The Beauty of Mentoring

She came to me with a smile on her face. Her brown eyes were bright and happy- my Ellie*. Twenty minutes into our time together, though, she confided in me that she had been to the hospital that weekend to have her stomach pumped out after overdosing on prescription drugs in an attempt to take her life. This wasn’t the first time, and although I was not surprised, I was saddened. My Ellie? Eleven years old, and already so thoroughly finished with her life that she was trying to end it? Looking down, my eyes settled on her wrists. Lined with crisscrossing pink scars, they told a story of hurt and pain unfathomable for a girl of her age. Oh Ellie, why? Even though I knew about her self-harm before that day, it still gave me a jolt to see it. What was my sweet Ellie doing cutting herself? If there was anyone in the world who should be safe from things like suicide and self harm, it would be Ellie.

I can’t keep her away from the hard things in her life, but that’s not my job. My only job is to be a trustworthy person for Ellie to talk to and hang out with- I give her support and act as a friend.

As an elementary student, I watched my classmates leave class once a week for one hour with an older student and come back happy and leaving the rest of us feeling a bit jealous. Those kids (both the older and younger ones) were registered in the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Now, as a high school student, I am a part of the program as a mentor, or ‘big’. I take a bus to my ‘little’s’ school weekly to read with her for fifteen minutes and then hang out doing whatever activity she wants. My mentee is eleven years old and in grade 6. She is the oldest age permitted to be a mentee, so this year she will ‘graduate’ from the program. Mentoring her has enriched my life. I look forward to my weekly visits with her, and I strongly recommend mentoring for anyone who is looking for a way to make the world a better place for someone.

Ellie isn’t the only elementary aged child who needs someone to confide in and trust with her story. Children everywhere are fighting bigger battles than they can handle on their own, and it’s not hard to provide support for a struggling girl or boy. All it takes is one hour a week.

If you are interesting in becoming a mentor, take a look at the links posted below:

Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada

Big Brothers Big Sisters USA

KHEPRW

Javon Jarell Foundation

The Peer Project (Toronto area only)

The Mentoring Center of Central Ohio

YWCA Vancouver

Chance UK

Adams County Youth Initiative

Raise (Australia only)

These are only a few of the options for mentoring. If you think that you would like to become a mentor, look into the options in your area and don’t be afraid to step out to make a difference. Mentors make huge impacts in their mentees’ lives, and there is no shortage of children who need a mentor.

-itsajthoughts ❤

*not her real name

 

Comparing

Hey there guys!

Yep, it’s me! I’m back! (And by the way, great posts just below by my blogging friend! 😉 )

Today I am talking about comparing.

Everyone has those days where they can’t help but compare themselves to anyone or anything. That’s one of those days when the internal ‘mean girl’ takes the wheel and directs you throughout the day, and you can’t seem to wrestle it back.

You’re so ugly… why do you even do that? It’s not as if you’re good enough to do it well. You’ll never be pretty. Your friend is so much prettier. Stop leaving that stuff there! Clean it up and do your schoolwork! You’re so behind in it, I can’t believe that you ever will get through it all… 

Sound familiar?

This ‘mean girl’ can seriously lower your self esteem. That’s not good. If you’re going to be  stuck with the same head forever, you’re going to be stuck with the same ‘mean girl’ forever. That’s why we have to learn how to be stronger than her and wrestle that wheel out of her hands. I have trouble with doing this myself, but slowly am learning.

If we let her remain in control for too long, it could actually hurt our health. She was in control of my own mind yesterday, truth to be told. I kept feeling down, so ready to just sit down and give up on all my dreams. Who was I kidding? I’m just a teenager; I can’t do anything.

Wrong. I can do whatever I want, whatever I decide to set my mind to and achieve.

That ‘mean girl’? She feeds you a pack of lies. Don’t listen to her. And don’t compare yourself to others. You have a special gift that none of them shall ever possess.

You’re you. And no one else is ever going to be able to you. 🙂

❤ bookwormjulia

15 Days to Confidence Challenge- Day 15

You have reached the end of the 15 Days to Confidence Challenge. I hope by now you have started to feel more confident in yourself. So now that it is over, I hope that you keep using the methods to confidence that we talked about during the challenge. Remember, you are awesome, just the way you are!

Thanks for sticking with me through the challenge!

