pumpkin patch to take a picture to represent "Holy Pumpkin". This is it. Isn't it great???

Eventually I thought, Oct. 1, the launch into my favorite month will forever be bequeathed
 "Holy Pumpkin Day!"

Those who know my husband and I,  KNOW that we are far from conceited (I hope), but he has dubbed Fantasy Football Draft Day as "Steve Tumpkin Day", because it's the best day of the year (according to him, not me). It's actually caught on and he's getting wishes for Happy Steve Tumpkin Day.

Why not join the party and make my own holiday HAHA? Start the month off right, then we end it with "Happy Hollyween" because the 31st actually is my birthday.

WHO COULD PLAN THIS?

It's also the day to bust out your book "5 Things- Holiday Style" that you bought last year. This is a book of 3 months of celebrations, ideas, traditions and recipes, covering October, November and December.

A great book for you, or for a young mom who may be just beginning starting traditions for her family. It is a fundraiser for Girls 101 events and can be found at Amazon! 

Go to Amazon, go to books category, and do a search for "5 Things- Holiday Style". 

Here is the link:

HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!!

Monday

Insecurely

I read a statistic this morning that 70% of girls think they're ugly and 50% of girls think they're fat.

In my personal experience with girls in workshops, I think the statistic runs even higher.

Girls need a different message than the fake beauty perfection that's being handed to them from our culture.

Take a look at this wonderful message from this word poet. Share it with the girls you know.




Tuesday

Do You Know the Latest?

Miley is in the news again.

But maybe it's YouTube that should be.

Is the new thing on You Tube "naked is cool?" I guess it is, as long as it's "art".

I'm just letting you know, in case you don't know, that it's becoming more of a regular thing that clothing is optional in music videos....in case you have some little eyes roaming the computer alone. Or big eyes.

( I've heard my girls say more than once they've had to stop young kids from roaming too much on the internet while babysitting.)

Miley's new video is The Wrecking Ball. She swings naked from a wrecking ball and at other times licks a hammer. Usually nude. Here is where she gives her explanation of why her video is art-
click here to read all about it. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/miley-cyrus-downplays-wrecking-ball-nudity-video-article-1.1452787

According to the New York Daily News, "The singer has broken the VEVO record for the most views in 24 hours with more than 19 million watching her swing from a wrecking ball naked. But she wishes ‘people can take their minds off the obvious.’"

(Vevo is like You Tube, so ya know. Keep an eye on what your kids are browsing!)

The best part of all of this is the tweet that is now famous.  Some guy tweeted "when miley cyrus is naked and licks a hammer it's "art" and "music".. but when I do it, I'm "wasted" and "have to leave Home Depot."

There ya have it.

Choosing a Good Husband Pt 2- Check Yourself

Are you one that wants to get married ONE time and make it work?  

To actually stay married for life?

If so, good for you. It's possible. A good goal. Not gonna lie, it's hard, but it IS possible. The best headstart you can give yourself is choosing a good man to marry. They are out there!


 Yesterday we held out 10 qualities to see if your man is a keeper...a man that will make a good husband in the long run.

Today, let's talk about YOU. Your outlook on life and marriage. These are outlooks that will help or hinder you from being the wife that he can marry one time, for life.


1.  Marriage works best when two whole people, confident and complete within themselves, marry each other. If each person feels like a half, searching for someone to complete them, they will most likely end up disappointed in marriage. No other person can complete you. Work on becoming "whole" yourself, in your own identity and in your relationship with Jesus, the ultimate Fulfiller. Choose a man who is complete on his own also, confident in himself and his relationship with God. Two wholes make a marriage. Two halfs make a hole that will never be filled. Are you looking for someone to make you feel better and complete? Or are you your own person with confidence and goals, who happens to find someone you'd like to live your life out with? Have your own dreams for your life. Be a whole person with or without him. Be confident.


2. Don't marry a dream. What you have is what you get. Aren't girls infamous for thinking "I'll change him?" You won't. Or "things will be different when we're married?" It won't. So, don't marry what you want him to become, or the idea of what you want marriage to be. Look very clearly at what you have NOW because that is what you have.  If you don't have it dating, you won't have it married. Is that too blunt?

3. Keep your standards high before marriage. Don't marry what you're not willing to live with. This is tricky, because some girls' standards are so high they will never marry. Then again, some girls explain away flaws that they'd rather not see, in order to not be alone. That understood, it is still important to keep your standards high if you want a really good man. This leads us to point #4.

4. You want to have high standards before marriage, but depending on how you think, with some girls it's a fine line between high standards and expecting perfection. Even in high standards, you can't expect perfection.  You won't get every single thing you want in one man. It's impossible. Be picky, but not unrealistic. No one is perfect and guys will make mistakes. As will you. Which leads me to point #5.

5. You need to have someone older and more mature in your life to help you decide if some mistakes are immaturity and forgivable, or if they are deal breakers. Sometimes you can only see that if you're older and have lived longer, so a mentor friend is very valuable. More on that below.

6. Don't unfairly judge your man based off of what has become dubbed as "chick porn". Chick porn consists of all the love stories, books and movies that portray boyfriends as perfectly charming, impossibly good looking and always "on" in the ultra romantic department. They slay dragons and run through the crowded streets of Manhattan to chase a taxi down in order to propose to the waiting female. Most guys aren't going to live up to that romantic Hollywood ideal. That's not entirely real.


You don't want to be judged by guy porn, do you? Girls that aren't entirely real? He shouldn't be judged on our girl version of porn, utter and total perfect romance at all times. It makes for a great movie, but then many are dissatisfied with the real guy next to them on the couch. Think about it.

That said, I would worry about a dating relationship where there was NO romance, pursuit or adventure. Most guys will muster up romance during the dating phase to win you over and that is a big part of dating! It's good to feel pursued and romanced, to know that he really wants you. 

7.  Let a good guy be a good guy, without having to be THAT guy. Banners and posters, flying leaps out of airplanes, and heart shapes mowed into cornfields are not going to last. They are endearing, yes, and make for great memories and pictures. But sometimes a guy who simply asks you, face to face, to the prom  (or to marry him) is a good guy.  (For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, asking a girl to a dance, a prom or to marry him has of late become an art form. One that I wonder about- are guys intimidated by this? Have girls become too demanding in their expectations of romance and exploits for simple invitations? Guys, be thoughtful, respectful, charming and maybe even romantic in your invitations to girls, but save the big one for a marriage proposal.) Girls, if he's speaking to you face to face and is sincere and thoughtful, receive it, even if there's not fanfare.  If he happens to be strumming a guitar singing a song written just for you, good for you, enjoy it!


