Strong Girl Saturday: Different? That’s Way Okay! By Elaine Stock

Today’s Strong Girl post is written by friend and fellow author, Elaine Stock. Can you see her? She’s the kindergartener reading a book in the corner because a speech impediment tossed bricks between her and the ability to make easy friends. She’s the one whose mom pushed her into awkward social situations that made her feel as if she were an elephant balancing on a tightrope while she watched her mom seclude herself behind a closed door. She’s the serious one, yet a dreamer, the one who writes stories. She’s the one who clung to God even before she understood the full meaning of faith. She’s me. And I used to struggle with being what others typed as “different.” The red and gold bracelet shimmy down her arm The ankle bells clanks and rings She hears music and dances steps that calm Closing her eyes to life’s stings. Others laugh They tease, they taunt They think they’re cool, but they’re only half If they really had it all, they wouldn’t have to flaunt. She hears the One who loves her so much Her confidence isn’t dependent on the cruel Her esteem, rather, comes from Him who has her in His clutch She learns to love the others, but lives on His fuel. (© Elaine Stock) It’s taken me many years to learn that it’s okay to be me. Really, I’m not a bad person. Not freaky. Don’t mess with drugs or drink. I do no harm to others. I admit to owning a few quirks, but nothing in the too-seriously-weird category. What I’ve come to realize the past decades of my life is that everyone—without an exception—is singular, as well as we should be. God created each of us in His image, but like each kitten with patches and zigzag stripes or like each snowflake that falls, we are all unique. If we obey God’s words, then our individuality is very okay. The popular singer, Taylor Swift, recently said, “Maybe you’re not meant to fit in. Maybe you’re supposed to stand out.” Yay, Taylor! What a bold statement from someone in today’s times who is pressed to be outrageous, but instead is creating her own way and is enjoying each day. Be true to yourself. Be a good person. Believe in the One who created you with an expressed purpose. You won’t go wrong. Rejoice in the good stuff. Ignore any discouragement. Author Bio: Elaine Stock never expected that a college major in psychology and sociology would walk her through the see-saw industries of food service and the weight-loss business; co-ownership with her husband in piano restoration; and ten years in community leadership. All great fodder for creating fiction. In the...

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Strong Girls aren’t Mean Girls part III

A few weeks ago I wrote to you, dear Strong Girls, about standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Today I want to share a great Strong Girl story with you. Last night, in front of thousands of people, Anahi Alvarez gave her Homecoming Queen crown to her friend, Lillian Skinner. Lillian, described as sweet and innocent, was targeted by mean girls and told she’d been nominated as Homecoming Queen, which wasn’t true. When her friends, Anahi Alvarez, and Naomi Martinez, who were nominated as Homecoming Queen, found out, they vowed that if they won the crown, they’d give it to Lillian. Watch the amazing report here:   Today, I’m happy to award the first Strong Girl Commendation Award to Strong Girls Anahi Alvarez, Namoi Martinez and Lillian Skinner. Do you know a Strong Girl who should receive this award? Let me know and I’ll honor her here. Tweet this: Alvarez, Martinez and Skinner show us what it means to be Strong...

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Strong girls aren’t mean girls II

Yesterday I wrote an article for my column about a group of teens who poured bodily fluids on an autistic classmate by tricking him into thinking they were doing the ALS ice bucket challenge. They poured the vile fluid on him from the roof of his garage while recording and posting it to Instagram. I can’t watch the video without crying. As a Mom with teen boys with autism, I can’t imagine someone doing that to my sons. I have to wonder — where was the voice of reason in this group of kids? Did no one stop to think about how it would make their autistic peer feel?   If just one of them had stopped or refused to participate–would it have given the others a chance to slow down and think about the consequences of their actions? Strong girls aren’t mean girls. Strong girls stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. They are strong enough and have the courage enough to go against the flow, to be different, to say no when their heart is telling them something is wrong. God’s Word reminds us of the Lord’s call to care for the defenseless. In Leviticus chapter 19, God instructs those with fields and vineyards to leave a portion of the harvest for the poor. There are many scriptures in the Bible that instruct us to help those in need: Leviticus 25:35, Deuteronomy 14:28-29, Deuteronomy 15:7-11, Isaiah 58:6-7, Psalms 41:1-3, Proverbs 11:25, 19:17, 22:9, Matthew 5:42, 6:1-4, 19:21, 25:31-46, Luke 6:38, 11:41, 12:33-34, Acts 20:35, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 12:27-31, 13:1-13, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, Galatians 2:10, Ephesians 4:7-12, 1 Timothy 5:16, 6:17-19, Hebrews 13:3, 13:16, James 1:27, 2:2-9, 2:15-16, 1 John 3:17-18. Psalm 82:3 reminds us to: “Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.“ A Strong Girl who is attentive to God’s voice won’t go along with the crowd. She’ll listen for that still small voice above the boisterous noise and giggles of a group of bullies. This power and strength isn’t because the girl is exceptionally strong, but because she has tapped into THE STRENGTH that the Holy Spirit provides. The Apostle Paul, who wrote about a third of the New Testament, reminded his friends in Corinth of this supernatural strength when he wrote in his letter to them: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of...

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