-itsajthoughts ❤

15 Days to Confidence Challenge- Day 13

It’s been over a week since you started the confidence challenge (although we are only on day 13… by the way, if you haven’t started the challenge yet, you can find it HERE). So how are you doing? Confidence can be a lifelong journey, so if you’re not getting it right now, hold on. God is taking care of you, even if you feel like you can’t take care of yourself.

Tomorrow, I want you to write a letter to God. Consider it a sort of prayer. Ask Him to give you confidence and to help you to trust in him. God really does answer prayer, and He is working for you (Romans 8:28).

You’ve got this! ….. and God’s got you 🙂

-itsajthoughts

My “Au Naturel” Day! (and Day 12 of the challenge)

Alright, I promised that I would post a picture of my makeup free day… so here it is, as agreed:

me

This is me (makeup free :D)

The picture is a bit blurry… but you can see that I’m not wearing any beauty products. Hopefully you were able to have a ‘makeup-free’ day as well today.

After nearly two weeks, I hope you’ve begun to feel more confident in who you are as a wonderful, unique, and amazing person. I used to be very self conscious of myself; especially of my physical appearance, but after years of training, I’ve become confident and self-assured (and God-assured!). So don’t be discouraged if after two weeks you still feel like you are sub-standard. You are not. But it can take years to develop confidence.

Tomorrow, I want you to send an anonymous note to someone that you know, telling them why you think they are awesome. Raising someone else’s confidence can help to boost yours 🙂

You’ve got this!

-itsajthoughts ❤

15 Days to Confidence Challenge- Day 11

Today, focus on doing what makes you feel good about yourself (remember yesterday’s post- what makes you happy? Do these things). Tomorrow’s challenge might be a bit tougher for some of us- just a warning. If you’re not comfortable doing this, that’s okay: being self conscious won’t help your confidence either.

Our goal in this is to increase our confidence in who we are. So tomorrow, I want you to go makeup free. I’ll be doing it too, and I’ll post a picture of it on my blog (you don’t have to post it, I’ll just do it to prove that I followed through on my side of the deal).

youre-beautiful

You’ve got this!

-itsajthoughts

What Makes me Happy :)

I want to _______ because it makes me happy:

  • swim
  • read books
  • run
  • laugh often
  • paint
  • dream
  • have sleepovers
  • hang out with friends
  • dress nicely
  • do well in school
  • dance
  • kick my feet in the lake
  • splash in puddles
  • have good friends
  • listen to music
  • smile
  • have a clean room
  • spend time with my mom
  • wear cowboy boots
  • sing in the shower
  • play guitar
  • go for long walks
  • be warm
  • sit by the fire
  • watch the sun set

15 Days to Confidence Challenge- Day 10

Good job today putting yourself out there and telling us what makes you really unique! If this is your first day on the challenge, you can start it HERE. Tomorrow, I want you to do this: write “I want to _______ because it makes me happy.”

Like this:

I want to ________ because it makes me happy:

-swim

-read books

-laugh often

-etc.

Write it down in a journal or notebook (I’ll put mine on my blog), and focus on doing what makes you happy.

You’ve got this!

-itsajthoughts

15 Days to Confidence Challenge- Day 9

So I told you all yesterday (yesterday’s post can be found HERE) that I wanted you to read over Proverbs 31. Now that we’ve established what makes you confident as a woman, I want to talk about what makes you confident as an individual. Think of something that is unique about you- something that few people can say about themselves. Something like this:

I have a thing for Spanish music. Even though I don’t speak fluent Spanish, I love to listen to Spanish pop music.

That’s something that makes me unique. So what makes you unique? You can think about this overnight… Tomorrow, I want you to post on your blog (or if you don’t blog, tell me in the comments) something that makes you really special. Realizing what makes us who we are can boost our confidence! Oh, and make sure you send me the link to your post, because I would love to read it 🙂

You’ve got this!

-itsajthoughts

 

15 Days to Confidence Challenge- Day 8 1/2

I posted this is a bit late in the day for you to be able to do the challenge today….how-wude

I know, I’m sorry… So I want you to do day nine’s challenge tomorrow instead.

Read Proverbs 31 several times tomorrow, putting your name in the place of ‘she’.  Wherever you find something that isn’t true, focus on making it true. Pray about it- God can help you to get the qualities that you lack.

-itsajthoughts XOXO