8. Tell yourself the truth. Girls, we are SO good at lying to ourselves, seeing what we want to see and explaining away red flags. Ask friends who care about you and are brave enough to tell you the truth. The ones you're afraid to ask. If a lot of people close to you are questioning you two as a couple, listen carefully to that. Ask yourself why you're afraid to talk to some friends about him. Listen to family. Be honest with yourself about any red flags you see.  Everyone I know who is now divorced say they ignored red flags before getting married. Divorce is an extremely painful process. Listen now, even though it's hard. It'll be harder later.


9. Take it slow. Enjoy the process. Enjoy friendship. Don't rush it. We live in an impatient culture that hurries everything along. Instead of acting like you're married, (going on trips together, spending Christmas morning with them, living together, having sex, having him read marriage books with you)  just date and see if you enjoy each other. Hang out, have fun, be friends, date. You can add all those other things when it becomes appropriate. Some things are better and less complicated when waited for.

 10. Make your decision a matter of much prayer. Follow peace in your heart. God will direct you. He wants good things for your life, so let Him in on this decision- the biggest decision of your life. He knows your heart, your life and what is best for you. 



5 Questions to Ask Yourself-

1. Do you really, really love him?

2. Does he bring peace or drama to your life?

3.Does he make you a better person? Are you freer to be yourself or do you feel controlled?


4. Have you lived through each season together?  Summer, fall, winter, spring? Have you been through some "life" together? Hit a bump or two? it's good to be together long enough to have a challenge or two to work out.


5. Are the things that bug you when dating deal breakers, or livable? If it bothers you now, it will only escalate in marriage. Ex. If the issue is that he's messy, you are able to deal with that.  You may not like it, but you can learn to deal with it. If the issue is he cheated on you when dating, that's a deal breaker. Talk it over with your older mentor friend who has lived longer than you. Almost 100% of affairs I've heard of in adult married couples had cheating involved during dating or engaged years. That's a serious issue that will probably be repeated, so you need to talk to someone about it.

Friday

Choosing a Good Husband Pt 1


Our youngest :)
Recently a couple of girls I've known for years, who are now at the age to consider marriage, asked me for a list of relationship advice. Advice geared toward those considering getting married.

 That is such a huge question. We could either be really simple, "follow your heart", or we could go overboard with a looooong checklist of demands....

I tend to be wordy in print, so looks like the list will err toward long....However, that's actually what these girls were asking me for, I believe. In a world where so few couples stay married, they were asking for real tips.

How do I choose a husband that I can actually stay married to for life? These girls are Christians and know that I am, so my list will be geared that way. As I wrote my answers for them, the thought occurred, why not blog this? There are obviously so many more good thoughts, so don't get mad at me if your best tip isn't on here. It would be FAB if you would leave yours in the comments!

SO, feel free to take what fits and throw out the rest. Though I really believe all these are important. :)

Part one focuses on HIM. (more to come, focusing on YOU).


10 signs that mean he might be a keeper:

1. Marry someone who loves Jesus as much as you do and who believes in the covenant of marriage. Having that in common will put you lightyears ahead on the road to success. It can be hard to be married at times, but each of you having your own personal relationship with the Lord will give you both the foundation necessary to make it work. It still takes more than that, but at least foundation is there to work from.

2Choose a man of character.  A man of character is consistent. He treats you with respect, as well as others in his life- his friends, your friends, his mom, his family, his boss. He cares about honesty, commitment, respect and trust.  If he has a past that includes children or an ex, does he take care of them? Is his character the same online as it is in person? Is he open with you or secretive? 

3Marry someone you can laugh with, that shares your sense of humor. It's a wonderful thing and can help you through difficulties, besides just making life more fun anyway! If you're laughing together, you're probably friends, which is a great basis for marriage.

4. A good husband is responsibleDoes he have a job and a good work ethic? Does he pay his bills? Can you trust him in this area? Does he rely on you to do the responsible things or is he self motivated?

5. What is his family experienceThey say you don't just marry him, you marry the family and there is truth to that. What are you marrying into? What's his idea of marriage based on how he grew up? Someone with a similar family experience growing up is helpful, but definitely not necessary. Commonality just makes thing a little easier when you already think somewhat alike in family related issues. Do you both want kids? What are each of your expectations about you working or not working outside of home when you have kids?

6Marry a giver and not a taker.  In the Bible, dating isn't discussed, but marriage is. If you study the Ephesians 6 husband, he gives, not takes. He serves, doesn't demand. Love gives, lust takes. Read the chapter from that perspective. Of course, reciprocate that and be a giver also.

7Find a man that's teachable.  Everyone makes mistakes and as a couple you hopefully mature together. Part of that requires both of you being teachable, not stubborn or demanding or stuck on your own way. You can work many problems out in life if he is willing to admit he's wrong sometimes, and see another way. You of course should be the same, not just him.

8One push, one shove, one hit, he's out. Literally. Love is not abusive. I'm hard core on this, because of stories I know from friends. If he hits once, he'll hit again. You are not the one who needs to save him from this behavior. Someone else can help him. 

9. How are his words toward youHe should not call you ugly names.  His words should actually make you better. Back to the Ephesians 6 husband- as Christ "washes us" with the water of His Word, our husbands words to us should be cleansing and make us better.

10Find someone who celebrates who you are, not someone who tries to change you into what he wants, that isn't true to your nature. You should feel celebrated, not criticized, and free to be your real self.


Come back tomorrow for tips geared toward YOU.

(repost from 9-25-12)

Monday

Not-a-Garage Sale, With a Purpose!

Back to School Girls 101 "Not-A-Garage-Sale"!

This week I'm having what I like to call my "Not a Garage Sale" to raise money for 5 Things/Girls 101 goals!!

9/3 and 9/4 EVENINGS- Tues. & Wed. evening, 7:00pm-8:30pm
9/4 and 9/5 DAYS- Wed. and Thurs. 9:00am- 3:00pm (maybe FRI)


House stuff, furniture, d├ęcor, lots of CAbi clothes (some never worn), and Girls 101 silhouette shirts!

If I called it a Garage Sale I might stress out, so instead, I trick my mind and just post on Facebook (and now here) asking friends to drop by, talk and have coffee, and shop if they wish. Oh and I set out all kinds of good stuff in my house that can be purchased.

Friends have donated great stuff to the cause this year too!

