U-NEEKS Help Me Teach My Kids That Being Unique Is Great

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dayspring to promote their new U-NEEK collection. All thoughts are my own.)

Having two children with special needs means that we talk about being “different” a lot and how great it is to be unique. I want them to know that God made them and they are perfect to Him. The boys don’t really notice their differences that much yet but I know as they get older others will point them out. A perfect example happened just yesterday. We were at Jacob’s baseball game and an older sibling of one of Jacob’s teammates was playing with Lucas. He accepted that Luke couldn’t always articulate what he was saying clearly but was quick to point out that Lucas was behind on something else that his two year old sister was doing. He didn’t say it to be mean as his “friendship” to Lucas has been a blessing this season, but it was said and I know many other kids wouldn’t have been so kind about it.

When we talk about how we are unique I love playing “raise your hand if…” and have the boys raise their hand if a statement I say applies to them. Some are physical features (like hair color and eye color), some are about likes or dislikes and some are just silly statements. The boys enjoy doing this and each time we talk about how they are alike (you both love to eat ice cream) and different (one of you likes red and one of you likes pink). In the end I stress how God made them unique and they are perfect just the way they are.

One new way that we are talking about God making us unique is by playing with our new U-NEEK stuffed animals. God has made each one of us different on purpose.  In the Bible ( Psalm 139:14 ) we are reminded that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God, each U-Neek in our own way.  That is what this cast of characters is all about, reminding and encouraging us in a fun, random, sometimes weird and innocently strange way.  

The boys love cuddling with their new U-NEEK friends. Want to get your own? Now through July 14th you can find U-NEEKS at Walmart and Hobby Lobby! There is also a fun new U-NEEKS app that has just been made available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play store.

How do you teach your children that being unique is a gift? I’d love to hear!

My Experience At Awana Headquarters

(Disclosure: I was compensated for my time but all thoughts are my own.)

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I love the Awana Ministry. Earlier this month my boys finished up their third year of the program and the boys can’t wait for next year to start up. I was so excited when Awana invited me to a special Blogger Summit at their headquarters and gave us a sneak peak at some changes that are coming. I can’t spill the beans yet but on June 16th their new website will go live and all will be revealed :)

I wanted to share about my time there. What really stood out to me over the two days was the mission of everyone on the Awana team. They weren’t focused on growing Awana but instead, were focused on bringing more children to Christ and long-term discipleship. Over 2.3 million children around the world have already been reached by this amazing ministry! Their goal is 10 million kids reached by 2020.

Along with learning more about the ministry, I got to meet some amazing ministry leaders and bloggers like The MOB (Mother of Boys) Society Co-Creator, Erin, and Felicia of Go Grow Go.

Worship was led by Meredith Andrews {yes, THE Meredith Andrews, DOVE AWARD-WINNING ARTIST!!} who is absolutely amazing. She has a beautiful voice and is also very sweet.

Lastly, I want to share some of the messages that have stuck with me:

  • “God does His best work when we are out of our comfort zone.” –@MattGuevara
  • “If you are going to reach people for Christ you have to have passion.” -Art Rorheim, co-founder of Awana
  • “It’s not about reaching 10 million kids with Awana – it’s about reaching 10 million kids with the Gospel!” –@BigZDub
  • “I cannot outsource the discipleship of my children to Awana.” –@peterkgreer, CEO of Hope International
  • “God will never expect any Church to be anything other than a more Christ-like version of itself.” –@brannonmarshall
  • “Everyone paddling in different directions doesn’t help a canoe move forward.” –@kevin_white
  • Some perspective: If you earn $32,500 in a year, you are in the top 1% income bracket globally.

I look forward to sharing more about Awana Clubs International next month!