Smart girl, this guide was created just for you! . . .
The Smart Girl’s Guide to Mean Girls, Manicures, and God's Amazing Plan for ME melds spiritual and practical advice with humor—a winning combination as you’re trying to navigate the ups and downs of life with grace and confidence.
101 tips including. . .
· Learn to wait.· Eliminate distractions.· Be intentional.· Be flexible.· Put down your phone. · Contribute to your community. · Iron something.· Live today as though it's your last.· Trust God.
· Be a light. · Don't be a mean girl. . . .
and dozens more will encourage and challenge your spirit, equipping you to go deeper in your faith and grow an increasingly intimate relationship with God—and you just might encounter a little fun along the way!
I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
Jeremiah 29:11 msg
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Susie Shellenberger is a former youth pastor, high school teacher, and magazine editor. She’s currently a fulltime speaker and writer traveling 42 weeks/weekends a year. She has written 55 books, loves burnt hotdogs, and lives in Bethany, Oklahoma, with her two mini-Schnauzers Obie and Amos. Sign up for her free weekly video devotional at SusieShellenberger.com
Kristin Weber is a writer, speaker, and music teacher from Colorado Springs. She wrote several years for Sisterhood Magazine and has contributed to many popular blogs. Drawing from her background in comedy and media, Kristin travels all over giving a hilarious and powerful message about truth, culture, and identity to youth groups, camps, conferences, luncheons, and more. Visit her online and be her friend at: www.kristinweberonline.com.
Read an Excerpt
The Smart Girl's Guide to Mean Girls, Manicures, & God's Amazing Plan for Me
By Susie Shellenberger, Kristin Weber
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Susie Shellenberger and Kristin Weber
All rights reserved.
Learn to Wait
We don't have to wait for much in our culture.
We can communicate to anyone at any time, have popcorn in three minutes, get custom-made food without leaving our car, watch television shows downloaded on demand to any device we want, and get most information at the click of a button.
The technological advancements of our time have made life much easier, but because of them we have lost the ability to wait. We want instant satisfaction and immediate results. Patience is no longer in our vocabulary.
We even want God to give us what we want instantly. Sometimes, though, God makes us wait for things. Since the beginning of the world, God has made His people wait.
He promised a Savior in Genesis 3, but He didn't send Jesus for thousands of years.
He made Abraham and Sarah wait many years after promising them a child through which all nations would be blessed. (Fun fact: Jesus came from the ancestry of Abraham, and every nation in the world was blessed by what He did for us on the cross. Pretty cool, huh?)
He made Joseph sit in jail for years for crimes he didn't commit before Pharaoh honored him with the position of second-in-command.
God uses these times of waiting to shape us. To prepare us. To mold us. To strengthen our character. To give us the ability to understand and empathize with people. To keep us from becoming spoiled. To bring us closer to Him. To give us rest.
God also uses these times of waiting for His own glory. As stories unfold and God shows up in seemingly impossible circumstances, we see more of who God is and learn more about His character. We realize that we are a small part of something much bigger than immediately getting our way.
Our timing is based on what we know now. God's timing is based on knowing everything in the entire universe: yesterday, today, and forever.
Waiting reminds us we aren't the center of the universe.
Waiting reminds us that God is in control.
Waiting reminds us that a day is coming when we will no longer wait. Our faith will become sight; sin will be no more, and we'll dwell in a perfect world with God.
* * *
"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you." (Psalm 39:7 ESV)
GO AHEAD — ANSWER:
[right arrow] What is something you've had to wait for? Was it worth it?
[right arrow] What are some other reasons God might make us wait for something?
[right arrow] Are you struggling to be patient? Ask God to help you trust in His timing.
It takes patience to get patience, so be patient with yourself as you learn how to be patient. (See what I did there?)
Unless you're a hospital patient. Then you don't need to worry about being patient, because you can just sleep all day. (See what I did there?)CHAPTER 2
Are you a basketball fan? I live in Oklahoma, and I'm a fanatic about our pro Oklahoma City Thunder team. I've been privileged to pray at a few of their home games, and when I do that, I'm given two free tickets and complimentary parking to the game. I love taking a friend and heading to downtown Oklahoma City to join the thousands of other fans screaming their loudest for the team.
Being inside the arena is a multisensory experience! Of course, there's the actual game to watch on the floor, but there are also a myriad of other things vying for the fans' attention: Rumble, the mascot; the cheerleaders; the flashing advertisements on the circular screens surrounding the top of the arena; T-shirts and giveaways being shot into the audience; the game on the giant screens; the camera shooting live shots of a variety of people in the audience; vendors selling food and drinks; and a multitude of smells, from baked pretzels to burgers to funnel cake fries; and on and on and on.