Benefits:

I know everyone who may come.

Free advertising.

I'm working on my computer getting work done in between shoppers.

I get to see friends, catch up with people and talk about girl stuff, even find volunteers.

Good stuff finds a new home.

Money is raised that helps spread Girls 101 love.


Last year's sale helped me cover supply costs to do a volunteer workshop with 5th and 6th graders at Sequoyah Elementary School. We turned $270 into 15 happy girls at an at-risk school for 5 weeks, with the help of volunteers.

Personal Goal- A goal that I've had, that has been successful so far, is to cash flow any activities we do with Girls 101. For years I covered costs of groups myself when I worked part time, and the groups I held were for my own daughters and their friends.

As we have been trying to build this thing and expand into community and schools, no longer can I dip into family budget to cover these costs, so I've been determined to make or earn the money needed along the way, so as not to strain family budget (or nice husband haha). So it's been a slow pace, but one I've been okay with.


Goals- The goals I am raising funds for now include:

-the behind the scene less fun things that are required to expand further. In order to get Girls 101 workshop curriculum available to you, there are many costs involved- editing, graphic design, layout, website design, etc.

-there are also schools wanting to have workshops that may not have funding available, so we will be seeking sponsorship for the cost of workshops for schools who cannot cover it themselves.

Donate- If you believe in the cause of helping teen girls grow up well and encouraging moms along the way, you may donate toward our goals. There is now a Donate button on www.5things.us that you can give funds through Paypal. Checks can be sent to Girls 101, 9524 E. 81st St. B-1503, Tulsa OK 74133, made out to Girls 101.
 
Help is incredibly appreciated.
Much has been done through folks blessing us along the way, more girls are reached.
 
GIRLS 101 Silhouette T-shirts will be here for sale also!

 

IF YOU'D LIKE TO SHOP, email me at hollytumpkin@gmail.com for address.

 
For the sake of reaching our girls, thank you to all!


Friday

When God Asks You To Do Something Crazy- A True Story

The other day I happened to hear about this miracle story from a friend over coffee, and thought it needed to be shared. It's such a good one, that I contacted the twenty-something young lady that it happened to and asked if she would write it out to share on my blog. She agreed to if it was anonymous, which is perfect.

Many of us have had moments like these, when God asks us to give up our self dependence to do something illogical in the natural, but very logical in the spiritual, then to see God do His thing once we've obeyed. But for most it's not our normal way of life, but really, it should be. Maybe that's why I liked this story- it's convicting and inspiring and encouraging all at the same time.

I'll let our anonymous friend tell it:

"Have you ever had a thought cross your mind that was kind of out there? Maybe a voice asking you to do something or say something that you wouldn’t naturally do or say? I’m not talking about those weird things that you think of when you let your mind roam free. I mean the little voice inside your heart that likes to call us outside of ourselves at times.

I’ve had a few of those moments take place during my walk with Christ. What I have learned is that most often those crazy thoughts are the leading of the Holy Spirit. I just needed to open my mind a little and my heart maybe a lot to consider the things He is trying to tell me.

I was eating dinner with a friend one night after work. She didn’t know it but I had a hard day that day. Her words were so encouraging and uplifting. My heart was soaking it up. Once our conversation ended, I offered her a ride home. She usually walked to work from where she lived, but since it was late, I didn’t feel comfortable about letting her walk alone. During our ride home, she made a comment about her search for a car. She explained how she had never had one in her 22 years of life. It kind of made me feel guilty in that moment. I never had to work for the car I drove, and it most often was a thing I took for granted. She talked about how her family was large and didn’t want to do for one kid what they couldn’t do for the others. It made total sense.

I dropped her off and headed home. As I made a turn out of her neighborhood, I heard a small voice inside my head say, “You could give her your car. Wouldn’t that be awesome?” I gave myself a small laugh aloud. I’ve heard of people doing things like that before. But those kinds of things were for people with lots of money. You know, the kind who could manage giving their cars away. Not 24 year old soon to be college students with little to no money. All of these thoughts were interrupted by a scripture verse. I even spoke it out loud, to myself, which I guess is a little strange in hindsight.

“Give and it shall be given unto you; pressed down, shaken together and running over.”

I have heard that scripture hundreds of times before but I honestly couldn’t recall where it was in the Bible (and I might have skipped over a few parts in my recitation). But that first word, give, stuck out to me. So much so that I kept weirdly repeating it out loud. It’s a command. Give. I was drawn to this before in Mark 15:16. This is the scripture that commands us as Christians to go into all the world and preach the gospel. That first word again, go, is a command. I heard a message on that scripture once where the speaker was talking on the things that this passage doesn’t say. It doesn’t go and “only do this if…” or “only applies to….” It just says to go.

That verse stuck with me for a few weeks as I questioned whether or not I could really take God at His word. Did I have to have a specific command from Him to give? The scripture does say just give. Can I really trust that if I just give that it will be given back to me?

Reality kind of hit me in the face one week in particular as all the things I needed to fix on my car started to resurface. It was a very stressful week. I felt a little overwhelmed. But after much prayer and some incredible people with car-fixing abilities stepped forward to help, what should have cost me over $1000 to fix only ended up costing me about $100 out of my own wallet.

At this point I had just decided that I should sell my car. It was in the best shape it could be, costing me the least amount of money possible. Selling it just made sense. Especially since school was around the corner and I could use the extra cash. However, the whole process made me feel anxious. I have come to know that when anxiety sets in, the Lord is usually trying to get my attention. Its odd that He communicates with me in that way I suppose, but sometimes it takes just that to get my attention.

I decided to fast one Wednesday in response to my anxiety. That morning at work, I had another conversation with my friend. We were talking about trust in the Lord. She told me that the Lord had been challenging her on big faith. He created the Universe after all. Couldn’t He do exceedingly and abundantly more than we give Him credit for? She was speaking straight to my heart. All I could think in that moment was “This is it. This is what I have called you to. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be apart of the answer she is seeking Me for?” It really convicted me. In a sense, my disobedience could rob my friend of receiving her entire blessing. Not that the Lord couldn’t work in other ways, but He does ask us for our obedience at times. We are His hands and feet on this earth.

I went straight home after work that day knowing that I needed to prepare to just trust God and obey. I made the decision to give my car to her, and while making arrangements for “the day to give”, I learned that a family member had just recently purchased a new car for themselves, so they were giving the old car to my parents for whichever child needed it most. I happened to be that child! Talk about some divine preparation. God was already providing for me as I was deciding to give. 

