You Are Special!

The outside of our refrigerator is lined with photos, magnets, and works of art! Who would have thought that this kitchen appliance would become an album of memories and a celebration of connection? Every time our family gathers, adults and children scope out the latest contributions to the fridge! They look, they point, they question, they smile and sometimes the adults frown because they think that last year’s pic did not do them justice! 😊

"That's my brother, Karter!"
Klaire exclaimed!

It is funny how this tradition of our family is not exclusive to just us. As most of you have heard me say, Monique loves to spend her post retirement days substituting at the same local elementary school where she reported for duty during twenty-two years of active teaching. And on nearly every occasion, she will exit the front door at day’s end with one or more special pictures tucked into her bag that a student has drawn just for her to bring home to display on our refrigerator. How is it that kids know these things? How did our tradition get so widespread? I think you know!

Whether or not we want to admit it, there is a certain vanity deep down in each of us. We admire how we look and what we have achieved. We want others to notice. I believe it is good for our children to have a healthy sense of self-worth and personal confidence. Many individuals have fulfilled their dreams because they understood their value and felt they had something special to accomplish. Parents and grandparents should be everyday encouragers of the next generation of children and youth God has placed in our families. These kids long to be prized, valued and affirmed by those they love.

I remember a little chorus that we used to sing during children’s church. We would also sing this at home to our children when they were very young. They would smile and absorb the affirmation within each stanza… “Special. Special. You are very special! God made you that way. Special. Special. You are very special! God…made…you…that…way!” Our children were always beaming with delight as we would draw out the last phrase for emphasis!

God affirms our uniqueness and specialness throughout the Scriptures, but nowhere more directly than in Psalm 139. “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration – what creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from  nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” (Ps. 139:13-16, MSG).

It is amazing beyond our finite comprehension how our Creator God “sculpted from nothing to something” our individual selves! You and I are blessed. We are loved. We are special! In this New Year, let’s strive to live into this affirmation and love others who are also special gifts from God.

Happy New Year!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.




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