Even though I'm a fan, I've noticed that because of everything that's vying for my attention, it's easy to get distracted from the game itself. During those moments, I have to remind myself that I came to watch the game — not to get caught up in all the excitement that surrounds me. If I want to discuss the game the next day with friends, I need to stay focused on the main thing.
Let's carry this over into our spiritual lives. It can be easy for Christians to get distracted from the main thing: an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. We can enjoy the trimmings of Christianity so much that it's easy to get so caught up in festivals, conferences, T-shirts, church parties, retreats, and clubs that our focus on Christ Himself tends to slip. We find ourselves zeroing in on the things surrounding Him instead of simply Him.
Discerning our distraction may be difficult, because the things fighting for our attention are actually good things! They often enhance our relationship with Him. But let's carry this to the extreme: if I attend a Thunder basketball game and get so carried away with the excitement of everything going on around me, I could actually leave without ever knowing the score. Sounds silly, doesn't it?
The same thing often happens spiritually. I've known some teens who have been so into Christian "stuff" that they've missed the actual Savior, Jesus Christ. They're excited about camp, car washes, feeding the homeless, and Bible quizzing, but when you ask them what Jesus is doing in their lives, they come up blank.
Let's keep the main thing the main thing. It has — and always will be — Jesus Christ Himself!
* * *
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2 NIV)
GO AHEAD — ANSWER:
[right arrow] What easily distracts you from concentrating on Christ alone?
[right arrow] What can you do to become more focused on your relationship with Christ?
[right arrow] What is Christ currently teaching you?
Remember the Israelites from the Old Testament? God freed them from Pharaoh's evil rule so He could give them their own lush and fertile land. But the Israelites got distracted, and it took them more than forty years to get to the Promised Land. (Maybe it was because Moses was their leader; it's been said that men never like to stop and ask for directions!) If we'll remember to simply walk straight ahead and allow God to guide us, we'll get where He wants us to be much sooner.
I don't get distracted very easily. Once I start something I focus until I ...CHAPTER 3
Know the Truth
Have you ever had a test with true/false questions on it? What's the easiest way to know what's false?
By knowing what's true. Because the fastest way to spot a lie is to know the truth.
There are many lies floating around in the world, some of them pretty convincing: "Jesus never claimed to be God." "You've sinned too much for Jesus to love you." "You're not worth anything." Those are all false statements that people will declare as truth.
If we're going to combat these lies, we must learn what's true. The best source of truth is the Bible, so let's see what the Bible has to say about each of the above statements.
When people doubted that Jesus was indeed both God and man, He told them, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30 ESV). (That's one of many places in the Bible where Jesus claimed divine authority.)
When you think you've sinned beyond what you believe can be forgiven, know that God saved Paul, who murdered Christians for their faith. He also promises that anyone who confesses his or her sin is cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
When you're tempted to believe you're not worth anything, remember that God cares about even the smallest birds and tells us, "Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:31 ESV). We're reminded later on that God proved how much He cherishes us by giving up His own Son to die for us.
* * *
"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17 ESV)
GO AHEAD — ANSWER:
[right arrow] What are some lies that you've heard? How did you respond to them?
[right arrow] How well can you spot something false?
[right arrow] What are some things you can do to recognize truth?
When I was a child, I used to do a lot of Where's Waldo puzzles. (Look him up if you've never heard of him.) The hardest puzzle was the last one, where you had to find the actual Waldo in a picture with hundreds of imposter Waldos. The better you knew the real Waldo, the easier it was to pick him out of the crowd of imposters.
So where is Waldo?
It doesn't matter. He's not real.
So ... Waldo died after you found him?
No! He didn't die. He was just a game.
Hmm. I'm thinking maybe he's lost and we should start looking for him again.
Maybe he's hanging with Carmen Sandiego. I never found her either.CHAPTER 4
Anchor Yourself to the Truth
Let's put your truth-spotting skills to the test.
Here's a paraphrase of something I heard a pastor on television say recently.
"If you have enough faith, bad things won't happen to you. God wants you to be happy — but it's up to you."
What's wrong with this statement? Can you spot where this pastor might be leading people astray?
First, our level of faith doesn't determine what happens to us. Terrible things happen to very godly, faithful people. And wicked people sometimes live easy, luxurious lives. In fact, Jesus assures us we'll have trouble. Jesus was rejected and despised by people, and as His followers we can expect the same to happen to us. (I promise this will get more encouraging; just keep reading!)
The second statement, "God wants you to be happy," is confusing. God wants you to be joyful. Those are two different things. (For more on the difference between joy and happiness, see #13, "Be Slap Happy.")