Friday morning came and I picked my friend up for coffee. I got to share with her what the Lord had taught me through her words of wisdom and then hand her the key to her new car. She was ecstatic. It was just precious to watch her cry and laugh at the same time over how much God cares for her. It was truly a blessing to witness.

If this story ended there I would’ve been perfectly content in my decision. I have learned in the short 3 years I have been walking with Christ that obedience to Him is the only way to satisfactorily live life. He only ever calls us towards Him. So to obey Him is to be closer to Him.

However, another thing I’ve learned is that I cannot out give my God. It's just not possible. An hour after our coffeehouse transaction, I received a call from my school. To set a short yet important backdrop for you, my prayer from the moment the Lord called me to school was that He would allow me to graduate debt free. I had at this point received scholarship and grant money that covered around 80% of my school fees. As thrilled as I was, it was still slightly disappointing to receive only a partial answer to my prayer. Oh, I of such little faith.


The phone call I received was to let me know that I had received an additional scholarship from excess departmental funds. I am now 100% loan free, funded for my first year of college. Only my God is this good. Only He is this faithful. His word has been proven true! Be blessed and encouraged that He doesn’t call us to obey and leave us to struggle along the way. He provides all things according to His purpose and He blesses those who are obedient. It’s worth it every time!"

Tuesday

Twerking, Blurred Lines and Big Egos

Yes, Miley was outrageous at the VMA Awards.

Maybe it was so surprising to people because of her background as Hannah Montana. She came from somewhat of an innocent background but has grown into a completely different type of performer.

I'm not really surprised at all about a sketchy performance at an awards show, knowing what MTV is like, what awards shows are known for, and knowing that Miley took a turn away from wholesome tween entertainment a long time ago.

The only reason for this blog is the fact that so many were talking about the performance that I finally googled it to see what in the world happened.

Before any of this happened though, I'd already been bothered by Robin Thicke, and the popularity of his song "Blurred Lines", currently ranked number one on Billboard Charts. Yes it has a catchy sound, which I choose to ignore because I can't get past the fact that he calls girls b*tches, and I'd heard they dance around him naked throughout his video. Can't support music that objectifies women, which I know is a large chunk of popular music. I can't support it because it makes me ill how much it affects the mindsets of girls and guys both,  in our culture.

Plenty are speaking out against Miley. I want to shed some light on what Robin Thicke is putting out there. Now MTV can do what they want, Robin Thicke can do what he wants, the reason for this post is so that you can be fully informed, so that you and your teens, especially young teens, can make an informed decision on what to listen to. I wish things like this weren't mainstream, but they are, so we have to be active in knowing what's out there. When a song hits number one, it pretty much saturates society, so whether you choose to listen to it or not, it'll be heard anyway- at the mall, at the pool, in stores, as a friend listens to it. Pretty hard to escape popular music. At least know what it's about.

First of all, google the lyrics to Blurred Lines. I'll just put a portion here (explicit warning):

One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Go, from Malibu, to Paris, boo
Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain't bad as you
So hit me up when you passing through
I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it's almost unbearable
In a hundred years not dare, would I
Pull a Pharside let you pass me by
Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don't smack that ass and pull your hair like that
So I just watch and wait for you to salute
But you didn't pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin'
I'm a nice guy, but don't get it if you get with me

Besides the fact what does half of that even mean, there are plenty of surrounding lyrics like "Let's get nasty" to put it all in context.

Worse yet, the original video for this song, released this summer, was banned from YouTube for nudity, even raunchier than the actual lyrics. However, a quick google of Blurred Lines pulls up other video sources besides YouTube where anyone can still see the banned explicit version with one click.  (The video was redone for YouTube with the girls wearing a little bit of clothing.) Not checking out music videos often because they make me ill, I could hardly believe that this is really true. So I checked. I saw enough to confirm that yes, several naked women dance around him, while some are holding animals which confused me, and at one point in the video the words "Robin Thicke has a big d*ck" covers the screen. Obviously, he loves himself. This apparently is his shining accomplishment.

I came across an interview with Robin Thicke on Access Hollywood.  Here's the scoop. Here is the video where he is being interviewed about the Blurred Lines video being banned. (click on that word "interviewed" and it'll take you there so you can watch). He jokes about it, saying they deliberately pushed the bar, laughed about all the 13-14 year old boys probably watching it as fast as they could before it was banned (over a million hits immediately), and most disgustingly, joked about beastiality and the animals the girls were holding. YUCK. He's quite happy with the whole thing. And he followed it up with a pitch for his new project.

Miley may have been twerking and grinding with a man twice her age on stage, but let's not forget his part. The banned video and that interview give us a good idea where his music is headed, so you can make an informed decision of what you want to listen to and what you want your kids to listen to. I just want moms to know what's out there that their kids can click on easily and watch, without you ever knowing. It's an easy place for a young guy to watch naked women undetected.

Sidenote- what's interesting is that Justin Timberlake has a very similar video that YouTube banned, then decided not to ban, apparently because the nudity in Tunnel Vision is deemed "artistic". The videos are oddly familiar, both men are fully dressed while naked women dance around. (Why are the men always dressed and women always naked?)  When YouTube decided to keep the JT video online, they made a caveat to make it "safe"-there is now an explicit warning, and you have to push a button that says you're 18. That'll fix it. (heavy sarcasm).

I'm tired of music that objectifies women, because our girls and guys are starting to believe the message. This has become in many ways the level of expectation- in guys treatment of women, and how women should expect to be treated by men. I'm tired of men getting rich on being nasty, disrespectful and violent toward women, tired of the women who help perpetuate the problem by performing with the men, and tired of us making them famous by listening.


The lines are definitely blurred.







Monday

Pt 4- College Girls Speak Out, What They Learned about Life


(originally posted 8-12)

Enjoying reading these little clips of thoughts from girls about their freshman year of college? If you missed any, catch Part 1 here, Part 2 here and finish up with Part 3!

Today, we hear from two final girls about their first year of college.

The first young lady went to public high school, then on to a state University. She then became part of sorority life and has loved it.

"I expected more peer pressure. I didn't really feel it. I went to some parties at first because that's all there was to do and everyone goes. People asked why I didn't drink, I said I never had and didn't want to. They respected that. I didn't get flack for it and no one treated me weird.

Later I found friends that were like minded and we found lots of other kinds of creative fun to do instead of the party scene. Parties get old if you're not drinking. Unless there's dancing, then it can still be fun.

