Monday, August 20, 2012

Embracing the Unique

Growing up I never wanted to be unique. I just wanted to fit in. You know be a part of the "in" crowd. But I always seemed to be on the outskirts of any popular crowd.  It was both frustrating and heartbreaking as a young girl.

I have shared the story before about 6th grade and not being invited to the biggest boy/girl party of the year. Even after I tried to impress the host with my ultra cool outfit....sigh.

I just didn't seem to fit in.

On Sunday our pastor preached about persecution and how even today Christians are being martyred for their faith. It is difficult for most of us to understand or fathom what that might mean. But he challenged us a little in saying that if we aren't receiving some push back, from our families, or friends or co-workers that maybe we are conforming too much to the patterns of this world.

For so many years "conforming" was my goal.  Now as a parent, and a more mature Christian I understand that conforming isn't the goal any longer. My goal should be to make an impact for Christ - even if that means standing out...being unique.

 Meet the newest collection from DaySpring.....U-neeks.  Made to celebrate the uniqueness in all children and they provide a great conversation starter for a child to share their faith.

I find myself in a struggle at times....wanting my children to be able to "fit in"...but yet wanting them to be a light for Christ as well.

Last night we went to a church picnic/baptism celebration. Several people committed or recommitted their lives to Christ and chose to be baptized as an expression of that commitment.  Gabriel has talked about being baptized for a year now...but he was just a little nervous to do it yesterday.
 But after watching everyone come forward he has already expressed that he can't wait to do it next year.  I am excited to see his faith grow...that he can trust God is with him at all times...even those times he feels nervous or scared.

 What a wonderful example he will be for his younger siblings.

 Each of these sweet U-neeks have a life verse....such a great idea. A short verse on a card attached to the character that the kids can memorize.... "I praise You because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way" Psalm 139:14 (NCV)

Just a little reminder for our young ones that they are unique and it should be embraced! God made us each in a very special way. We don't have to conform to the world, to be a part of the "in" crowd. We can make an impact right where we are - by shining the light of Jesus wherever we go.

Such a challenge even for this mama!!

But wait!! A special surprise for those of you who stuck with me throughout this post!! DaySpring has generously provided a full set of the U-neeks I was sent to review to give away to one of my readers!! YAY! And entering is easy....just leave a comment...any comment and you will be entered to win! Tell me how you encourage your kids to stand for Christ. Or share a story about how you struggled with wanting to fit in....whatever it is...1 comment gets you an entry! :)

The drawing will be closed on Monday August 27th!! Good luck friends!

Update: Congrats Sandy S! You are the winner of your very own U-neeks set from Dayspring! Watch for an e-mail from me with more details. :)

I was provided a set of U-neeks stuffed animals for free from DaySpring in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.


Anonymous said...

Kristin--Great post and so timely. I didn't fit in as a kid either and always was going out of my way to be a part of the crowd, even by fabricating "stories." This even led into much of my adult life until I finally realized that I fit in with God. I didn't need to impress him, get the best job, be the best softball player, or best mom ... He loved me just the way I am. Two of my granddaughters spend a week with me each summer and we have talks about fitting in..that it is OK to be yourself and to be unique. And that following the crowd can many times lead to dangerous things and self destruction. I tell them we are part of the crowd in that we are Christians. Thanks for this great post today--sure made me realize how many years I "blew" by trying to fit in instead of just being my unique self. God Bless
Sandy Stocklin Hook

Kami said...

Thanks for sharing this, Kristin! Fitting in can be such a tough thing to try to deal with when you so desperately want to be liked, yet you don't want to compromise who you are to achieve that! It's a lesson I am continually working in my children and teaching them that it's okay to not always fit in, as long as they're true to who they are and who God says they are.

Great post! :)

Meg said...

What a great post! In middle and high school I was way too concerned with fitting in, often compromising my beliefs and who I really was to "fit in" with the crowd. It was only in college that I finally realized that God loved me as I was, and had created me to be unique. I'm expecting my first child now (in November) and I really want to instill in her the importance of being herself, of being beautiful and loved just as she is.

Amelia said...

I found you through the link up on incourage. Beautiful post! I think we all struggle with wanting our kids to fit in and not feel different. Yet in this world, because we love Jesus, we are always going to feel a bit out of place. My daughter loves the pink Uneek and the matching card. What an encouraging line for kids! (I received some free products already, so please don't enter me in your give away). Blessings to you and your precious ones!

Eden said...

Cam adults win a doll too? I'mwithyou as a conformist ...thru out high school and even sometimes to this day I don't want to stand out and do what is Best for me throufh God....I feel I must have everyone's permission! What a waste of my precious time! I'm learning to accept who I am and what I can share with others now.

Hopkins family said...

Thanks for this encouraging post. We have been criticized in the past for allowing our kids to go to public school from fellow Christians who home school. But we, as you said, also believe we should be a light to our community. It's a good reminder that when we face persecution, (even tho it may come from Christians) it is a good sign we are not conforming. Thanks for this post!

Kathy said...

Like you I always wanted in and never fit. Now I take pride in NOT being normal or like everyone else. I've always told my kids they don't want to be like everyone else, they are unique! I use the anology from Young Frankenstien with Gene Wilder - we are "Abby Normal"! Thank you for inviting anyone. I'm sure it feels good to be the one inviting and including and knowing that you can make ALL feel like they belong! Thank you! Thank You!

Liz Perez said...

Beautiful reminder that it's ok to be unique! Thank you!

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