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does this statement put control of my circumstances in my hands? Or does it encourage me to trust God's will?
2. Does the person saying this have a motive other than wanting to preach God's truth? (For example, is the person asking for money on the television?)
3. What part of the Bible supports this claim? Was the scripture used taken out of context?
Because there are so many false philosophies floating around, it's important for you not only to know the truth but also to anchor yourself to the truth.
How can you anchor yourself to the truth?
By knowing, believing, and practicing the Word of God.
Take every thought, philosophy, and claim captive to what you know is true. Sometimes we don't like what's true and we want to believe things that sound more enticing. Truth always wins, is always on your side, and is the best weapon against Satan's attacks.
If you're not sure, ask a parent, pastor, or someone who has a track record for speaking the truth even when it's not what people prefer hearing. This will help you strengthen your beliefs.
Finally, apply what you know is true to your life.
* * *
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1 ESV)
GO AHEAD — ANSWER:
[right arrow] Can you think of any false teachings you've heard that sounded convincing? How did you spot the lie?
[right arrow] Can you know the truth without believing it?
[right arrow] What are some ways you can live out the truth?
If you're not sure about something you've heard, pray in that moment and ask God to give you wisdom.CHAPTER 5
Get Rid of Your Pet Hippopotamuses
In Africa more people are killed by hippopotamuses than by any other animal. (Betcha thought I made a mistake by saying hippopotamuses, huh? There are actually two accepted plurals of hippopotamus — the one I used and also hippopotami. Cool, huh? Now you can impress your friends. Of course, it would have been a lot easier if I had simply written hippos. But then you'd never know the above fun fact!
Hippos weigh around 7,900 pounds, and they're the third largest mammals on earth — right after elephants and white rhinos. Their hide alone can weigh half a ton. That's heavy skin! But just because they're big doesn't mean they're not fast. They can actually outrun humans. Hippos have been clocked at 30 mph. (Wouldn't that be a fun job — to hang out with hippos and a stopwatch, recording their races?)
These massive animals live approximately forty-five years, and they can be extremely aggressive. So why do Joyce and Tonie Joubert have a thirteen-year-old hippopotamus named Jessica as a pet?
Jessica was only a few hours old and weighed just 351 pounds when she was found on the banks of the Blyde River, near Hoed-spruit, South Africa, with her umbilical cord still attached to her. Tonie is a game ranger in the area. He and Joyce rescued her and brought her to their home, which has a walkway right to the river.
The husband and wife have left an imprint on Jessica. "Imprinting occurs right after birth," Joyce says. "Because my husband and I were likely the first ones she saw when her eyes opened a few hours after birth, we're the ones who have imprinted her." In other words, Jessica sees Joyce and Tonie as her parents.
Imprinting creates an extremely deep bond. And though Jessica's jaws and teeth are fiercely strong, she has never been rough with her parents. In fact, she even has house privileges! "When she enters the house, she first walks into the kitchen and puts her head on the counter. Then she eats two loaves of bread and five kilograms of carrots," Tonie says. Afterward, Jessica plops on the floor by the TV and listens to classical music. At night she sleeps outside on a mattress on the veranda with the couple's five English bull terriers.
The hippo enjoys a little more than twenty gallons of warm sweet tea every day — along with lots of grass and well-prepared sweet potatoes cut into slices. She loves it when visitors kiss her on the nose.
Jessica is tame for a few reasons — she's been loved and cared for by humans her entire life; she's around humans every day, and she doesn't have to hunt for food. But the most important factor in her becoming so tame is the imprinting. She has allowed Joyce and Tonie to define who she is. She probably believes she's human — just part of their family. God wants His children to allow Him to be their imprint. In other words, He wants to define you. In fact, He already has! In Isaiah 43, 44, and 45, He repeats that you're special; you've been chosen by Him and He calls you by your name. Wow!
But let's carry the defining even deeper. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to permeate your life so deeply and thoroughly that your love for God — your lifestyle, actions, and reactions — actually define who you are?
Think about it this way.
When you hear the name Michael Jordan, what immediately comes to your mind?
Or when you see Tiger Woods's name in print, what do you think of?
Just as Michael Jordan has defined basketball and Tiger Woods has defined golf, allow God to help you define Christianity in such a way that when people hear your name they automatically think of God's love. Whenever your name is seen in print, people smile and feel God's presence. Wouldn't that be awesome! Are you willing to let God imprint you?
* * *
Be imitators of God as dear children. (Ephesians 5:1 NKJV)
GO AHEAD — ANSWER:
[right arrow] Do you know someone who does a great imitation? Who is it, and what or who does that person imitate well?
[right arrow] What's the first thing that enters people's minds when they hear your name?