There is a stereotype that girls are just in sororities to party and drink. It's not true. It is so much more than that. I didn't party, and instead gained respect for what I stood for. I guess people felt like I didn't judge others who did party because at the end of the year I was asked to be chaplain for my sorority, which I accepted! "



And another girl who went from public school to a private Christian university.


 "College was pretty much what I expected it to be. I went to a Christian college. Met great friends, all on the same page, the atmosphere of the school was great. It was the only time in my life I'd been surrounded by so many like minded friends. It was easy to avoid the few partiers there were. There were some parties but I didn't go. The friends I met were all pretty much like minded to how I was raised. Many people I met didn't want to go there at first but then felt like God led them there. Once they got there, the environment and people made them super happy to be there! First semester, I had hard classes, I was buried in books, my friends had to tell me to go have fun. Second semester I had a great group of friends, I worked on campus instead of off, which gave me more time, and I had even more fun. I love being busy and being involved."


I asked one particular question to all 5 girls that have shared this week.

 "What is one thing you learned about life during your first year away at school?"


I learned balance. No one was there to tell me what to do. I had to figure out sleeping, studying, eating and socializing. How to self manage my time. It's hard to do.

It was different than growing up years. No one was cheering me on or patting me on the back for doing things. No one cares if you do it, but they do care if you don't. I had to do things because it was right, not to be recognized.

No one would know if you didn't do the right thing, like go to class instead of sleeping in, but I had to learn to do the right thing anyway.

I learned responsibility. I guess I tended to be lazy at home (ha), but I did manage to be responsible at school.

A lot of people dress messy for class and all during the week, but I have to dress nice to feel good and stay awake.

Thursday

Pt. 3 - College Girls Speak Out- Freshman Year at a Community College

(originally posted 8-30-12)

This is College Week! If you missed the previous posts, we are hearing from a few girls fresh out of freshman phase, here to give you some insights into their first year away at school.



Catch up if you need to first, every story is different, so don't miss out:

Pt. 1 - She went from public school to a state university. To Rush or not Rush, academics, party scene...she talks about all these.

Pt. 2 - This girl went from homeschooling to a private university across the country. She had a polar opposite roommate, and an interesting story!


Today's former freshman tells of going from private school to community college.


"I'd been in the same school all of my life, so the first day of college was scary. I'd never had a "first day" at a new place since preschool! I didn't like high school that much, and thought college would be pretty much the same thing. I found that I enjoyed it more!


I went to local community college. I lived at home at first with curfew and do's and don'ts. Then I lived on my own in an apartment with no one telling me what to do. I had kind of crazy roommate issues, but I'm still glad I did it. I became "real-world-wise." I worked three jobs, and it opened my eyes to crazy people out there in the world, as well as good people. I found good people in random places.


I thought it wouldn't be hard (college and living on own), but it is. I felt prepared, but not bored in school academically. I had the opportunity to travel abroad with a class. The drinking age was different there (16 years old). We ate at a lot of pubs, it was very different, I even saw little kids drinking over there. I faced a lot of peer pressure to drink on that trip, and was given a hard time for not doing so. I grew up more in those 12 days than ever.


Basically, just know who you are going into college. It could be very easy to change yourself for the sake of others unless you are confident in who you are. College should be a fun time to experience new things that you want to experience, and to grow up (become your own person outside of the identity of parents). So give yourself the opportunity to do so!"

Wednesday

Pt 2- College Girls Speak Out! Polar Opposite Roommates

(Repost. Original posted 8-2012).

Freshman college year was the best! Wasn't it? Well not for all, but for most it's a great experience.  If you're a mom, do you fear because you envision your daughter in a scene like this picture?? Well, parties happen, but not everyone gets into the party scene. But they can still have a blast!

This week we're hearing from a few girls who just lived it, and are sharing some thoughts with you.

Did you see yesterday's post? A friend tells about her first year at a state university...to Rush, not Rush, the academics and party scene. Don't miss it.


Today we hear from another college girl. Enjoy!


"I went to a private university across the country from home. Its kind of funny, I had a vision of a big party zone, people slipping me drugs and having sex everywhere. It wasn't like that. The party aspect was definitely there, but there was also so many types of people there. I didn't feel all alone amongst partiers. I found a group of friends.

I had a roommate though that was the exact polar opposite of me. I think it was a God thing that I lived with her. I'd been sheltered my whole life, now I lived with a true party girl, in every sense of the word. But I saw that she was still a human being, very sweet and nice. I wouldn't have expected that from my view of what "party girl" would be like. She respected me for who I was. We were friends. I think she needed to see me too. I didn't drink, do drugs, or have sex, but I had a ton of fun. And I was happy. She was surprised that I'd never done any of it. She was surprised that I don't drink, because before college she looked at all my crazy Facebook pictures and assumed I must've been drunk to be having so much fun! At school dances, the drunk crowd had fun but couldn't remember it. People saw me having fun yet remember everything.

My freshman year was a big learning experience, to see how someone so different lives. It was a challenge in some ways but my roommate and I were friends and had fun. I'd like to think she needed me to learn from, as much as I learned from her. She and her boyfriend would often come to me for questions and answers. As different as we were, we had a fun experience together.

I'm stronger than I was. I learned I can do anything for a short amount of time. If you had told me a year ago that I'd be across the country away from my friends and family in college, rooming with the roommate I had, I wouldn't have believed I could do it. My worst fear came true, but I did it.

My friends in high school knew I'm nice and have a hard time sometimes setting boundaries, in an effort to not hurt peoples feelings. But I went to college and made it clear who I was and what boundaries I had, and stuck with it.

I'm glad the fear didn't stop me."

Monday

Pt 1- Girls Speak Out - College Freshman Year


yes that's me, freshman yr
(Repost. Originally posted 8-2012)

Did you catch the special blog earlier this month just for you Mom? About sending your daughter off to college...what next? If you didn't, and you have a new college freshman, go back and check it out. You'll hear some thoughts from former freshman, and their tips for Mom during this stage of life.

All this week I'll be posting a series of very short blogs, sharing thoughts from college girls themselves.  Several girls have shared with me some of their life lessons- what they went through, experienced and learned during that freshman year of school.  Maybe it will give you a glimpse into what your own college student may be experiencing while away.


Today's Story-

"I went to a state University and decided to Rush. My friends who knew me seemed to "know" that I would hate Rush. I Rushed anyway. I wanted to see for myself, and wanted to blend in. I've never been the type to be easily peer pressured. I just wanted to experience it. I enjoyed the process though it was very stressful. (I recommend going through the process and see for yourself if it's for you.)

