How fun is it when women of all different personalities, ages, backgrounds, gifts and talents gather to spend time together. And not only is it fun, but it is powerful. Alone we can accomplish many things, but together, we can accomplish so much more and do it in a better and more impactful way.
See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony! Psalm 133:1 GW
One of the awesome programs that Wave City Care has the privilege of offering to our local schools is ShineGIRL. This is a personal development, group mentoring program that helps girls realize that they have Worth, Strength and Purpose. One of the sessions is entitled “Friends Forever” and addresses the concepts of respect, bullying and healthy versus unhealthy relationships.
The session begins with a fun icebreaker, “The Ribbon Game.” In this activity, seven spools of colored ribbon are laid out, each representing a strength or attribute. For example, Red stands for Passionate, Bold, Loving, Loyal, Strong; Yellow for Bright, Happy, Cheerful, Enthusiastic; Green for Creative, Unique, Quirky, Interesting, Eclectic and the list goes on. The girls are asked to select and tie ribbons on each other’s wrists explaining why they feel that they possess that particular strength. The leaders stress that it is not important how many ribbons you receive, but how many you give away to others. The girls quickly catch on and at the end, every ShineGIRL ends up with a beautiful bracelet of colorful ribbons. More importantly, they have all been affirmed by their peers for their strengths and begin to realize that while they may be very different from the girl next to them, that they also have a lot in common and that together they are better.
Thanks to a brilliant idea from Pastor Sharon, we also initiated the “You Can Sit With Me” Campaign in this session to provide the girls with a tool to help stop bullying in their schools. Each young person in the group is presented with a t-shirt that says ShineGIRL and Strength, Worth and Purpose on the front and, “You Can Sit With Me” on the back. They are asked to wear their beautiful new shirts to school the following week and invite other girls to sit with them. The leaders explain that we don’t need to be friends with everyone, but that we all should be willing to make someone feel comfortable if they need someone to sit with or talk to. It is emphasized how important it is to let every person know they have value, to make them feel included, and show respect, even if they are different from them or even socially awkward.
How much can we learn from this lesson? Yes, as adults, we are usually subtler in the ways we exclude people because of their differences. But, what if we took the other tact and looked for peoples’ strengths, their positive attributes and recognize that they too are children of God and have something to bring to the table. Yes, together, we definitely are better and together we can be the change and make this a better world. Let’s start today.
Holy Spirit, guide me and change me as needed so I recognize and affirm the value in others. Help me to reach out and make people feel wanted, comfortable and uplifted. Help me celebrate all the wonderful women around me in my world and come together in unity and in strength.
Devoted Devotional By Sue Fitzgerald