[right arrow] What changes would you need to make for people to think of Christ whenever they see you?
Can you imagine how big the scale has to be to actually weigh a hippo? Can you imagine how massive God's love is for you? So big that He actually gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the death penalty for your sins! And Christ's power is so extreme that He actually conquered death. What a God!
I can imitate a duck.
Excerpted from The Smart Girl's Guide to Mean Girls, Manicures, & God's Amazing Plan for Me by Susie Shellenberger, Kristin Weber. Copyright © 2016 Susie Shellenberger and Kristin Weber. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Learn to Wait 12
2 Eliminate Distractions 14
5 Know the Truth 17
4 Anchor Yourself to the Truth 20
5 Get Rid of Your Pet Hippopotamuses 22
6 Remember That God's Will Can't Fail 25
7 Learn This Math Equation: Grace + Mercy = Forgiveness 27
8 Double-Check Your Motives 29
9 Stop Lying 31
10 Be a Light 34
11 Keep Your Anger on a Tight Leash 36
12 Remember What Christ Has Done for You 39
13 Be Slap Happy 42
14 Learn to Deal with Mean Girls 45
15 Don't Be a Mean Girl 48
16 Pray for the Bullies 50
17 Stop Biting, Picking at, or Chewing Your Nails 53
18 Send Something through the Postal System 55
19 Practice Love 58
20 Start a Spiritual Journal 60
21 Continue Your Spiritual Journal 63
22 Persist, Persist, Persist 65
23 Clean the Bathtub 67
24 Use Manners and Etiquette 70
25 Grow Something Different 72
26 Believe in Angels 75
27 Learn Something Musical 78
28 Supplement Your Faith with Virtue 80
29 Supplement Your Virtue with Knowledge 82
30 Supplement Your Knowledge with Self-Control 84
31 Supplement Your Self-Control with Steadfastness 86
32 Supplement Your Steadfastness with Godliness 88
33 Supplement Your Godliness with Brotherly Affection 90
34 Supplement Your Brotherly Affection with Love 92
35 Make a Greeting Card 94
36 Try Something That Scares You 97
37 Develop a Great Handshake 99
38 Read Some Classic Literature 102
39 Learn to Write 105
40 Write a Children's Story 108
41 Contribute to Your Community 110
42 Know to Whom You Belong 112
43 Live Today as Though It's Your Last 114
44 Create a New Drink 116
45 Read the Entire Bible 118
46 Study Even More Apologetics 120
47 Take Notes in Church 122
48 Back Up Your Computer 124
49 Protect Your Identity 126
50 Create Your Own Holiday 129
51 Buy a New Bra 132
52 Keep Up with Current Events 135
53 Go a Day without Makeup 137
54 Step Away from the Mirror 139
55 Spend a Few Hours a Week Cleaning and Reorganizing 141
56 Polish Jewelry and Shine Shoes 143
57 Iron Something 145
58 Know the Ten Commandments 147
59 Practice the Ten Commandments 149
60 Treat a Senior Citizen 151
61 Start Your Own Clique 154
62 Host a Back-to-Childhood Party 156
63 Do the Dishes When It's Not Your Turn 158
64 Seek Justice 160
65 Learn about Human Trafficking 162
66 Do Something about Human Trafficking 164
67 Learn Good Theology, Part 1 166
68 Learn Good Theology, Part 2 168
69 Learn Good Theology, Part 3 170
70 Visit a Cemetery, 172
71 Learn How to Discern God's Will, Part 1 174
72 Learn How to Discern God's Will, Part 2 175
73 Learn How to Discern God's Will, Part 3 178
74 Learn How to Discern God's Will, Part 4 180
75 Make a Decision, Then Stop Stressing 182
76 Be Intentional 184
77 Be Flexible 186
78 Don't Be Afraid to Talk to Guys 188
79 Put Down Your Phone 190
80 Learn to Give a Manicure 193
81 Learn How to Resist Temptation, Part 1 195
82 Learn How to Resist Temptation, Part 2 197
83 Trust God 199
84 Make Everyone Feel Important 201
85 Become a Great Conversationalist 203
36 Give Guys a Break 205
87 Study the Book of Revelation 207
88 Avoid Useless Arguments 209
89 Be Kind Online 211
90 Meet a Talking Donkey 213
91 Try Fasting 215
92 Determine to Persevere 217
93 Stay around People Who Sharpen You 219
94 Be the Salt 221
95 Learn to Praise God 223
96 Learn to Relax 225
97 Be Safe in Your Car 227
98 Call Someone 230
99 Chase Wisdom 232
100 Make Sure You Know 234
101 Make Sure They Know 257