However, when I was done, I couldn't see myself in a sorority, so I dropped it in the pledging process. It's a big deal to drop, and I felt a lot of pressure from people to not drop. But I also had some others help me come to the decision to drop after all. Sorority not as stereotypical as everyone thinks. Some girls are the stereotypical sorority girls, but not all are. It just wasn't for me.


Instead, I got involved around campus. I got very involved. I liked being involved in things that still affected community and even statewide issues, things with a bigger vision. I helped raise money for a miracle hospital for kids. I wanted to make a difference in lives of people, outside of school.
I expected school to be easier than it was. I went in with enough credits to make me pretty advanced, so I was in class with many juniors. It was hard. Professors didn't care. There were 300 in class, no one cares. Three tests and you're out.  That means that you only have 1 exam, a midterm, and a final. Many "freshman" class professors will drop your lowest test score because they have 4 or 5 tests during the semester or they would add extra homework points or quizzes for the students to be able to make up lost points on exams, but in my classes it was literally just a class made up of 3 exams, no homework or quiz grades to help. I felt thrown to the sharks.

I'm glad I did it still, but hard. Mom got me through it. She is young and remembers how hard college was. I was afraid she would just say "try harder" but she actually gave me practical advice, like getting a tutor.

Second semester we had some extended family things, so it was hard again, but I stuck with it and mom helped me through that again. She wasn't overbearing, but gave good advice when I asked for it.

The party scene was definitely there, every day of the week. I don't drink, but I did go sometimes. Friends respected that I didn't drink. Some people gave me an attitude and wouldn't be friends with me if I didn't drink. Then sometimes someone would offer me something, and my friends would step in and say "She doesn't drink" to support me.

Funny story- I turned 18 and got a $5 gift card to a casino from a friend. I went to use it, but the smoke alone made me ill. Mom found out and was so worried about me she came to town to see me, freaked out. To me it was the worst gift ever, she had nothing to worry about.

During my freshman year, I learned that in every situation I was in it for a reason, and I grew from it."

Friday

Moving Her Off to College- (boo hoo!)

(originally posted 8-9-12. for all my new college mom friends, here it is again!)

My what a year does! Last year at this time I was sad and emotional about moving our oldest out of the house and into college. Yes, I was giddy with excitement at the thought of her getting to experience all that I did at my Alma Mater, so it was with mixed emotions that we packed up.

This year is a breeze compared to last. But I know there are moms going through the "first time sending one off to college" right now. It's with those in mind that this blog was written.

My daughter only moved 20 minutes away. Some ladies sniffed at my melancholy thoughts by minimizing the transition I was going through. Yes, she was only 20 minutes away, but I maintain that we still entered "adult phase" of life. Her closeness in proximity didn't mean my mental and emotional transition into her adulthood didn't exist, or felt any less. (Well, maybe it would have been worse if it was hours away. I dunno, but I'm testimony that even 20 minutes away can be a tough transition.) Because I knew that I was letting go and changing seasons, whether it was 20 minutes or 20 hours.

I knew that she wouldn't be rushing home often, which was fine. I actually didn't want her to. I would have loved the visit, but I also didn't want her to come by much at first...make sense? Sure our family would have loved to see her sweet face every day, but when she reluctantly picked a college in town, part of the "sell" was that we'd pretend we didn't live here, in a half joking way. She needed to get away. To be on her own. It's totally healthy to want and have that "going away" experience as kids transition into adulthood. I knew I wasn't going to be talking to her every day anymore or have knowledge of, let alone input into, her daily life. I was okay with that, mentally. Common sense told me that was the next normal season of life. I had to let it happen and not try to hang on to the past season of life. For both of our benefits.

There is still the emotional side to get through. When I was sad, I shed the occasional tears, and then found my own way through it, without involving her. I chose to focus on the excitement of her new experiences, which I knew would be incredible. And I chose to focus on giving her needed space, knowing that after awhile, things would even out. (Or so my friends told me who had already been through this). I chose this. Doesn't mean it was always easy, but it was a choice, to press through to that next season. And not get stuck. There was one time I called and asked if she could swing by because everyone really missed her. She tells me now part of what she learned too that first year was about seasons of life.

I do remember not really knowing what to do- if or how much to call, to text, to tweet.  Knowing mine, I leaned to not doing much at all. I waited for her to call, or to text. There weren't a ton of calls at first, but quite a few texts with occasional news. That was a big transition because she was the TALKER at home, who talked and talked every day about everything. So really, I didn't know much about what was going on anymore on the day to day, comparatively speaking. But that's OKAY. (not really, if you want to hear whiney-mom's opinion. But I had to make the decision not to listen to my internal whiney-mom, for both our sakes). It was hard at times, and it was sad at times, but I prayed and asked God to help me switch seasons. And He did.

And yes, after time, it did all even out. She tells me now that I did the right thing by giving her space. Everyone said it would all be okay, just different. They're right. And communication normalized and eventually it all smoothed out. We even eventually, by the end of the year, turned into a hang out house for lots of fabulous young people. Woo hoo!

For the sake of all the moms out there not quite sure what to think or do after you drop your daughter off at college, I asked a few young ladies to share some of their experiences and advice to moms. These are girls who just completed their first year at school, away from home.  Each have different situations and personalities, so maybe it will benefit to hear a few opinions, since we know there are no absolute "right answers" for every case. They shared their thoughts with me, which I formed into a story from their perspective. I hope to have captured each accurately.

1. My mom and I are close and have always texted and talked a lot. When I moved into my own apartment, there would be a couple days that I didn't hear from her at all. I wondered if I'd offended her. It was weird not to talk to her. Actually my mom missed me a lot but was trying to give me space. The misunderstanding got settled with one simple conversation. I wanted to be on my own and be an adult, but still wanted to hear from her. Advice?  Moms can still feel the need to parent at this stage, but let them be an adult. You have parented, given tools  and been an authority for 18 years...you've prepared them, so now let them be an adult. (But we still want to talk to you).

2. My mom was very strict in high school, so I was surprised by how she treated me like such an adult when I left for college. Mom brought up the conversation that things are different now...you're in college and I remember how busy it was. She left it up to me to call home.  That was perfect. Don't call your daughter every day in college. We would go 4 days or so without talking in the beginning, with maybe short texts daily. Life was so busy, that sometimes I couldn't reply for awhile, but mom never freaked out. In contrast, I knew of other parents who called daily, and if they couldn't reach their daughter, they began calling me and other friends trying to make contact with their daughter. My mom was spontaneous and sometimes drove two hours to show up for an hour lunch then go home, which meant a lot to me. Sometimes my mom didn't have time to talk to me either the exact time I called, which was a little sad, but I realized she had a life that continued after I left, and that was good and okay. It was my mom that got me through many of the stresses of that first year. I could call her when there was a need or when I  had leisure time. I didn't feel demands from her. We enjoy a good relationship still. I appreciated the space given.

