Thursday, July 17, 2014

back to school with u-neeks!

in just a few weeks, a lot of us will be waking up a little earlier, loading up backpacks and lunch boxes, and starting a new school year with our kids! we homeschool, and back to school time is still an exciting time for us to crack open our new books and begin new grade level material.

this Fall my daughter will start 5th grade! and my son is starting 2nd grade. wow. we have all of the curriculum, empty 3-ring binders, sharpened pencils, and a fresh box of crayons. but there's another "school supply" on my list this year that is less for the classroom and more for their hearts: U-NEEKS.

my kids got their first U-NEEKS this summer (Wally, Trysta May, Indigo and Jazzmine) and it was love at first snuggle. those silly little plush monsters are too cute and have adorably fun personalities.

more importantly, U-NEEKS reminds my children that they are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and He has a "U-NEEK" plan for their lives.

at school, even homeschool co-op, our children might be faced with peer pressure, anxiety, and a slew of other emotions that they haven't had yet. at home, we prepare them with heart-to-heart talks and cover them in prayer. we want them to go into the "world" confident in Christ and know that they are wonderfully U-NEEK!

here is what Jon and Justin, makers of U-NEEKS, say:
"Because the world can be full of peer pressure to conform and to be like everyone else, kids can sometimes become lost as individuals. Between the ages of 8-13, kids are in a time where they are most impressionable. DaySpring saw the need to stay connected and provide encouragement and affirmation to our children." 
U-NEEKS are a fun, tangible way for kids to take as a reminder of who they are and Whose they are. there is a whole line of U-NEEKS back-to-school accessories to encourage kids to celebrate everyone's U-NEEK-ness!

check out this sweet Trysta May backpack clip:

these U-NEEKS coupons and encouragement notecards are perfect lunch box notes! 

cute bracelets with scripture- one to keep and one to give to a new friend:

what better time to have the conversation with our children that we are all unique than now, when they are going into new places and meeting new people! U-NEEKS make a perfect conversation-starter at home, as well as in the classroom. i want to send my kids off to school knowing without a doubt that they are loved, they are special, and that they were created especially unique by God.

unconventional school supply? maybe. opportunity to press invaluable truths onto my kids' hearts? YES. i am excited about starting the new school year with my "U-NEEK" kids and their U-NEEKS! :)  

***right now, get 25% OFF U-NEEKS at's Customer Appreciation Sale thru 7/18 with code THANKS25

***starting July 28, the U-NEEKS Encouragement Notes for Kids Set is available for FREE with any Back to School Purchase of $25 or more at with code UNeekENC.

***on July 31 the U-NEEKS set of 24 Stickers will be included in every Back to School order! no coupon needed. nice!

*this post contains affiliate links. all opinions are truly my own.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

i am not fat // and other body image truths i keep on replay

have you heard the song Replay by Zendaya? first of all, Zendaya, what a fab name, right? so exotic and feminine! if you haven't heard the song yet, here it is. take a quick listen. my daughter introduced me to it. Reply is a dance-y song with a catchy hook:

put you on repeat play you everywhere i go...everywhere i go... 
wanna put this song on replay, i can listen to it all day...

i sing along but i don't really get the lyrics, honestly. i think it's a love song and the "song" she wants on replay is a guy? i'm not sure. i'm either too old or too cognitive to understand entirely. regardless- it's a fun song and when it comes on, i turn it up, channel my inner Zendaya, and sing loud.

lately i was popping and locking listening to Replay and my mind started to wander...what's on replay everywhere i go? what am i listening to all day? i prayed God would show me the thoughts i have on repeat, the "song" i have replaying in my head. and when He revealed my "song" i didn't really like what it sounded like...self-hate, self-doubt, discouraged, defeated, ashamed, insecure.

i fought body image issues for a big chunk of my life, and had a severely distorted perception of what my body looks like. for years i battled anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder. only within the last 10 years or so have i come to understand God's promises as they relates to my physical make-up. only recently have i learned how to see myself in this new way, honor God with my body, and how to thank Him for making me uniquely me.

i am perfectly wonderfully made in His image. i was created in His image for a purpose! i believe that with all of my heart. accepting the lies i was telling myself about my body doesn't line up with what God wants for me.

"We are His work. He has made us to belong to Christ Jesus so we can work for Him. 
He planned that we should do this." 
Ephesians 2:10

"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 
Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does." 
James 1:22-25

God wants me to see myself the way He sees me. He doesn't want me to live deceived. so i have REWRITTEN the song i keep on REPLAY.

// i am not fat. i am healthy and strong. i take good care of my body. i am energetic and able. my healthy body is evidence of God's creative handiwork. everything He created is good, and that includes me. He is sovereign and i have no right to hate what He calls beautiful.

// scales are for fish. my worth is not based on my weight. no number on the scale, on the BMI chart, or on my jeans tag determines my value. i saw this equation once and YES: sovereignty + health + inner beauty = confidence.

// calories are good. i had to retrain myself to stop checking that part of the food labels. now i look at ingredients, protein, and nutrients. food is fuel to keep me healthy. food is good! whole foods were made by God for our enjoyment! He never intended us to starve or deprive our bodies. AND some of my happiest memories are around a table enjoying a meal with people i love. that's what God wants.

// my reflection in the mirror does not set the tone for my day. nor the condition of my skin, the way my shirt fits, or how my hair falls. Jesus sets the tone for my day. His Word is what i'm to reflect! and it is good. God's standards, not the VS catalog standards, are my standards of beauty.

// i am loved. just as i am. by a God who loved me long before i was born and designed me head to toe. there is not another me, so there is no point in comparing THIS creation with any other. 

"Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look 
at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, 
but the Lord looks at the heart." 
1 Samuel 16:17

"Do you not know that you are a house of God and that the Holy Spirit lives in you? If any man destroys the house of God, God will destroy him. God’s house is holy. 
You are the place where He lives." 
1 Corinthians 3:16-17

it's time to start letting God's Word guide my body image. it's time to put this song - God's truth about me and my body - on replay. it's freeing, sisters! and it kinda makes me want to dance! :)

wanna put this song on replay,
we can start all over again and again, yeah
wanna put this song on replay...