A friend of mine had an entirely different experience. I watched a friend not only feel pressure from schoolwork and changes, but also pressure from home to emotionally "take care of" her family. This friend felt a lot of stress and obligation to go home and to respond to phonecalls quickly and frequently. Because she cared, obviously she responded to the need. But her friends could see that it stressed her out and limited her experience of her freshman year greatly, even in studies.

3. My mom gave me lots of space. She didn't call a lot at first. I didn't think about it much, so what she did must have been fine. I called home to tell things, texted random things.  Advice? Let them have space and let your kid miss you. Yes call sometimes for sure, or if you have a bad feeling, but don't call everyday. I'm sure it's hard, but they'll eventually come back.

4. My guy friend at school had his mom call him twice a day, all the time. He planned his life around it. Everyone thought that was strange.  As far as me, I was never really homesick, was very independent. My parents let me live my life and thought "she'll call us". I realized that after two weeks and never calling they were kind of wondering about me... it was totally unintentional! I was so busy and having so much fun, I just didn't think about it, even though I missed them! So I had to find a balance to make time to make those phonecalls. And to pay attention and actually say I miss you. Texting is awesome, because I could respond more easily and quickly. Phonecalls often can't be done quickly, so I would wait until I had more time, which sometimes never happened. I eventually tried to call home once a week. Advice? Let the kids be the ones chasing you. But we do want texts, packages, letters, etc. to know you are thinking of us! (All of these girls said letters are great because they can read them at leisure anytime). And picture text messaging is awesome.

5. My mom called and texted a lot at first and it was hard for her to understand why I couldn't respond right away. But life was SO busy I literally would not have time. First semester was kind of hard to work out an understanding. Later into year we would go for a day or so not talking, and then it was almost weird to not talk to my mom because I always did. I wanted space, but I missed my mom calling when she didn't. It was kind of a journey to figure it out. It was kinda weird and hard. I wanted to know she was thinking of me and didn't want her to completely leave me alone, because she's my best friend and the first one I want to tell everything. But I also knew life was so busy I couldn't be available any time to talk. She eventually understood just how busy I was. We worked it out.

After all that?

I take it that we need to understand that they are on an entirely different schedule (one that only college students can  maintain it seems!) and that the hours that are free for them are usually hours that we are snoozing!

You know your daughter's tendencies and personality. Work around her needs, not yours. You're the adult and can work through the season. If you're struggling, find a friend to talk to. Pray. He helps us through things!

Your daughter is just now having a chance to get away, grow up and figure things out. A little space and natural. And needed. If she is the clingy or reluctant one, maybe helping her tough things out a bit will be needed. Each is different.

Are you worried she'll be lonely? Sometimes that's good for us. It'll help grow her up.

Worried she'll never call again? Odds are very low that that's true. It's a short season to get through, in light of the rest of your life.

Stay in contact, probably just not daily. Send those notes, letters, emails, texts, packages or tweets. Let her know you're thinking of her. Text her a funny picture.

Another brilliant thought from a friend of mine, don't stop the family traditions just because one person is missing. Keep life going on as normal as possible for everyone else still at home. Check on everybody else and see how they are doing with the transition too!

Perspective. One short season in a very long life, most likely full of great things to come.


Tuesday

Yummy T-shirts Designed Just for Girls

We just had these awesome tshirts for girls (and women) made!

 They are the kind made of yummy soft dreamy fabric, not just your average t-shirts. These are available for purchase on our website www.5things.us on the Shop Here link. Teens love them! They especially love what the shirts say. 
If you have questions or are interested in bulk orders, email me at hollytumpkin@gmail.com. 

The design was born out of a workshop on Identity. In a world that constantly reminds us of all the ways we are not good enough, this silhouette is filled with truths that we can remind ourselves of daily instead. 




You are wonderfully complex. You are unique. You have thoughts and ideas that are important. It is good to be smart. You have goals and plans for your life. Your inside matters. Your heart matters. You are loved. You’re good at things. You have gifts and talents no one else has. God created you specifically. You’re a friend and you may be a girlfriend or wife one day, but you’re also a sister, a daughter, a niece, a granddaughter, a student, a leader, a role model, a neighbor, a child of God. And someone’s hope. And someone’s favorite person. Don’t’ forget that. You have an exciting destiny to fulfill. There are bigger goals than being sexy. There are bigger goals than being popular. There’s more to life than tweets, retweets, likes and followers. There are bigger plans than the next party and a pair of lips to kiss or a hand to hold. One day you will have all the things you want now. One day. You’re in a short beautiful season of life. Enjoy it. You’ll get through it wonderfully. Think big. Bigger. Live above the norm. let people see you rising above and living well. Reach down and help them up. Share love. Share joy. Share your hope and your prayers with them. Help them rise up too. Remember your maker- he’s always remembering and thinking of you.

Remember that you are more than what you look like. You are more than what you wear. You’re even more than you might think you are. No one can imagine who are you on the inside. Don’t be afraid to share that with the world. We can’t live without the real you! This world needs who you are. We don’t want to miss out on you. People right now may not see who you are, but someONE does. He knows. You know. One day they will know. It’s okay. It’s like your little secret. A best kept secret. One day HE will tell the world and then they’ll go WOW. We didn’t know. But how cool. Won’t that be cool. Until then, you and He can smile about it.

© Girls 101

Sunday

Just to Make You Feel Good

I'm laughing at the craziness of my house today. Just in case anyone should think perhaps I have it all together (which I really hope you don't), thought I'd share some photos from the day.

During this super busy few weeks, something has to fall apart, so it is my house. I went out of town for 8 days to the writing conference, spent a couple of extra days there, writing and visiting a friend, came home to then leave again to lead an out of town workshop, and in all the moments between am working on writing as much as I can!

So this is to make you feel better. Or to shatter any other image you may have had of me. HA. (Sorry mom. I'll be getting a phonecall from her I'm sure. She would have never let this happen).

This has been at the top of my staircase all summer, waiting on me to have a garage sale. 
We've been adding and adding to the garage sale collections. This is the hallway. Now I have to really have the garage sale. 
My daughter has been banned from all activities until this is cleaned up. 
Someone thankfully did the laundry, but can we make bets how long it will stay here?
An entire box of Girls 101 shirts waiting to be dealt with. 
My daughter spilled olive oil in the kitchen. Gross.
Then I came back to find this. "Are you coming back to clean this up??" 
"I had to go cut my friend's hair!" 
It is still waiting on her.

I want to throw away my house and start over! I told everyone I am leaving again. HA, not really. 

My house will be cleaned in two weeks. Promise. 

If I can stand it that long!








She Speaks...and She Writes

jadyn noelle photography
The last few days have been glorious, spent with friends at the She Speaks 2013 Conference put on by Proverbs 31Ministry led by Lysa Terkeurst in Charlotte, NC. Somehow, this ministry is new to me. I tagged along with friends who were planning to come.

I've heard of Lysa Terkeurst, but never wanting to follow a trend if I can help it, the popular book Made to Crave has never been read by me, but has been by thousands of others. After hearing Lysa speak at the first meeting, I thought, "WHY have I never listened to her?! Or read her books?! She's amazing!"

So much for avoiding trends. There is a reason she is popular right now, she is full of incredible wisdom, yet so humble, normal and funny- so relatable.

This conference has inspired and challenged me in so many ways. Women from all over the world came to be a part. I met a friend Helen Taylor who came all the way from New Zealand, with her newly published book in hand, Walking the Bridge, which I cannot wait to read. She shares her story of how God turned her life around after she almost took her life.

I met women who blog and write and mom like me, and many who have the hope of writing a book. I heard stories that I desperately hope get published, because I want to read their full story, not just the teaser I got to hear in a workshop. There was a woman who survived cancer and became a widow in the same year, and after all she had been through, she found herself having to forgive her husband's murderer. There were those who told of abuse they survived, but each one had an incredible story of how God reached down and brought them out of the depths of despair, into a beautiful new life. So many women had countless incredible stories to tell. It showed me that God really is at work reaching out to the worst, most hopeless and impossible situations, and bringing restoration as only He can.

Redemption was definitely a theme of the week. And restoration.

I also observed how insecure every woman was. Many of us put ourselves on the line, by either speaking or submitting writing in front of a group of peers to be critiqued. Many had meetings with publishers, to pitch an idea for a book.

Everyone was insecure. Wondering about themselves. Not sure of themselves. Scared.

I realized everyone is the same. We all have to work through it. Even Lysa Terkeurst said she gets so scared to talk she wants to throw up. Wow. And she's the head of the whole shebang.

So we push past the queasiness. We push past the insecurity, and just do it.

And we survive.

I'm so glad for the new things I tried this week. For the commentary, the publisher meetings, the critiques...all of it taught me something.

I decided to call myself a writer. I haven't done that before, not really. Obviously I write, but it seemed so presumptuous to call myself a writer. I realized that even though I skipped that more difficult writing class in high school and chose the easy route, because I couldn't imagine ever wanting to write, I will most likely be writing in some form the rest of my life. I keep writing things, so I must actually be a writer, right? It was just a mental shift, calling it out and owning it.

So, I call myself a writer.

She writes!

Thursday

Why I Don't Think Middle Schoolers Should Date



One of the top pressures girls face in 6th, 7th and 8th grade is to have a boyfriend. It seems to “legitimize you” in middle school. Girls feel tremendous pressure to grow up too soon, while at the same time still wanting to be young. It’s an internal conflict and very confusing.

We parents get confronted with this dating decision earlier than most of us would choose to.

In middle school dating could mean a boy and girl like each other from afar, pass notes through friends, or ignore each other awkwardly in the hallway. It could mean the couple is going out on public dates and making out in the movie theatre.

There’s not just one correct way to date or not date. Parents have all sorts of opinions. Our children are each different too.  So I'm just going to offer some thoughts to consider, having watched my own and many other teens go through their teen years.

When middle school hits, it seems otherwise confident girls struggle with their identity. All of life’s meaning seems to squeeze into three questions: Am I pretty? Am I popular? Do I have a boyfriend?

This pressure is tremendous, but our girls need to know they have much more value than their looks and acceptance at school.

Nicely ask the honest question of WHY she wants a boyfriend. Listen to what she says. Make her come up with an answer. Have her come up with actual pros and cons of having a boyfriend now.

Help her determine her motive.  She may want a boyfriend just because she feels incomplete or out of the social scene otherwise. I would ask, "Do you really enjoy him, or do you like who you are because of him?"  I want to teach my girls that other people's hearts are valuable and fragile and not to be played with. I don't want boys using my girls to get what they want. I don't want my girls doing that to boys.

Have you considered this? Friends are valuable and generally last longer. It's easy for a really good strong friendship to later become a dating relationship. It's much harder to recover a lost friendship after dating too soon and hurting the relationship. More fights happen between girls about boys than anything else. So much drama is wrapped up in dating life. Is it worth it?

Consider the value of waiting for things. By design girls love to give their hearts away. For a believer, giving her heart and love to Jesus will bring much more fulfillment to her life than a boy will. There’s no rush to give her heart to another person. At this age, it will bring heartache. At some point, giving her heart will be the right thing to do! It helps girls to know that. It's all about timing.

From a parental perspective, the value of waiting has another angle.

________6_________7________8________9_________10________11________12_________

This line represents 6th grade to graduation. If boyfriends start in 6th grade, look how many years there are to get through. It's easier to delay freedoms and give them when it’s time, than to allow freedoms only to have to go backwards. The earlier the desire for a boyfriend is encouraged, the longer and harder the road. On the other hand, if girls spend time in teen years growing in maturity and friendships, odds are better for happiness and less heartbreak.

What does she do with her feelings? Let your daughter know there’s no way you can stop her from liking a boy. It’s completely natural. There’s nothing wrong with noticing cute and nice boys. As my husband puts it, you can like him, but it doesn't mean you need to do anything about it. If girls are honest, a big reason they agree to date is the thrill of the moment that a boy asks her. She feels “seen”, “noticed” or “chosen”. Is she only responding to that feeling, and not so much the boy? Knowing that feeling may come, but it doesn’t require action might be a relief to her.

Teen years should be fun and as drama free. Our daughters may put up a fight with these boundaries, but later will be thankful. Our job as parents is to help them grow up well. Sometimes they need us to protect them from the pressures they feel, even if they won’t admit it.

Is the benefit of early dating worth the risk?